Where is the Kingdom of God?

Gods-kingdom-and-willOver the last several days…
Weeks…
Okay, years…

I have read statements condemning those who don’t speak up. I have read statements saying that an individual should leave their congregation if their pastor does or does not say a particular thing. I have read statements saying that someone “can’t be a Christian” because of what they have said or done. I have even read statements condemning those who disagree with the author or even say the same thing, but in a different way.

I have read so much condemnation it is as if we, as a whole, have become so intent on making sure that those around us know “where they belong”, we have made our world a true living Hell.

My heart breaks for those who make these statements and for those who read them, wishing they could say something but they can’t find the words or the space to do so. My heart breaks for those affected by the situations which so many are speaking out both for and against. Mostly, though, my heart breaks for God who watches creation tear itself apart, claiming the destruction to be in God’s name.

My heart breaks because we are only moving further and further away from God’s kingdom here on earth.

 

I want to ask what a Facebook post will do when the author only sits at home, shaking their head at the TV. I want to ask what a sermon will do when the pastor has no backing from the congregation or when the congregation only nods along, no minds being changed because everyone already agrees (and those who do not agree have no space to safely say so). I want to ask what our words are worth if we are not doing something to fill them with love and action. I want to ask what a sermon is worth if it was only inspired by the judgment and condemnation of other clergy.

Someone once told me that this approach to change is full of privilege. I have spent a lot of time considering this and have to agree that yes, it is – in so many ways.

This approach is full of the privilege of God’s grace and a desire to share that with everyone and not just those who we agree with. This approach is full of the privilege of the unconditional love of God which we (or at least, I) struggle to comprehend and seek ways to emulate in all of our relationships. This approach is full of the privilege of relationships with individuals who, if we said everything we really wanted to, could be hurt far more than we can ever imagine.

This approach is full of the privilege of knowing that we have an incredible amount of privilege and knowing this, continually seek meaningful and appropriate ways of using it to bring about change – in the ways in which we live with others, speak with others, teach others, and learn from others; not just when we are angry with the government, but every single day in ways that are true to who God made each of us to be. This privilege of being an active part of the Body of Christ brings with it so much more weight than any other type of “privilege” could, because in the end doesn’t our relationship with Christ far outweigh our skin color, gender, sexuality or any other label created by humanity?

If we don’t stand up and speak out EVERY DAY, living our lives in the full light of the unity, equality, compassion, grace, peace, safety, freedom, and LOVE which is being called for EVERY SINGLE TIME these calls are made, then what good will it do to only stand up and speak out when something goes wrong? Who will listen to us if we let our calls expire as the news story changes?

If your pastor doesn’t preach on the current events and that is what you seek, ask them if you can help lead a discussion group. If your pastor prays for something you disagree with, ask them if you can chat over coffee.

If your parishioner storms out of the Sanctuary during worship, call them and ask if you can share a meal. If your parishioner sends an angry email on Monday, work with them to find ways to address the concerns of the wider congregation.

If your congregation won’t be able to hear the sermon that is on your heart, write it and save it for when they can and care for those hearts the best that you can until the time comes (if it ever does) to preach that sermon.

 

Not everybody is ready, not everybody is able, not everybody is at the point where they can stand up and speak out, and that is ok. We will get there each in our own time and in our own way. Condemning, chastising, punishing, and shaming are not the way to make it happen though. Encouraging, loving, welcoming, embracing, and seeking relationship through God’s love and grace for and with each and every single person – THAT is what will help each person find their voice. If that happens we begin to see God’s Kingdom being fulfilled and what will there be to speak out against?

I don’t know anywhere in scripture where we are taught to act in the way that so many are acting right now. I don’t remember ever reading a statement of Christ in which it was okay to be hateful for ANY reason. If our end goal is to bring God’s Kingdom to fulfillment, every step of the way should match that as well.

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M.Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

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Mercy Calls

field sport ball game
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon in March, one of my youth asked if I would join the church’s softball team he and his brother were starting. My desire to be back outside mixed with my desire to help this young man and his brother have this experience with their dad, got to me and I reluctantly said yes.

Let’s get one thing clear real quick – I don’t play softball. In fact, I barely understand the sport. My husband had way too much fun taking me shopping for a glove and explaining the basics of the sport to me, probably very confident that I would barely make it through one game (he wasn’t too far off).

