Tag Archives: conference

Pray and Praise for Young People

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, July 29, 2016

PRAY don't worry, through prayer to God Phil 4-6

Pray and Praise for Young People

Today was a wonderful end to the New Wilmington Mission Conference. Between wrapping up a mission perspective on the Lord’s Prayer, saying good-bye all day to people I see once a year, and finishing the evening listening to the Summer Service team, the day was jam-packed.

Fascinating how the Lord’s Prayer is almost always applicable. Even in a mission and outreach sense. Or, should I say, especially in such a sense?

I know many attendees from this conference. We were reminded at evening meeting that many, many people were praying for the Summer Service team as they spent a number of weeks abroad, immersing themselves in a different culture, different language, and different society.

The team spoke separately tonight, telling a bit about their trip, their encounters, and their reactions to what they experienced.

I praise God for these young people.

I pray that they might carry the encounters and experiences of their time away close to their hearts. I ask for clarity as each one makes decisions about the next thing for them to do. Dear God, I pray for those responsible for next year’s mission conference and service. Missionary God, You are not willing that any perish. Draw people to You. Help each person who was in attendance this week to be energized and empowered to tell others about You. About how much You love them, and even to the ends of the earth. Amen.


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.   @chaplaineliza #PursuePEACE.  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Peace and a Conference

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, June 19, 2016


Peace and a Conference

I’ve been concentrating on peace for some time. Peace, personal definitions of peace, and harmony amid diversity. The last few days I spent at our state conference celebration in my denomination. I’ve been continuing the conversation of peace, just as I’ve tried to do for the past few months.

It is fascinating to see how peace (or, the lack of peace) can affect different individuals. I have not had specific discussions with people since last weekend, since the shooting in Orlando. I haven’t wished to intrude on people’s grief. However, I would like to offer an alternative to the fear and anxiety that many people feel.

The conference I just attended had diverse people from all over the state. Plus, the keynote speaker had returned from Orlando the day before speaking before the assembled conference. What an opportunity to mingle with many different people. What a chance to hear different viewpoints and see a variety of different ways of dealing with adversity and grief.

However, the conference celebration was not all grieving and adversity. Heavens, no! There was a good deal of celebrating and worship, besides.

What kind of personal definition of peace could people who attended the conference give? I suspect these personal definitions of peace are as individual as each person who gave them.

A wonderful opportunity to gather together, so much diversity in one place. God willing, help each of us as we scatter from the gathering downstate. Each of us can continue the conversation of peace. Please God, we all can do something helpful. Say something encouraging. Be something hopeful.

What is peace to you? What is your personal definition of peace? Please God, each of us has the opportunity to say something, do something, and be something. We all can #PursuePEACE in our own ways.


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.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Day #27 – Widen Your Circle? Mine, Too.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 20, 2015

floating lantern festival

Day #27 – Widen Your Circle? Mine, Too.

I have been widening my circle this past week. I attended a yearly conference for substance abuse counseling. (I have a state certificate, a CADC.) So, I need continuing education hours. Lo and behold, I really enjoyed myself at the conference. Plus—I made some new friends.

So, yes. I did, indeed, widen my circle in the past few days.

Today, however, was another matter. I read the email from #40acts this morning, before I left the house. As I considered today’s suggestion, I became sad. You see, I had made plans to go see a dear friend, a senior who is seriously ill. This dear one will not be here much longer.

My circle is widening, indeed. To heaven, above.

Yes, I did make a visit. My friend was—to our eyes—unresponsive. But in some deep, profound sense, God knew I was there. And I hope my dear friend—in some way—knew so, too.

Last night, I attended a panel discussion on end-of-life medical issues, and the differences of opinion each of several different religious groups had on suffering, hospice, and end-of-life decisions. I was particularly struck by what my acquaintance Rabbi Joe said. (He got this piece of wisdom from one of his older rabbi mentors.) “Everyone has an expiration date.”

The expiration date is almost here for my dear senior friend. (You’ll be saying hello to God, soon.)

I know many people don’t even consider this aspect of widening the circle. Gee, for some, it’s enough of a challenge to say hello to a stranger on the street, or in a coffee shop! Yet, our circles continue to expand as each of us continues to try to stretch and grow.

