Dear Church Friends and Family,

One of the joys of pastoring is being present with each of you in times of prayer. We’ve prayed for children, school, surgeries, healing, discernment, forgiveness, and grief. We’ve prayed for travel, weather, phones to work, exams to be passed and time to be shared with others. I covet these prayer times with you. I also recognize the vulnerability each of you shares when you invite us to be in prayer with you. It isn’t easy to ask for prayers. I’m not sure why. Jesus invites us to pray often and with one another daily, but sometimes we don’t. As one of your pastors I sometimes hold my prayer requests as well, not wanting to burden others. This is such an opposite approach isn’t it?

So, today I ask for your prayers. On Sunday morning I found out my cousin Justin died. He was 32 and had wrestled for almost a decade with heroin addiction. We don’t know if he died from the drugs or his body just couldn’t fight the damage done by the drugs any more. Either way, the end was devastating.

My prayer for my family has been from John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” God’s peace through Jesus Christ is the most assured peace there is in the world. It is a peace that outshines the darkness and overcomes sin. I remain filled with hope through the resurrection of Jesus for my cousin. That his pain is gone. His healing is now whole. My hope is also in the peace which can heal Justin’s family and friends who grieve deeply right now.

Thank you for praying for each other and for the prayers you pray for your pastors and church staff. We are the church of Jesus Christ together.

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Lissa