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Weekly Prayer Message - October 6, 2021
As we move into this season of cooler air and colorful leaves, please know that you are being held in prayer. We rejoice with those who are celebrating. We lift up those who are struggling - with illness, grief, anxiety, depression, uncertainty, exhaustion. You are not alone - God is with you - God is with us. May we all feel God's strength and encouragement. Find time today to take in the beauty of God's creation - and listen for how God is sustaining you and how the Holy Spirit is stirring you.
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 broken, lost, or frightened;
+ open our hearts and minds to hear your word and call;
+ 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 our world, nation, and local communities.
+ We lift up those communities where insecurity, violence, and fear are the norm. Help us to bring healing, wholeness, and safety to these siblings. Inspire our leaders and guide us to be better advocates for the sake of each member in our community - especially those who have little power and no voice.

+ 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. We lift up the anti-racism teams in our congregations - and those who are in process of developing such teams - grant them wisdom and strength in their efforts to educate and make changes within their communities.

+ We pray for those who are hungry. Stir us to action to lift up our neighbors and seek policies that support them. We give thanks for our Synod Hunger Team and our partnership with ELCA World Hunger - helping us collaborate our efforts, find sustainable solutions to end hunger, and provide nourishment domestically and abroad.

+ We pray for those places, people, and animals affected by the devastation of natural disasters: drought, flooding, earthquakes, fire, 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 www.region1beprepared.org.

+ We pray for all who seek refuge. May we find ways to support them in their time of crisis. (Support incoming Afghan Allies - Lutheran Community Services Northwest has several links for how to help: https://lcsnw.org/ ...and...Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) through Refugees Northwest has opportunities for you to help: https://lirsconnect.org/get_involved/action_center/siv)

+ We lift up all in our communities who provide emergency services - those who respond first to bring aid: emergency medical workers, firefighters, community volunteers, and police. Grant them wisdom and safety in their work.

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 Pr. Shannyn Fuerst (Faith/Seattle) and family following the death of her spouse, Pr. Jeremy Fuerst (Central/Everett) on September 11. May God's love and hope surround and comfort all who grieve as they gather this weekend for the Seattle-area Memorial service. (Saturday, October 9 at 1pm. While the in-person gathering is limited to family, watch parties of the livestream are encouraged: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIe92dc3fY0)

We pray for all who are in need of healing and strength:
+ We pray for those who are facing ongoing health concerns:
Pr. Christine Finsand, Abi Griffith (daughter of Pr. Eric Griffith), Dn. Nan Beth Walton, Pr. Ron Melver, Pr. Mikkel Hustad, Pr. Marc Stroud, and Bishop Michael Lozano (Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod).

+ We mourn with our fellow siblings as this pandemic continues to claim lives and livelihoods.. Bring peace and comfort to the families whose loved ones have died. Grant healing for those diagnosed, recovering, and living with long-term effects. Protect and sustain medical workers, care providers, first responders, and chaplains. Guide those working distribute the vaccines. Sustain for those who are facing financial uncertainty due to loss of income. As our communities and churches begin to expand in-person gatherings, help us be care-filled, patient, and gracious with one another.

+ We pray for our neighbors who are fearful or in danger in their relationships. Sustain those who protect, support, and advocate for people who are experiencing domestic violence. (Reach out here for help: https://wscadv.org/get-help-now/)

+ We lift up those experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
Empower us to reach out to those who need care and support. For those who are in despair, remember you are loved. You are never beyond God's mercy, grace, and love. 
1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Hotline)
1-888-628-9454 (Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio)
1-800-799-4889 (TTY)
1-877-574-4729 (Trevor project/ LGBTQIA+ under 24)
1-877-565-8860 (Trans Lifeline/Trans Folx)
1-800-273-8255 (Veterans Crisis Line)

We pray for your church:
+ From our prayer calendar, we pray for these ministries and their rostered leaders: 
-- Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Bellevue) and Pr. Paul Eldred;
-- Seattle Covenant Community Fellowship and Pr. Paul Ko
-- our Region One Financial Services staff: Alyce Bakker and Karen Dicken;
-- Southwestern Minnesota Synod and their bishop, the Rev. Dee Pederson;
-- the ELCA Conference of Bishops as they gather throughout this week;
-- our Companion Synod: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in European Russia.

+ We give thanks for the many years of service of our retired pastors & deacons. This week we celebrate these retired ministers: Dan Erlander, Paul Fauske, and Paul Feiertag.

+ We pray for ministries and leaders in transition.
-- we lift up the leaders who are guiding ministries in a time of transition: transition teams, call committees, transition pastors, congregation staff and lay leaders, and synod staff;
-- we hold Pastor Kristi Lambing in prayer as she is installed as the new pastor at Fir-Conway / Mount Vernon this Saturday. God bless this ministry partnership! (details here)

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.

Amen.

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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
206-783-9292