Friday, October 31, 2014

In the News ... "Churches hosting events for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Discuss, raise awareness of religious persecution

Steve Kuhlman, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - The 2014 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church will be recognized this Sunday, calling for a unified day of prayer for Christians facing persecution all over the world.

Both First Presbyterian Church and First Baptist Church of Midland will host events this weekend discussing and raising awareness about international ministries and religious persecution ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report ... 


Thursday, October 30, 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 10/29/14


Nigeria

Continue to pray for the more than 200 school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram last April. Pray for the girls’ safety and their quick release. Nigeria’s government had made a truce with a representative of the Islamist militant group, but a wave of violence shortly after the announcement raises doubts about the girls’ release.
more on this request ...
Pray for the parents of the missing girls as they wait and hope for news about their daughters’ release. Pray God will sustain them during this season of uncertainty and fear.
Please pray for children and families living in the religiously mixed northeast region of Nigeria where Boko Haram (whose name means Western education is forbidden) is trying to create an Islamic state. Pray for those who’ve had their homes and communities attacked by Boko Haram militants. Pray God will comfort those whose loved ones have been massacred by this violent group.
Pray for peace and an end to the violence in northeast Nigeria.

Pakistan, India, Britain

Give God thanks for 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai and her fearlessness in advocating for the education of all children. The Pakistani teen was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child’s rights advocate.
more on this request ...
Thanks be to God the courageous efforts of Malala (a Pakistani Muslim) and Kailash (an Indian Hindu) were recognized in this joint award by the Nobel Committee. The committee wanted to highlight this common struggle for the education of children and against extremism by individuals who are from countries currently involved in ongoing conflict.
Continue to pray for Malala, who was shot in the head two years ago by Taliban gunmen intent on silencing her. Malala now lives in Britain with her family as they cannot return to Pakistan because of ongoing threats by the Taliban. Pray for her efforts to empower girls through education.
Please keep Kailash in prayer as he continues to work to stop the exploitation of children for financial gain through peaceful protests and demonstrations.

United States

Keep 16-year-old Hackett, Dakota, Jacob, and Carly and Stephanie close in prayer.
Pray for all the sick children all over the world. Pray for their safety and healing.

Faces of Children

Please keep in prayer 5-year-old Carolyn, the granddaughter of a Faces of Children intercessor, as she faces additional surgery to clear scar tissue from a previous surgery that’s now blocking her kidney. Carolyn has Ewing’s sarcoma, a primary bone cancer that affects mainly children and adolescents, and has recently gone into remission, thanks be to God.
Please continue to keep Hank Richey, the brother of Faces of Children prayer partner Robin Richey, close in prayer as he begins radiation treatments for cancer. Pray God will bless him with healing and the peace that surpasses all understanding during this difficult season.
Keep close in prayer Faces of Children intercessor Ramon and her husband Bob as they grieve the loss of Bob’s sister Betty. Pray God will comfort them in this season of sorrow. Pray for Betty’s husband Herb as he deals with the loss of his wife and his own Alzheimer’s disease.
Give thanks to God for the new prayer partners who joined with Faces of Children following the presentation and workshop at First Presbyterian Church, Pensacola, FL last Saturday. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to share the ministry of Faces of Children with so many at this event and during worship at First Presbyterian Church the next morning. Please pray those who heard the message of prayer for children will take it into their churches and communities.
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

Tuesday, October 28, 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).

A Listening Heart


“The discipline of the heart…makes us aware that praying is not only listening to but also listening with. The discipline of the heart makes us stand in the presence of God with all we have and are: our fears and anxieties, our guilt and shame, our greed and anger, our joys, successes, aspirations and hopes, our reflections, dreams and mental wandering, and most of all our people, family, friends and enemies, in short, all that makes us who we are. With all this we have to listen to God’s voice and allow God to speak to us in every corner of our being. This is very hard since we are so fearful and insecure that we keep hiding ourselves from God.

We tend to present to God only those parts of ourselves with which we feel relatively comfortable and which we think will evoke a positive response. Thus our prayer becomes very selective and narrow. And not just our prayer but also our self-knowledge, because by behaving as strangers before God we become strangers to ourselves.”

Spiritual Direction 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, October 29, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we'll share 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

Monday, October 27, 2014

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).

A Listening Heart


“The discipline of the heart…makes us aware that praying is not only listening to but also listening with. The discipline of the heart makes us stand in the presence of God with all we have and are: our fears and anxieties, our guilt and shame, our greed and anger, our joys, successes, aspirations and hopes, our reflections, dreams and mental wandering, and most of all our people, family, friends and enemies, in short, all that makes us who we are. With all this we have to listen to God’s voice and allow God to speak to us in every corner of our being. This is very hard since we are so fearful and insecure that we keep hiding ourselves from God.

We tend to present to God only those parts of ourselves with which we feel relatively comfortable and which we think will evoke a positive response. Thus our prayer becomes very selective and narrow. And not just our prayer but also our self-knowledge, because by behaving as strangers before God we become strangers to ourselves.”

