CYEC Update

CYEC Update

Janelle Larson & Kristine Adams


In last month’s The Lighted Cross, Janelle gave us an update on the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre. They were looking to start a Food Pantry to benefit those who need their services. Our Easter Sunday offering collection was earmarked for this food pantry. Well, we surpassed the goal of $750. $766 was collected!

CYEC sends their thanks and gratitude for this wonderful gift. This will make a real difference in their community. Janelle will be traveling ot Kenya in May with students and she will provide an update and photos when she returns.

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This post was orignally published in the May 2023 of the Lighted Cross. Please use the links below to view the full newsletter.

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The Power Of Persistent Prayer: Lessons From Jacob

Published: September 24, 2023

In the ancient scriptures, we find the story of Jacob, a man whose audacity and tenacity in prayer have much to teach us. Jacob, in his determination and courage, approached God not with timidity but with boldness. He wrestled with God, refusing to let go until he received his blessing. From this approach, we can learn to shift our prayer lives from timid to tenacious.But how does Jacob's prayer life differ from our modern understanding of prayer? We often approach God with humility and gentleness, hesitating to ask for what we need. We may fear asking for specific outcomes, worrying about what it means if God doesn't answer in the way we hope. Yet, when we look at Jacob, we see a different picture. Jacob asked God directly for what he wanted, but he refused to let go until he received his blessing. This audacious prayer invites us to approach God boldly, asking for what we truly want and need. Next Step: Reflect on your prayer life. Do you approach God with timidity or boldness? Consider one thing you deeply desire but have hesitated to ask God for. In your following prayer, express this desire openly and directly to God, just like Jacob.Part 1: Wrestling in Prayer: Holding on to GodWrestling with God may seem foreign or even irreverent to some. Yet, this is precisely what Jacob did. He held on to God, refusing to let go until he received his blessing. In this, we find a powerful lesson for our own prayer lives. Like Jacob, we too can hold on to God in prayer, even when the going gets tough. We can ask for what we truly want and need and refuse to give up until we see the fulfillment of our petitions. This does not mean our prayers will always be answered however we want. Sometimes, the wrestling can leave us with a "limp" - a reminder of the struggle. But in these moments of wrestling and struggle, we often experience the most growth and transformation. Next Step: In your next prayer session, imagine yourself wrestling with God, holding on, and refusing to let go until you receive your blessing. Part 2: A Deeper Engagement with God: Jacob's LegacyThrough Jacob's example, we learn that prayer is more than a gentle conversation with God. It can be a rigorous wrestle, a place where we refuse to let go until we receive our blessing. In this audacious engagement with God, we don't just gain a blessing but also joy, redemption, and a transformative experience in our prayer lives.As we take the path of audacious prayer like Jacob, we might find our lives transformed. So, let's shake off the timidity and ask, seek, and knock with all our hearts. Let's engage with God deeper, wrestling in prayer and refusing to let go until we receive our blessing. Next Step:1. For the next week, approach your prayer times with the audacity and tenacity of Jacob.2. Be bold in your requests, wrestle with God, and hold on until you receive your blessing.3. Reflect on how this changes your relationship with God and your experience of prayer.ConclusionJacob's story offers us a profound lesson in the power of persistent and audacious prayer. His unwavering determination and boldness in approaching God are an inspiring example for us to follow. Rather than approaching our Creator with timidity and hesitation, let us embrace the audacity to ask for what we truly desire and need. Just as Jacob refused to let go until he received his blessing, may we, too, hold on to God in prayer, even when faced with adversity. While our prayers may not always be answered as we hope, it is in the wrestling and struggle that we often find growth and transformation. As we embark on this journey of audacious prayer, may we not only gain blessings but also experience joy, redemption, and a deeper connection with the Divine. So, let us cast off our timidity and engage with God on a profound level, wrestling in prayer and refusing to let go until we receive our blessing. In the coming week, as you approach your prayer times with the audacity and tenacity of Jacob, reflect on how this transformational approach changes your relationship with God and your experience of prayer.

What Is Regionalization And Is It A Dirty Word For The Umc?

Published: October 25, 2023

"Regionalization" is a hot topic in the United Methodist Church, and it's all about giving different parts of the church more freedom to make their own rules that fit their specific needs. You might be surprised to know that there is already significant regional differences in various practices of the denomination, including Ordination.
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