Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Invitation to Prayer: TOMORROW

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Responding to God's Love (continued)


“Jesus could walk faithfully through life. He was praised and he was criticized, he was admired and he was despised; he was asked to be king and he was crucified. But he was faithful to the Voice. That is what prayer is all about ...

Jesus went at night to pray, to listen to the Voice, to claim he is already the Beloved. Immediately after that, he heard another voice. The devil said: ‘You have to prove you are the Beloved. Change stone to bread or jump from the temple and the angels will catch you—get some power and have influence.’ Jesus said: ‘I don’t have to prove I am the Beloved; I am already.’

For us to work for justice and peace and really be activists in the good sense of the word is to do it not because we need to prove to ourselves or anybody that we are worth loving. Rather, it is because we are so in touch with our belovedness that we are free to act according to the truth and say no to injustice and say yes when we see justice and peace.

I feel that once we are in touch with our belovedness, we will better see the gifts that come to us from people who affirm that in us. Therefore, the great obstacle which prevents the Spirit working in us is self-rejection. The greatest obstacle to the Sprit working in us is that we say to ourselves that we are useless, we are nothing.

Once I know I am the Beloved, once I start discovering that in me, then the Spirit can work in me and in others; then we can do wonderful things. Now, once I say, ‘No, God doesn’t love me, I am not as good as everyone else,’ somehow I do not claim the truth that Jesus came to proclaim.”

Discipleship and Reconciliation by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Intercessor,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we will have lunch ($5) and fellowship.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

In the News ... "Local Church Safety"

Kierra Powell, Reporter
KMID-TV


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Stonegate Fellowship constantly encourages its congregation members to get involved and volunteer. But before anyone ever gets to volunteer, they must first complete a four-week membership class.

According to Jessi Russo, Director of Mobilization at Stonegate Fellowship, the process helps the church to familiarize its with volunteers.

"We would really like to have quite a bit of time with someone before they start serving with us," Russo said. "So we can get to know them a little bit more outsIde of a Sunday sitting in the auditorium" ...

read/watch the rest of this KMID story 


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 16, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF THE PEAKS, VIRGINIA - Many of the 132 congregations in the Presbytery of the Peaks participate in the annual youth-led Souper Bowl of Caring, joining others across the country in collecting food and money for the hunger ministry of their choice on Super Bowl Sunday. For many years the youth of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Roanoke have collected money and soup and donated it to the Presbyterian Community Center in southeast Roanoke, which offers emergency food and financial assistance along with an after-school tutoring program ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

ChinaAid: "More than a dozen Hunan believers criminally detained in early August released on bail"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

More than a dozen Hunan believers criminally detained in early August released on bail
Distributed by ChinaAid, September, 2014 ...

SHAOYANG, HUNAN, CHINAA – Authorities last week in China’s central Hunan folded under pressure from the local community and lawyers and released 12 Christians, who were criminally detained on Aug. 7, on bail pending trial.

After the Aug. 7 detention of a dozen Christians from four different counties in Shaoyang, close to 20 human rights lawyers, many of whom are Christians, arrived in Shaoyang to provide legal services. The lawyers went with the detainees’ family members to the respective public security bureaus to negotiate with officials, accusing local police of abusing their power and perpetuating religious persecution through groundless charges, family members told China Aid ...


more on this story from China Aid  


Invitation to Prayer: WEDNESDAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Responding to God's Love (continued)


“Jesus could walk faithfully through life. He was praised and he was criticized, he was admired and he was despised; he was asked to be king and he was crucified. But he was faithful to the Voice. That is what prayer is all about ...

Jesus went at night to pray, to listen to the Voice, to claim he is already the Beloved. Immediately after that, he heard another voice. The devil said: ‘You have to prove you are the Beloved. Change stone to bread or jump from the temple and the angels will catch you—get some power and have influence.’ Jesus said: ‘I don’t have to prove I am the Beloved; I am already.’