Spiritual Direction 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, October 29, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center conference room at First Presbyterian Church-Midland, Afterwards, we'll share 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

Sunday, October 26, 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: October 26, 2014


MINUTE FOR MISSION: REFORMATION SUNDAY - World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary offers opportunities for students and congregations in our region to witness God’s mission through the global church and discover how they can be involved. A hallmark of our ministry is providing opportunities for students to participate with the church in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on short-term mission trips. We see how this transforms a student’s view of the church, the world, and how God is calling us as “sent people.” As one student has said, “You cannot fully understand the local church without understanding the global church.” ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Saturday, October 25, 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: October 25, 2014


IRELAND, NORTHERN IRELAND - Recognizing that young people lacked the opportunity to participate in the church’s decision making, in 2009 the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) organized a pilot youth assembly called SPUD—speaking, participating, understanding, and deciding. Annual SPUD Assemblies allow young people from various congregations to connect, feel part of the larger church, understand how Presbyterianism works, and discover and use their voices on issues important to them ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Friday, October 24, 2014

From @FWMission ... Friday Story: "Education x2"

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: "Education x2"

Greetings and happy Friday!

n many developing countries education is a privilege, not an expectation. Many people with disabilities in these countries don’t receive an education simply because they are unable to be transported. This was the case for Malachi:

At the age of five, Malachi developed an illness that left him unable to walk without anyone ever being able to explain why. He lives with his older sister in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She has cared for him since their father died many years ago and their mother was left unable to take care of him on her own ...


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."

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: October 24, 2014


EUROPE - What is the idea of Europe? European Union leaders promote a Europe of peace, freedom, democracy, prosperity, and justice. Geography matters less. To be European is to subscribe to these values, but what is the source of European values?

Many Christians might see Europe as a shipwreck of faith ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Make 1=4 ... the "Match-and-Match" is Back ... UNTIL TOMORROW

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.
The new and improved model!
Buy ONE wheelchair for $72, and send FOUR! Magic? No. What's 's happening is that local supporters of the Free Wheelchair Mission have once again arranged for "double matching funds" for contributions received from right now, until October 24th.
THAT'S TOMORROW!

Want to take one for a test drive? During normal business hours, visit the lobby at the Illinois Street entrance of First Presbyterian Church-Midland (across the street from Midland High School), 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 for a limited time, your contribution will be matched ... and matched again ... reaching not one, but FOUR recipients.

Please note on your check "Wheelchair Matching Gift."

 

In the News ... "Jesus House Hosts Church on the Streets Event"

KOSA Image
Staff Report
KOSA-TV


ODESSA, TEXAS - Saturday, October 18th, the Jesus House Odessa hosted their Church on the Streets event. Volunteers gathered at La Promesa del Notre to spend the day serving the community and sharing the Gospel

Several youth groups from across West Texas traveled to the Permian Basin to join the Jesus House in distributing children's, women's and men's jackets. They also provided people with a free month's supply of groceries, but the giving didn't stop there ...

read/watch the rest of this KOSA 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: October 23, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF WESTERN NEW YORK - On a rainy autumn evening, a group of young adults from First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo gathered at a cozy home for a meal and discussion. It was a planned event for the congregation’s annual stewardship campaign, yet—as often happens when any from this group get together—the Spirit was present, transforming the gathering into much more.

They are a diverse group of people, varied in many ways, including ethnicity, socioeconomics, theology, family background, and marital status. Where differences often divide, the Spirit unites ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In the News ... "St. John’s students’ animals receive annual blessing"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Event mirrors life of St. Francis of Assisi

By Don Munsch, Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - Students at St. John’s Episcopal School took paws Friday morning, so to speak, to allow their dogs to get a new leash on life. Other animals figured in the mix, too.

Students and their family members along with school and church staff celebrated St. Francis Day with the annual Blessing of the Animals on the school grounds. The school does the celebration the Friday before St. Francis Day, which will be celebrated Saturday, said Emily McDoniel, school principal. Clergy members do the blessings with the words “May God, the great Creator all, bless and keep this His creature. Amen.”

“This is the most fun you’ll have in your whole life,” said the Rev. Les Jackson, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, moments after blessing a child’s rabbit ...

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: October 22, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF WEST JERSEY - Young adult ministry is a story we yearn to tell, and we offer it below in the form of tweets representing various ministries in our presbytery ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the News: Bidhop's Column: "Catholic Church responds to Ebola crisis with hope, help, prayer"

• Church is trying to give people hope in a variety of ways

Bishop Michael Sis
Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo

SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - The Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 4,400 lives, and its destructive impact continues to expand. Since some cases have been confirmed in the United States, the disease is causing increased worry locally.

The most severely impacted countries are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all of which have severely underfunded health care systems. Their situation is made more complicated by a lack of clean water and basic hygiene services.

The (Catholic) Church is trying to give people hope in a variety of ways ...

 • read the rest of this MRT column ... 


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: October 21, 2014


PRESBYTERY OF UTICA, NEW YORK - In the past two years, the Vanderkamp Center, a partner of the Presbytery of Utica, has radically rethought youth ministry. After wrestling with the question of why youth leave the church, Vanderkamp has responded by attempting to treat them as equals rather than people to be managed and told what to do.

The Vanderkamp staff has eliminated rules that seem to be in place strictly for the convenience of adults ...

CLICK HERE
to read more.