Gordon-Conwell Blog

Gordon-Conwell is a Praying Community: Prayer for Global Flood Victims

August 31, 2017

 

A Message from President Hollinger


Our hearts are heavy for coastal Texas and Louisiana as these states have been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. As a global community, we are also prayerfully remembering flood victims in other countries. Monsoon rains have devastated populations numbering in the millions in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sierra Leone.

Clearly these disasters call us to intercede for God’s people and those ministering in the midst of these desperate situations. They also compel us to action, for as our Lord said, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…, I needed clothes and you clothed me” (Mt. 25:35-36).

During this time, we particularly want to remember family, friends, churches and communities in the impacted regions. They are in our thoughts and prayers.

As a praying community, we also want to join together to pray more specifically. We have reached out to alumni including those who are victims of the current flooding along the coast in Texas and Louisiana. We are glad to hear news that many of our Gordon-Conwell student community as well as alumni around the world are safe. Many have family and friends affected directly and have mobilized to reach out to members of their congregations, communities, and ministries to bring aid to those in need. I am also glad the Gordon-Conwell community has donated supplies and support for the flood victims. Let me encourage you to join together for the prayer needs and requests below, which include an opportunity to give through the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Servant Match.

Would you join with us by interceding not only for those impacted, but all those whom they will touch by their work on behalf of the Church? Pray that God will begin to prepare global areas for an influx of support that will enable homes, churches, businesses and communities to be rebuilt and drawn to Christ through it.

Gordon-Conwell is a praying community and a global community. We trust in our God who provides and redeems – that needs would be met beyond what those who are suffering could ever ask or imagine.


 
Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D.
President &
Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics 

 

Ways to Pray: From the Gordon-Conwell Alumni Community

Read: Mike Distefano, MDiv. '17, shares about Hurricane Harvey's personal impact and why these are the seasons for which the Church was created.

     There is no way that I can describe the enormity of this catastrophic event. My family is safe...The deluge came late at night and lapped at our front door, receding to a manageable depth a few hours later. My wife and I prayed that God would be merciful. Most of the flooding in my community diminished by Monday morning and never swelled again. I teach at [a university] in Houston...students, colleagues, and friends have experienced a total loss of their homes and possessions. Additionally, I work with at-risk children near downtown...It will take weeks to understand fully the impact and long-term effects of this traumatic event.

                                                                                                            – Jason S. (MATH '01, MACH '02)

 
     Thank you for your prayers for the people of Nepal. Over 150 are dead and 90,000 homes are destroyed by the flood in the southern part of Nepal. We are trying to help in a little way with some relief materials. [We] appreciate your continue prayers.

                                                                                                            –Samuel T (MATH '05)
 

     Our church was unable to worship on Sunday, which was our 9th anniversary. Personally, my house and cars got flooded and my wife and I got evacuated with other first floor residence of our Condo. Now we are staying at the home of one of our elders. It's been five days. Still, my house is under water. Some of my church’s members were evacuated as well…I pray that God will be honored through this humbling experience.

                                                                                                            –Seungwoong O. (M.Div. ’02, ThM ’03)

      Pray that the rain stops and the flood waters recede. Pray for those trapped and for those trying to rescue them. Pray for coordination and cooperation among relief workers.
                                                                                                             –Glenn (M.Div. ’05) &

                                                                                                              Jennifer (MAOT ’04) H.

      I and my family are fine, but my assistant lost his home and vehicles in Houston over the weekend. He and his family were rescued from his home by boat…Please pray for one of our sons, a Houston Fire Department firefighter, who is fully engaged in rescue operations in Houston this week… As a Texas prison chaplain…my colleagues and I are all focused on the emergency—moving 1000s of inmates out of the flooded areas of Houston and South Texas.
                                                                                                              – Vance D. (MTS ’74)


      We have nine families from our community who have flooded and are living among neighborhoods covered in water. [Our church is] currently working with city officials to open a new relief center that will provide more space for those affected, as the convention center downtown is maxed out. We will also start with a construction team on Friday cleaning out houses affected by the flood. We are in need of prayers that Jesus' church would shine brightly in this season, as God graciously draws people to himself through these horrific circumstances.
                                                                                                             – Jeremiah M. (M.Div. ’11)


      Pray for the next steps.
                                                                                                             – Calvin P. (D. Min. ’99)

      [Pray] for supplies and volunteers for those sheltered all over the area. I am a chaplain and therapist with [a health clinic] that provides free medical care to homeless…Pray for safety for those who live on the street and have so few choices. And for those who had homes/apartments which are now lost and were living too close to the edge to regroup easily.
                                                                                                             – Mary B. (MTS ’77)


