Hey friends! I broke away from the tradition I had planned for our blogs as a result of the conflict in Ukraine where I felt a need to offer a faithful reflection. However, starting this week I would like to return to the original plan for Lent. As a reminder it will look like this:
Monday: An original piece by me (Nick) loosely inspired by the previous day of worship.
Wednesday: Re-posting the work of Rev. Dan Randall and Rev. Courtney Randall (two missionaries that we support monthly through our Outreach team. Rev. Courtney Randall grew up in our church while Gary and Kris Welch were Youth Leaders. She reflects that her experience here was foundational to her relationship with God.) This series has Rev. Dan interviewing different missionaries from around the Globe as they reflect on scripture for the week and the work they are doing. Further, there is an actionable side to this from Rev. Courtney called "Miles with Missionaries" where you'll be invited to do prayer walks in your community and if you feel called, donate to the missionary cause. Today will be the first day we'll be sharing these but we have missed two interviews so far. If you enjoy this conversation there be will a link to the previous posts at the bottom of the page.
Friday: Sharing the reflection/devotional from our congregation wide Lenten devotionals. If you enjoy these we hope you'll pick them up as they are provided for free as a gift from our Foundation.
So in todays blog you'll be meeting two our young missionaries Amber and Grace who are both appointed to different churches in Florida serving in different contexts. Amber works with Youth and Children while Grace works with Immigrant families with the Peace and Justice aspects of our Methodist faith. They share how their faith has grown working in new atmospheres and outside of their comfort zones. They reflect on how the stories of Psalm 27 and Luke 9 have inspired their own willingness to be transformed by God's light and leading, and finally their guiding principles for working with their unique communities. It's a wonderful conversation and I hope you can take the time to give it a listen sometime today. Maybe even while you take a walk in this BEAUTIFUL weather we're having.
Scripture to Read
Video to Watch
Week 2 of Lent. This week we hear from Grace Rogers and Amber Kupfer, UM Global Mission Fellows missionaries. They will read the lectionary Gospel and Psalm, and then they will participate in an interview about their work in Miami - Grace with Justice for Our Neighbors and Amber as a Children's and Youth Director at First UMC.
They commentate on their experience with Scripture readings right around 11 minutes in. I really recommend this part of the video.
You can learn more about the work of Amber and Grace and donate to their work by going to their pages listed below. Maybe even reach out by email and share that you're praying for them and thankful for their reflections for today. That always makes someones day :)
Questions to Consider
What is something from today’s scripture reading that resonates with you or catches your attention?
What is something about Grace’s or Amber’s journeys and stories as missionaries that intrigues you and/or surprises you?
What is something from today’s readings, interview, or discussion that you can connect to your everyday life?
Grace mentions that “learning from another person’s experience” is a key component in her engagement in mission work. Can you share of a time when you learned from someone else’s life experience?
Amber speaks of following Jesus as being both “spiritual and compassionate.” Does one of those things come more naturally to you? How could you cultivate the other one a bit more during this Lenten journey?
How would you want to support Amber and Grace as young adult missionaries and/or in their work in Miami with youth and Justice for Our Neighbors?
The Lenten journey invites us to engage in reflective and prayerful practices to help shape our faith and connect us with God and others.
Miles with Missionaries portion of this study invites you to walk, bike, or run alongside Global Ministry Missionaries this Lenten Season. While the missionaries featured in this Lenten Study took physical journeys to their places of ministry, you have also heard some of their spiritual journeys.
For centuries, Christian practice has acknowledged that moving our bodies can become an extension of a prayer language. Praying with our feet becomes a physical and spiritual practice that connects us to God and to our neighbor. By walking, biking, or running alongside these missionaries through Lent, your reflective and prayerful practice can connect you to them – and to the global Body of Christ – in deeper ways.
Intentional breathing while journeying is essential,
therefore during each week of Lent we have listed a Breath Prayer inspired by the Psalm passage for that week.
How Do I participate in Miles for Missionaries?
1) Commit yourself to run, walk, bike, etc. a certain number of miles each day, week, or on a total amount for Lent
(Examples: 100 miles of running during the 40 Days OR 5 miles of biking every day of Lent for 200 total miles OR 20 miles a week OR you choose…)
2a) Accountability - email a friend and ask them to pray for you to achieve your commitment
2b) Accountability and Partnership - email a friend and ask them to join you in committing to the same number of miles
3) Get some sponsors - some people may choose to get sponsors to raise money for the work of one of the missionaries featured in this study (e.g., ask people to sponsor them $1 for each mile achieved)
Giving information for each missionary is listed on the Link to Missionaries Info page
4) Track your miles - several ways exist to track your miles, here are a few examples:
a) write them down on your own weekly / monthly calendar
b) use an App on your phone, watch, smart-device, etc.
c) download and print up this one-page PDF miles tracking form to record each day, week, or month
d) fill out the online weekly tracking forms below to have a copy emailed to you
(Whichever way you choose, please fill out the Total Miles online form at the end of Lent.)
Week 2 miles tracking form (click to download!)
Breath Prayer for Week 2:
Lent Week 2
(March 13-19) / Psalm 27
You are my light, Lord...
whom shall I fear
Praying the Hymns
This is a beautiful hymn about the transfiguration which was one of the scriptures read by the missionaries today. I invite you to close out our time of study together by singing in song or spirit the words of Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor.
Enjoy this blog? Check out the previous posts and other work from Rev. Dan Randall by visiting the Lent with Missionaries website. See you Friday with a post from our congregational devotionals.