From prayer rocks to prayer flags, the creative duo of Judy Lindblad and Valerie Bernardino (pictured below) were the impetus behind Investing in a Just Future’s playful and spiritual focus to support our ambitious undertaking. Prayer is both personal and purposeful. To personalize and focus our prayers tactically, names were written on small flat rocks, exchanged with others… helping us remember to pray for each other on the journey toward a Just Future. Displaying our written and drawn prayers on over 100 flags visualized our deepest hopes, dreams, and concerns as we venture forward for the Church, the Community and the Earth.
Investing in a Just Future is Mt. Auburn’s three-year initiative to transform our earth, our community and our church, including our denomination. We celebrate that our fundraising goal of $750,000 is 91% fulfilled. Additional gifts and pledges to be paid over the next three years are welcome. Planning is underway for the Pastoral Residency and Carbon Footprint Reduction projects. Later this year, volunteer opportunities will be available to interact with our community project – Cincinnati Scholar House in Walnut Hills. Check out the bulletin board in the social hall for more information or talk with Pastor Stacey about how you can get involved.
Prayer was an important part of the journey of discernment as we planned our Investing in a Just Future initiative. Please continue to pray creatively for Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, the three projects, our staff and volunteers, and individual members and friends of our community. Prayer rocks are available in a basket in the narthex. You can continue to exchange rocks weekly or periodically or add your name to a rock if you don’t have one.
Thank you, Valerie and Judy, for inspiring us to pray with imagination and love. To learn more about prayer and how it can rock your world, check out these resources:
February 24 is our Commitment Sunday! We invite all of you to bring your commitment cards if you haven’t already mailed them in, as we join together in Investing in a Just Future. As of last Sunday, we already have 24 early pledges turned in for a total of $412,160 – that’s over halfway to our full goal of $750,000! Our church leadership has really gotten excited about a future in which we expand our justice seeking capacity in church, community, and creation. How will you support this important initiative?
Read more about how we’re Investing in a Just Future in our second newsletter: IJF Newsletter 2
We know you have questions about the Investing in a Just Future initiative. We’ve answered some of them here in our Frequently Asked Questions document.
Investing in a Just Future FAQ
For many months, a group of church members commissioned by Session has been exploring what’s next in our congregational life. Where can we devote our time, talent, and treasure to expand our work of love and justice? We’ve been talking about this initiative for quite some time now, but we’re delighted to present to you our first official communication about our plan for Investing in a Just Future at MAPC. Read all about it now, and look for even more information in the new year!
Investing in a Just Future Newsletter
As we move toward the launch of the Investing in a Just Future initiative, Judy Lindblad and Valerie Bernardino have been enlisted to help us support the effort in prayer and nurture our prayer practices beyond this particular event in the ministry of MAPC. They’ve written this entry to introduce us to the book and basic prayer method they are encouraging for congregational use.
HELP, THANKS, WOW: The 3 Essential Prayers
by outspoken author Anne Lamott
This is our first Blog ever! It has come about because a couple months ago Valerie Bernardino and Judy Lindblad were asked to co-chair a Prayer Team related to empowering MAPC’s next years of service.
First we said, “Why us? Then HELP! And where is that little book by Anne Lamott?
Since both of us had moved recently we were relieved to locate our copies – THANKS!
Then we re-read her wisdom on prayer and living faithful lives in these times and exclaimed, WOW!
The book has turned out to be a lifesaver and talisman of courage for us in just 102 pages over the past two months! Anne’s “short list” of essential prayers and descriptions of real life situations in accessible prose have reassured us and strengthened our prayer lives. She describes life as it is, and her own struggles with it are frank.
We are suggesting that HELP, THANKS, WOW be considered as a companion on our journey toward a Just Future. It is especially well suited for these times and the tasks we are are undertaking. Each person will have their own takes…and though her experiences may differ from ours, they often bring to mind similar ones in our lives. We invite you to read and dialogue with these new or familiar prayer practices.
~ Valerie and Judy
As we begin Investing in a Just Future together, you are invited to join us in praying for God’s help as we identify the needs of the Church, the city, and the creation, and try to do our part in meeting them using the resources we have been generously given.