You are invited to pray for Mountain States congregations and ministries during the 2017 Advent season.

December 3: Pray for Beloved Community Mennonite Church as they celebrate their first Christmas as a member of Mountain States Conference. Hold them in your thoughts as they grow into their calling to build community, nurture creativity and protect the homeless as an important part of their outreach and ministry. Bless them with increased growth and vitality.

December 4: Alive with Grace Fellowship continues to be a gathering point and refuge for seekers in the Pueblo community. Let them increasingly be known as a place of grace and peace, and may they have a sense of God’s guiding presence as they live into their future. Let them know they are loved and remembered by friends in MSMC.

December 5: East Holbrook Mennonite Church is a historically significant congregation in our conference. Hold the members of East Holbrook in your hearts as they continue their faithful witness and presence in the Arkansas Valley. Let them know they are appreciated and valued as they find creative ways, in these uncertain times, to shelter vulnerable folks who have become part of their community.

December 6: Defiance Church (formerly Glenwood Mennonite) has found innovative new ways of being a presence in this Western Slope community at the entrance to the Roaring Fork Valley. Pray for continued inspiration and hope as they reach out to their city by being present and available to folks seeking a more meaningful relationship with Jesus. Give them a growing sense of connection and kinship with the larger Anabaptist community.

December 7: Celebrate and remember the life and witness of Rocky Ford Mennonite Church which has just closed its doors after a 50+ -year ministry and presence in Rocky Ford. Lift up those members who have stayed through to the end of a journey of love, service and presence in the medical center, and beyond. May they feel surrounded and blessed by the larger conference community as the legacy of this congregation flows on.

December 8: Remember Sojourn Mennonite Church as they reach out from Ft. Collins to the Greeley community. Sojourn is in the process of becoming a two-campus congregation as they follow the calling of the Spirit to risk and connect with a new Anabaptist cluster in Greeley. Give them a sense of being surrounded and encouraged by sisters and brothers from Mountain States Conference.

December 9: Pray for Glennon Heights Mennonite Church as they get ready to say goodbye to pastor Betsy Headrick McCrae in the spring. Remember Glennon Heights in your prayers as they begin their transition, and as the search process for a new pastor engages the whole congregation. Pray for creative reflection and visioning as they look to the future. May they continue to be a presence of hope and vitality in their Lakewood neighborhood.

December 10: Carlsbad Mennonite Church continues to find ways to engage the surrounding community with creative ways of following Jesus’s call to live non-violently. Hold Carlsbad in your prayers as they take on the challenge of being witnesses for God’s kingdom in Southeast New Mexico. May they feel the connections and support of Mountain States Conference as they continue their journey.

December 11: Hold Peace Community Mennonite Church in your prayers as they seek to be a beacon of hope and light in Aurora. Give them a sense of purpose and peace about their future and bless the relationships they are nurturing in their neighborhood and beyond. Let them know they are loved and appreciated by friends and colleagues in Mountain States Conference.

December 12: Boulder Mennonite Church will begin a new chapter of pastoral leadership when Randy Spaulding joins them in January. May they have a sense of peace and a spirit of mutuality as their search process comes to an end and they begin to anticipate the confluence of new gifts and leadership that are on the horizon. Let BMC be a shining light of creativity and wonder as God calls them to be faithful witnesses in Boulder.

December 13: Beth-El Mennonite Church is settling in with new pastoral leadership. Remember Beth-El as they adjust to some new ways and rhythms of being church together. Pray for their continued vision to be a place of safety and hope for people seeking an alternative to the civil religion that pervades much of our region. May they be a loving demonstration of what God’s kingdom can look like in Colorado Springs.

December 14: Albuquerque Mennonite Church begins a new era as incoming pastor Erica Lea-Simka brings an understanding of the Gospel that calls for advocacy, justice and hope for the marginalized. Her vision matches well with AMC’s—which has been called an “island of sanity in a sea of chaos.” Pray that AMC will continue to live out Jesus’s call to be hospitable and welcoming within a community that desperately needs more islands of hope, justice and peace.

December 15: Hmong Mennonite Church continues to build bridges between traditional Hmong and western culture, while growing as a community of faith in a new context. They are vibrant, active and now seeking a permanent facility for worship, fellowship and offices. Pray for the Hmong community as they grow their building fund. Let them feel prayerful support from sisters and brothers in MSMC.

December 16: Remember the witness of Mountain Community Mennonite Church as they find new ways of being a presence in Palmer Lake/Monument. Continue to bless them as they open the doors of their building to the community to serve the elderly and others in need of nutrition. Help them as they creatively engage the issues of peacemaking in a community that is comprised of many military-related families.

December 17: Ft. Collins Mennonite Fellowship has developed a ministry of hospitality for the homeless—providing a landing place, meals and showers on weekends. FCMF is now opening their building on Sunday mornings, offering breakfast and a place to be dry and safe until other facilities in the neighborhood open their doors. Guests are invited—but not coerced to join the congregation for worship. Pray for FCMF as they live out this vision of true hospitality.

December 18: Keep Emmanuel Mennonite Church in your prayers as they seek a sense of constancy and presence in La Junta. Be with pastor Merv Birky as he helps this congregation, with deep roots in the Arkansas Valley, take steps that will lead to increased vitality and inspired witness in this community that has long known a Mennonite presence. May the folks at Emmanuel be strengthened and encouraged by the knowledge that they are deeply loved and appreciated by Mountain States Conference.

December 19: After a time of transition First Mennonite of Denver has called Glenn Balzer to be their lead pastor. Pray for Glenn and his new congregation as they embark on journey of exploration and visioning, becoming the church God is calling them to be in the middle of metro Denver. Pray for resilience, tenacity, hope and joy. Let them know how much they are appreciated and loved by their Mountain States brothers and sisters.

December 20: Anabaptist Fellowship of Alamosa has called Anita Amstutz to serve on a part-time basis. AFA is being challenged to become a larger presence in their community as they also continue to provide a spiritual home for the Mennonite Voluntary Service unit. Pray for a positive response to a growing Anabaptist witness in Alamosa. Let AFA feel the support and enthusiasm of friends and advocates from around the conference.

December 21: Iglesia El Centro is celebrating nearly seven years of meeting in Beth-El Mennonite’s building. Pray for the folks at El Centro as they seek to invite and engage local Latinos in building a vibrant faith community together. May they be uplifted by our prayers as they journey together.

December 22: Living Light of Peace is a small but vibrant Anabaptist presence in Arvada. Under the leadership of Jeni Hiett Umble they are experimenting with new ways of reaching out to their neighbors. Pray that the fruit of their efforts will yield new relationships and an energized community of Jesus followers in their corner of Denver.

December 23: We are thankful for Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp—one of the premier camping ministries within the Mennonite world. Remember the RMMC staff and their families as they continue to provide Christian formation experiences in a wilderness setting. May they know the warmth and support of their many friends as winter sets in and a new year of ministry lies ahead.

December 24: We lift up our new Conference Minister Team. After several years of transition, we are very thankful for the imagination, insight and thoughtful guidance of Barry Bartel, Charlene Epp and Merv Birky. Pray for each of them as they learn how to work together to support MSMC congregations, pastoral leaders and various conference ministries, as well as connect with the Leadership Board and the broader church.

December 25/Christmas: Remember our own Mountain States Mennonite Conference on this day of promise and hope. Pray for our community of congregations and ministries as we find our way into a new year. Pray that we will be open to the fresh movement of the Holy Spirit and that we will be caring and kind to each other in all of the challenges we will surely face, holding on to the goal of being faithful to the commandment to love above all other commandments.