Well, the time came and we had a practice or two before our games started. Our team was comprised of a handful of seniors from our youth group, a few young adults (including myself), and a few 40+ parents and church members. Some have more experience on the field than they are (still) letting on, and then others were right with me – wondering why the glove went on the wrong hand and what we actually call the game officials. Early on, we knew we were there for the fellowship of the game.

What I found interesting as we played each game was the attitude on the field. In a church softball league, I expected the teams to all be fairly similar to us – a group made up of individuals from all areas of the church, just looking for a fun night together. I was sadly mistaken. Many of the teams appeared to be leveled with an A, B, and sometimes a C team from a handful of churches. The desire to win filled the calls from the dugouts. The stress of the disputable call caused the occasional bat to hit the fence.

As our team watched the divide in the score grow with every ball we didn’t catch (and every ball I hit!), I began to wonder, “If this is a church league, where is the mercy?” (Unfortunately, we learned of the mercy rule soon after this thought!)

I have pondered this all season as I watch the attitudes of different teams. There have been games when I stood by my assigned base and chatted with whoever was standing there, waiting to make a run. We talked about our churches, our jobs, and how the team came together. We wished each other luck as the pitcher wound up and ran on our way once the ball was hit. There were also, unfortunately, several games in which the other team didn’t want to do anything other than crank out those runs and get us out as quickly as possible. The laughter and calls from the dugout only made it harder as we tried our best. The win was more important than the fellowship and relationship.

I think about my struggle and desire for mercy and can’t help but think of so many who I see everyday, asking the same question. The individuals who are just trying to pay for basic groceries, but the paycheck didn’t come on time. The family who is trying to give the kids everything they want, but the parent lost their job. The young student who is trying to get into college but can’t afford the application fee to even begin the process.

Where is the mercy? It is in our hands.

I wonder if we are so focused on winning the game that we forget the purpose of the game. Christ’s call to us to live with one another, sharing in God’s grace, is pushed to the side so that we can “on top” in the relationship. I wonder if our desire to get to home base has led us to miss those we are running past. I wonder if our focus on our own team is causing us to miss the brilliant plays by the other team. I wonder if winning a simple game has become more important than ushering in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Now, I get what the goal of softball is (kinda) but if we can’t find and share mercy in a church league, where WILL we find mercy? Where will SHARE mercy?

Our team experienced one or two mercy calls this season, but I think we are ALL missing the greatest call for mercy right now. If we step back and look at who is around us as we strive to reach “home”, if we extend mercy and love to those we encounter and pass along the way, won’t it make that “home run” that much better?

This Christian life isn’t about the way the glove fits, how heavy the bat is, or whether or not the ball was actually in the strike zone or not (See? I did learn something this season!) This life isn’t about being the fastest around the bases or the most gruff in the dugout. This life is about being with one another and sharing in God’s mercy for each and every one of us.

The best part of the games this year was when the teams circled up around the pitcher’s mound at the close of the game. One player would lead the group in prayer, and usually they would ask if there were any prayer concerns. My prayer today is that we might all seek ways to share God’s mercy on our way to “home” and in that way, we might usher in the Kingdom of God here on earth and all high-five and say “Good game, y’all!”

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M. Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

A Prayer for Youth Pastors

EXHAUSTED-FOR-TOMORROW.-760x400

As the year winds down, a comment I regularly hear shows the common misunderstanding of the life of a youth pastor…

“Well, at least the year is done and you can rest up this summer!”

I know the comment comes full of love and encouragement, but as my to-do list for summer trips and fall preparations quickly grows, I cringe a bit each time this comment is made. In a wonderful flip of this conversation, last week as I spoke with an A/C repair tech, it came up that I am a youth pastor. After settling on a repair plan, the technician went on to thank me for the work and ministry, explaining that he sees too many at his own church take the youth pastor for granted. “I will add you to my prayer list tonight and pray for you all summer,” he told me.

As I give thanks for the grace and love shown through strangers, I want to take a moment to offer my own prayer for all youth pastors. For every youth pastor and director who is now stepping into the gap which school will soon leave behind for several months, this prayer is for us.

