Tag Archives: community

Community Days, Community Prayers

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 4, 2016

family-gods-family

(All in the family.)

Community Days, Community Prayers

A department store in the area has a promotion and an outreach, tied up in one. It’s a community days’ sale event, where not-for-profit organizations sell coupon books for a small amount of money, the store has a big sale for several days (coinciding with the approaching holidays), and everyone ends up happy. The store has lots of traffic, the not-for-profits get some donations and support, and the local economy keeps humming along.

So, I went to the store today to sell these booklets. (Yes. I did sell some.) I felt good about it. Surprisingly gratified, in fact. I was even complimented on my salesmanship. (I am not sure how genuine that compliment was, but regardless, I will accept any compliment gratefully.)

However, even though I was trying to sell these booklets, I couldn’t help but think of an older senior who is in the hospital. This dear one is recuperating from the procedure that brought this one to the hospital. My mind periodically shifted gears and thought about the hospitalized senior, loved ones, and the recuperation period ahead.

There are several other seniors in my acquaintance who need prayer. I remembered them earlier. In between times, I found myself wondering exactly what the several seniors were doing. How they were occupied, and whether they were doing okay?

Lord, I know I have specific people in mind. And, so often You bring them to mind. I have figured out over the years that You really want me to pray for these dear ones—and their loved ones and families.  I try to listen and do what You remind me to do. Pray for me. Pray for others. Pray for my little church, as well as my diverse community.

Community days? Community prayers, indeed.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Prayers of Preparation for Peace

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 23, 2016

peace-be-with-you-printed

Prayers of Preparation for Peace

Pursuing Peace just doesn’t stop. Peace: that elusive article, that hopeful state of being. No, pursuing Peace can be an elusive quest, indeed.

Instead of me searching for personal, private ways of pursuing Peace, I am going to look for ways of arriving at Peace in a group fashion. Corporately. In the neighborhood. In the community.

Correction: WE are going to pursue Peace.

I have no idea where this is going. Yes, some could scoff that we are not exactly going after Peace. Strictly speaking, this could be true. In a broader sense, we will combat fear and anxiety, facilitate ease in communication, work together to reach people in trouble, all in the individual neighborhoods.

Yes, WE are going to pursue Peace.

I feel like I am going to step off into the Wild Blue Yonder, or something. Yes, a bit of trepidation. Yes, some butterflies in the stomach. This will be a community partnership, and I have only a vague idea of what it’s going to look like. And, it may change. (But, that’s okay.)

Pursuing Peace is a great possibility. Just around the corner. To be continued.

Dear God, give us good ideas. Help us to come up with a strategic plan. Bring together dreamers of dreams, and give us concrete ways to bring those hopes and dreams to fruition. Help us #PursuePEACE. Please, God. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Gathering Worship, Community Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 15, 2016

family-of-god

Gathering Worship, Community Prayer

Today was a wonderful gathering. Great time of fellowship, heartfelt time of worship. Inspiring time for community-building.

The friends at the Fall Gathering had the privilege to hear Father Michael Pfleger. The information I received about Rev. Dr. Michael Pfleger? “Self-described as ‘pastor, preacher, parent, lecturer, activist,’ Father Pfleger is well-known throughout the country as an outspoken advocate for racial justice and outspoken critic of the systemic violence which plagues Chicago and our nation.”

Was his address a challenge to his listeners? Yes, certainly. A challenge for social justice. Did Father Pfleger’s talk veer into the realm of the sermon from time to time? Of course. The realm of the abundant, overflowing love of God for all. Did we hear a prophetic voice today? Oh, my. Yes, indeed. Talk about a voice crying out in the wilderness. Father Pfleger was all that.

As he spoke, I could feel the power and the urgency in his message, advocating for “the least of these.” Crying out for those who had no voice.

Whether you agree or disagree with Father Pfleger’s political stance, I suspect anyone who heard his words understood his passion, his love and caring for those he spoke for. And yes, I do respect him incredibly for everything he stands for.

God bless Father Pfleger, and bless his parish. Bless the friends he talks with and those he prays with. Bless those he ministers to, and bless his family. And—bless his work in racial justice, and especially his work for the least of these. The children, babies, women, the elderly, the infirm, and those others who have no voice. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, September 24, 2016

instrument-of-your-peace-dove

Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Today was the Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace. An event that I have been working on and hoping and praying for, for a bunch of weeks. Such a great response for the Interfaith Walk! All ages, strollers, someone in a wheelchair. Wonderful cross-section of the community in Morton Grove walking with us today.

As I went from one group of walkers to another, I heard bits of conversations—friendly, encouraging talk between diverse people. People from different places and from different faith traditions.

I heard many people today looking forward to another Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace next September! With a nearby suburb having a Peace Festival this weekend as well, I can envision a North Shore Peace Initiative—especially if many of us talked to friends about Interfaith Walks in other, neighboring suburbs of Chicago.