Why not smile? Say hello? Go one step further, and strike up a conversation with someone. Anyone. Or, even invite someone new to coffee, or a movie.

I wish God’s blessings to you! Whether my expiration date is near or far, I hope and pray that you rejoice in the days God has given to us. I am trying my very best to rejoice in my days.


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

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Day #24 – Chocolate for Everyone? Hmm.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chocolate illustration Credit - Michael Toland

Chocolate illustration
Credit – Michael Toland

Day #24 – Chocolate for Everyone? Hmm.

Hmm. As I read today’s suggestion—giving out chocolate freely, to one and all—I had an initial reaction. And, my reaction was not all that positive. I grew up in Chicago. Yes, I grew up in a decent area on the northwest side, but still . . . some of those street smarts that I grew up with are still inside of me. Still active, when awakened.

Like when I read this suggestion. It has been drummed into my head to be cautious when traversing the city. When walking, or on public transportation. On buses or elevated trains or subways. On top of that, when my children were small, I used to take them trick or treating around the neighborhood, on Halloween. I would be careful where I went–which houses we went to.

So, while today’s suggestion seems a perfectly lovely idea, something deep inside me said, “Nope.” Sure, some people would happily take the chocolate. However, others would toss it. Either on the street, or in the nearest garbage can. (Sorry, but that‘s the way some folks are. Suspicious, anxious, and even mean-spirited.)

Good thing I was attending a conference today! Accordingly, I bought a small bag of chocolates, and passed them out freely. To those sitting at the table with me, during the morning keynote address, to those at the lunch table, and to several people at the afternoon session. Plus, I was able to share about Lent, and 40 positive acts of generosity, and how doing 40 acts of generosity and kindness will have an impact on my church, my workplace, and my neighborhood.

I think I covered it. (How am I doing? Was that accurate?)

So, I hope I communicated about #40acts well. I pray so. Lord, bring those chocolates to those dear people’s minds. Help them to remember about 40 acts. And most importantly, about You, too.


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

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

matterofprayer blog post for Monday, March 24, 2014

PRAY God hears prayer Eph 6-18

Praying Through the Changing of Jobs

A good deal has occurred since I last posted on this blog—a mere ten days ago. But I have a new job now! A job that suddenly popped up, and I took it. For the curious among you readers, a week ago I began serving at a church in the Chicago suburbs. My position is that of interim co-pastor, and the whole set-up was providential, indeed! Amazing how quickly things can happen.

The past week has been a whirlwind. I started my new job at the church a week ago yesterday. I gave two weeks’ notice to my old (part-time) employer, and my last day is this Friday coming up. Plus, I needed to go to a conference. I also have a state certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling—on top of my master’s degree in Divinity. I really love being with fellow professionals, able to receive additional refresher courses in the area of my certification!

So what? (I suspect some of you are saying right now) Yeah, yeah. It’s not the typical thing I usually blog about. But, I needed the time away from the rest of my life! I realize it wasn’t the typical time away, either. However, it was time I was taking to refresh my skills, and get new tools for the tool belt.

For that matter, I need a bit of refreshing in the area of pastoral skills, too. Sure, I’ve been active in chaplaincy for most of the past ten years. However, it’s been about seven years since I was on staff at a local church. (It wasn’t my doing! I did not actively seek this position out.) God must think I can step up to the plate, though. I will do my best, with God’s help.

It’s a good thing I have been regular in my prayer and meditation! I am relieved to say that. I’ve shared here before what a challenge it has been over the years for me to pray on a regular basis. But thankfully, I have been consistent since last fall. I am starting to feel the rhythms of the day, and prayer is falling into its own place in my daily schedule. I encourage anyone who is having a difficult time with consistency in prayer to find a regular time of the day in which to pray. Why don’t you drop me a line and tell me about it, too? I like to offer a hand, and help when asked.

Instead of just talking about prayer, let’s get down to it. Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for the opportunity we have to come to You. Forgive our inconsistency in prayer and in our relationship with You. Help us to draw closer, day by day, one day at a time. Thank You for the chance to serve one another, too. In Your blessed name we pray, Amen.