Saturday, September 19
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Christian Education Week / Season of Peace
Presbytery of Eastern Virginia
At a camp in Malaysia, a group of refugees from Myanmar prayed for people they did not know, in a country far away. They prayed that when they were resettled, God would lead them to a church home where they could worship in freedom as well as in Spirit and truth. They prayed for welcome, for community, and for friendship.
A world away, the people of Wythe Presbyterian Church worried for the future of their church and tried to discern how God was calling them to ministry. They faced many of the challenges that mainline congregations throughout the United States face. They prayed for those whom God was leading to their church—people they did not know.
Those worlds collided when two of the young refugees, La Ring and Awng Mai, walked into Wythe Presbyterian Church. The prayers of both groups had been answered. La Ring and Awng Mai were welcomed, even as both sides stumbled over language barriers. That welcome led the young men back to the church the next week. Soon, they began bringing other refugees from the Myanmar community with them. Relationships began to form that would prove transformative for both the congregation and the refugees. The struggles of the refugees became the struggles of the congregation. Those who began as “other” soon became “friend,” and in time part of “us.”
Jesus’ command to welcome the stranger suggests that “stranger” is always a temporary designation. The Spirit knows no stranger; even those who seem radically different are in fact our sisters and brothers.
The Presbytery of Eastern Virginia serves 59 congregations.
—Rev. T. Clint Mitchell, Wythe Presbyterian Church, Hampton
Let us join in prayer for:
Marvin Brangan, member, PMA Board
Liza Hendricks, transitional general presbyter
Q. John Tamm, acting stated clerk
David Carney, business manager
Linda Marley Smith, administrator
Jessica Fitzgerald, administrative assistant / hunger action enabler
Michelle “Mike” Burcher, director, Makemie Woods Camp
Jaime Ambrose, acting ODU campus administrator
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
And leave everything else to God.