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Young clergy pray for church

The United Methodist Young Clergy Network is hosting a 40-day prayer campaign
for renewal, hope, and clarity of call. UMNS images courtesy of the
Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

A UMNS Report
May 28, 2009 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

The United Methodist Young Clergy Network is leading a 40-day prayer campaign for renewal, hope, and clarity of call for the church.

In the campaign, which began May 18 on the organization’s revamped Web site, young United Methodist leaders from more than 20 annual conferences are asking God to guide them through the darkness of their times and to give them a vision for ministry and mission that brings honor to Jesus Christ. The network also is seeking closer union with God so that the witness of United Methodism will be strengthened

“Together, we will pray for the birth of new faith communities, the calling and development of new leaders within the denomination, the reduction of global disease and our ministry with the poor,” said Jennifer Smith, a certified candidate for ministry in the Alaska and Pacific-Northwest Conference.

Participants in the young clergy community are encouraging all people to join them in prayer by visiting, clicking "Prayer," and subscribing to the RSS feed.

The young clergy network has
revamped its Web site.

The revamping of the Web site and the prayer campaign grew out of a meeting sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry that pulled together 10 young leaders from around the country. The network’s purpose is to support young clergy and candidates through online and physical community.

"It's powerful to see an image of what you feel called to. That's one reason we have images of young clergy in ministry on the home page,” Smith said. “Many young leaders have shared stories of burnout and isolation. We hope that talking in the forums and reading best practices will inspire young candidates and clergy to strengthen their voice at the local and conference level. And none of this happens without prayer."

The Rev. Meg Lassiat, the board’s director of Student Ministries, Vocation, and Enlistment, said the prayer campaign and Web site are “more than just a project.”

“Over the next 40 days, we invite anyone to join young adults in praying for the church, its renewal, and annual conferences happening around the connection. Through the connections made on Facebook and Twitter and other forums, we will build community in ways that weren’t previously possible. Young adults from around the country are building a community that will inspire and give hope for the church today and the exciting future that God calls us to,” Lassiat said.

The material is available through the Web site as well as for purchase through The prayer guide, “40 Days of Prayer for the United Methodist Church,” can be purchased in paperback or downloaded electronically. All profits will benefit NothingButNets, the United Methodist-supported effort to end mosquito-borne malaria in Africa with insecticide-treated nets.

The 40 Days of Prayer campaign is the result of the use of social networking media. Many of the leaders in this project have not met face to face, but have rallied around common ideas by interacting with one another through blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

The prayer campaign was organized to take place when a number of annual conferences will be held. “We pray that these gatherings will generate positive momentum for the denomination at the local level, and we are optimistic concerning God's work to bring about a new thing throughout the denomination,” Smith said.

The prayer book is available online.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or

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