Remembering and Restoring Relationships – Celebration Fellowship Ministry Report – Fall 2018

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Fall is a beautiful season. And it has been a beautiful season at Celebration Fellowship. We marked the month of October with two special events.

We began the month with an evening focused on prayers for healing and wholeness. Because all of us are broken. And because we all need the Lord to make us whole.

So we gathered, and we prayed together for Jesus to heal our wounds. We listened to biblical stories of healing. There was Naaman, the too-proud man with leprosy, and the unnamed woman whose bleeding wouldn’t stop. There was the paralyzed man who had four faithful friends and Saul, the struck-blind future apostle.

After these Scriptures, teams of prayer leaders prayed for individual members. There were prayers for physical health, for spiritual growth, for restored relationships, and more. During the prayers, quiet singing accented a holy hush. By the end of the evening, we knew we had been in the presence of the Lord.

We ended October with another special evening In anticipation of All Saints, we held a service of remembrance. The focus was on grief.

Our inside members have little opportunity to grieve when a loved one dies. As a rule, they don’t get to go to funerals. And prison is not a safe place to let your tears flow.

So we held a special service that was a lot like a funeral. We remembered the Resurrection of our Lord. We listened to a message of hope. And we prayed for the Lord’s mercy. At Handlon, the Calvin choir sang “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “For All the Saints.” At Bellamy Creek, D. Hunt sang a song that was his own cry of sorrow.

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The climactic moment of the evening was when people rose up to say out loud the names of people they have loved and lost. A bell
was tolled for each person named. In prayer, we commended our dead into the merciful hands of the Lord. Then
we said Psalm 23 together. It was a lovely way to end our evening. And the whole evening was a special way to end the month of October, secure in the merciful goodness of God.

Submitted by Bob Arbogast