Fall Kick-Off

I wonder what you are up to on Wednesday evenings this September?

Before we talk about Wednesdays, though, let me start with a heartfelt, “Thank You” for the gift of time away for rest and study this summer. In preparing sermon studies for the year ahead I spent time learning from pastors both here in the US and abroad who have shepherded their congregations into seasons of evangelistic growth – especially among young adults. I was struck again by the gracious location and history that God has given this congregation. West Seattle schools are bursting with students. Young professional adults are moving into the neighborhood. These are the neighbors we are welcoming in Jesus’ name to hear the good news.

And as I read, a few themes emerged. The first and foremost was the commitment of these congregations to prayer. It reminded me of the foundational prayer ministry that preceded my own time as a youth worker in Scotland. The youth ministry in the two Church of Scotland parishes in the town of Banchory had dwindled to a handful of teens between both congregations – in a town that had exploded in growth due to North Sea Oil. For several years, a dedicated core of believers gathered in prayer asking God to renew a ministry among youth. Four of the OWLS in particular (Older Wise Loving Servants!) stand out in my mind. Sylvester and Nan Skinner would dedicate every Saturday night to several hours of prayer for young people, often joined by their friends Tony and his wonderful wife (whose name escapes me…).

By the time I arrived, and began serving alongside the churches, the ministry blossomed with youth coming to know Jesus. In a few years it became a model for youth ministry for the entire Church of Scotland. Do you remember Paul writing about how some plant and some water but God gives the growth? When I learned of the many years of faithful prayer ministry I knew exactly who had done the difficult job of planting this youth work in Banchory … and it was not me. Those prayers opened the way for God’s growth.

This brings us back to Wednesdays, and our sermon series for September. We know and agree that prayer precedes any growth in God’s kingdom. Will you gather to pray our way into this next school year together? We will meet Wednesday evenings, 7-8:30pm beginning September 11 to pray in the chapel. On Sundays beginning September 8 I’ll be preaching for 4 weeks on intercessory prayer. And we will trust God to give the growth…

~ Pastor Laurie
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