Prayers requested, encouraged in pandemic times
By Guest Columnist Rev. Jon Kaufman
Stress and fatigue have become more pronounced in this lingering season of pandemic. Recently, First United Methodist Church of Long Beach, which includes the Well and our main campus on Pine Street, became part of an effort to support and encourage our community. We, along with other churches, recognized that people and organizations upon whom we depend are experiencing unprecedented stress and fatigue due to the pandemic and accompanying strife – namely our schools and hospitals.
We, and others, have worked to offer encouragement to the Long Beach School staff and the staff of Memorial Hospital, and we have committed to praying for them in this difficult season.
Recently, in cooperation with the administration of Memorial Hospital, we became part of an effort by local churches - First Baptist of Long Beach and First United Methodist of Gulfport – to take time during a day of the week to pray for the patients and staff of Memorial Hospital. We gather outside the hospital and offer prayers for all who are sick and all who are working for healing. It is the goal to have churches praying for the hospital staff and patients every day of the week. First UMC of Long Beach is praying on Tuesday evenings, and the churches mentioned above are praying on Wednesdays and Sundays, respectively. We are hoping that, every single day, there could be a group praying for strength and healing and offering encouragement through these difficult times.
But the reality is that it is not only school and hospital staff who are feeling the stress and fatigue. There are many in our community who have experienced illness, grief, loss, isolation, uncertainty, and the pain of our often-divisive world. As a response, First United Methodist Church of Long Beach is offering to our community a space and a time of prayer to experience hope, encouragement and healing for the soul.
Our next time for prayer is Wednesday, October 6, at 6 p.m. at first United Methodist Church at 208 Pine Street. It is for all those who have a heart for those in pain and those of us whose hearts are in pain. All are invited and welcome to pray and to receive prayers from very gifted persons of prayer.
For more information, please call our church office at 228-863-9619.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rev. Jon Kaufman is the pastor of First United Methodist Church Long Beach.