The Spirit Calendar
A Weekly Devotional from the Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ
October 30, 2017
This week's author is Jennifer Kronholm Clark, Program Director at Silver Lake Conference Center.
Scripture: Matthew 23:11-12 (The Message)
“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about unglamorous jobs this week as we deal with some unpleasant septic issues at my house. Who would ever think to make a career out of fixing septic systems? But thank God some people do think to do that. Where would we be without them?
And when you think about it, we all have those moments when we have to roll up our sleeves, grit our teeth, and take on some unpleasant tasks. Whether it’s some administrative task at work or a dirty job at home, there are things that just have to get done.
I find, though, that those unpleasant tasks become a bit more bearable when you’re able to step back and view them through the lens of service. No, I really don’t want to clean up the weekend staff’s dishes, but neither do my coworkers, and if I take 10 minutes now, their day will be just a little bit more pleasant, and we can focus on the important work we do here at Silver Lake. Plus, a clean sink is just really satisfying.
God, help me to see that sometimes even the most unpleasant tasks are service to You.
Special Prayer Requests:
- The people of Catalonia and Spain where tension is high after separatists leaders from Catalonia declared independence from Spain on October 27;
- our brothers and sisters in Christ for whom circumstances have led to a condition of homelessness as colder weather and shorter days approach; and
- the family of Rev. Sandra Lea Fischer, associate pastor at South Congregational Church in Granby, whose father, Milton Fischer, died last week.
- The people of Somalia after a car bomb in Mogadishu killed over 350 people on October 14;
- The people of California where wildfires have led to at least 40 deaths and burned more than 100,000 acres;
- the millions of people currently worried about losing health insurance as the White House and Congress consider and enact changes to the current health care system;
- those grieving or suffering after a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, which left more than 50 dead and over 400 wounded on Oct. 2
- the people of Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria caused massive devastation on Sept. 20;
- the thousands of child immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as their future becomes unclear after the President's announcement that the program will end in the near future;
- Mark Engstrom, member of the CT Conference Board of Directors, and his wife Nina, who are facing health issues;
- the community of Conway, MA, and the United Congregational Church, UCC, Conway after a tornado touched down on Feb. 25 causing significant structural damage;
- the people of South Sudan where nearly 1 million people are facing famine;
- the members and staff of Thompson Congregational Church after a fire severely damage the building on Dec. 29;
- Michael White, former Operations Manager at Silver Lake Conference Center, who was diagnosed with colon cancer;
- Juliane Silver, the daughter of the Rev. Jim Silver of Middletown, who is in dire need of a liver transplant. We pray that a donor will come forward giving the gift of life and a portion of their liver to Juliane;
- Chacy Eveland, husband of the Rev. Marcia Eveland, pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC of Ansonia, who has been moved to a full-time facility for care of dementia;
- the thousands of migrants worldwide who flee from violence and persecution in search of safety;
- our ecumenical partners in the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea;
- the Conference's partners working for peace in Colombia amidst violence;
- the leaders of this nation, that they may meet the challenges of the day with insight, wisdom, and compassion;
- this nation, that it may continue its difficult work to end the practices of racism; and
- those serving or living in war or conflict zones around the world, or where terrorists have struck.
To be added to the prayer list, please send an email to Drew Page at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
Covenant Congregational Church
Congregational Christian Church
Thomas A. VanDerMeid - P
Elmwood Community Church UCC
David E Congdon - P
First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford, UCC
Charles Geordie Campbell – SP
Susan S. Izard – AP
Elliott Munn – AP
Dawne Quinn - CE
Flagg Road UCC Congregational
Mark E. Diters – P
Colleen Mitchell - CE
Manantial De Gracia
Maritza Angulo de Gonzalez – CP
Elivette Mendez Angulo - CP
The Spirit Calendar:
October 30, 2017
Jennifer Kronholm Clark.