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Praying for the shalom of our neighborhood

Here's what we are praying for these days for our neighborhood, and also how you can pray for the shalom of this neighborhood:

1. For racial unity. The community has changed from almost 100% African-American to 75% Hispanic in less than 20 years. Getting people to understand and work together is challenging, but there has been progress.

2. For the upcoming Unity Walk on April 26 as an expression of working together by churches, ethnic groups, new and old residents, generations, friends.

3. For the many young people who are growing up in single-parent families. Pray for dads to take responsibility for children and be good examples.

4. For the older African-American Churches (College Heights, Black's Memorial, Page Memorial and St. John Church of God in Christ) and the newer Hispanic/Anglo churches who minister here (Iglesia Ebenezer, Iglesia El Shaddai, Victory Christian, Austin Stone). Most of the neighborhood, though nominally catholic, is unchurched.

5. For affordable housing for seniors, young families and new immigrants. Rents, house prices and taxes continue to go up and stress poor families (along with gas prices). Pray for the affordable housing summit on April 12, as neighbors get together with experts to discuss what we can do to help people keep their homes.

6. For emergency shelters and transitional housing. There are around 100 children at Pickle Elementary School who are technically homeless (living combined with another family, in hotels, in shelters).

7. For the teachers, social workers, ministers, librarians, rec. center workers, after school workers, health professionals, etc. who work hard for children every day. That they not wear out and that they have wisdom in dealing with the many difficult situations they face with kids.

8. For marriage to become normal in our community, and that kids would have stable families with a mom and dad.

9. For a reduction in teen pregnancy (there are 10 pregnant girls at Webb Middle School and many more at Reagan).

10. For the police (especially Officer Jimmie Diaz and Officer Roman Lopez) as they build bridges with residents who are often suspicious and afraid of police. For a continued reduction in drugs and prostitution.

11. For the salvation of many, many families and for people to communicate and disciple in culturally appropriate ways.

12. For Ricardo Avila, a long time teacher at Webb Middle School and pastor in St. John. His wife, Sharon, is in the last stages of cancer. They are much beloved in the community.

Praise for:

All of the many volunteers who mentor kids and work in afterschool programs.

The improvement of schools in our community.

The continued reduction in crime and drugs in St. Johns.

The many people who are getting involved in supporting their own community.

image: st johns camp by: caryn werner

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