Macomb County parish starts, sustains prayer ministry through Changing Lives Together

Parishioners at SS. John and Paul use the newly-created prayer niche to request prayer intentions, to pray for those making the requests, and to note prayers answered, which are periodically summarized in the parish bulletin.

Parishioners at SS. John and Paul use the newly-created prayer niche to request prayer intentions, to pray for those making the requests, and to note prayers answered, which are periodically summarized in the parish bulletin.

Bill Blaul
Special to The Michigan Catholic

Washington Township — As the Changing Lives Together initiative at SS. John and Paul Parish brings the Washington Township parish closer to building a new parish center, the campaign has also been the catalyst for starting a parish prayer ministry now involving hundreds of the faithful.

Establishing the parish prayer team at SS. John & Paul started during the six-month Changing Lives Together campaign, which then became a permanent parish ministry. The parish created a prayer niche where intentions can be requested and examples of prayers being answered are preserved.

Establishing the parish prayer team at SS. John & Paul started during the six-month Changing Lives Together campaign, which then became a permanent parish ministry. The parish created a prayer niche where intentions can be requested and examples of prayers being answered are preserved.

“Before we began the campaign in 2012, we updated the parish census and announced the start of a prayer ministry,” recalled Fr. David Buersmeyer, now in his 12th year as pastor of SS. John and Paul. “We invited parishioners to request prayers for any intention, which we then provided to our newly formed prayer team. While the fundraising phase of Changing Lives Together was under way, the prayer team divided the requested intentions and ensured all were being prayed for.”

The SS. John and Paul prayer team met again after the campaign, decided to continue their ministry, and worked with parish leaders to construct a prayer niche in the church vestibule.

“Parishioners write down their prayer requests in the intentions book, which the prayer team transcribes onto cards,” explained Fr. Buersmeyer. “In doing so, each prayer request has several people praying for that specific intention.”

Founded in 1980, SS. John and Paul Parish is in the midst of its three-year Changing Lives Together campaign. More than 450 parish households have pledged more than $1.4 million to build a permanent parish center. Pledges have nearly tripled archdiocesan expectations for the parish campaign, and the parish is nearing its goal of $1.67 million. Many of the pledges have been paid in full.

“We’re now interviewing architects to design the parish center,” said Fr. Buersmeyer. “When the other pledges are fulfilled – and with a few new pledges along the way – we hope to start construction next year or in 2015,” he concluded. Fr. Buersmeyer also serves as vicar of the North Macomb Vicariate and is a member of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, the primary consultative body to assist Archbishop Vigneron in his pastoral care and governance of the Detroit archdiocese.