Tag Archives: friendship

Active, Gathering in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 30, 2016

candles-prayer-color

Active, Gathering in Prayer

Lots of things going on.

I spoke at a panel discussion at the mosque in on Sunday, November 20, called “Empowering Diverse Voices.” This was to encourage groups who are feeling marginalized. I was asked to bring two action steps to the audience that evening.

In preparation for that evening, I turned to Matthew 5 and found where Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Accordingly, at the panel discussion, I called for people to come together for a Gathering for Prayer and Mutual Support (Build Bridges, Not Walls). It will be on Monday, Dec. 12 from 7 to 8 pm at St. Luke’s Church in Morton Grove.

The second action step, as I promised at the panel on Nov. 20, is a draft of an open letter from leaders of houses of worship to our local civic leaders. Many wish to show friendship and commitment to all people in these communities in the Chicago suburbs. Our neighborhoods and communities are diverse and multi-cultural. This letter contains a declaration that we—leaders of houses of worship—stand together against fear, animosity and hatred to promote harmony, peace and love for all in our local neighborhoods.

Please, if you feel nudged by God, pray for many from this diverse community to attend, and for many to be encouraged by us joining together in prayer.

And, consider joining with me in prayer on the second Monday of December. Pray for our leaders—local, regional and national. Pray for our neighborhoods and communities. And—keeping the words of Jesus from Matthew 5 in our minds—pray with love for those who are angry with us, who are mean to us, and who disagree with us.

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

Prayers of Thanks and Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, October 29, 2016

suitcase-microsoft-clip-art

Prayers of Thanks and Support

Ever have a time away or out of state that made you get out of sync, off kilter, or just plain too distracted? Too much going to pray? That was me, during the past couple of days.

Prayer is a good thing. I have not been praying much lately, but I do think it’s a great resource. A communal gesture, and a way for us to communicate with the Almighty. Now that I’ve come back from a visit to the East Coast, I hope things revert back to normal, soon.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank those who prayed for me while I was traveling. Much appreciated! (Now, if we might be able to pray for the Cubs…)

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for a safe journey. Help me to get back into the swing of things and dig into work. Thank You for friends who lift me and my trip up to You. I have a busy month ahead of me, and I badly need Your help. Thanks for everything you do for me, as well as for my friends and acquaintances. I bow down before you on the recommendations, the listening, the miracles, most of which I am not even aware of. Thank You, so much.

What more can I say, God? Except, thank You so much.

@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 Thanksgiving? Wonderful Peace Breakfast!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 21, 2016

 

breakfast-shot-3-eric-ponders

(Photo Credit: Eric Ponders, The North Shore Voice) (www.FaceBook.com/MGVoice)

Prayers of Thanksgiving? Wonderful Peace Breakfast!

 

Ever have one of those days? Or, weeks? Maybe even, one of those months? Yeah—me, too. When I invited many of the same village and religious leaders to a second Peace Breakfast, some of them told me that they unfortunately could not attend. The past few weeks have been extremely busy—for everyone!

We met again, this morning. We met, again, to talk about next steps towards peace, friendship, and cooperation, in this wonderful and diverse suburb of Chicago. And, we came up with some great ideas!

Some backstory: several people around the table pointed out that there was a good deal of fear, anxiety, and general uncertainty in portions of the population in our area. How can we reach out to them, in a proactive, useful and needed way?

As one local media member (Eric Ponders) reported, “Proactive initiatives for community outreach were discussed, including strategic plans, combining resources, more encompassing events with multiple communities, pooling our resources – potentially programming as well as funding, creating a grass roots initiative, communication strategies for outreach and facilitation & more!”

Yes, looking at what we discussed, we could say that we discussed public health. Alternatively, we could say we discussed funding and community strategy. I prefer to look at it another way. The village and religious leaders gathered there discussed ways to lower fear, anxiety, and uncertainty; we discussed ways to promote family- and community-building, finding ways to work together across neighborhoods, villages, and townships.

Did we find ways to pursue peace? Promote friendship and harmony in the midst of a very diverse population in our area? I think we did. So, YES. This morning’s Peace Breakfast was a wonderful next step, indeed.

Thanks, God! A great, big praise to You for Your assistance.

