Welcome to November, the Season of Saints, Souls and Sinners! As the end of the year draws near, it’s a good time to look back–and forward–to see how good and faithful a servant each of us has been.
Do you remember the book, “Hope for the Flowers”? You’re able to find it online; I just did! The pdf is here. Take a break and read it, but be sure to come back! November is a good time for “Hope for the Flowers”!! You can always turn around and start again; it’s never too late! There’s always more! Not one of us has been canonized yet!
With our thoughts on spiritual growth, I’m borrowing some apt thoughts from our Elizabeth Ministry Executive Director, Don Warden:
“It always seems that when new opportunities to expand our ministry present themselves, challenges inevitably appear to try to keep us from going there. When dealing with ‘beginning of life’ and ‘sexuality’ issues, this seems to be all the more true. I have three very specific requests that I would ask each of you to commit to for EMI, and if all three are just too much at this time, please commit to at least one of them:
1) Pray! The power in the intercessory prayer of the ‘many gathered in his Name’ through affiliation with Elizabeth Ministry International is our most powerful weapon in the spiritual battle, and is balm in the healing charism of our work in the areas of childbearing, sexuality and relationships. In whatever ways you pray over the course of a day, please include the intention ‘Lord, please help EMI today with their greatest need’.
2) Fast! Just as Jesus asked of his disciples, we fast by ‘taking up a cross voluntarily’ which prepares us to better accept those involuntary crosses that are sure to come our way, giving us the opportunity to do our part in strengthening the mystical body of Christ. Please offer a regular fast for our work at EMI, whether that be an all-day bread and water fast or the decision to simply forego that 3rd cup of coffee.
3) Almsgiving! The widow’s mite, a sincere, faith-filled giving of one’s self, is what has sustained EMI since the beginning. At this particular moment in our history, we ask you to share whatever of your treasure you can, so that we may continue the work so vitally needed in the world today.
Lord, help us to recognize and do your will today.”
NOTE: For information regarding donations, please see http://www.elizabethministry.com/Donate.html. Any and all will be gratefully received!
Here are some additional prayer needs that can be remembered:
• For RECLAiM students, for the Spirit’s help in rooting out the use of pornography or other unhealthy practices from their lives.
• For those discerning life decisions, the call to marriage, single life, ordained or religious life, that God’s plan for their lives would be made clear.
• For wisdom to parents, especially those of teens, in matters of moral, sexual or developmental maturity.
• For marriages and couples who are engaged or living together, that their situations would change to reflect the best in Christian moral behavior and chaste living.
• For couples struggling with difficult pregnancies or infertility, or grieving a loss through miscarriage or infant death.
• For refugees, and the countries of the world who have the opportunity and responsibility of providing help for them.
HEAR THE PRAYERS THAT YOUR PEOPLE ADDRESS TO YOU.
HAVE MERCY ON US.
HELP US WHO HAVE NO ONE BUT YOU, O LORD!
THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING FOR THE NEEDS
OF THOSE WHO PUT THEIR TRUST IN YOU.
You may be wondering, “If Elizabeth Ministry is a ministry providing for the needs of women, why is there a man heading it?” Good question! Simple answer: Because God balances his gifts to both women and men! Elizabeth had a Zachary; Mary had a Joseph, Abraham had a Sarah, and Jesus has his Bride, the Church. When God sends a gift, we’re grateful for the gift God has given, regardless of the source or the individual. Each person who works with or for Elizabeth Ministry is one of those gifts, fulfilling the need that arises.
You’ll recall that Elizabeth Ministry International is also the umbrella ministry for RECLAiM Sexual Health, which affects more men than women, while the issues of childbearing obviously affect more women than men. Both women and men are greatly affected by issues of sexuality, and both equally need our prayers and support.
Thank you for your continuing prayers for our founder, Jeannie Hannemann, following the stroke she experienced last May. She and Bruce are again doing clergy training and traveling, looking for opportunities to speak, and learning not to overdo it! We are grateful to the Lord Jesus for providing Don, who ‘keeps the home fires burning’ while Jeannie and Bruce are on the road, in the air or on the air with Relevant Radio.
Also, for those who pray for the needs of EMI, we have a listing of individuals or religious congregations who agree to pray especially for our RECLAiM students. To be added to this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address (and mailing address/phone number). You will then be contacted by email or text when an urgent prayer need comes up. (Please also add us to your email directory so our email doesn’t go to your spam file!)
Your personal presence is also appreciated if you live close enough to Kaukauna to offer your time. Volunteers are always needed! Thank you for considering that; for questions, please call us at 920-766-9380.
God bless you!