Amy Jones,
Agape Coordinator
Dear God, we come to worship you today. 
We come to pray, and listen.
You always hear us. 
Help us to hear you. Amen
Scripture
Luke 16:19-31

19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' 25But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.' 27He said, 'Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house - 28for I have five brothers - that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.' 29Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.' 30He said, 'No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
Devotional
This story leaves me wondering who our prophets might be today. The prophets in my life are people who have presented me with ideas and views that oppose my own and offer me an opportunity to critically think about my ideas. My friend Michael was one such person. Michael wasn’t afraid to be wrong, he wasn’t afraid to challenge my ideas, and he never abandoned me for disagreeing with him. He was also resolute and unwavering when he stood his moral ground. 

The best prophets are not soothsayers or fortune tellers, but excellent sounding boards who push back. Many times, when I find myself stuck on how to navigate a difficult decision, I think about what kind of counterargument Michael would have offered and whether that would settle me or make me reconsider.

The parable never reveals whether the brothers get the message. That is the question the parable leaves us to answer for ourselves. Who are our prophets today and will we listen? In some ways, Dr. Fauci is a prophet for me. When I’m unsure about whether a situation is safe or not, I often look to see what Dr. Fauci recommends. Even if I am forced to choose something riskier than what Dr. Fauci supports, it helps me make the choice when I consider his scientific voice.

Mr. Rogers is another prophet. Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian clergy person and his ministry reflects the kind of outward-facing and relevant ministry I hope for the church and for myself. He is more than just a role model. When I try to imagine where ministry is headed, the life and legacy of Fred Rogers helps me reflect critically on my ministry, and ministry more generally. 

A good prophet helps us critically consider how we are unique, wonderful individuals in a broader community of other equally beautiful people. Prophets help us honor and balance the tension between our individual needs and those of the whole community. Having given us the threshing floor for purifying our ideas and actions, prophets are also people who honor the courage of our convictions.

This is the last week before Thanksgiving. Who are the prophets in your life? How will you thank them?
Prayer
God of priests, prophets, and kings, give us ears to hear. Renew our patience with ourselves and offer us the time and space for grace as we become the best version of ourselves in community with others. Amen.
Amy Jones
Frozen Turkey Collection for Elizabethport
Deadline is Friday, November 20th
This year, when the need is greater than ever, PCW will once again be collecting frozen turkeys for our friends at the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center. Please consider donating a frozen turkey and/or nonperishable side items (e.g., stuffing mix, canned vegetables, pasta, canned fruit, etc.)

With outside visitors having limited access to the Parish House, we must modify how we collect these items.
  • A cooler labelled “FROZEN TURKEYS” will be outside the Parish House doors on the parking lot level.
  • There will also be a second bin for the non-perishable items.

TURKEYS WILL BE ACCEPTED MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 9AM – 3PM ONLY! 
Please do NOT leave a turkey outside overnight. It will thaw, and be wasted.
All donations must be received by November 20th.

Thank you for your support!
Amy Jones, Agape Coordinator
Amy Jones our Agape Coordinator is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In this tradition, deacons are ordained clergy who bridge the ministry of the church with the needs of the world, and vice versa. In more than 15 years of ministry, she has worked in churches, in children and family ministry, higher education, and nonprofits. In each setting, her focus has been on matching the resources of the church with the needs of the world. Agape Community Kitchen is exactly the type of work she was called to do. 

Amy can be reached by email at: agape@westfieldpc.org.
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield continues to burn as a light in the darkness as our community weathers this fearsome storm of illness. Our reach of care continues to extend far beyond our immediate borders. You can help us make a real impact in the lives of others by joining in our work through your time, your talents, and also in the fruits of your labors.
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