Nearly 260 United Methodists around Indiana gathered for a prayer gathering led by Bishop Trimble on Sunday, June 7. The gathering was in response to recent protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd and the Coronavirus pandemic reaching nearly two million cases worldwide.
“Friends, we’re facing two pandemics, and we’re living in them right now,” said Bishop Trimble. “One we’ve been in for over 90 days — the Coronavirus. The other has been exposed to us the last few weeks with the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.”
The bishop shared that times like these call for “praying without ceasing.” He invited Indiana United Methodists to enter a dedicated season of prayer between now and December 31, 2020.
He stated, “I have often said that the first and most important work of the Church is to pray. In fact, our most important business as people of God is to be people of prayer.”
In the ‘chat’ section of ZOOM, attendees were invited to share their concerns, pains, and prayer requests. Then, 24 prayer ‘panelists’, hand-picked by Bishop Trimble, selected requests they felt called to lift in prayer.
Some requests pled for God to open our eyes and hearts. “Shake us out of our complacency and allow us to see our complicity, oh God,” prayed Rev. Annettra Jones, Associate Pastor at St. Andrew UMC in West Lafayette.
Other requests were for leadership across the nation. Barbara Holcomb prayed, “We lift up to you, Lord, those in leadership roles. Not only in our church but in our government. It’s really tough to be a leader these days, Lord. So we pray that you will give them discernment.”
What was meant to address racial injustice and the ongoing pandemic became a collective cry for the pain of all those suffering around the world, churches re-opening their buildings for worship, the graduating class of 2020, and church leaders.
Bishop Trimble encouraged the gathered group of laity and clergy, “No prayer, no power. Little prayer, little power. Much prayer, much power.”