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Weekly Prayer Message - September 22, 2021
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 our Afghan allies who served alongside U.S. troops, diplomats, and other government employees as interpreters, translators, cultural advisors, drivers, and more. Because of their service to the U.S. mission, our allies and their families are now targets of anti-American violence. May we find ways to support them in their time of crisis. (Support incoming Afghan Allies who are being evacuated to the United States. 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 hold in prayer those navigating the return to classrooms this fall: students, teachers, staff and parents. Protect, sustain, and guide them as they gather for learning and teaching.

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 continue to mourn the death of Pr. Jeremy Fuerst. We hold in prayer his spouse, Pr. Shannyn Fuerst, their family, their friends, and their congregations: Jeremy - pastor at Central Lutheran in Everett & Shannyn - pastor at Faith Lutheran in Seattle. (A Seattle Area memorial service is planned for October 9 at 1pm. Learn more here.)

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), Deacon Nan Beth Walton, Pr. Ron Melver, Pr. Mikkel Hustad, Pr. Wendell Hendershott, Pr. Marc Stroud, and Bishop Michael Lozano (Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod).

+ We lift up Rev. John Strand following his diagnosis of stage four cancer. May God surround John and his wife Angie hope and comfort. (Synod members will remember John (now retired) as having served at Zion Lutheran in Kent and in synod leadership roles. Pr. Jim Rismiller is a good point of contact for more information.)

+ 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 those who are awaiting diagnoses and treatment plans. Grant them peace and courage. Remind them that they are not alone.

+ 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: 
-- our Missional Learning Experiment in the Stillaguamish Cluster & Deacon Le Brandes;
-- our Candidacy Committee as they meet this Thursday;
-- the Southwestern Washington Synod and Bishop Rick Jaech;
-- the St. Paul Area Synod and Bishop Patricia Lull;
-- our Companion Synod: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in European Russia.

+ We celebrate the many years of service of our retired pastors & deacons. This week we give thanks for these retired ministers: Russell Creydt, Gary Dalenius, and Kenneth Daugs.

+ 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 in prayer Jenna Bergeson as she is ordained in St. Paul, MN this Saturday at 12noon. (Jenna has accepted the call to serve as Associate Pastor at Trinity, Lynnwood);
-- for Pastor Heidi Fish and the congregation of Bethesda Lutheran in Mountlake Terrace as she is installed as their pastor this Saturday at 1pm;
-- we lift up Pr. Tom Rohde and the congregation of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Snohomish as they celebrate their final Sunday together - and Pr. Tom's retirement this Sunday. We give thanks for their many years of ministry together and ask for God's blessings to continue as they enter this time of transition.

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