Be with us Lord, keep us strong as we enter into the desert of Lent. 
Our sins come forth as shadows across the landscape of our lives.
Today, we acknowledge our humanity 
and know that this marking of sign  and symbol on our body 
is what calls us into further relationship with you,  our God. 
We accept the mark.
             Made of earth-grown, harvested, blessed, burned, blessed, 
and placed on our bodies. 
Be with us as we spend the next 40 days calling to mind simplicity 
in our thoughts and actions. 
May all our actions, prayers, silence, and pauses
 call us into further relationship with you.

Bread for the World

We pray alongside ...

Eljee Bentley , Birmingham, Ala., at the death by suicide of the father of her grandchildren. Eljee is a member of congregational partner Baptist Church of the Covenant.

Jean Christman , Winston-Salem, N.C., who has been undergoing treatment in the healthcare wing of the Salemtowne community. She is the mother of Kim Christman. Stan Dotson and Kim Christman are spending this year in ministry among the congregations of Alliance ministry partner the Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba.

Linda Crisp , Hendersonville, N.C., that she may regain strength and heal quickly from her Jan. 29 surgery. Linda is a member of congregational partner Providence Baptist Church and mother of Brian Crisp, community ministry coordinator at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.

Stacy Simpson Duk e, Ann Arbor, Mich., who has been diagnosed with a rare, aggressive soft tissue cancer.

Malu Fairley , Charlotte, N.C., who has been suffering with kidney stones. Malu serves as an Alliance-endorsed clinical pastoral educator.

The Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba,  which holds its annual Assembly Feb. 16-18 at the Evangelical Seminary of Theology, Matanzas. We pray for wisdom as this year the Fraternity is selecting leadership and electing officers.

Kelly Tenille Grooms , Louisa, Va., as she recovers from a non-displaced fracture in her arm. Kelly is co-owner of Grooms and Payne Pipe Organ Builders and has served as organist at Alliance gatherings.

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) as it embarks on an effort to end racism through its ACT Now: Unite to End Racism campaign, which kicks off with a rally April 4 in Washington, D.C. The NCC invites all to pray every Thursday at 7 a.m. your local time. The charge is to pray that the country will (A)waken to the truth that racism hurts us all; (C)onfront the ways in which we have been complicit, complacent, or coerced; and (T)ransform as stories are shared and truth is revealed.

The family of Beatriz Tirado Ortiz , Oliva, Cuba, grandmother of Waldemar Murguido Sánchez-Quiros. Beatriz was diagnosed with leukemia in early February.

The family of Boyd Robertson , Austin, Texas, who died last month. Boyd served on the Alliance's board of directors from 1993 to 1995.

Ken Sehested and his mother, Joyce Sehested , Asheville, N.C. Joyce has now outlived all her siblings. In January her brother Rowell died unexpectedly and her sister, Wilma Sparks, died eight days later.

The family of Barbara Tolbert at her death. Barbara died Jan. 30 and her life will be celebrated March 31. Barbara was a member of Alliance congregational partner  Oakhurst Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. Barbara also was the sister-in-law of Alliance previous board members David and Anita Massengill.

Cecil WhiteHeyward, Calif., who requests prayers for his and his spouse, Ruben's, families. Within the past year their families have experienced multiple losses, including Cecil's younger sister, Carolyn, who died in September, and Cecil's older brother, who died in early December. Ruben's father recently died Jan. 6. Cecil is a member of the Alliance's board of directors and attends congregational partner Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, Calif.


We celebrate alongside.....

Clinton Bennett, who  has been called to serve as interim pastor of The Clinton Avenue United Methodist Church in Kingston, N.Y.

Holli Holmes and Tara Nichole Workman, who were married Jan. 6 at congregational partner Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.

David Jordan, who  has been called as pastor of First Baptist Church, Decatur, Ga. David previously served as pastor of congregational partner Twinbrook Baptist Church, Rockville, Md., and as teaching pastor of Providence Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C. David is married to Beth Jackson Jordan, an Alliance-endorsed clinical pastoral educator.

Bruce Salmon who  is retiring after 33 years as pastor of congregational partner Village Baptist Church, Bowie, Md.

Katey Zeh , Raleigh, N.C., who was ordained at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Feb. 11. Katey serves as a strategist, writer and speaker who inspires communities to create a more just, compassionate world. A frequently published writer and co-host of a podcast for soul sisters, Katey's book Women Rise Up is set to be published this year.


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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Paula Clayton Dempsey, director for partnership relations
Carole Collins, director of operations & finance
 
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Cathy McGaughey, operations specialist
Ken Meyers, faith formation specialist
Kristy Pullen, website specialist
Toya Richards, communications specialist 
Jason Smith, congregational engagement specialist