Dear First Pres,

   I recently memorized this verse from Ephesians: 
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints"(6:18). 
   Clearly, we are called to pray together. We know that God works through prayer. Have you ever kept track of all the ways that God has answered your prayers? It's not a formula, but God answers prayer. God works through prayer. Things change through prayer.
   That's why, as schools kick off this coming week, we are encouraging the congregation to join in a special time of prayer for students, teachers, and all who work at schools. It'll happen this Sunday during our Education Hour (9:40 - 10:40 am). We call it Love Our Schools. Choose your own prayer adventure!!
Here's how it's going to work: 
   On the lawn will be a welcome station to orient you to the experience. I encourage you to stop by there so you can know the different ways you can pray at any or all of the four different prayer stations. Our hope is that all who participate will engage in a spirit of intercessory prayer with others at each station. Each room will have a theme and a different way to interactively pray. 

Prayer Station #1 - Fellowship Hall: prayer for all our Central Valley Campuses through written, spoken, and silent prayers.
Prayer Station #2 - The Commons: pray for teachers, administrators, and school staff and create a care package for them.
Prayer Station #3 - Jr. High Ignite Room: pray specifically for students.
Prayer Station #4 - The Gallery: pray for college students. Write a note of encouragement for incoming athletes at Fresno Pacific University.

   All the stations will be open throughout the entire Education Hour. So, you are welcome to linger at one for the whole time or work your way through all four. It's up to you. 
   Kingdom Kids (grades 6 and below) will be launching their regular Sunday morning ministry, but everyone else (all youth and adults) are invited to take part in Love Our Schools. 
Here's why we do it:
   We have many folks in our church who are personally connected with schools: students, parents, & school employees. We desire for them to live as the light of Christ in those environments. 
   We know that schools play a critical role in the well-being of our city. The health of the school system reflects the health of the city, but the health of the city is also impacted by the health of the school system. There is a reciprocal relationship. We long for our schools to be safe, life-giving, and supportive communities for all youth to grow and learn. When this truly happens at a neighborhood school, the whole neighborhood benefits.
   The Bible calls us to be a praying people. We know that God meets us in prayer. Prayer is one of the best ways for us to connect with God personally. When we pray, God ministers to us. Spending time in prayer is a tremendous blessing.
   So, please join us for this important time. This Sunday morning at 9:40. Let's Love our Schools.  

P.S. Don't forget we are back to our regular Sunday morning schedule this week (8:30, 9:40, 11:00). Also, special thanks to those who are volunteering to teach our children in Kingdom Kids!