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Weekly Prayer Message
God of life and breath, you are our source of hope:
+ We give thanks for your gifts of life and love;
+ sustain us when we are feeling weary, broken, lost, or frightened;
+ open our hearts and minds to hear your word and call;
+ reform in us what needs reforming;
+ inspire us to be your hands and voice in your world;
+ strengthen us to take action to seek justice for our neighbors;
+ grant us courage and creativity to joyfully share your Good News.

We pray for your world and your people:
+ We plead that you renew and strengthen our commitment and courage to face the painful truth of gun violence in our country — to prevent gun violence. Guide us as we attend to traumatized individuals, families, and communities. Embolden us to advocate for common-sense gun safety laws. (As was lifted up at our synod assembly, find the 1994 the ELCA social message Community Violence, calling for advocacy to end the cycle of violence in the U.S. Find more information and resources HERE.)

+ Guide us to recognize our prejudices and empower us take action to eliminate the persistent institutional racism that permeates our world, country, communities, courts, church, and hearts. Help your church to be an open and welcoming place for all. (Learn more with the ELCA European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice Facebook page and website.)

+ We lift up the anti-racism teams in our congregations - and those who are in process of developing such teams - grant them wisdom and endurance in their efforts to educate and make changes within their communities. We hold in prayer our synod's Strategic Team for Authentic Diversity as they continue to provide rostered leaders with education and resources that enable us to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our congregations and the wider church. 

+ We pray for all who seek refuge. May we find ways to support them in their time of crisis. (Support our new neighbors - Lutheran Community Services NW - lcsnw.org/ and Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service - lirsconnect.org/get_involved/action_center/siv)

+ We pray for those places, people, animals, and land affected by the devastation of natural disasters: drought, flooding, earthquakes, fire, and storms. Grant safety in the midst of chaos and fear; grant strength to those affected as they recover and rebuild. Help us to be generous partners with Lutheran Disaster Response and encourage our mindful work in disaster preparedness with our regional partners at https://www.ldrwest.org/.

We pray for those who are grieving:
+ Gracious God, wrap your arms of love and hope around all who are experiencing any kind of loss, disconnection, or brokenness;

+ We lift up the Rev. Lara Forbes (Saint Andrew's, Bellevue) following the death of her mother, Karen Kimsey, on Friday, Dec. 9. Surround Lara and her family in your comfort, peace, and promise of life eternal. (Cards of care may be sent to Rev Lara Forbes c/o Saint Andrew's Lutheran Church, 2650 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007)

+ We hold in prayer the family of Rev. Donald W. Smith (death 4/9/20) and his wife Ruth E. Smith (death 9/17/22) as they gather to hold a joint celebration of life memorial service on December 23 at 1:30pm at Faith Lutheran in Seattle. (All are welcome to attend, masks encouraged - there will be a virtual option as well. If you desire to attend in person or online, please email their son Mark - this will help with service and reception planning and/or he will send you the link for the livestream. Cards of care may be sent electronically or via regular mail to: Mark Smith, 5628 181st Place SW, Lynnwood, WA 98037. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to ELCA World Hunger)

We pray for all who are in need of healing and strength:
+ We pray for those who are facing ongoing health concerns:
Abi Griffith (daughter of Rev. Eric Griffith), Deacon Nan Beth Walton, Rev. Ron Melver.

+ We hold Rev. Conrad Tollefson (retired) in our prayers following a recent stroke - may health and healing abound as he continues his rehabilitation. We also celebrate with him and their family and as they welcomed the first grandchild into their family this week! Thank you God as you journey with us in the struggles and the joys.

+ We pray for those who are struggling with substance abuse and addictions. We pray for those who are working to rebuild their lives and relationships through sobriety and the support of companions who understand the challenges of recovery. We pray that they will have faith in God’s unwavering love and forgiveness in moments of despair, joy, accomplishment, and stumbling.

+ We pray for all who are facing health challenges that keep them homebound. May your love flow through us as we visit and support them.

We pray for your church:
+ From our prayer calendar, we pray for these ministries and their rostered leaders: 
-- Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Lake Stevens) and Deacon Liz Colver serving as their transition minister;
-- NWWA Synod Executive Committee as they meet this afternoon;
-- our Companion Synod: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in European Russia;
-- the Lower Susquehanna Synod and their bishop, the Rev. James Dunlop.

+ Celebrating their final worship service together this last weekend, we give thanks to God for the 68 years of ministry at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Concrete. We trust their legacy of love and care in their community will continue in a new Spirit-led way.

+ We give thanks to God for all Rostered Ministers celebrating major ministry milestones during the month of December, including Rev. Tom Rohde, celebrating 40 years.
(Watch this celebration video, featuring all 2022 anniversary folks shown at our June synod assembly)

+ We give thanks for the many years of service of our retired pastors & deacons. This week we celebrate these retired ministers: Rev. Penelope Guntermann, Rev. Anne Hall-Straffin, and Rev. Tom Hamren.

+ We pray for ministries and leaders in transition.
-- we pray for the leaders who are guiding ministries in a time of transition: transition teams, call committees, transition ministers, care pastors, congregational staff and lay leaders, and our synod staff;
-- we pray for all who are in discernment and/or awaiting call.

May our prayers rise before you as incense.
+ Your mercy is everlasting and your faithfulness endures from age to age;
+ Sustain, uplift, and encourage us as we live into your calling;
+ Trusting in your mercy and grace, we lift our prayers to you.

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Please note: direct permission is needed prior to inclusion. 
Email susan@lutheransnw.org if you have a prayer petition or update.
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Northwest Washington Synod / ELCA
5519 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103