One of the ongoing growing edges for me in life and ministry is spending time with friends and colleagues. As a pastor in the local church, good relationships are essential to my role. I feel good about my ability to build connections within the congregation. However, there are times when I know that I miss the connections of friendships outside the local church and with clergy colleagues. While there are a handful of people with whom I have stayed in connection for a number of years, I know that I need to make progress in this area for my own well-being.
In recent months, I have reconnected with some old friends, met with new colleagues, and been more intentional about the relationships of which I am a part – both in the local church, community, and across the connection. I am glad for this. I am hopeful to continue to build on these relationships and others as I continue to seek to be fruitful in ministry and whole across all areas of my life.
I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.
Part of the practice of the week at camp was to share a prayer square. Here is the practice of the prayer squares:
- Choose a strip of cloth from the cross as a part of morning worship.
- Write your name on the square and carry it with you throughout the day.
- Return the strip of cloth to the cross as a part of evening worship.
- Repeat the next day and continue to be in prayer for all those whose names are written on the cloth.
- On the last day, take one home with you.
This is a cool practice. In addition to the opportunity to be in prayer, I was struck by the power of the entire camp moving forward to the cross. These pictures are from morning worship. You can see the cross in the front covered with green prayer squares and the students moving forward to the cross.
In what ways is your local church inviting people to the cross?
How are people equipped to pray for one another?
I am currently working on preparing my ordination papers to be considered for ordination and full membership in the Kansas West Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. I have made one of the primary documents, Theology, Vocation and The Practice of Ministry, available at http://ow.ly/NqmE so that you might know more about my understanding of theology, vocation and the practice of ministry. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about this writing?
Please note that Theology, Vocation and The Practice of Ministry by Andrew Conard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://andrewconard.com/about/.