This week's author is the Isaac Monts, Associate for Justice and Leadership for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
Scripture: Psalm 25:10 (NRSV)All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Reflection:I can remember being a teenager going through life’s experiences wondering, what does that have to do with God?
Something as simple as getting a good grade on a test; Did a higher power put within me what I needed to get this grade, or was it just my great study habits?
I also remember questioning, how could God possibly love and care for me, yet allow me to go through some of the bad experiences that I have been through?
The reality is, our faith journey requires us to be able to rely on God, and to have faith that the good and the bad, the seen and the unseen, all the paths that God takes us on are deeply rooted in God's love for us.
Yes, it was difficult to deal with the loss of a close family member, but it enabled you to address some family issues that may not have been addressed otherwise.
Yes, it was difficult for you to sit through service while your pastor’s sermon seemed to be blaming you for racism, but it opened your heart and mind to a prospective you have never been open to before.
No matter what path life may take you on, you must listen for what God is saying and doing, and realize that each path is a loving path, designed by God, to get you closer towards the promises of God.
Prayer:Lord, help us to realize that all things work together for our good. All paths and all experiences that we go through in life are deeply rooted in your love for us. Give us the courage to walk confidently down those more difficult paths, and the compassion to support our brothers and sisters through theirs. In Jesus Name, Amen
Special Prayer Requests:
- Those grieving or suffering in Taiwan after earthquake left 6 dead and over 80 missing on Feb. 6;
- those grieving or suffering after a tourist helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon, leaving 3 dead and 4 injured on Feb. 11;
- those grieving or suffering after a gas canister explosion at a carnival in Bolivia killed 6 and left nearly 30 injured on Feb. 10;
- those grieving after a Russian airplane crashed outside Moscow on Feb. 10, killing all 71 passengers and crew; and
- the family and friends of Rev. Ernest Bengston, pastor emeritus at Winchester Center, who died on Feb. 10.
- Those grieving or suffering in South Carolina after train accident killed 2 people and injured over 100 others on Feb. 4;
- the family and friends of Rev. Ralph Miller Cook, Jr., retired UCC pastor, who died on Jan. 25;
- the Rev. Allen F. Tinkham, retired UCC pastor, who was hospitalized in Middletown last week (Jan.);
- those grieving or suffering in South Korea after a hospital fire killed 37 people and injured over 140 others on Jan. 26;
- those grieving or suffering after school shooting in Kentucky left 2 dead and 12 injured on Jan. 23;
- Rev. Meg Boxwell Williams, Associate Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stratford, for a full recovery as she recuperates from intestinal surgery and experiences chemo treatments;
- Robert G. Hale Sr., grandfather of Emily McKenna, Office Manager of the CT Conference, who is recovering from surgery last week (Feb.);
- the people of Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria caused massive devastation on Sept. 20;
- the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
- the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
- Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
- Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
- Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
- Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
- the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
- our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
- the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
- the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
- this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism; and
- those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
Congregational Church of Easton Inc UCC
Amanda Ostrove - SU
Ellington Congregational Church UCC
Jay M. Terbush - IN
Karen L. Bailey-Francois - AP
Lisa Crocker - CE
Esther Pezzella - MM
Enfield Congregational Church UCC
Steven Alspach – IN
The First Congregational Church of Essex, UCC
Kenneth D. Peterkin - P
First Church Congregational, UCC
David W. Spollett - SP
Vanessa Payne Rose - AP
Vernard W. Swett - AP
Isaac Monts is responsible for all youth racial justice work and as well as support and development of the ministries programs and initiatives. A native of Hartford, Isaac Monts is the Director of the Joseph D. Clemmons Job Training Program, a paid...