A Message from Rev. Maya Landell (March 5, 2021)

Dear Friends,

Friday calls us to a time of prayer.

Islington United is steeped in prayer practices: daily meditation, sung prayer, opening and closing prayers at meetings, Lenten devotions, praying the scripture, grace at shared meals. Check out the International World Day of Prayer resources written by the women of Vanuatu, a Y-shaped tropical archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean with over 80 islands, 65 of which are inhabited.

Last week I pursued a personal silent prayer retreat for two days. Although I had chosen it, it was not an easy experience. I was called to learn to be alone with God and to trust that is enough, letting go of the self-imposed expectation to produce, lead or make something in return. This pause came at just the right time as we continue to journey through this Lenten season, with next week marking one year since our first pandemic lockdown.

I needed to hear God say, “I am the one who strengthens you.” These words will become a prayer of endurance. And we have practised endurance because we have prayed through it.

My colleague and friend Rev. Micol Cottrell joined us at Resonance on Sunday evening to talk about his experience of ministry and running (from couch to 50 km). I thought his words would be inspiring and thought provoking as we pray into the next leg of our journey as a church.

May this be your prayer this weekend as you read We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 29, “Your Secret Life” in preparation for Sunday’s service.

Hebrews 12:1-3: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.