For us to work for justice and peace and really be activists in the good sense of the word is to do it not because we need to prove to ourselves or anybody that we are worth loving. Rather, it is because we are so in touch with our belovedness that we are free to act according to the truth and say no to injustice and say yes when we see justice and peace.

I feel that once we are in touch with our belovedness, we will better see the gifts that come to us from people who affirm that in us. Therefore, the great obstacle which prevents the Spirit working in us is self-rejection. The greatest obstacle to the Sprit working in us is that we say to ourselves that we are useless, we are nothing.

Once I know I am the Beloved, once I start discovering that in me, then the Spirit can work in me and in others; then we can do wonderful things. Now, once I say, ‘No, God doesn’t love me, I am not as good as everyone else,’ somehow I do not claim the truth that Jesus came to proclaim.”

Discipleship and Reconciliation by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Intercessor,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we will have lunch ($5) and fellowship.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

In the News ... "Anglican church prepares to move into new home"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Expecting to hold first service October 5

Steve Kuhlmann, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - After years without a permanent home, St. Paul’s Anglican Church will soon relocate to its newly built facility on “A” Street.

The oldest of the three remaining Anglican churches in Midland, St. Paul’s changed locations several times since its founding in 1978. Most recently, the church met at what is now Providence Presbyterian Church on Princeton Avenue.

While it once owned the building, St. Paul’s senior warden and long-time member James Henderson said that the church could no longer handle the size of the facility ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report ... 


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 15, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF NEW HOPE, NORTH CAROLINA - For spring break 2013, our students decided they wanted to work with an organization addressing food insecurity. So, 16 of us traveled from Chapel Hill to work with the San Francisco Food Bank. Sending out what amounts to 100,000 meals a day for six days a week, it is the largest food bank in the country. Our college students, adorned with stylish hairnets and rubber gloves, packaged thousands of pounds of rice, bow-tie pasta, carrots, oranges, and grapefruit.

You might wonder: “Isn’t there a food bank in eastern North Carolina. Why not just go there?” ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tutors Needed

D you have a heart for helping students? Are you a math or science whiz? Love writing and literature? We need your help!

"1 TO 1" was started this past spring by a group of committed adults who are passionate about addressing the high school dropout rates. "1 TO 1" offers free one-on-one tutoring weekly to Midland High School students identified as at-risk of dropping out of school. Subjects include College Pre Math, Geometry, Algebra II, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish, French and English/Writing.

Tutoring begins Tuesday, September 16, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. in Lynn (Fellowship) Hall at First Presbyterian Church-Midland (across Illinois Avenue from Midland High).

For more information about the "1 TO 1" program, or to volunteer, please contact Laurie Boldrick at (432) 553-5215 or laurie-boldrick@att.net 

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 14, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: UNION PRESBYTERIAN SEMINARY - This November, from the 3rd to the 5th, Union Presbyterian Seminary (UPSem) will be celebrating 100 years of calling, equipping, and sending Christian educators. In early November 1914, the Assembly’s Training School for Lay Workers (ATS) was established in the Ginter Park Section of Richmond, Virginia, directly across Brook Road from Union Theological Seminary.

Though the name was later changed to the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE), and though the institution later federated with Union Theological Seminary to form the new entity that is Union Presbyterian Seminary, the mission has remained the same: to prepare the finest Christian educators for service in the church ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

In the News ... "Faith & Philanthropy Briefs for September 13, 2014"

Staff Reports
Midland Reporter-Telegram

WEST TEXAS - Stonegate to Host Ministry CEO ... First Methodist Starts Children’s Program ... Mount Calvary Sets Women’s Weekend ... and more ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report ... 


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 13, 2014


NEW CASTLE PRESBYTERY, DELAWARE/MARYLAND - In starting New Castle Presbytery in the late 17th century, Francis Makemie did something before all other Presbyterian pioneers of his day. Presbyterians in Wilmington, Delaware, still take great pride that theirs was the first presbytery of the New World.