Just think. If people built bridges of peace, friendship and harmony. Just imagine. Less ignorance and misunderstanding. What a wonderful place the Chicago area could be.

Such an awesome start! Let’s keep the conversation going. Dear God, let it be so! Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers for peace, harmony, and an end to conflict and violence. Amen.

Peace.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE: A Personal Relationship with God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, August 14, 2016

 

rest in God, dove

PEACE: A Personal Relationship with God

A friend and I traveled to the Englewood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago again on Wednesday. We participated—again—in the nightly dinner outreach hosted by the Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK). This was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the good people in the Englewood neighborhood and show them that friends outside of their community care, and are concerned. Friends want to help them strengthen relationships, and bring peace into their streets. Their neighborhood. Their community.

My friend Laura had her face-painting kit, again, and the children loved it. They lined up to have all different kinds of face art painted on their faces. I made myself useful helping out by the serving table, making sure the bottled water was ready to be served, taking care of trash and checking to see that the area around the street corner was neat and tidy.

Yet, I remembered back two weeks, when Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church stopped by that same corner after dinner was cleaned up. The church folks set up a traveling outdoor worship service, just as they do each Wednesday night during the summer. As I finished my good-byes to Mama Knight and several other friends, I had the opportunity to talk with the Senior Pastor of that church, Rev. Walter Matthews.

A personable, earnest man, he was more than ready to share his view of peace. Pastor Matthews’ personal definition: “PEACE is having a personal relationship with God.”  

Just as the Mothers Against Senseless Killing wishes to strengthen relationships between friends in their Englewood neighborhood—on a horizontal plane, so Pastor Matthews wishes to strengthen relationships on a vertical plane—the personal relationship with God, our Redeemer and Friend. As I asked him to elaborate on his personal definition, he said, “I want everyone to have peace with God, so that we are able to have the peace of God.”

Amen! Pastor Matthews, thank you for those good words. May you and your church community have a nurturing, continuing relationship with your neighborhood. Dear God, please help Pleasant Green M.B. Church to continue to be faithful, spreading the Good News of a personal relationship with You. Amen!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE: God’s Love Within

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, August 16, 2016

God brings peace

PEACE: God’s Love Within

This post includes a second definition of PEACE from Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. But, before we get to that, I need to tell a bit about the Englewood neighborhood, and Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK). This excellent group has a dinner outreach called Take Them a Meal. Several people from Morton Grove traveled to the south side of Chicago to provide for the dinner, two weeks ago.

The weather was quite warm—and so was the fellowship and community! Heartwarming, too.

As the dinner outreach packed up, Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church started to set up on the same street corner. They have an outdoor worship service every Wednesday night during the summer. That church has a regular outreach to the Englewood community.

I greeted several of the church members, including the associate pastor, Frederick Schells. A kindly man, he gave me his view of peace right away. Pastor Frederick’s personal definition: “PEACE is the love of God within you.”

As I asked for him to elaborate, he said, “Peace has to be recognized from within.” He talked about the importance of God in each individual’s life, and how the presence of God is a foundation for peace.

The presence of God can be a comfort and encouragement for many, especially when going through difficult or challenging times. The Gospel of John lets us know that Jesus promised peace—His peace. Not as the world gives. Not fleeting or temporary, but permanent. Everlasting peace.

Praise God. Thank You for Your peace.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE: Community, Family Dinner

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, August 12, 2016

peace sign stones

PEACE: Community, Family Dinner

This post includes another in the series of definitions of PEACE. But, before we get to that, I need to give a little background. Several people from Morton Grove travelled down to Chicago a week and a half ago to participate in a dinner outreach called Give Them a Meal. Run by Mothers Against Senseless Killing (MASK), this is a generous act. An opportunity to be kind, to anyone who comes to the table.

When I was helping at the dinner, I asked one of the Mothers Against Senseless Killing for her personal definition of PEACE. Tamar’s personal definition: “Peace is family dinner—dinner with your community. Fellowship.”

Tamar is a straight-forward, no-nonsense person, instrumental in the outreach Give Them a Meal. When I asked her to elaborate on her personal definition, she was clear. Almost forceful in her enthusiasm. “This is it. People eat dinner together, get to know each other. This is what it’s all about.”

She wants to bring the neighborhood together, and provide an opportunity for community and fellowship. Table fellowship, where individuals can become friends.

This can be a powerful, life-changing act, breaking bread and sharing a part of themselves, a part of their very lives. Yet, such a simple act of friendship, too.

Thank God for this meal outreach. Bless all those who share in the meal, either daily or on an occasional basis. Bless those who faithfully serve, donate, and pray for this outreach. Dear God, we pray not only for the Englewood neighborhood, but also for the whole city of Chicago. For all of the suburbs, too. Bring PEACE to these many neighborhoods. And, stop the senseless killing, we pray. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er