Life giving and enduring God,
The time has come.
Our volunteers have left for summer vacations
while our youth come seeking summer excitement.
Our Sunday night programs are shifting into week long trips.
Our days of proofing lessons and reminding teachers about Sunday School
are now migraine inducing days of lesson writing
and not-quite (but oh-so-close) guilt inducing calls for teachers for next year.
Instead of planning our youth group schedules,
we are trying to see just how late we can leave for the four-hour drive
and calculate just how much caffeine we will need for the ride.

As we rent yet another van for the youth trip,
give us the wisdom to see how the luggage will fit.
As we refill first aid kits,
remind us of the training we have received
(because we know it is too much to pray that no one gets hurt).
As we send packing lists and final reminders,
give us patience when the kids still forget something.

We are called to a unique, never-ending ministry;
help us to embrace and treasure the chaos.
We are called to an exciting and affirming ministry;
help us to see it’s reflection in our youth.
We are called to a tiring and stressful ministry;
help us to find rest at the end of the day
(or at least a good pair of earplugs).
We are called to be your presence in the lives of these youth;
help us to never lose sight of our place with you.

God, we give thanks for the excitement and energy of the youth we lead.
We give thanks for the dedication and support of the chaperones who stand beside us.
We give thanks for the love which triumphs over annoyance,
filling our hearts at the end of the day.

We know that many do not understand,
we know that many think we are on vacation.
Give us the strength and patience to continue to push,
to continue to love,
to continue to minister,
to continue to lead,
until we finally rest our head on the pillow.

God, we give thanks for our call to this ministry,
but God – we need you to get us through this summer,
because Fall is coming sooner than we would like…

In Christ’s name, who probably forgot his toothbrush as well, we pray.
Amen.

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M. Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

The biggest question

hands

“What does this ministry really mean to you?”

This is a question that I long to ask and get a genuine answer for, however I wonder if so many congregations and individuals struggle to answer this because it isn’t something that they have actually spent time considering.

In my days as a church relations officer, I saw hundreds of very viable ministries. There was so much potential, so much hope – I highlighted many of them in this blog! A few years later, it breaks my heart to connect with individuals and hear “oh, yea… we just didn’t have the support we needed” as they explain the demise of a beautiful thing.

As a transitional pastor, I have spent a great deal of time discerning what both the youth and the young adult ministries mean to my congregation, while at the same time discerning and questioning other congregations where I might serve next. I have also had to look in the mirror and find out what my ministry really means and how I plan to continue to find the nourishment it needs.

Over the last year, these are the points (in no particular order) that I have found myself leaning on as I discern the role of a ministry within a congregation and further, my role within that ministry –

  • What is the quality of the involvement by those the ministry is meant for? In my world of youth ministry, this does not focus on how many youth show up each Sunday but how many return each Sunday and are actually involved rather than sitting on the outskirts. When the youth show up, are they running in or standing at the car trying to convince their parents to let them go to a friend’s house instead? Has the ministry found a way to reach the intended crowd or is it so focused on being the next best thing, it misses the present? A pastor and search committee want to tell you how wonderful the ministry is, but nothing speaks louder than the actions and faces of those most directly affected by the ministry.
  • Who is involved in leading the ministry? As a young adult, it is easy for me to set a schedule and curriculum for my young adult group. The ministry isn’t about me though, and so I have asked for five young adults to help make these decisions and branch out further for weekly volunteers. When looking at the overall picture, are pastors the sole leader? Are parents the only ones volunteering? No sustainable ministry runs through the efforts or ideas of a single person but we also have to be careful how many are leading. Too many leaders makes for long, unproductive meetings and very few opportunities for the occasional volunteer.
  • What is the attitude of the wider congregation? When I first arrived at my current congregation, it seemed that there was a line out the door for weeks. Every person was ready to tell me what went wrong before, who had been forgotten or ignored, the way they would do it if they were behind the desk, and why my efforts for a young adult ministry were nice but would likely not work. First, you have to know what the attitude is so that you can prepare yourself for it (like when the server at Chili’s says “Careful! The plate is hot” so you know to either not touch it all or to touch it gently as a test.) In the larger picture, we need to know the attitude so that we know what concerns will need to be addressed and who will be the first (and last) to step up and help you (see my second point).
  • What does the budget say about the ministry? When looking at the budget, do the line items match the ministry being described? One line item I am in the process of fixing is something as simple as the name of one of our summer youth trips. If the budget does not reflect the current trips and projects, how much does the session (or any committee or advisory board) know about the active ministry? Then there is the more complicated and all-to-present struggle in the youth ministry world – college students. It seems that every congregation wishes to minster to college students, however so few have a line-item for that. Ministry takes money – point blank. If there is no line item, where does that money come from? Even if the value is almost non-existent, the presence of a line-item shows an effort to create and hope to sustain a ministry.
  • Finally, at the end of the day when everything has gone wrong and the team is exhausted, when there are more questions than answers and it seems like all hope is lost – will the ministry continue? Are those who attend, lead, and support invested enough to go home and get some rest before getting back to it tomorrow? Do the relationships forming the beautiful web of ministry continue to hold the community together despite the wind and rain trying to tear it apart? Do the prayers for healing and strength transform into prayers of thanksgiving as each person looks around the table and remembers the point of all of this – to love God and one another? Ministry is not easy and rarely provides the answers needed. It involves too many people to get a 100% approval rating. It is exhausting, emotionally taxing, self-sacrificing, beautiful and empowering work. Yes, it might seem like all hope is lost, but is there someone around the table who can remind us that all hope is found when we look to God instead of to the volunteer forms, budget sheet, attendance records, and latest viral article?

