Forward Today: Jesus’ other teaching

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Canon Clyde Kunz, President of the Standing Committee in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and Member of the Forward Movement Board.


When asked the question “What is the most important of Jesus’ teachings?” most of us would probably respond:  to love one another.

And we would of course be right.  But we tend to overlook the other lesson He tried to communicate repeatedly:  to give, and to do so generously.

Why do we tend to remember the one but ignore the other?  Probably because we believe it easier to love than to be generous.  But as true disciples of Jesus, we need to understand that generosity actually IS love.

This time of year, we begin to hear messages about Christian stewardship – the giving of our time, talent and treasure.  We unfortunately sometimes hear from stewardship campaign leaders (even from the pulpit!) that the reason for our giving is to balance the church’s budget, or to cover roof or parking lot repairs.  But the reason for Christian stewardship as Jesus taught it has virtually NOTHING to do with covering the church’s expenses!

So what is it about?  In Matthew chapter 6, repeated again in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  And therein lies the key.  The core of the teaching.  Aligning our giving with our hearts.

Which compels me to ask myself:  where is my heart?

The late Rev. Billy Graham used to quote this passage from Matthew, after which he’d say: “Give me five minutes with a person’s checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is.” And I wonder if someone were to look at my check register (or nowadays my credit card statement) where would they believe my heart to be?  Or more to the point, what might they assume it is that I worship?

Would it be the somewhat exotic vacations I am inclined to take?  The pricey restaurants I frequent more than my expanding waistline can justify?  While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some of the good things life has to offer, I sometimes wonder how those expenditures might compare with my giving to support the work of God’s kingdom. Jesus’ teaching on giving is all about aligning our heart with our generosity.

This time of year, our mailboxes are filled with requests from genuinely worthy causes.  But might we consider prioritizing our support of God’s kingdom when making our charitable contributions this year?  We can do so by pledging generously to our parish’s annual stewardship campaign.  And as true disciples we can also support the Episcopal Church’s Bless Campaign, the work of our seminaries or of organizational ministries like Forward Movement.  All are ways in which we can, as Jesus taught us, align our giving and our heart.

During this year’s season of giving, where is it I want my heart to be?

Yours faithfully,

Canon Clyde Kunz
Board Member, Forward Movement
President of Standing Committee,  Episcopal Diocese of Arizona


More from our ministry:

Support the ministry of Forward Movement: Donate today

Explore Christian stewardship and a holy use of wealth: The Unjust Steward

Giving is a Vital Sign of Faith – learn more in Kate Moorehead Carroll’s book

New ChurchNext course: Sharing God’s Resources Through An Ancient Practice

 

Forward Today: What are you reading?

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Margaret Ellsworth, Marketing Coordinator, and staff members from across Forward Movement.


Here at Forward Movement it’s fall book release season, as we welcome three new books to our list: Vital Signs of Faith, The Unjust Steward, and the gift edition of the Book of Common Prayer.

In honor of this new reading season, we asked members of Forward Movement staff to share what they’re reading right now. Some of us are finishing up the last beach reads of summer; others are getting started with fall book clubs or small groups at church.

We’d love to hear from you too – what was your favorite book of summer? What books are you excited to read for the fall? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!


I recently finished The Unjust Steward by Miguel Escobar. As a person of faith and fundraiser, I appreciated Miguel’s thoughtful reflections on how the Church has, and could, think about the sharing of resources. Highly recommend for all churches kicking off your fall giving seasons!
~ Lindsay Barrett-Adler, Development Associate

I’m reading Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned by Brian McLaren. This book is a masterpiece, facing in a profound way the roots of the dark side of the Church and how those roots have caused harm. At the same time, McLaren leads the reader on a deep journey of making their own decisions about why one might really want to continue to follow Jesus, even in the Church.
~ Carrie Graves, ChurchNext Course Design and Administration

I’m rereading Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter. This new expanded second edition comes out in February, and I’m so excited. I learn something new about these women (any myself!) every time I open the book. I’m grateful for their faithful witness and powerful words.
~ Richelle Thompson, Managing Editor

