Greetings from South Sudan

A letter from Larry Duffee, a St. George’s parishioner living in Juba, South Sudan:

utovehicle
One of last year’s UTO grants helped fund this new vehicle for the Hope and Resurrection School in Atiaba, South Sudan. 

Greetings from South Sudan! I just wanted to take a moment, as I usually do every year, to encourage my fellow parishioners at St. Georges to contribute to the upcoming UTO Ingathering on November 15th. I know from personal experience how vital and important these funds are for churches around the world. I was fortunate to personally administer two UTO grants that were given to the Episcopal Church of Sudan a few years ago. One project built a perimeter wall around the Provincial headquarters providing sorely needed security as well as—by incorporating small retail shops into the design of part of the wall—income to support the ECS. A second project, very dear to my heart because I personally applied for the grant and was able to implement it, was to purchase for the Provincial Mother’s Union office a good, sturdy vehicle to allow these tireless, wonderful women to do their work—the first time they had ever had their own transport.

I can assure St. Georgians that UTO applications are well vetted and proper financial reports required for all UTO grants. I know, having made other applications on behalf of the ECS for UTO funds that were not accepted, that the selection process is rigorous. Donors can rest well assured that their funds are used appropriately.

When prayer comes around

By Russ Carter, leader of Stephen Ministry at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, Va.

lightstock_131372_medium_helen_Recently, our family received some grave health news; we rushed home from vacation for a doctor’s appointment to discover that the dreaded C word had entered our lives.

Being an active Stephen Minister and a Healing Prayer minister at St. George’s, I fully understand the power of prayer. After informing our biological family, we turned to our spiritual family; we also turned to God. When we brought our fears and concerns to St. George’s, we were greeted with prayers and embraces, with members of our community surrounding us with love. When we told the members of the Table, Linda’s crew, along with Carey, circled her praying for God’s comfort. Reverend Bob Miller brought God’s Love to Linda with a ceremony of the laying on of hands.

Many different pastoral care groups brought their love and God’s Love to us. Linda recently received a blessed prayer shawl from the members of the Prayer Shawl commission. Each time she wraps herself in the shawl, she feels the love and comfort of the women who bring the comforting gift of God’s Love through their talents.

Over the course of two weeks, we were prayed over and comforted by the blessings of God. We were not allowed to dwell in doubt or uncertainty. The blessings and comfort came from the never-ending love and care of our spiritual family; our friends at St. George’s brought us God’s Love. The night before the surgery, the Table crew came to our home with more of God’s Love. We were both surrounded by God’s comfort, as Carey led us all in prayer.

Between the love of Joe, Carey, and our daughter, Megan, we received great comfort (and company) the day of the surgery. Prayers for comfort transformed into prayers of thanksgiving. Prayer is the centerfold of our existence. The Love of God and the love of our family at St. George’s are things of beauty.

Through this entire ordeal, with doubts and fears creeping into our lives, Linda always had the strong faith that all would be well. She was correct; all turned out well.

As a prayer minister, I always feel the power of God, when praying for and with others; it is a very profound feeling of God’s Love between two of his children. As a recipient of this prayer, and a very strong faith in God, we are blessed by powerful nurturing forces that I pray that others will find through the love of our prayerful family of St. George’s.