An Invitation to Pray for your Family
As I worshiped with different local churches during the holiday season I was inspired to hear about the local manifestation of the Great Commission [to therefore go and make disciples of all nations Mat 25:19]–each different efforts, different fields–some accomplished, some hoped-for. Church leaders are fervently looking into the new year, the new decade 2020, as an opportunity to realign with God. One emphasized steadfastness, another reading the Scriptures daily; still another advocated for a life marked by integration rather than compartmentalization. ‘Vision” is a popular proposal in this year 2020 as churches and organizations attempt to set a focused path for the coming year. In my own household we are attempting to form new habits that we believe will align us with God’s desired best for us as a family.
For our regional family – American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin – I issue a simple invitation:
On the 20th of each month in the year 2020, set aside 20 minutes to pray for ABC Wisconsin.
“20-20 Pray ABC Wisconsin”
That’s only 20 minutes on a designated day for the whole month. Of course, we welcome and are in need of daily prayers, but the hope is that we can be assured that at least on one day a month our American Baptist brothers and sisters across the state are united in prayer for common or connected things and listening together to God for guidance.
You can check back to this web page for a list of items to pray about, which may be updated from time to time throughout the year. Many of these items will be consistent throughout the year though I trust in the Holy Spirit’s movement in each of our lives to direct on how or what specifically to pray about during any given month.
Here are some things to get you started (no priority assumed):
- Health and vibrancy for our local churches and pastoral leaders
- Direction and excitement within our affiliated bodies: AB Women’s Ministries, AB Men, and Ministers Council
- Mission advancement of our Wisconsin-based ministry partners
- ABC/WI Board President, Fred Oaks, recovering from Hip surgery in January
- ABC/WI Board of Managers for clear and courageous leadership for our region
- Region staff for continuing work and God’s guidance regarding staff transitions/vacancies
- Urban Center Milwaukee and CENTRAL Wisconsin as they host a Public Theology event January 24-25 in Milwaukee – an Institute Empowering the Work of Faith
- All those who will participate in the Winter Youth Retreat at Camp Tamarack January 24-26
- Sister churches in Puerto Rico after two devastating earthquakes and continued rebuilding efforts after 2017 hurricanes
- Our local churches who are in the midst of a pastoral transition/pastoral search
- The members of and work of our Commission on Ministry and Commission on Congregational Missions as they plan their work for the upcoming year
- The members of and work of our Committees: Annual Gathering Program, Personnel, Finance, and Nominating
- Discernment as the new Collaboratives are formed around the Educational and Camping ministries of the region
- God’s guidance particularly around this year’s theme imperative: TRANSFORMATION
- Our New Wineskins 2019-2020 Projects: BLESSS, Bricks, Mt. Zion Campus Ministry
- The POST – our online faith community – for our direction and discernment for our third year
- Central Seminary as they search for a new President, and Dr. Molly Marshall, current President as she looks forward to retirement
- Rev. Dr. C. Jeff Woods, Acting General Secretary of ABCUSA who recently took office and the ABCUSA during the transition of the General Secretary office.
- All of our extended ABC family — sister regions, national program boards, supporting ministries, etc.
- The global communities that our Wisconsin communities connect with, support, and learn from