[Northern Kentucky University students who are part of the Wesley Student Ministry stayed overnight at our church this past weekend on their way to Washington DC. Thanks to our Athens First Saturday Outreach this past Saturday morning, we were able to put together a continental breakfast for them to enjoy early Sunday morning. We also had a team that welcomed them to our church when they arrived late Saturday evening. (See picture below) When we made it to the church early Sunday morning, we found this styrofoam plate above with all of their names thanking us for our hospitality. They were wonderful guests!]
Thank you for the cross above our altar that reminds us of your victory over sin and death. Thank you for this powerful symbol of our faith that can bring peace to our anxious and troubled hearts.
Every time we enter our sanctuary and look up above our altar, we are reminded that your ways are so different than our ways. Your ways involve sacrifice and self-giving. Our ways involve comfort and self-interest. Teach us what it means to be a people who follow the way of the cross.
As we think about the cross today, we are mindful of those who are suffering because of hunger, homelessness, heart-ache, and hopelessness. We especially pray for those who lost their homes due to the recent fire here in Athens. Thank you for all of the community agencies, churches, and the university who provided and continue to provide shelter, supplies, food, water, clothing, and furniture to those who are in need.
O God, we pray for those in our congregation who are grieving from the loss of loved ones, who are ill, and who are facing transitions in their lives. Bless them and comfort them during their time of need.
And as we begin our journey in focusing on the cross and the season of Lent, bless our small groups as we share our faith with each other and support each other in love.
Together, we join together in praying the words you taught your disciples and now teach us to pray...
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”
[A selfie with our new friends from NKU. They were so nice!]