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...
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:
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.
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.
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:
Social media management
Web graphic design
Print material design
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
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)