      Please pray that the rain from Hurricane Harvey stops soon…my family is dry and well…pray for God to powerfully minister through Bay Area Houston Habitat for Humanity. Please pray for us and similar organizations to have volunteers, financial provision, and healing grace to powerfully assist in the rebuilding.
                                                                                                            – Richard Z. (D.Min. ’00)


      I am just about to move back to the US…my parents evacuated to a nearby church yesterday while water was creeping up the driveway. They hear the water is going down in their neighborhood, but it may be a day or two before we know the extent of the damage.
                                                                                                            – Joshua H. (MAOT, MABL ’09)

      It hasn’t gotten too bad in New Orleans yet…I’ll probably be in Texas starting next week to help with disaster relief. [Our church newsletter asked,] “Until we are able to deploy teams, let's pray for the churches and communities of Houston and Southeast Texas as they begin the long process of recovery.”
                                                                                                            – Alex B. (MATH ’16)


      Thank you for your prayers. My family is dry and safe to date. I have heard that many of the churches in our state have had problems and we continue to need your prayers.  
                                                                                                            – Joe R. (MAR ’15)


      I recommend praying for the structural integrity of the dams which hold the lakes and reservoirs N and W of Houston. If they collapse, there will be another whole level of suffering. The authorities are already evacuating people who live below the dams.
                                                                                                            – Robert M. (M.Div. ’79)


      …Baton Rouge has been spared any flooding or loss of electrical power…However, many people here, who had awful flooding exactly one year ago, are experiencing PTSD.
                                                                                                           
Walter H. (M.Div. ’81)


I am doing well and got out yesterday for the first time in a week. But so thankful to be well and dry! So many have lost much...loved ones, homes and all their possessions. I have been praying for and feeling sad for these people. I've also been inspired by the self- sacrificing and caring of those many who have stepped up to help those in crisis!
                                                                                                            – Sylvia A. (MACC ’09)


My family and I are fine. We are high and dry and never lost power during the storm by many in our congregation were not as fortunate. We are working on turning our church…into a beacon of help (supplies, teams, prayer) as we speak.

                                                                                                            – Broun S. (M.Div. ’14)

 

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Racism & Hatred: Dr. Emmett G. Price III, Ph.D, ISBCE Executive Director

August 15, 2017

The Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience (ISBCE) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary joins numerous Christian organizations and institutions in denouncing the hateful speech and domestic terrorism that lead to the loss of life in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. In addition to many physical injuries, many more across the country and globe have injured hearts and spirits. Hatred, in all of its forms, is evil. White supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies grounded in racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and bigotry is evil and a perversion of God’s creation of humanity as image bearers. The violent activities in Charlottesville should cause all of us to pause, reflect, pray, lament and commit to action. While some are visibly shaken, others are paralyzed and silently fearful of how to respond, if at all. We at the ISBCE believe that silence cannot be the response of leaders of the Church. In the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Over the coming weeks, a new website will feature the initiatives and projects of the Institute as we work diligently to expand our reach to each of our campuses. In addition to sharing the expansive influence and impact of the diasporic Black Christian Experience with the Global Church, we are poised to teach, train and lead the Church in accomplishing meaningful work in the areas of race relations and racial reconciliation. Over the coming months, the ISBCE will take a leading role in developing resources and leading conversations around the country to aid in the eradication of hatred in all of its forms. The Institute and the Seminary are both committed to making sure that every member of our community is safe and respected as we lead the Church and our nation towards the healing that Christ’s love makes possible.

Prayerfully,

Emmet G. Price III, Ph.D.
ISBCE Executive Director: Dean of Chapel; Professor of Worship, Church & Culture

 

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Racism & Hatred: President Hollinger, Gordon-Conwell Grieves with the Heart of God

August 15, 2017

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary grieves with the heart of God over the recent expressions of racism and hatred, most visibly demonstrated in Charlottesville, VA. Sadly the act of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville is symptomatic of an unleashing of hatred, and racial supremacy that is growing in our society.

Racism and movements of racial superiority are in direct opposition to the fabric of Christ’s Kingdom. Being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28), all human beings throughout the world have a dignity and value that must be protected by Church and society. Christ’s death on the cross brings reconciliation between fallen humans and their maker, but is also to result in reconciliation between people and groups who have been divided by walls of hostility and suspicion (Ephesians 2:14-19). God’s call to justice is a non-negotiable call for followers of Christ, and thus we renounce the injustice of racism in all its forms.

We pray for our brothers and sisters in Charlottesville, VA, including some of our alumni ministering there, that they will experience God’s shalom and be salt and light in the midst of the bitterness, violence and hatred. But we also pray for ourselves, that any sense of latent prejudice or racism in our own hearts will be rooted out by the power of Christ’s transforming love.

May God give us the courage and wisdom we need for desperate times like these.

Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D.
President &
Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics



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