At the start of every year, Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan publishes its annual list

of “Ten Banished Words for Misuse, Overuse, and Uselessness.” In their estimation, these are the words and phrases that have become insincere, useless, and cliché. And it might not surprise you that their most recent list was largely related to COVID-19.

Among the words and phrases were: “unprecedented,” “in these uncertain times,” “in an abundance of caution,” and “pivot.” And then there’s this one, which I probably heard more than any other one on the list:

“We’re all in this together.”

I’ll admit that I heard that phrase so often throughout 2020 that I felt a brain twitch every time, and I was unable to shake the annoying earworm of that song from “High School Musical” by the same name. So, I was pleased to see that phrase on the list, among others.

Except, here’s the problem: it’s true. Socially, emotionally – and most importantly, biblically – we really are in this together.

Read how Paul describes the ideal faith community to the church in Corinth:

“But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:24b-26, NRSV)

And Paul was clear with the Ephesians, that the way to be all in together was to pray for each other:

“Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay alert by hanging in there and praying for all believers.” (Ephesians 6:18, CEB)


It is in that spirit that I invite you to join me in a special 22-Day journey of prayer starting this Sunday. You can go to this link right now to receive a daily message that will contain the following:

  • a daily scripture;
  • a particular aspect of our church that you can pray for;
  • a brief sample prayer; and
  • a powerful testimony from someone in our congregation or community that has been impacted by our church.

These 22 testimonies are amazing and deeply moving. We’ll hear from a person who experienced God’s love in the midst of personal crisis and grief; we’ll hear from a youth whose life has been changed through service in this church; we’ll hear from spiritual seekers who have had their unbelief transformed into a commitment to Jesus, all because of what God is doing through Hyde Park United Methodist.

You will not want to miss reading a single story or miss the opportunity to pray for the work and witness of this church. It will take you just a few minutes each day to make this journey a part of your daily practice. But by the end, we will all be moved and amazed by what God is doing through our faithfulness and generosity.

This is a central part of our Generosity Campaign this year, titled “All in Together,” and culminates in Commitment Sunday, November 14. I hope you’ll join us.


The other way we can care for and love one another is to participate in a unique program we are offering for the first time. It is called Mental Health First Aid Training, known as the CPR of mental health. It is a national certification through the National Council for Behavioral Health and has proven effective in helping people recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors of mental illnesses and/or addictions.

I and most of the Program Staff have been certified in this program, and it is well worth your time. The workshop takes place via Zoom on November 6, from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. You can find more information and register here by Oct. 22.

It may be cliché to say it, but it is no less true. We really are “all in this together.” See you Sunday!

Grace and Peace,