Live 7 Years Longer…

By Marion Hanold

Most of us who saw this headline might expect this post to be about life-enhancing supplements or the health benefits of meditation or some exercise regimen… However, this eye-catching claim was found as the title of a recent Rabbi Evan Moffic blog post which quoted a study that said people who pray regularly live 7 years longer. Think about that!

He goes on to say, “prayer works best when we do it both by ourselves and within a community. It works best when it bonds us with one another.  We live our prayer[:] gathering at a church or synagogue…getting together for meals… volunteering with our friends and family…”

Since our 125th anniversary year dawned back in November, Kenilworth Union Church has stepped up its efforts to gather together and pray. Each week, 20 families from our congregation are reached out to and prayed for by congregants and ministers. To date we’ve prayed over 360 individuals and families (and we’re just to the H’s!) It’s clear from your responses that this prayer outlet has been gratefully received. We’ve heard a beautiful mix of tender concerns for family illnesses and safety, national unity, and healing across tense divides. Praise has been raised for church, family, and new pets. Some have noted marriage milestones while others have noted milestones of loss. All are welcome to participate—by responding to the letter or stopping by Kenilworth Union’s Schmitt Chapel any Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. The service is brief—just 15 minutes or so—strictly come as you are—and it feeds the soul—as praying together always does.

On Sunday mornings after the 9 or 10:30 a.m. worship, hopefully, you’ve heard about and seen that Stephen Ministers are available to pray with you as you depart the sanctuary. Whether you want to share a thanksgiving or to lift up some concerns, you’ll find a Stephen Minister near the newly commissioned Prayer Hall that connects the church lobby to the Schmitt Chapel.

And this Sunday, March 5, we will once more celebrate all the fellowship groups that are prayerfully involved in Kenilworth Union Church’s Congregational Care practices. Groups like the Knitting Ministry that create beautiful prayer blankets for those hurting or recovering…like the Care Guild who cook and deliver meals to individuals and families who may be going through a difficult time…like Stephen Ministry whose ministers walk one-on-one with men or women who need extra spiritual support as they move through a challenging chapter in life.

Whether in thanksgiving, anguish, delight, concern or confusion, prayer is thriving at Kenilworth Union Church. Thanks be to God.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the
breaking of bread and to prayer.”          
—Acts 2:42