Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Stronger, Healthier New Haven

Dear ECVers,

One of our dreams for ECV is that we will see God move to create a "Stronger, Healthier New Haven" and that we in ECV can be a part of making that happen.

To that end, and to kick-off our time of praying through ECV's dreams during this Lent Season, please pray for the following things:

1. For increased Unity in New Haven: Whether it's in Town-Gown relations, Class/Race/Ethnic divisions, Neighborhood divisions, or even in relations between churches, schools, government, or non-profits. This is a town full of "silos", so please pray that God will break through the "dividing walls of hostility" (to very loosely borrow from Ephesians 2:14).
1a. Also, pray for whatever role ECV as a church can play in bringing people together, making connections and sharing resources with the rest of the New Haven community.
1b. In addition, pray that ECV itself can reflect the unity and diversity of New Haven, that more people of different classes and races can feel that they can be a part of the ECV community; pray for the courage to take the risks to partner with God in this way.

2. For Peace and an End to Violence in New Haven: We just heard from the Your Place Teen Youth Center that there have been recent shootings in Newhallville where they are located. Unfortunately, youth (and gang) violence is a major concern throughout the city, not just in Newhallville. Please pray that the Kingdom of God will break through and end the bloodshed and pain on our streets.
2a. Also, pray for more safe and productive places where children and teens can gather rather than just on the streets. Your Place is one of a very few places where teens can have structured fun and feel safe. We need more youth centers, more after-school programs, and more youth employment opportunities. In light of our City's budget crisis, we will definitely need a miracle to see that happen!

3. For our Local Partners: Your Place Teen Center, New Haven Reads, Fair Haven Community Health Clinic, and Young Life (currently in Fair Haven) - That God will increase the good work that they are doing, will provide for their needs so they can continue to serve the city, and for more opportunities for us to develop deeper partnerships with these organizations (and possibly others as well).

There are many other things that we can pray for New Haven (I haven't even touched the subjects of healthcare, or economic development, or education), but I'm sure God will lead you to pray for whatever needs there are in this City. Also, please let me know if you get any words, pictures, impressions that might help us as a church to move forward in helping to build a "Stronger, Healthier New Haven."

Happy Praying!

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