Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prayer Bears

This online prayer ministry (featuring the LGBT Prayer Blog) was one of the first outreach projects I have done since I became a part of the LGBT community. There has been something in my heart for quite a while that it looks like I may be able to start. It began back in 2006 when I was working at a little Metropolitan Community Church in the Midwest part of the United States. They had a ministry called "prayer bears", it was their version of prayer cloths which is a New Testament tradition used in many churches today. Instead of a piece of fabric that has been prayed over, the church would buy several teddy bear Beanie Babies and give them to people that have prayer needs. A congregant would get one for a loved one or church member who was in the hospital or one who was suffering with AIDS, and it brought comfort and a point of contact in their faith and their recovery.

(photo is all the bags and boxes of bears that sort-of filled half of my living room)

I always thought of the "Bear" community (a sub-group of gay culture) when I thought of prayer bears and how neat that would be to have gay bears be prayer bears. We could make ourselves available at bear events or other LGBT type gatherings and pray for people. Then I came across a marvelous opportunity. I have a friend that I have known nearly three years who lives just in the next state who had a vast collection of teddy bears. She mentioned for months that she wanted to get rid of them and I bugged her for a few years that I could be the one to have them. Then in January 2012, I inherited over twenty large kitchen bags and boxes of plush toys and other bear items. Most of them are in new condition and can be great gifts. So now I am ready to have a Prayer Bear ministry and have a handful of folks that are supportive of me. All I need is some faithful saints gifted in prayer to weekly pray for those we reach and a person or two to go out with me to events. I also hope to get favor with the local bear community and that they don't think we are some kind of cult, or that we may have some hidden anti-gay agenda. I know some of the guys in charge but still not sure how we will be received because there is so much anti-church attitudes in our community.

I should add more updates on how this project goes, and always, I appreciate your prayers and encouragement.

Big gay bear hugz!


1 comment:

Pastor Chris said...

Love it! Looking forward to seeing what kind of impact we can have with these bears!!!