Photo by Andrea Nixon

As the Fires Rage, a Prayer
(Written by Jim Hopkins at Redwood Glen Baptist Camp, 
 Santa Cruz Mountains, San Mateo County, Calif. Jim is pastor of Alliance congregational partner Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif.)

Holy One,
We affirm that you are the Creator of earth, wind and fire. We confess that as the Carr Fire rages, as the Mendocino Complex fire grows, as the Holy fire threatens, as California and its neighboring states burn, we wonder about the fate of the earth, the role of the wind, the place of the fires. Is your love sufficient to sustain the earth? Is the wind truly a symbol of your Spirit? Does the fire fulfill a larger purpose or does it simply destroy all that is in its path?
We are struggling to comprehend, to respond, and to trust. In the midst of the struggle we lift to you the fire fighters, the first responders and all who support them. Embrace them in your care.
We lift to you those who have lost loved ones, homes, friends, pets and livelihoods. Embrace them in your care. 
We lift to you those who manage forests, lands and waters. Embrace them in your care.
We lift to you those who report on the fires taking risks to keep the public informed. Embrace them in your care.
We pray for the stressed and burdened created order of which we are a part. Embrace it, embrace us, in your care.
As Jesus walked toward his friends while the wind howled and the waves crashed, walk toward us while the wind blows and the fires rage. You are the Creator of earth, wind and fire, and it is in you that we must trust.

We pray alongside...

The African Baptist Churches of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Theological Seminary as they serve as a presence of peace amid the recent democratic elections and political change.

Aliança de Batistas do Brasil as it lives in a time of "injustice and great uncertainty" in Brazil, as recently reported by ABB President Paulo César Pereira. Aliança de Batistas do Brasil is an Alliance Active Hope ministry partner.

Alyssa Aldape , Washington, D.C., as she continues to recuperate following brain surgery. If all continues to do well with her recovery, she will return to her ministry position at congregational partner First Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. at the beginning of September.  

Ben Battle , Cullowhee, N.C., as he continues to recover from a corrective surgical procedure during which cancer was discovered. He is married to Tracy Bailey, organist at congregational partner Cullowhee Baptist Church.

Liz Harris-LamkinAtlanta, Ga., as she cares for her brother Phil Harris who has lung cancer. Phil lives in Marshall, N.C. Liz is an Alliance-endorsed chaplain and attends Alliance congregational partner Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Walker Knight , Decatur, Ga. who is wrestling with a number of ailments related to being 93 years of age. The Alliance founder reports he is well cared for at his assisted living facility and by members of Oakhurst Baptist Church. However, he regrets being unable to participate more fully in church and Alliance life. Walker covets the prayers of the larger Alliance family.

John Laney , Asheville, N.C., whose sister, Mary Alice Heath, passed away peacefully July 29. Services were held Aug. 4 in Douglasville, Ga. John has served Twinbrook Baptist Church and Glendale Baptist Church. Currently he is a member of congregational partner Providence Baptist Church, Hendersonville, N.C.

Sharon Lowe and Joe Thomas, the sister and father of Karen Thomas Smith, as they adjust to daily life in a Newburgh, Ind. assisted living facility. Our prayers surround Karen as she balances her Active Hope partnership ministry at Al Akhawayn University, the work of the Eglise Evangélique au Maroc (Protestant Church in Morocco), with care for her family and college-age daughter here in the U.S.

David Taylor, Houston, Texas, as he mourns the death of his husband and stalwart Alliance supporter, Millard Eiland. Millard served twice on the Alliance board of directors at the very beginning from 1991-1994 and then again from 1997-2000. Millard assisted with the compilation and editing of Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, a church resource on sexual orientation and gender identityMillard and David have been longtime members of Covenant Church in Houston and were married at Covenant in August 2015, after being together for 42 years. We hold David, Millard's family and members at Alliance congregational partner Covenant Church in our prayers during this time and celebrate the life Millard graciously shared with the Alliance, Covenant and beyond.

We celebrate alongside...

AMOS Health and Hope as the Active Hope ministry partner has been able to raise the funding necessary for its continued ministry, despite the violence and insecurity in the country that caused the cancellation of pilgrims journeying to join them in ministry. The insecurity in Nicaragua continues to impact the health care workers as they serve their local communities.

Susan Blythe-Goodman and David Delgado, who were married Aug. 11 at First Baptist Church, Seattle, Wa. Susie teaches in a high school completion program at South Seattle Community College and David is a social worker with a homeless medical van. The bride and her dad, Rick Goodman, did the traditional father-daughter protest at ICE headquarters three days prior to the wedding, reported the bride's mother, Carol Blythe.

Carol Burgess , Decatur, Ga., who celebrates every time she takes a walk! The Alliance supporter who is a member of congregational partner Oakhurst Baptist Church has recovered beautifully from hip replacement surgery and is now able to engage in activities she once thought impossible. We celebrate with you!

We'd love to pray with you or celebrate with you in prayers with the people. Have news to share?   
The Alliance of Baptists is a vibrant movement of people, faith communities and ministry partners who are deeply passionate about ecumenism, partnership in mission, relentless hospitality and social justice.

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