From the pew to the street to the sidewalk ministry site, prayer is everywhere in Classis Niagara.
“Our classis has been working on developing its vision and mission. We can make big plans for our future and set goals, but without prayer, our plans amount to nothing,” said Eleanor Boersma, a commissioned pastor at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Boersma helped plan a September service of blessing for the ministries, people, and churches of the classis.
The service was a response to an invitation from Trinity CRC, also in St. Catharines, which hosted three prayer summits over the past year, Boersma said. Christopher deWinter, pastor at Trinity CRC, said this action of inviting other congregations to join in prayer is a recognition that “we can only stand together when we start on our knees together.”
DeWinter has a particular heart for prayer. He is on the ecumenical committee that organizes and leads the city’s annual Leaders Prayer Breakfast and has challenged his congregation to connect its services of prayer with service prayer. About three times a year, a group of 40 or 50 people head out on neighborhood prayer walks. “We travel in groups of three or four and pray for what we see, what we hear God prompting us, and with people if the occasion arises,” deWinter said.
Elsewhere in the classis, prayer walks are part of The Village Church’s monthly community service day in Thorold. This summer the group supported a CRC church plant in Niagara Falls with two Sunday evening prayer walks in that city.
Back at Covenant CRC, a weekly prayer meeting held at the church’s nearby ministry site, Lockside Cove, found itself in need of a hospitality coordinator as sidewalk traffic wandered into the former café. Prayer meeting regular Henny Broekema said they welcome those who pass by and offer to pray for them along with a cup of coffee.