I’m currently reading Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist, who won the 1951 Nobel Prize for Literature. I had never heard of the author or the book until my neighbor found it in a garage. This book tells the story of the man who was freed instead of Jesus. Although he tries, he cannot understand Jesus or his followers, as he has no reference in his life for “love one another”. I am about halfway through the book and it is a quick read.
~ Peggy Sanchez, Customer Service Specialist

I just started reading The God Design: Secrets of the Mind, Body and Soul by Kelly-Marie Kerr. This book will reveal the marvelous design of the human body “made in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:27).
~ Tania Z. Jones, Executive Assistant/Human Resources Specialist

I’m just starting Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices. This is my first time reading this Forward Movement classic, in a small group from my church as we prepare to baptize new members including my daughter. Excited to brush up on some basics and to talk about what it means to be Episcopalian with my small group.
~ Margaret Ellsworth, Marketing Coordinator

Don’t forget to share your current reads with us on Facebook and Twitter!


More from our ministry:

New from ChurchNext: Build a Farm-Faith Partnership

Get ready to read through Advent with our new devotional: Holy Is His Name

Miguel Escobar discusses his book on Zoom, 10/3 at 5pm ET. Register here

Forward Today: Feast of St. Matthew

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Julie Thomas, Treasurer of the Forward Movement Board.

Today is the Feast of St. Matthew, a tax collector and unlikely follower of Jesus. In honor of this saint, we asked Julie: How have you heard good news from someone—or shared good news with someone—in an unexpected moment? This is her story.


In 1993, I was an experienced federal prosecutor charged with investigating organized crime in Florida. As part of my duties, I was assigned to meet, debrief, and if possible, prepare two young Colombian sex workers to testify as cooperating witnesses in a drug trafficking trial.

When I met the two women, they were hardened and seemed unwilling to tell me anything. Over several months, I noticed their attitudes changing as they gradually opened up to me about their children and how they supported them through sex work and later smuggling if they were pregnant, all at the direction of the drug cartels. They were hesitant to testify and afraid their children in Colombia would be harmed.

One day, their attitude changed and their fears disappeared. They arrived at their debriefing in almost an ecstatic state of joy. They told me they had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, and they knew if they stayed true to their faith and told the truth at the trial all would be well.

I am ashamed to admit that I thought this sudden conversion was a convenient ruse to gain favorable treatment. After all, I had witnessed far too many jail house conversions for just such a purpose. I said as much to them and they just smiled, saying they understood my doubts. After all, they had also believed that Jesus would never love sinners like them.

The months passed and the women continued to provide information. During trial, an FBI agent showed me the Spanish-language Bibles the women kept with them in jail. Inside, I saw that prisoners and prison guards had signed the Bibles asking for and offering prayers and thanking the women for helping them believe that Jesus would forgive their sins.

The truth could no longer be denied. I was the Pharisee questioning who was “worthy” of God’s love while those young women simply answered his call. They spoke of his love even when I wouldn’t listen. They reminded me of his words, “For I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners.”


More from our ministry:

Pray the Daily Office in English and Spanish on our website and app

Read our newest release, on wealth and poverty: The Unjust Steward

Help us send prayer books to people in prison: Donate today

Forward Today: Holy Cross Day

Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him. (from the Collect for Holy Cross Day)

On a recent Sunday, one of our youngest parishioners met me in the hallway and eagerly announced, “It’s my birthday!” We quickly established that he was turning five that day and in his mind that meant he was ready to be an acolyte. At our small New England parish, it is all hands-on deck to create this incredible thing we call liturgy, a.k.a. the work of the people.

Janiel eagerly vested in the smallest cassock and surplice I have ever seen and joined the big kids to serve as an acolyte. That morning, and every Sunday since, I have followed Janiel into the church as he boldly carries a cross more than twice his size in his procession.

As this small child carries the cross, he leads us into worship and then back out into the world. I watch as he calmly carries this giant cross, listing to one side, nearly bonking the choir member in the head in front of him, and always with a huge smile on his face.

