Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.
Annandale United Methodist
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
To generously share God's love with everyone we meet

Pastor's Message

Prayers at the Western Wall The first time I went to Israel, my friend Howard asked if he could give me a prayer to take to the Western Wall, also known as the “Wailing Wall.” This wall is the only remaining part of the second temple, the one that was there at the time of Jesus. The wall is made of huge stones, cut to fit closely together. Over the years small crevices have developed between the stones, and millions of Jewish and Christian pilgrims have placed their written prayers in the crevices. As I reached out my hands to touch the wall, I was struck by how smooth the stones are. Reaching as high as I could reach, I discovered that higher up, they were rough. Clearly, the stones have been worn smooth by the hands of millions of praying pilgrims over the years. What a sacred place! I took Howard’s prayer, plus my own, and placed them in crevices in the wall. It was a deeply spiritual experience, to be in prayer at a wall that was standing at the time of Jesus. Now, 25 years later, I offer to bring your prayers to the wall. Duane and I will travel to Israel in January on a spiritual pilgrimage with Bishop Ough. One place we will visit is the Western Wall. If you would like me to take your prayer to the wall, please write it on a small piece of paper, fold it up even smaller, and give it to me. I will carry all your prayers to the wall and place them in the crevices. We leave on our pilgrimage on January 7. Please get your prayers to me by Sunday, January 4. Praise be to God, and blessings to you all! - Pastor Ruth Hograbe Let’s Get Ready! 2015 A to Z Lenten Devotional Booklet I write this on the 3rd day of Advent, 2014. Christians all around the world are preparing to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Even as we get ready for the birth, we know there lies ahead of us something so much greater than we could have ever imagined – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To get to the resurrection we Christians walk through a spiritual time known as Lent. So, here it is Advent and I’m already writing about Lent! That’s because I’m inviting you to contribute to the 2015 A (Annandale) to Z (Zion) Lenten Devotional booklet. We are two congregations, and we are drawn together as Christians who share our faith with one another and with those around us. This is one of many things we can do together as a parish. We all have a relationship with God and there are many times each day when we each experience God in our lives. I invite you to write a devotion for one or more days during Lent. Every one of us has something to bring to this. Pray about what you will write, and write about something that has spiritual meaning for you. If you are wondering how to begin, I invite you to consider these guidelines for submitting to the Upper Room: “Each day’s meditation includes a title, suggested Bible reading, quoted scripture verse, personal witness or reflection on scripture, prayer, a ‘thought for the day’ (a pithy, summarizing statement), and a ‘prayer focus’ (suggested subject for further prayer).” Please put your name and best way to contact you on your submission. In 2015, Lent begins on February 18 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on April 5 (Easter). To give us time to prepare the booklet, the deadline for your devotions is Wednesday January 28, 2015. Please send your devotion(s) by email to Shirley Pramann at , to Linda Williams at , or by mail to Annandale UMC, PO Box 329, Annandale MN 55302. Even as we light the candles on the Advent wreath each Sunday, and get ready for Christmas, we look ahead to Lent and Easter. That’s what our faith journey is about: being in the present moment and looking to the future. Advent blessings to each of you, and may you truly feel God’s presence with you on this spiritual journey. - Pastor Ruth Hograbe