This heritage of being first inspires the presbytery to continually explore the shape of emerging ministries as the world becomes new again ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

From @FWMission ... Friday Story: "Independence for Education"

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.


Friday Story: "Independence for Education"

Greetings and happy Friday!

This week we have 20 sea-going containers filled with wheelchairs en-route to 11 different countries around the globe. One of those containers contains 550 GEN_2 wheelchairs destined to provide independence, hope and mobility to individuals living in El Salvador. This week’s story was provided by FWM staff member, Ariel, from a distribution trip she took a few months back:


After driving through a hilly area with lots of vegetation, we parked our vehicles at the bottom of a steep set of stairs. We were told a young man at the top was to receive a wheelchair. Our group made it to the top and were greeted by Jonathan, 16 years old, who is paralyzed from the waist down from an unknown birth defect. One of five children, Jonathan has to be carried down the steep stairs and several miles to school every day by his mother, who holds him on her hip like a small child. As a good student and eager to learn, Jonathan was proud to show us his school workbooks, displaying meticulously neat penmanship.

This new wheelchair brings mobility and independence ...


read the rest of this story ...



Want to take one of these wheelchairs  for a test drive? During normal business hours, visit the lobby at the Texas Street entrance of First Presbyterian Church-Midland, at the northwest corner of Texas and A streets, on the west side of downtown Midland. You can give the gift of mobility. The cost of $72.00 is a bargain to us ... but it is a life-changing gift to impoverished and disabled recipients ... and there are times when your contribution will be matched, reaching not one - but TWO, and sometimes FOUR recipients. Please note on your check "Wheelchair Gift."

In the News ... "Inaugural Dance for Africa event to benefit vocational programs"

• 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 13 at St. Stephen's Church

Steve Kuhlmann, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Africa Bridges of Hope, an organization co-founded by a Midland woman and her husband, helps the people of Uganda become more self-sufficient. But as with most nonprofits, they need funds. So Sarah Mugoya and her husband, Meddie Mugoya are turning to Midlanders for help.

Africa Bridges of Hope will host the inaugural Dance for Africa on Saturday. The event will benefit the organization’s vocational programs in Uganda ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report ... 


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 12, 2014


NATIONAL CAPITAL PRESBYTERY, WASHINGTON D.C. - In 2005 the town of Herndon, Virginia, was divided over what to do about a large number of Latino men who gathered in a parking lot where contractors came to hire day laborers. The situation was chaotic: laborers risked their safety and tied up traffic competing for jobs.

Trinity Presbyterian Church’s pastor, Rev. Stephen Smith-Cobbs, and two elders began meeting with an interfaith group about how to respond to the community’s need for order, the construction companies’ need for laborers, and the laborers’ need for work. The group worked with town government to create a new hiring center to address these concerns ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Faces of Children: Prayer Concerns for This Week

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Prayer Concerns for the Week of 07/31/14


China, North Korea

Crossing Borders, a faith based, nonprofit organization, provides North Korean refugees who cross the border into China with food and medical assistance. The organization has several group homes for North Korean children who’ve been abandoned by their parents. Recently, the Chinese government has increased pressure on foreigners and others who help North Korean refugees. Crossing Borders staff and volunteers risk arrest or deportation for their support of refugees from North Korea.
more on this issue / Crossing Borders website
Pray for 11-year-old Juhee * whose mother was arrested in China four years ago and sent back to a North Korean prison camp. Her mother had been trafficked into China and sold to Juhee’s father. Pray God will provide for Juhee who lives in extreme poverty with her father. Give God thanks Juhee is able to go to a local private school because of help from the Crossing Borders program Second Wave. Pray for Juhee’s mother whose status is unknown. *Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection.
Pray for the children in Crossing Borders’ group homes and other programs. Pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual healing from the traumas they’ve experienced in their young lives.
Give thanks for the Crossing Borders staff and volunteers and their willingness to witness Jesus’ love to abandoned, orphaned, and neglected North Korean children. Pray for their protection and safety.
* Name changed for confidentiality and/or protection

Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, North Africa

More than three million Syrians, almost half the country’s population, have been forced to flee their homes because of Syria’s civil war and attacks by the Islamic State militant group (formerly ISIS). Over half of those who’ve fled are children. The majority of Syrian refugees, almost 1.2 million, have escaped to Lebanon, but Turkey is host to more than 800,000 refugees, and Jordan, over 600,000. Others have fled to Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa. Of these Syrian refugee households, one in four is headed by women who struggle to provide food and shelter for their families. In Lebanon, an estimated 50,000 Syrian refugee children are working long hours every day as street vendors, in coffee shops or markets, on farms or construction sites, or as street beggars in order to help their families. In Syria, there are an estimated six and a half million IDPs (internally displaced people) struggling to survive. The numbers are bleak regarding those who haven’t survived this three-year civil war—more than 191,000 people have been killed with at least 8,800 of those being children.
more on this issue
more on this issue
more on this issue
more on this issue
Please continue to keep in prayer the children, youth, and adults affected by this devastating conflict in Syria.
Pray for those who’ve fled the violence and lost their homes and livelihoods. Pray for families who’ve spent a year or more traveling throughout Syria to reach safety in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Pray for children who arrive in the camps exhausted and frightened by their long ordeal.
Pray for Syrian refugee women who are caring for their families in insecure shelters or overcrowded homes. Pray God will provide for their immediate and deepest needs as they try to make ends meet.
Pray for the safety and health of Syrian refugee children who labor in dangerous jobs for long hours. Pray they may be freed from this heavy responsibility of providing for their families so they can pursue an education.
Keep in prayer children who have lost family members…children who are traumatized by their experiences…and children who have been physically injured in this violent conflict.
Please pray humanitarian aid organizations will secure the resources needed to help the millions of Syrian refugees and IDPs. Pray for raised awareness throughout the world about this enormous humanitarian emergency.

Faces of Children

Please keep Lori, the sister of Faces of Children prayer partner Donna Preston, in prayer as she is treated for severe complications from hernia surgery. Lori has experienced four surgeries in less than three weeks and is now in an induced coma. Pray for God’s healing touch to be upon Lori during this difficult time. Pray she will regain her strength and make a full recovery. Pray for her family and loved ones as they care for her.

Give praise to God that 16-year-old Clare, the granddaughter of a Faces of Children intercessor, is doing well and making friends at the public high school she is attending. Please pray for God’s continued healing mercies on this precious young woman who recently graduated from a residential treatment facility where she had been for several years. Pray for her parents and siblings as they adjust to having Clare back home.

Please pray for Faces of Children prayer partner Margaret as she undergoes knee surgery this week. Pray for her complete healing from this surgery. Pray for her husband and family as they help care for her during the recovery process.
Please continue to pray that more churches and individuals will join with the ministry of Faces of Children in spreading awareness about children in crisis and inviting more people to pray for children at risk.



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to Chris Laufer, FOC Coordinator, at claufer@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "Former Odessa priest mourned"

Contributed Photo
• Parish remembers Francis Frey, late pastor of St. Mary’s

By Celinda Hawkins, Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - Monsignor Francis X. Frey, a beloved priest who served 25 years at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Odessa, died last week in Pennsylvania.

Bishop Michael Sis, who presides over the Diocese of San Angelo, said Frey served in parishes throughout West Texas.

“His love for people, his sense of humor, and his joyful humanity are well remembered,” Sis commented via email. “We are all blessed by the legacy of his many years of fruitful service” ...

read the rest of this OA report ...


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 11, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF THE JAMES, VIRGINIA - The youth program of the Presbytery of the James is permeated by a strong belief in encouraging participation in Christlike actions as a means of experiencing Christ and living out one’s faith.