Over the years, the cross has meant different things to me. Lately, it has been simple. The cross weaves together what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, the redemption Jesus brings, and most especially the love that cross represents. The five-year-old crucifer who wobbles down the aisle with a giant smile on his face, does so because church is all about Jesus and he knows it. He tells me so.

May we all glory in this mystery of our redemption, take up our cross—even if it’s wobbly, or listing to one side—and follow Jesus.

In faith and peace,

Kate Wesch
Chair of the Board of Forward Movement
Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, Connecticut


An Update Regarding Scott Gunn

Thank you all for your prayers and concerns regarding The Rev. Scott Gunn over these past weeks. As you might recall from our last update, Scott has been healing and recovering in Singapore following a major medical incident in late July. Scott is still expected to make a full and complete recovery and is doing quite well.

We are pleased to share with you that things are going very well and Scott, along with his spouse, The Rev. Sherilyn Pearce, were able to travel home to Ohio recently where Scott will continue his recovery process. We ask that you continue to hold them in prayer, but refrain from calling, texting, or emailing so that they may devote their energy entirely to Scott’s health.


More from our ministry:

From ChurchNext: Making Sense of the Cross

From the Grow Christians archive: Celebrating Holy Cross Day with Little Ones

Explore your own path of faith and discipleship: Vital Signs of Faith

Forward Today: Practicing prayer, finding hope

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from the Rev. Cara Spaccarelli, Rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Carmel, Indiana, and member of the Forward Movement Board. 

Hanging on my wall in my office is a framed cross-stitch. It was the final product of my best Lent ever.

My best Lent came after my worst Advent/Christmas. It was a time when I felt caught in the malaise of things beyond my control, mainly in the news headlines of our nation. Though I’m typically one to decorate big time for the holiday, this year I had barely managed to put up a tree. The hope of the season was nowhere to be found, and Christmas came and went without me sensing God being born among us.

As Lent approached, the news-driven hopelessness continued. If I couldn’t muster hope at Christmas, it wasn’t going to magically happen in the season of Lent. That’s when I got the idea to cross-stitch a mandala. Mandalas come from the art of Eastern religions; they have long been used as instruments of meditation and prayer, similar to how labyrinths are used in the Christian faith. I thought of cross-stitching the mandala design like I was walking a labyrinth with my fingers moving me to the center to meet with God.

Most nights of Lent I spent on the couch cross-stitching for half an hour. No big epiphanies came, but I enjoyed the time being stiller than I normally am. Then that Holy Week I found myself experiencing the services in a way I had never before. I felt the joy of Palm Sunday, the camaraderie and foreboding of Maundy Thursday, the fear and grief of Good Friday, and the hope of Easter. The hope unstuck me from the general malaise of the previous months, even though there wasn’t much change in the headlines.

When I look at the cross-stitch hanging in my office, I think of the power of a practice to ground me in God. The Lenten practice calmed my body, mind, and spirit in a way that freed me to move me beyond the malaise. God holds all of life—the grief, the fear, the joy, the discouragement, the malaise, the hope. My Lenten practice that year helped me to expand what I could hold too, so that I am never without hope.

How does your own practice of prayer foster hope or resilience?

The Rev. Cara Spaccarelli
Forward Movement Board Member


More from our ministry:

From Grow Christians: Praying Compline amid disruption

Stay grounded in faith: Subscribe to Forward Day By Day

Explore practices of prayer with Seek and You Will Find

Forward Today: Take care of your spiritual health

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Richelle Thompson, Forward Movement’s Managing Editor.

Dear friends in Christ,

Like so many of you, I postponed a lot of things during COVID—a long-dreamed-about vacation, trips to see family and friends, tickets for concerts and plays—and most of my routine medical visits. In the midst of the pandemic, the annual check-up didn’t seem critical. Neither did bloodwork, dental cleanings, mammograms, and eye exams. Two-and-a-half-years later, I’m trying to play catch-up. You probably are too. Lots of us—for plenty of justifiable reasons—made the same decision, cancelling or postponing these types of appointments. But ignoring these preventative measures comes with a cost, including missed chances for early detection or mitigation of various medical issues.

