A certain Father had a family of Sons, who were forever quarreling among themselves. No words he could say did the least good, so he cast about in his mind for some very striking example that should make them see that discord would lead them to misfortune.

One day when the quarreling had been much more violent than usual and each of the Sons was moping in a surly manner, he asked one of them to bring him a bundle of sticks. Then handing the bundle to each of his Sons in turn he told them to try to break it. But although each one tried his best, none was able to do so.

The Father then untied the bundle and gave the sticks to his Sons to break one by one. This they did very easily.

”My Sons,” said the Father, “do you not see how certain it is that if you agree with each other and help each other, it will be impossible for your enemies to injure you? But if you are divided among yourselves, you will be no stronger than a single stick in that bundle.”
— "The Bundle of Sticks", Aesop's Fables

I've been reading the above story to my boys some nights as I put them to bed, and I've been thinking of that simple yet powerful analogy of unity...

I want to tell you about the 'bundle of sticks' being built by God through Pray Chicago, and how you can support the ongoing work of city-wide prayer and partnership in Chicago. If you don't know much about it, then please visit the site, watch some videos and read some posts. Amazing stuff is happening...

ONE CHURCH

The Gospel of John, chapter 17, captures the prayer of Jesus for His Church, right before His final days, death, resurrection, and ascension. He prays that His people will be ONE, and states that this unity will stand as evidence that Jesus is truly the Messiah, sent from God in a display of HIs love to the world:

I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me.
— John 17:20-23 (MSG)

Pray Chicago is a small glimpse of the kind of oneness that Jesus prayed about. For the past three years, we have seen believers in Jesus, from all sorts of backgrounds, races, ethnicities, cultures, denominations and neighborhoods come together in prayer and work in partnership for shalom (peace, wholeness, wellbeing) in Chicago. We have worshipped together, prayed together, supported peacemaking initiatives across the city, taken communion on street corners - It is beautiful, and we want to see more!

I have been a part of the Pray Chicago team for a year and a half, and in that span I have volunteered my time in building the Pray Chicago website, establishing our email list, growing the social media followings and reach across the city, designing graphics and print materials, and participating in team meetings, prayer times and event planning. I've had the privilege of building friendships with pastors and leaders across Chicago, and have learned so much from the voice and perspective that each member of the team brings.

WHAT'S NEXT

There has been a sense that Pray Chicago is meant to do even more than rally the Church to pray. Prayer is powerful, essential, and will continue to be a priority. However, the team has felt to focus on three 'core values' for 2017: SUMMITS (united prayer each Winter - Next on Jan 15th), STREETS ('wearing' our prayers into our communities during the Spring and Summer months), and SANCTUARY (annual pastors & leaders retreat for oneness and listening to God together each Fall). Read more about these core values. I am personally excited and challenged by the direction that Pray Chicago is heading - we are trusting to "get the praying people doing, and the doing people praying" and further our practice of partnership and oneness. We will continue to rally the Church in Chicago to pray, we will challenge the Church to partner together in each region and community of Chicago, and we will invite leaders to seek collective wisdom from God for collaborative work in the future.

SUPPORT

Nate is an indispensable member of our Pray Chicago team! His passion for the needs of our city and for the Church to respond in united prayer and action is evident to all! He has a very key role on our team, overseeing communications- website, blogs, social media, print materials- and assisting with event planning and building relationships with local pastors/leaders. He is in many ways my right arm in this season of growth for Pray Chicago! Couldn’t do it with out him! Please consider being a consistent part of his support team as we seek to rally the Church to prayerfully engage all 77 neighborhoods of Chicago!
— Doc Fuder, Visionary Leader, Pray Chicago

So that I can invest regular time each week into the ongoing work of Pray Chicago, I am seeking to raise at least $800 per month for 2017 to work as the 'Pray Chicago Coordinator' - anything over that amount will free up even more time, or go towards the events, print materials, promotions, etc. I will work alongside the 'Visionary Leader', Dr. John Fuder in accountability with the Pray Chicago team - a group of individuals from a number of churches and organizations. This funding will enable me to carry out the following responsibilities:

  • COMMUNICATIONS

    • Website maintenance

    • Blog updates

    • Email communications

    • Social media management

    • Web graphic design

    • Print material design

  • ADMINISTRATION

    • Event planning

    • Team meetings

    • Team communications

  • RELATIONAL INVESTMENT

    • Building relationship and trust with leaders across the city

    • Supporting regional initiatives that are displaying unity and partnership

    • Liaising with City of Chicago Faith in Action initiatives

 

This will be part-time yet ongoing work, similar to what I am currently doing for other non-profits and businesses. I've been volunteering time to help with these responsibilities for a while now, but it has become unsustainable in our new season, and we want to see Pray Chicago continue and grow and respond to what God is birthing through it.

Would you consider giving a one-time or recurring amount to help me reach that goal, and to serve the vision of Pray Chicago in 2017?  *all giving is tax-deductible*

Want to give by check?

Make payable to "Resource Global". Memo "Nate Tubbs - PrayChicago". Mail to Pray Chicago, 2705 S Archer Ave. Chicago, IL 60608

Thanks.

I'd love to hear from you if you have thoughts or questions, and please follow my blog and the Pray Chicago blog/social pages to see updates in 2017.

- Nate (& Jamie)