The presbytery youth council hosts several programs throughout the year. “When planning for our mission events, we always try to keep in mind not only what would be fun and exciting for the youth but also what actually will be most beneficial to the community and those they serve ..."

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In the News ... "Immanuel Baptist prepares for 75th anniversary"

Contributed Photo
• Church started in 1939 with 70 people in south Odessa

By Jared Wilson, Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - Churches are often thought of as longstanding institutions and in many ways that assertion would be correct. However, 75 years of service to one community is quite an accomplishment ... and Immanuel Baptist Church is prepping for that very milestone coming up on September 20.

In 1939 the congregation came together, made up of 70 people, in a parking lot on Sam Houston Street in south Odessa. From there the church has grown and evolved into what you see today and current pastor, Landon Coleman, said it is time to keep doing what has made the church successful in their 75 years of service. From those humble beginnings, the church, now located at 4020 East University Blvd., has grown ...

read the rest of this OA report ...


Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 10, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF EASTERN VIRGINIA - For the young adults in the University Presbyterian Campus Ministry program at Old Dominion University, Valentine’s Day is hands down the best day for missions! Although they participate in many mission projects throughout the year, that day’s random act of kindness is by far the favorite mission event of the ministry.

The students buy 400 carnations, cut them, and attach a card to each that says, “God loves you.” Armed with fresh flowers and engulfed with the desire to spread God’s love throughout the university, they take the campus by storm. Each carnation is received with a broad smile and a gracious reaction. This act often spurs conversations with recipients about how it feels to hear that God loves them. Stories about hometown churches and the last time they attended often follow ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Invitation to Prayer: TOMORROW

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Responding to God's Love


“God says, ‘I love you with an everlasting love,’ and Jesus came to tell us that. When Jesus was baptized, he heard a voice that said, ‘You are my beloved, on whom God’s favor rests.’ That’s a very important statement that Jesus wants us to hear. We are the Beloved, not because we did anything, not because we proved ourselves. Basically, God loves us whatever we do. If that’s true, these few years that we are in the world, we are sent to say, in the midst of our life, ‘Yes, God, I love you, too.’

Just as God cares for us, it’s very important that we care for God in the world. If God is born like a little baby, God cannot walk or speak unless someone teaches God. That’s the story of Jesus, who needs human beings in order to grow. God is saying, ‘I want to be weak so you can love me. What better way to help you respond to my love than becoming weak so you can care for me?’ God becomes a stumbling God who falls at the cross, who dies for us, and who is totally in need of love. God does this so that we can get close. The God who loves us is a God who becomes vulnerable, dependent in the manger and dependent on the cross, a God who basically is saying, ‘Are you there for me?’

God, you could say, is waiting for our answer. In a very mysterious way, God is dependent on us. God is saying, ‘I want to be vulnerable, I need your love. I have a desire for your affirmation of my love.’ God is a jealous God in the sense of wanting our love and wanting us to say yes. That’s why in the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ God is waiting for us to respond. Life gives us endless opportunities for that response.”

The Road to Peace by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Intercessor,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we will have lunch ($5) and fellowship.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 9, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF COASTAL CAROLINA - The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina seeks to help its worshiping communities bear fruit and grow in the knowledge of God by providing mission and outreach support. One such ministry is the Hispanic mission in Fayetteville.

Abelina Capote and her husband, Ridgo, attend services each Sunday at the Hispanic mission with their three children, Christopher, Abby, and Moses. Christopher's big smile accompanies him each week as he takes up the offering.

In early 2013 Abelina mentioned that she had learned to play the saxophone as a young girl growing up in Mexico and, if she could again have an instrument, would like to share her gift of music in worship ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Monday, September 8, 2014

ChinaAid: "Zhejiang demolitions: Authorities in Wenzhou attempt to demolish more crosses, injure more Christians in process"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

Zhejiang demolitions: Authorities in Wenzhou attempt to demolish more crosses, injure more Christians in process
Distributed by ChinaAid, September, 2014 ...

