Mary E. Klassen
The prayer team for Mennonite Church USA convention and AMBS Kansas Center have prepared resources to encourage communities across the church to gather for short prayer retreats prior to the July convention.
The prayer team has the assignment to coordinate prayer times during the convention, and the team leaders, John Murray and Meghan Good, also want to encourage prayers in advance of the June 30 to July 5 gathering. Katherine Goerzen, coordinator of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s Kansas Center, and Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary associate dean for leadership education, joined them in shaping plans for a prayer retreat.
This group now is sharing their plans and the encouragement for people in communities and congregations all across MC USA to use these resources. “It is our hope that local prayer retreats will allow for pastors, delegates, and congregational leaders to come together before the MC USA convention in Kansas to join in prayer,” the planners wrote in their introduction.
The goals outlined in the resources include expressing praise and worship, naming fears and anxieties, quieting hearts and opening them to transformation through the Spirit, and inviting the Spirit to guide the church in discovering unimagined outcomes. Resources include calls to worship, hymn suggestions, Scriptures, and prayer suggestions.
One prayer retreat is scheduled for central Kansas on Sunday, May 3, at 4:30 pm at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston. Murray, who is pastor of First Mennonite Church, Hesston, Kan., and Goerzen, who lives and works in North Newton, will host this retreat. They invite leaders, pastors and members of Mennonite Church USA to join this gathering. The event will include faspa (a light meal) at 6 pm, so participants are invited to bring finger foods to share.
For information about hosting prayer retreats in other areas and to download the pre-convention prayer retreat resources, visit www.ambs.edu/news-events/Prayer-Gathering.cfm