First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Adult Bible Study – 8:15 a.m.
Worship – 9:30 a.m.
Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5.
Sunday School for Children & Youth – following worship
Sunday Seminar: “Challenges to Sustainability” – 11:00 a.m.
Ending Racism Study – 5:30 p.m. in the Library.

From the Pastor/Head of Staff

The photo is “Praying Woman,” artist unknown, in the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Despite the reported sales figures for books about spirituality, and interest in podcasts and blogs about the same, our time is one deeply suspicious of the value of prayer. Just ask anyone beyond the church. Ask if prayer helps, and you are likely to hear that prayer doesn’t do anything. When we are frustrated, or tired, or suffering, the temptation is strong for us to lose our trust in prayer. And it is in exactly those times that we most need to keep praying. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen,” says the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews. What is more, faithful folks who have actually done worthwhile things are happy to say how prayer was an essential part of their work. Think of the abolition movement, or women’s suffrage, or the civil rights movement. The first church I served out of seminary in southwestern Wisconsin hosted the meetings for the local suffragists in the church basement, beginning in the 1880s. Prayer does nothing? What if Christian monks are right when they say that their prayer holds together the world? Join us on Sunday as we listen to the wisdom offered in the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.

Many thanks, David