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Vision 2024 Prayer Letter - 12/24/20

December 24, 2020

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

As our season of Advent reaches its crescendo, let’s join in praising the Lord together for His goodness and faithfulness to us! How wonderful to know that Christmas has come in its fullness despite all the other challenges and disappointments we may have weathered this past year. No matter what, He is still Emmanuel, God with us! Praise the Lord with me!

Thank you for your continued faithful prayers for our church. Please pray for the current needs of those on our prayer chain. There are some pretty serious health battles that several people from our church family are facing over the holidays. May God bring His comfort and healing. May good health care be available and effective to meet these needs. And may those whom God is calling home, pass into His presence peacefully. Praise God for the wonderful assurance that with have in Christ of an eternal home that He has prepared for us.

Please continue to pray for effective love and fellowship among our church body. Many calls and contacts have been made through our Church Directory Caregiving Drive, our Women’s Ministry gift deliveries, the Christmas Caring Tree, our meal ministry on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, and more. Praise God for all of these opportunities to love and encourage one another. Pray that we will keep finding creative and meaningful ways to “love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)

Pray for safe travels for many over the holidays. Pray that we will all be kept safe from virus transmission. And, for any who are sick, that we will recover quickly and fully, without getting others sick. Pray for our valiant medical workers who serve us day in and day out. May they know how much they are appreciated. Pray that they will be encouraged in this long season of caregiving. Pray they’ll persevere.

Pray for those who are isolated and struggling through loneliness and any mental health concerns. Pray that they’ll get the help and encouragement that they need. Pray that friends and family, especially church family, will continue reaching out through phone calls, notes, letters, and so on. May there be a genuine, ongoing ministry of encouragement in and through our church. Let’s “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

Pray for our ongoing church services onsite and online. Pray that we can keep the doors open and the Livestream running smoothly. Please ask God to give our elders, trustees, reopening strategy task force, staff, and other leaders great wisdom during these ongoing challenges. Pray for a good transition of several new elders and trustees onto our 2021 boards. Praise God that we have been able to offer 2 different nights for special Christmas worship services this week! Praise God for the people who stepped up to decorate, lead music, read Scripture, preach, and so on. Pray that we will continue to have all of the help we need to run our technology, lead our services, and minster to those in need.

Pray for our global partners nearby and overseas. Pray they’ll be well-funded, well-resourced, and well-prayed for in their mission to share the Good News wherever they are and with whomever God brings across their path. Pray for their safety. Pray for creative strategies in the midst of this pandemic. Pray that they’ll stay healthy and strong. Pray that our Global Connections Team will have all of the help and leadership that it needs to thrive in 2021. Pray that our Missions Strategy Weekend goals will carry forward in wonderful ways. Pray that each of our Barnabas Teams will bless and encourage their global partner in God-honoring ways.

Please pray for each of our pastors as we meet with people for various counseling needs, prepare messages, and lead in our various areas of ministry. Pray for our Sunday morning sermons. Please ask God to guide us as we relaunch our Acts series in January. Pray for all of our various ministries to children, youth, and adults. Pray for our Bible studies, Life Groups, music ministries, and so on. Pray for our church grounds and facilities, for Ron Bodenheimer as he gets things clean, neat, shoveled, and running smoothly. Pray that equipment will run well and not break down on us. Also please pray that each one of us will remain faithful and generous in the giving of our tithes and offerings. Pray that we will be well-funded for the ministry to which God calls us in the year ahead. Pray that we will steward our time, talents, and treasures in the ways that God wants us to.

Please pray for our area schools and businesses that have been hit hard by this year’s pandemic. Pray that 2021 will be a better year for them. Pray for steady jobs and good incomes so that people can pay their bills and keep food on the table. Pray for wisdom and creativity in how our community can continue to get along with one another and partner together through networking and collaboration. Pray that our church will know how to be a genuine asset and blessing to those around us. May we be a lighthouse in the storm and a place of truth and grace.

As we head into 2021, pray that our church will more and more become the people and place that God wants us to be. As we approach our 100-year anniversary in 2024, pray that we will be growing and maturing in Christlikeness. Pray that our church’s Annual Meeting on January 31 will be an opportunity for much rejoicing at the great things God has done in the past year, as well as an invigorating time of envisioning God’s plans for us in the year ahead!

Together for Christ,

Pastor Jerry

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