So, what does this ministry mean to you? Why do you attend, volunteer, or lead? What steps are you willing to take to ensure that there is a tomorrow? What support is present outside of the pastor’s office?

I encourage you to choose one ministry within your congregation and discuss with your leaders what the ministry really means to the congregation. Maybe you will learn that it means so much more than you ever thought; maybe you will learn that it is an item that should have been deleted off of the budget sheet and volunteer form years ago. It seems we so desperately want to be bigger and better than the church down the street, we forget how to be the best version of ourselves. I pray that each one of us might find new ways to discern what that means in our congregational and personal lives.

Rev. Jordan B. Davis
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

 

Let’s change the discussion

During our recent officer training, I asked those gathered “If I said we were going to go across the street to the shopping center and talk to people about what we believe, could y’all do it?” There was nervous laughter and a great deal of hesitance. Needless to say, I was not surprised in the least.

clamAs I led the discussion about evangelism and why it doesn’t have to be such a bad thing (guided by the notes from lectures led by Union’s visiting professor of evangelism, John Vest), I couldn’t help but think about my own struggle with evangelism outside of the church walls. Put me in a confirmation classroom and I will find excitement I didn’t think anyone could have about our confessions.  Somehow, in that setting, I get lucky enough that at least one kid will play along with that excitement. Give me a list of bible-based trivia questions and I can’t hold back from giving the kids the background information for that question. Ask me what I do professionally while I am “out and about” and I am likely to clam up (not as often as I used to, but it is definitely still a struggle!)

I have spent time thinking about this “clam up” response and have realized that it is merely a response to how I think the other person will respond. It seems that every media outlet tells us that religion is no longer important and “just being good” is enough. I hear that young adults all around the country are running away from churches. In a world of likes, loves, and angry faces, who really wants to put something so personal as their faith out there to be scrutinized?

I think about my friends, and grocery store acquaintances, who have raved about their church experiences and faith. I was jealous of their excitement and freedom to tell anyone and everyone about something so personal, but then I realized that I have no less freedom than they do, and really I have no less excitement.

With all of this rolling around in my head, I left for a much needed vacation. While at a local brewery, my husband and I found ourselves in conversation with two men who just got off work. Somehow, we went at least twenty minutes in the conversation about their work and my husband’s work without anyone asking what I do professionally… and then my husband mentioned it, “… and with her being a pastor…” My heart sank. I thought for sure the conversation was over or I was going to hear the endless apology for why these gentlemen didn’t go to church this week (or any other week).

“Oh, wow! Where are you a pastor?”

The conversation opened in a new way as we talked about the Presbyterian churches in the area that this gentleman could visit (he just so happened to be looking for a church). He asked why it was so important to me to be a pastor and if it was hard to be a pastor at a bar. I didn’t have to change what I was saying or doing, I just shared my own experience – I shared who I am instead of hiding behind who I feared someone would think I am.

sunset-summer-golden-hour-paul-filitchkin.jpgAs I strive to be more comfortable with evangelism and encourage my congregation as well, I am becoming more and more convinced that the first step to evangelism is being comfortable with who you are.   Evangelism is about knowing what you believe, why you believe, and getting excited about that.   Evangelism is finding confidence in that grace we receive from God and sharing it with others.   If we are confident within the church walls, why can’t we take that confidence in God’s grace out into the world?