WENZHOU, ZHEJIANG, CHINAA – Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang continued to persecute churches in Wenzhou last week, demolishing an annex building and injuring several Christians who attempted to defend their churches’ property from demolition.

As a continuation of the province-wide “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign, more than five churches in Pingyang County, Wenzhou, during the last half of August, including Shangzhou Church, where more than 100 government officials arrived on Aug. 27 to demolish the church’s building ...


more on this story from China Aid  


Whatta ya want? ... Blood? ...

Well ... YES, as a matter of fact ...

United Blood Services will be holding a blood drive on Sunday, September 21st, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the gymnasium at First Presbyterian Church-Midland (enter from Illinois Street, across from Midland High School).

Please call Dave at (432) 528-1831 to schedule an appointment time. OR, you can visit the United Blood Services website at www.unitedbloodservices.org/ and reserve a donation time (use Sponsor Code W1503).

Learn more about blood donation from United Blood Services at unitedbloodservices.org/learnmore

All donors will receive points that can be redemed for prizes like t-shirts and movie tickets at unitedbloodservices.org/rewards !


Invitation to Prayer: WEDNESDAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Responding to God's Love


“God says, ‘I love you with an everlasting love,’ and Jesus came to tell us that. When Jesus was baptized, he heard a voice that said, ‘You are my beloved, on whom God’s favor rests.’ That’s a very important statement that Jesus wants us to hear. We are the Beloved, not because we did anything, not because we proved ourselves. Basically, God loves us whatever we do. If that’s true, these few years that we are in the world, we are sent to say, in the midst of our life, ‘Yes, God, I love you, too.’

Just as God cares for us, it’s very important that we care for God in the world. If God is born like a little baby, God cannot walk or speak unless someone teaches God. That’s the story of Jesus, who needs human beings in order to grow. God is saying, ‘I want to be weak so you can love me. What better way to help you respond to my love than becoming weak so you can care for me?’ God becomes a stumbling God who falls at the cross, who dies for us, and who is totally in need of love. God does this so that we can get close. The God who loves us is a God who becomes vulnerable, dependent in the manger and dependent on the cross, a God who basically is saying, ‘Are you there for me?’

God, you could say, is waiting for our answer. In a very mysterious way, God is dependent on us. God is saying, ‘I want to be vulnerable, I need your love. I have a desire for your affirmation of my love.’ God is a jealous God in the sense of wanting our love and wanting us to say yes. That’s why in the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ God is waiting for us to respond. Life gives us endless opportunities for that response.”

The Road to Peace by Henri J. M. Nouwen


A message from Chris Laufer, Coordinator, Faces of Children

Greetings, Faces of Children Intercessor,

The Midland Faces of Children prayer group will meet on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we will have lunch ($5) and fellowship.


I hope you are able to join us as we pray for the children of our local and global communities.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for the littlest citizens of God’s Kingdom! If you have prayer concerns or celebrations about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to me at at claufer@facesofchildren.net, or give me a call.

Grace and peace,

Chris

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 8, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: SEASON OF PEACE - “Churches can be the best in offering reconciliation and peace. They can also be the worst in teaching sectarian theology.” That’s what Derek Poole told participants of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s Travel Study Seminar to Northern Ireland. Poole, who works with former combatants of the region’s sectarian conflict, described the goal of reconciliation in Northern Ireland as transforming conflict from a destructive enterprise to a creative one that makes space for shared beneficial action. It is about finding a common story that includes and affirms all; one that unites rather than divide ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook

The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: September 7, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: CHRISTIAN EDUCATION - On Pentecost Sunday, the church was covered in red, confirmation students were struggling to pin roses on their shirts, parents were taking pictures, younger siblings were rolling their eyes, and some of the older members were grinning at the chaos. Eventually, we were called to worship.

Then there was an incredible moment ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.