(Thanks as well to Eric Ponders, who is also known as North Shore Voice.)
@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: Belonging/Positive Environment

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 29, 2016

peace dove

PEACE: Belonging/Positive Environment

As I continue on my Pursuing PEACE Project, I include another two personal definitions of PEACE.

(Thanks, Oakton Community College, for allowing me to come in to the cafeteria and set up a table. Thanks, members of the Oakton Christian Fellowship, for sitting with me and providing a welcome, too.)

Two students had wonderful definitions. I thought Matthew’s was awesome! Sadly, he did not have time to stay and explain why he put down the definition he did. Here is his personal definition: “PEACE is a positive environment and open, in a peaceful place.”

Kayla’s personal definition also was along similar lines: “PEACE = feeling belonging in your family and community.”

As I asked her to explain more about that point of view, she said earnestly, “It’s when you feel PEACE within yourself. Also, when you feel connected to others, and they support you.”

Thinking about both Matthew’s definition and Kayla’s definition, I get the idea of a big, wide, open, spacious place. A peaceful place. A place where I—and everyone else who is there—have no need of fear or anxiety. A place of belonging. A place where there is no time pressure or hurry-scurry, or deadlines. A place where everyone is positive, friendly, nurturing, and encouraging. (And, the best part is, people are all that way naturally.)

A place like that would be marvelous. Almost, heavenly. (I wonder whether heaven will be anything like that?) Dear Lord, gracious God, please show me—show us the way to get to a place like that. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

(Thanks to both Matthew and to Kayla. Blessings on your schoolwork!)

@chaplaineliza

(Reminder: I will be posting more from the young people at St. Viator’s High School later this week, after Easter. Have a great Spring Break and a joyful Easter celebration!)

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

Through Two Women

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, December 12, 2015

Icon of the Visitation

Icon of the Visitation

Through Two Women

It’s true. The Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament are heavily male-centered. When I think of the events listed in both testaments, the bulk of the activities involve men (with the occasional boy). Even the few women listed are almost always spoken of in relation to a man: Abraham’s wife, Sarah; Judah’s daughter-in-law, Tamar; Samuel’s mother, Hannah; Mordecai’s cousin, Esther; Aquila’s wife, Priscilla; Jesus’ mother, Mary.

Today’s reading in this Advent meditation is about Mary, though. Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. Henri Nouwen says, “God has come to [these two women] to begin the salvation promised through the ages. Through these two women, God has decided to change the course of history.” [1]

Not only does God shake the earth and change history through these two women, but God does it in a way that lifts up community, togetherness, and friendship.

Yes, Mary helped Elizabeth become more understanding of what it meant to be the mother of “the prophet of the Most High.” (Luke 1:76) And, Elizabeth not only aided Mary in learning more about what it meant to be the mother of “the Son of the Most High,” (Luke 1:32) but also to draw together in community. In friendship. In relationship, one with another. Yes, both were pregnant. And both assisted each other in a positive, encouraging, helpful way.

Today is the feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe. Whether we observe this feast day with special thanksgivings or acknowledge it as a day to remember Mary, the mother of Jesus, I suspect Fr. Nouwen would encourage us in carrying out the Advent Action of today’s meditation. “Offer gentle assistance to someone in your environment who is in need: of praise, of a good word, of day-brightening laughter.”

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

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 28.

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 2, 2015

Prayer Guide to Simple Serenity

sunset footprints

“ … praying only for knowledge of [God’s] will for us and the power to carry that out.” – Second half of Step Eleven.

My will? My will is often “self will run riot,” as one of the common sayings in recovery goes. Isn’t that the truth? Who else can admit that? Left to myself, my will—my ego—my hubris can get me in trouble faster than a speeding bullet.

So, how do I start to repair my mixed-up will? I pray for God’s will to help me. I pray for the power to carry out God’s will. The next right thing, the next loving thing. This course of action will bring me to God’s will. And, as my reading for today tells me, “God’s will guides us to simple serenity.”

Ah, serenity. So many people wish for it! And, so few people actually get it in their lives.

The rewards of serenity, sobriety and friendship are great. I have the opportunity to offer God’s care and encouragement to others, instead of hiding out in my own room. I have the possibility of sharing myself and my life with God (or, as some in recovery might say, my Higher Power).

Dear Lord, gracious God, Step Eleven has such wisdom, and such common sense. Help me to follow the path laid out for me through Your gracious support and encouragement. Help me to do the next loving thing.

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