Dear First Pres,

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42 
   The 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting are challenging this time around. I find myself confessing a lot and wrestling with God about the heaviness on my heart. The tendency to find security and comfort in things of this world is evident in the vices I use to filter out or avoid feeling the hurt or confusion of the world. Being face-to-face with these harsh realities has brought me to a place of deeper relationship and dependence on God, even though the process has proven painful. So where is the hope and shalom (wholeness) of God's kingdom reflected?
   It's reflected through the engagement of God's diverse people in learning, fellowshipping, eating, and praying. When we engage together in this type of communal activity, God's shalom and kingdom are made known to the world around us. In the times when my heart is burdened and I am struggling to see God, there always seems to be a Jr. High student who reminds me of God's goodness, love and joy. We can do that for one another as we intentionally seek to live in relationship with each other - pursuing and valuing each other's stories, perspectives and gifts. 
    Engaging in prayer together is so powerful. We are not participating in the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting alone or just with FPC, but with the larger context of God's people all over the city. We are seeking together God's shalom and transformation on behalf of our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces and where we play. Praying together reminds us that our God is bigger than we can imagine and at the same time nearer to us than we know. When we devote ourselves to live and breath God's word, to spending intentional time together, to inviting each other to our Father's infinite table and to praying with and for one another we cannot help but be changed by God's Spirit. May we continue to lean into Jesus' abundant life together. 

May Our Light Shine,