If you have not yet attended a lecture or discussion led by John Vest, I do highly recommend finding one! If you are unable to, take some time to think about your faith and what about it excites you and find ways to share that in your everyday life. We don’t hesitate to share our thoughts about food, animals, and politics – so why do we hesitate to share our thoughts and beliefs in regards to our faith?   What would happen in this broken and hurting world if we all embraced and shared our faith just a little bit more?

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M.Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

“Hers some wotor four you”

Screenshot_20180319-175912I was recently reminded of a sign that I once saw at a church I visited. Hanging above the coffee machine, which I assume was set up as a welcoming gesture to all who gathered in this space, I read a hand written note –

“It was turned off. Who turned it on? There is no one to make coffee and look after it Monday through Saturday and it can’t be left on with no one around. There is an elder checking the church every day, many times a day. Sometimes she stays several hours. If not, she checks it several times.”

My heart sank as I read this note and wondered if I should even be making a cup of coffee at all? As a visiting pastor, I began thinking about all that this said about the congregation with the grieving currently filling the space and the healing that needed to take place. As a visitor, I wanted to run far away and never return. If this is the note that is left when a coffee machine is left on, what would happen if I (or someone else) did something worse?

pexels-photo-113734.jpegLater that morning, I preached on the text of Moses drawing water from the rock (Exodus 17: 1-7). In an effort to make a point, I placed bottles of water throughout the sanctuary. The children’s sermon drew attention to a dirty bottle of water that I had in the pulpit with me, and my need for a clean bottle due to a cold. I asked if anyone had any water to share and after several seconds one person held up their bottle. I made the point that everyone had a bottle to share just as we all have gifts to share. Later in the sermon, I expanded on this idea and knowing the story of this congregation’s grief, I encouraged each person in the congregation to take a bottle of water with them and share it with someone else. “We have the water, the life source that we need. We find it in the gifts of each person here… we have the gifts that nourish this congregation and keep it moving forward… by offering up our bottle of water. No one expected to see those in the pews today, you may not know what gifts are in your life today. But you have them and you can offer them… today, let us step out together in faith and take action.”

I was sure that this would work, that this grieving congregation I had formed a relationship with would begin their healing process now (because every pastor is sure that this sermon will be the word that is needed and finally heard by their congregation!)

screenshot_20180319-175918.pngMuch to my own grief and much like the sign un-welcoming any visitor from making coffee, the bottles remained in the pews. With tears in my eyes I collected 39 of the 42 bottles. Confused and heartbroken, I started packing up my stuff and said a prayer that somehow this congregation would find a way to stand together and answer their call to ministry. As I took a deep breath, a six year old came up to me and handed me a note and a bottle of water – “God is grat. You are grat. Hers some wotor four you Jordin.”

The child got it. The adults didn’t, but the child did.

Isn’t that the case in so many situations? The adults are so worried about the best way to do things, we never actually do them. Meanwhile, the children are handing out the bottles of water and showing the visitors the secrets of the church. The children are asking the questions that the adults are afraid to answer in case they say something wrong. The children are seeing the pain and grief, the violence and exclusion, the snowballing effect of one ignored event or action after another and they are the ones leading the way to change.

They are children though and they don’t know any better.

I wonder what the sign over the coffee machine would have said if a child wrote it. I like to think it would have said something like, “The machine is on in case you are thirsty. Just take the little cup of coffee and put it in. Hit the big button and it will do the rest. Then you can come play with me!”

What if we were to think and act more like children?

Grief would last until someone kissed us, everyone would have water (or coffee), we would all be friends and the world would be a much less violent place.

“11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. 12 Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face.”
(1 Corinthians 13: 11-12a)

I pray that we all might see the world through a child’s eyes once again and bring back those childish things we have hidden deep within. If we truly believe the claim that the children are the future of our church, let us strive to live and act as they do as we open the doors for them to be the present church…

… it just might be as simple as handing someone a bottle of water.