To be honest, I’ve sometimes treated my spiritual health the same way, quick to skip out on important commitment to worship, Bible study, and service. Sometimes I’ve had really good reasons (hello, pandemic, motherhood, stress, etc.), and sometimes I’ve offered sad excuses. But the result is the same: ignoring these routine practices comes with a cost.

That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about some of the new offerings from Forward Movement, including Kate Moorehead Carroll’s book, Vital Signs of Faith: Finding Health in Your Spiritual Life. As dean of the Episcopal cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida, Kate approaches spiritual health like a doctor does physical health. Just as oxygen flows to the heart, helping us live and breathe, time spent with God in prayer and service helps us to live faith-filled lives. In thoughtful and compelling prose, Kate explores four vital signs of faith and offers practical ways to monitor and improve our spiritual health.

Another diagnostic—and prescriptive—tool is the Book of Common Prayer. Most of us are familiar with the pages for Holy Eucharist and perhaps baptism, but the Book of Common Prayer holds a trove of riches. The Daily Office provides a pattern for prayer from morning to evening. The collects and prayers and thanksgiving sections offer ways to talk with God, and in the psalter, we find comfort, challenge, and connection that span the centuries.

Forward Movement’s new gift edition of the Book of Common Prayer has a special feature: the rubrics (or directions for liturgy) and principal feasts and holy days are printed in red, offering helpful cues for individual and corporate worship and prayer. The book is smaller than the ones in the pew, making them a great size to carry or have on a nightstand, and the leather cover, gilded edges, and ribbon make them feel both special and personal. (If you want to see these features and more, check out this “unboxing” video by a couple of our staff members.)

These are two fantastic resources offered by Forward Movement, but there are thousands more, both on our website and from other publishers and organizations throughout the church. Just as I’m back to monitoring my physical health in regular ways, so too am I recommitting to tending to my spiritual health. I invite you to join me. Call your doctor. And your priest. And spend some time checking in with God today.

Yours faithfully,

Richelle Thompson
Managing Editor


More from our ministry:

From Grow Christians: A prayer practice for ordinary days

Help lay leaders renew their strength for ministry with Revive

Sign up for a live course on Vital Signs of Faith at ChurchNext

Forward Today: Back-to-school habits of prayer

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Margaret Ellsworth, Forward Movement’s Marketing Coordinator.

Dear friends in Christ,

There’s “new year” energy in the air right now – not a new calendar year or liturgical year, but rather that unofficial holiday known as back-to-school. For many of us this is a time of new beginnings and new routines. Perhaps you or your kids are headed back to school. Or some ministries at your church might be resuming at the start of a new program year. Maybe you’re just noticing the change of seasons as summer winds down and fall draws near. 

In any case, the shifting routines of this season make it a great time to begin a habit of prayer. We talk a lot here at Forward Movement about the power of daily spiritual practice—about how it can connect us with others and with God. But as with any new habit, getting started can be overwhelming or intimidating. If you’re hoping to begin or re-commit to a daily spiritual practice this fall, here are a few of my favorite ways to start.

Start small. Our tradition has a rich variety of ways to pray – it’s tempting, when beginning a new habit, to want to try them all! Everything from centering prayer to lectio divina to the full Daily Office with all the options added in. But those more ambitious prayer plans can sometimes trip me up when I’m just getting started. Small, simple practices can be easier to sustain – and just like the bigger more complicated prayers, they too bring us closer to God. 

Why not start with a short prayer like A Morning Resolve, or the bite-sized inspirational message of Forward Day By Day?

Build on your existing habits. Productivity gurus might call this “habit-stacking.” I experience it more as noticing the moments where God is already meeting me as I go about my day. One of my most consistent times of prayer is a short moment of silence while the kettle is brewing for my morning cup of tea. 

You could also look at your existing family routines for prayer opportunities. There’s a reason family grace at meals is such a longstanding tradition – everyone has to eat! Try taking these moments when you’re already used to pausing, and use those moments for prayer. 

Connect with community. Each day, I pray the Daily Office on Zoom with a group of friends – we live in half a dozen cities, in three different time zones, and the only thing we have in common is our desire to pray together. Some days the only reason we don’t snooze our alarms and go back to bed is knowing that the others are counting on us, whether to start the zoom meeting or lead the service. More than anything, the comfort and accountability of this community helps me maintain my habit of prayer. 

