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The Rev. Dave Serven

COURTESY TOM BARTLEY

The Rev. Dave Serven

Praying for their community

 

The Rev. Dave Serven believes that prayer brings people together regardless of who they are, what they look like and even if they are not churchgoers.

So, Serven and his church members offered prayer to their community. In March, volunteers cemented tall, white crosses into the ground in front of the Winchester Community and San Jacinto United Methodist churches that Serven serves in California. In front of each is a black mailbox that reads: "Prayer Requests." The mailboxes hold paper and pens to make "sending" the requests easy.

More than 40 people have placed prayer requests in the mailboxes since March. "We get a plethora of requests," Serven said. "People ask us to pray for the health of their families, illnesses that loved ones or they have. We had a prayer request from a young girl whose parents were going through a divorce." Some people sought prayers to have a closer relationship with God.

Members of both congregations are enthusiastic about the outreach ministry. A team of prayer warriors gathers and prays as they receive requests. Serven said that the church has a responsibility to the community, that people need to feel it is safe to ask whenever they are in need of prayer, not just on Sunday.

The mailboxes are checked two to three times a week. When the prayer requests are directed to Serven, he will call those who leave their phone numbers and talk and pray for them. He also invites them to church. A few have attended worship.

The crosses and prayer request mailboxes are permanent fixtures outside both churches. People can seek prayers all year round.

"This is not about me, it's about the church being there for our community and providing hospitality," said Serven. "We are all a family and we are all God's children."

AT A GLANCE

San Jacinto United Methodist Church | 210 S. San Jacinto St., San Jacinto, CA 92583 | 951-654-2307 | sanjacintoumc@gmail.org | Average attendance: 56 |

Winchester Community United Methodist Church | 33005 Taylor St., Winchester, CA 92596 | 951-926-1779 | Average attendance: 58 | dlserven@yahoo.com | Rev. Dave Serven | California-Pacific Conference