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M.Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)

They Were (are) Heard!

A few weeks ago, I reflected on the need to truly listen to our youth as they struggle with the inevitable changes in life and the increasing amount of drastic, and violent, measures being taken by many youth today. At the time, I was already in the process of trying to open new doors for my own youth to have open conversation about hard-hitting topics. We had begun addressing stereotypes and racism as well as the ways they can be involved in the ministries of our congregation and support those who help to make our world a safer place. The goal was to not only encourage them to think critically, but to create a space where deeper and more difficult conversations can safely occur in the future.

The Sunday following that post, we welcomed Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins from the PC(USA) Office of Global Witness. As Rev. Hawkins explained the work he does in Washington D.C., I saw my youth leaning into every word. He asked them questions about what they were most concerned about in the world and what it was like to go to school in light of recently increasing acts of gun violence. I listened to their responses and watched the faces of those who remained silent. My heart broke, but I was encouraged by their passion for making things different.

28280069_10103626039355111_8791231467917595971_nAt the close of our discussion with Rev. Hawkins, I passed out index cards and asked the youth to take a moment to write one thing they wanted to pray for in this world and explained that these would end up being our “Prayer for God’s Global Vision of Compassion, Peace, and Justice” in the Youth Sunday service the following week. The room was silent as 35 youth bent over their cards and scribbled away. When it came time to compose our prayer, I expected half of the cards to contain something I could actually use in the prayer (you know how teenagers can be!)– I could not have been more wrong. Tears filled my eyes as I read their prayers that filled every single card. “These kids get it,” I thought. “These kids WILL change the world.”

Youth Sunday came way too soon this year, but it came with passion and power. Worship was led by forty-four youth as they prayed and preached, sang and greeted those who came to worship. Their passion filled the sanctuary and their energy fueled the congregation. They talked about using God as a compass to find “true north” and I thanked God for putting them in my life to be my compass.

This past Sunday, the youth at Kirk of Kildaire were heard! I pray that they feel that and felt the love of the congregation embracing them. I pray that they know that they stood before a room of individuals who would do anything for them. I pray that they felt and found their place in the body of Christ, if they had not already done so.

Youth Sunday was only one small step. My one-on-one meetings with youth at the local donut shop are only small step. Our open Sanctuary in the midst of the tragedy and grief in recent weeks is only one small step. The encouragement from our youth advisors and Sunday school teachers is only small step. All of these small steps are leading to something big, though. All of these small steps help each confused, scared, and questioning youth know that they don’t always have to have the strength to step forward because there are those who will take the step toward them when they can’t.

In case there is any question about what youth are thinking about, aside from gun violence (where youth are now leading the way!), here is the “Prayer for God’s Global Vision of Compassion, Peace, and Justice” that the Kirk of Kildaire youth wrote for our 2018 Youth Sunday –

Dear God, We give thanks for the many paths down which you guide each and every one of us. We give thanks for the passions you have helped us to find and the ways we can guide one another. Today, we especially pray for…

Diversity.

Marine life depletion.

Those affected by gun violence, especially those in Florida.

LGBTQIA people who face discrimination and being treated less than human for being themselves.

Those who have lost loved ones to suicide, especially the Green Hope community.

The people, especially the children, in Syria.

The people who are in danger globally or mentally.

The future of America.

Global welfare.

For progress with immigration within this country, and those struggling to                become  American citizens and live in America.

For the safety and well-being of everyone, not just certain races or ages.

The safety of people in public locations like school, concerts, and theaters.

People who don’t say what they believe because of stereotypes made against them and the fear of being ostracized.

That schools will become a safer environment for students.

For the safety of those who participate in the school walk-outs and marches.

Gerrymandering.

Grieving families.

Equality.

That everyone will have food to eat.

For the walls of diversity to be broken down.

For outsiders.

For those who are experiencing homelessness.

God, there is so much on hearts. There is so much pain in your world. We pray that you continue to be our guiding light so that we might always be able to find your way and make it to “True North”. Give us the strength to follow through with our passions and to bring your kingdom to fruition. All of this we seek, pray, and do in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Jordan B. Davis (M.Div. ’14)
Transitional Associate Pastor, Youth & Young Adults
Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian (Cary, NC)