Maybe there’s someone in your family or parish or your online social network who also wants to deepen their prayer life. Maybe you can support each other by praying together, or just by checking in to see where God was present in your lives that day.

What habits of prayer will you begin – or begin again – this fall?

Yours faithfully,

Margaret Ellsworth
Marketing Coordinator


More from our ministry: 

Explore different forms of prayer: Seek and You Will Find

A practical guide to following Jesus: The Way of Love

Pray with our community on the Forward Day By Day Facebook page

Forward Today: The Church needs all of us

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Lindsay Barrett-Adler, Forward Movement’s Development Associate.

Dear friends in Christ,

If your household is like mine, you might be scanning back-to-school sale advertisements, finalizing vacation packing lists, and already feeling the crunch of fall work projects. I would imagine very few of us are also planning for the upcoming church year and what gifts of God we might offer the people of God.

For a busy layperson, this might be difficult to contemplate. We have so much to do! Did you not read the classroom supply lists or see that urgent work email? Don’t we pay clergy to run the church?!

We might think that’s the clergy’s primary job description, but I believe the work belongs to us all. I worship with a small community in Philadelphia and can unequivocally say that the ministries of the church would not happen without strong lay leadership. My husband, the rector of this church, has never been an elementary school teacher, financial adviser, professional musician, or carpenter. He does not have all the God-given gifts of everyone in the pews. If we are each uniquely and wonderfully made, how could he?

Like Saint Paul reminds us in Corinthians, the Church needs each one of us to thrive and be whole. The Church needs your wonder in worship to serve on the altar, passion for gardening in the flowerbeds, love of baking for coffee hour, and writer’s pen for the church newsletter and social media. We need your vision, hope, and voice. Most of all, we need your presence! If you have not yet returned to church and are able to do so safely, please prayerfully consider doing so this fall. We miss you and the Church is not complete without you. You are a blessing.

This August I have set aside some time for prayer to think about what, in terms of time and talent, I might offer our small church. Where is God calling me to serve this year and how will it proclaim the Kingdom of Christ in the world? I hope you will join me!

Yours faithfully,

Lindsay Barrett-Adler
Development Associate

More from our ministry:

Revive: A small-group discipleship program to re-energize lay leaders

My Way of Love: A personal guide for your spiritual journey 

Vital Signs of Faith: Finding Health in Your Spiritual Life 

Forward Today: Lord, teach us to pray

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors. Today’s message comes from Allison Sandlin Liles, editor of Grow Christians.

Dear friends in Christ, 

A couple of Sundays ago, we heard in our churches the beginning of chapter 11 in Luke’s Gospel in which an unnamed disciple asks Jesus to teach them how to pray. It’s the only time in the gospels that a disciple asks Jesus to teach them something; every other time, Jesus initiates the lesson himself.

The fact that this disciple needs help learning how to pray makes perfect sense to me. Prayer seems to be one of those things in which most people feel perpetually inadequate. We’re told as people of faith we need to pray, that we should pray, but the only way so many of us know how to pray is the way we learned as young children: kneeling at the side of a bed with hands clasped together, naming aloud our blessings and petitions. 

Many of us turn to books to try and teach ourselves what we are too afraid to ask. This disciple in Luke 11 approaches Jesus and speaks for all of us: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus responds with a sample prayer, a parable and some additional sayings about prayer that make it seem so easy. But prayer is not easy—it’s a spiritual discipline that requires patience and practice before it feels natural.  

Two weeks ago, after preaching on this text and the importance of developing a regular prayer habit, a member asked if I might teach a formation class on various types of prayer. She is someone whom I know prays for me every single day, who spent years praying fervently in her life as a Roman Catholic nun, and who, honestly, would teach such a class more effectively than I would.  When she made this request, I realized I preached an entire sermon about the importance of prayer without walking through different methods of prayer.

I know the role daily prayer plays in my own life—the impact of skipping a morning centering prayer session and the lightness and grounding that comes from consecutive days of sitting through it. But what about the prayer lives of the people in my care? Shouldn’t their personal response to God’s presence be a priority for me as their church leader?

