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Our Blog
April 5, 2020 | Michael Gulker

March-April Prayer Letter

Blessings to you as you begin your journey through Holy Week. Our Christian rituals often take on renewed meaning during this time. This year in particular, our team is finding deep encouragement and comfort in practices like daily prayer, and by sharing our praises, laments, and hopes with one another. We pray they are helpful to you and your Christian community, too.

In this prayer letter, Michael shares how he’s trying a new application of The Colossian Way Gather-Practice-Witness framework with his family during quarantine. Feel free to try it with your own family. In lieu of our usual praises and thanksgivings, below please find some pandemic reflections from our staff. We’d love to hear yours. Please email them to snicholas@colossianforum.org or share them on social media using #TCFPraise, #TCFLament, or #TCFHope.    

Praises

– I praise God that he is a God that is unchanging in these constantly changing days, hours and minutes.
– I praise God that we can still walk around our neighborhoods and that people are more apt to say hello (mind you, at a safe distance away!).
– I praise God for:
   – Our team and meaningful work, and that we share a common cause that is pulling us together; 
   – Medical professionals who are risking their lives everyday for us;
   – Kalamazoo Mennonite Fellowship;
   – How our simple Christian pattern of gathering adapts so well to our own homes;
   – The Colossian Way and the habits it has instilled in me and my family, and how it is helping other leaders who are calling on us to help them deal with the conflicts that are being caused by these tensions and the crisis of meaning right now.
– I praise God for gestures of hope offered by those sewing masks, working in hospitals, delivering food to children and shut-ins, and especially for God’s steady creation rhythm of life – for the tree buds bearing witness in my front yard!

Laments

– I lament that there are so many vulnerable people that seem to be hit so much harder by this than I am.
– I lament the response of our churches in shutting their doors at this critical time of witness, for we worship a resurrected Christ who has overcome death.
– I lament for the elderly, and for those in hospice, who are suffering and dying alone; for  people mourning losses alone; and for kids bereft of friends.
– I lament how impatient I can be while feeling “stuck at home” and how hard it is to be separated from my children and grandchildren.
– I lament for those deep in our coronavirus ground zero of New York City.

Hopes

– I hope the people of God will learn new ways to serve each other and grow together during this time, despite the harsh and scary moments.
– I hope that God will be present with us in unexpected ways as we experience a change in how we live and work together.
– I hope for healing, not only from this pandemic, but from our neglect of what really matters. I long for the day when there will be no more disease and death, no war or hostility, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

Suggested Posts
The Wall Street Journal Podcast
January 13, 2021 | Sarah Nicholas
The Wall Street Journal Podcast
In this podcast, hear the voices of The Wall Street Journal story participants of a Colossian Way Political Talk Small Group faithfully navigating political divisions. Visit colossianforum.org/politicaltalk to read the full story and order your free curriculum sample.
Caring for Your Congregation through Crisis: A Conversation with Pastor Mike
December 1, 2020 | Sarah Nicholas
Caring for Your Congregation through Crisis: A Conversation with Pastor Mike
Wondering how to hold your Christian community together through persistent COVID lockdowns and political division? Curious about how small/life groups might heal your congregation? Pastor Mike Hoogeboom shares stories and tips from leading his congregation through crises, including a challenging election season.  Watch Now

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