Join us as we begin a mutual “prayer partnership” with Bethlehem Lutheran Church, a small church in New Orleans seeking revitalization. Rev. Kit Novotny's friend from seminary, Rev. Ben Groth, reached out to see if we'd like to become prayer partner congregations (sort of like pen pals!), committing to praying for them in worship for the next three years of their hopeful redevelopment, as they will pray for us. In December 2018, our Church Council supported moving forward with this invitation. If you'd like to learn more or claim one Sunday a month to pray out loud for Bethlehem Church during worship, please let Rev. Kit (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
More about Bethlehem Lutheran Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, in their own words:
"We are a historically black congregation that has been proclaiming God’s grace in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans since 1884. Our story has many ups and downs, but some particular highlights include a school that was a pillar of the neighborhood until 1957 when legal desegregation took place in New Orleans, a history of welcoming, housing, and equipping immigrants out of the house that we own, and a great deal of ministry to those suffering from HIV/AIDS during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s. As you might imagine, Katrina was a huge blow to our congregation, impacting each one of us and our whole community. While we often lament that so many of us were exiled from our home, we’re determined to set a foundation for Bethlehem to look forward to another 134 years of ministry.
After Katrina, many churches from around the country prayed for us, send aid to us, and came to New Orleans to help Bethlehem. As we work to redevelop and revive our congregation, we’re wondering if you would be willing to consider walking with us as we heal from our past traumas, establish a new vision for our congregation, and seek to demonstrably improve the lives of those who live in our neighborhood.
We believe all relationships should be grounded in prayer, and so we’d like to ask that you commit to pray for us each week in worship for the next three years of our redevelopment, just as we will commit to pray for you. Redevelopment is not easy nor guaranteed, but the Bible shows us that prayer and partnership go hand in hand with the successful proclamation of the Gospel.
Our hope is that there will be other opportunities for partnership as we get to know one another. As a church with showers and space located in the heart of the city, we’re well equipped to host groups who might want to visit New Orleans. As people who live in the city of jazz, we’re always open to creative and interesting ways to connect."