From my own experiences, I know that when the people within our faith communities engage daily prayer, they are changed. They notice God in the ordinary. They feel more connected with those around them. Their lives are led by faith and hope. They are transformed. 

I wonder about the lasting impact of church leaders investing time and energy into nourishing the prayer lives of their members. How might the entire community be transformed?

Faithfully,
Allison Sandlin Liles
Editor, GrowChristians.org


More from our ministry:

Explore different modes of prayer: Seek and You Will Find

Go deeper into the prayer Jesus taught us: Bold to Say

Allison’s writing on Grow Christians: Envisioning Jesus in Our Own Image

Pray with us every day: prayer.forwardmovement.org

Forward Today: Putting our faith and trust in God

Note: As we continue to pray for healing for the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, this weekly message will feature guest writers from the Forward Movement staff and board of directors.

Miriam McKenney, Hannah Wilder, and Scott Gunn at the Episcopal Communicators conference in 2014.

We were finishing lunch at our Airbnb. I was much more excited than the rest of my family to go to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. I always visited there when we were in Connecticut to visit my in-laws. Just as we were leaving, I got a call to join an emergency meeting where I learned that Scott Gunn, Forward Movement’s executive director, was seriously ill in Singapore. Tears rush up as I type these words, just as they did at that moment, along with shock, dread, worry, and fear. I don’t remember much else about that first meeting except those feelings. 

Our plans to go to the museum faded as I sat on the couch, unable to move or make sense of my thoughts. Finally, I decided to work on Odyssey, our magazine for donors and friends of Forward Movement. We’ve been moving through the Way of Love spiritual practices, and our next issue is on worship. I opened my copy of Scott’s book The Way of Love Practical Guide to read the worship chapter and decide which part to excerpt for the magazine.

Here is where trusting that God knows exactly what we need comes in. I had no idea that I needed to read what Scott had to say about worship—something he loves to do. He starts the chapter with this story:

When I was a younger adult, I was a bit of a spiritual nomad. I spent several years looking to make sense of the Christian faith. My wandering was all very cerebral. Then one evening, I entered a church with a liturgy that was ceremonially rich and ornate. All of my mental circuit breakers were blown—in a very good way. No one rationalized what happened in Holy Communion. Instead, people genuflected in awe at the majestic presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. There was glorious music and the scent of incense, and all of this was happening in a stunning space. I glimpsed heaven. I was swept along into a realm that was much larger than my imagining. I was with people whose physical postures and actions manifested a sacrificial worship of God in Jesus Christ.  

Tears continued to stream down my face as I copied and pasted the salient parts of the chapter for Odyssey. I realized it was not me but God who guided me to the words and thoughts of my boss, colleague, friend, and brother in Christ. I can’t say I felt better, but I did feel calm and peace enveloping me. I felt trust where I’d felt fear. I rooted myself in a constant stream of prayer for all of it. I allowed my mind and heart to travel down paths I didn’t want to travel because I knew I had a way back. Spirit would not leave me. Jesus was near.  

Working with Scott for the last eleven years has changed my spiritual life. Those who know us might be surprised to hear me give him credit for that—but it’s true. Growing up as a priest’s daughter did not guarantee a close relationship with Jesus or even an understanding of who Jesus really was. Spending time reading scripture, practicing spiritual practices, and even knowing it’s essential to do those things is due to Scott’s relentless call to all of us to get closer to God. That he continues to heal and will eventually journey back to us is something we can praise God for, saying: 

O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant Scott, that his weakness may be banished and his strength restored; and that, his health being renewed, he may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Thank you for your prayers for Scott, Sherilyn, and the staff and board of directors of Forward Movement. I know that Scott’s healing and your prayers are intertwined. As our board chair Kate Wesch said last week, prayer is crucial for Scott and all who care for him. You are in our prayers, and we thank God for you.

Peace,
Miriam

Miriam McKenney is Forward Movement’s Director of Development and Mission Engagement. 


More from our ministry:

Pray with us every day: prayer.forwardmovement.org