“My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-22 (NIV)
When I was five years old, my family began attending a local Methodist church in Philadelphia, where we lived at the time. While there’s much about this church I don’t remember, I do recall that I liked the Pastor there and felt safe around her. She was a kind lady who had a way of making people feel welcomed and valued. She also had a beautiful voice, and I remember that I loved to listen to her pray during church services, even if I didn’t understand much of what she was saying. I suspect that I appreciated her prayers so much because they gave me a glimpse into her kind and compassionate heart.
Now that I’m older and a Pastor myself, I still love listening to people pray. Unfortunately, I know that praying in front of others makes many people feel nervous and self-conscious, especially that they’ll make some kind of “mistake.” While I understand this anxiety, I nevertheless think it’s a shame because there’s something about praying in front of others that beautifully reveals a person’s deepest hopes, dreams, and desires.
In our gospel reading this Sunday, we’ll be looking at a special prayer that Jesus prayed near the end of His earthly ministry. In this prayer, Christ passionately prayed that all future believers in Him would be one with Him, one with God, and one with each other in ministry to the world. In other words, Jesus prayed that all present and future disciples of His would be bound in love with God and one another.
Friends, as we consider this prayer that Jesus uttered centuries ago, we need to remember that these prayerful words reveal to us Jesus’ deepest desires, dreams, and hopes for us as a church. Above all else, Jesus wants us to be a community of faith where we learn what it means to be one with God and one with each other. I think that’s a prayer that all of us can give a hearty “Amen!” to.
International Cuisine Night:
The popular culinary event is coming back after a long hiatus! In the spirit of celebrating our diverse church family and the season of Pentecost, we are inviting you to sign up to prepare and serve samples of a dish honoring the country of your heritage or any country of your choosing.
As an international “chef,” you will prepare enough of your recipe for about 50 sample-sized servings to allow everyone to try it. Guests will have a unique and delicious dining experience in addition to enjoying our warm hospitality.
As in all previous years, there is no charge for this event, but we will advertise a free-will donation. All profits will benefit Ukraine refugees. Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 4th from 5 – 7 p.m. and fill out the sign-up sheet in the back of the sanctuary. Help us bring back this event with gusto!
Memorial Day Parade:
We will be passing out free bottled water at the Memorial Day Parade (Mon. May 30th). The parade will be starting at 10:00 am, and the setup for the event will begin at 9:00 am at the church.
Please get in touch with Bruce LaPenta if you plan to help out. In addition, should you want to drop off any cases of bottled water at the church, you can contact Pastor Chris to schedule a time to do so. You can also drop off bottled water at church this Sunday, May 29th.