When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, he keeps it simple, offering fewer than 100 words to form the Lord's Prayer. Depite its brevity, the Lord's Prayer presents a profound framework for our relationship to God and a model for how we ought to pray and live. From the first word to the last, the prayer calls us to reorient ourselves and our lives back into God’s goodness and will.
This collection of essays explores each line of the Lord's Prayer and provides insight into how we, like the disciples, may be bold to say and live into these words of petition and praise.
Rachel Jones loves Jesus, her husband, breakfast foods, and most cats. From 2014 to 2020, Rachel worked at Forward Movement. She lives in Corinth, Ky.
Cohen Adkins is a member of the Chickahominy Tribe in Virginia. Cohen is a graduate student in Indian law at the University of Tulsa and serves as the secretary for Region XIV of the Diocese of Virginia of the Episcopal Church. She has been a member of the Indigenous Women’s Circle of Indigenous Ministries and worked as a research and communication consultant for the Office of Indigenous Ministries. She currently serves on the Native American Ministry Commission of the Diocese of Virginia and attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2015 as a delegate of the Episcopal Church.
Ryan Black is the head of Legal Operations for Opendoor. Ryan has focused his career on helping legal departments run smarter during periods of hyper-growth and on implementing right-sized technology solutions that automate routine processes and provide meaningful data about how teams are working. Outside of the office, Ryan enjoys running, reading, cooking, and playing with his cats. He worships with the good people at Saint Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco.
James Derkits lives, loves, and ministers in the Texas Gulf Coast. He and his wife Laura Jane are the proud parents of Eli. They worship and work alongside the people of Trinity by the Sea in Port Aransas, Texas. James loves playing guitar, surfing, and making things. You can hear more of his work by checking out his two most recent albums, Love One Another (2020) and Buffalo Roam (2016). He has also written for Forward Day by Day.
Elizabeth DeRuff is an agricultural chaplain with the Episcopal Church, businesswoman, and farmer who makes her home in Marin County, California. She is a pioneer in exploring the intersection of food, land, and faith. In this capacity, she conducts research, writes, teaches, preaches, and consults with congregations around the country. Currently, Elizabeth grows and sources two varieties of heirloom wheat, which are stone-milled and available for sale from Honoré Farm and Mill.
Miriam McKenney is a beloved child of God residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wife to David and mother to Nia, Kaia, and Jayia, Miriam relishes time with her family and loves being outdoors. The director of development and community engagement at Forward Movement, she is an active member of the Union of Black Episcopalians, Episcopal Communicators, the Way of Love, Becoming Beloved Community, and the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese of Southern Ohio. She also enjoys the company of her cats, Spencer and Winston. You can read more from Miriam in Are We There Yet? and Waiting and Watching: Advent Word Reflections, both by Forward Movement. She has also written for Forward Day by Day.
Catherine Meeks is the executive director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. Prior to the center's opening she chaired its precursor, Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. A teacher and workshop leader, Catherine brings four decades of experience to the work of transforming the dismantling racism work in Atlanta. The core of her work has been with people who have been marginalized because of economic status, race, gender, or physical ability as they pursue liberation, justice, and access to resources that can help lead them to health, wellness, and a more abundant life. This work grows out of her understanding of her call to the vocation of teacher as well as her realization that all of humanity is one family which God desires to unite.
Sandra Montes is an active preacher, teacher, and vocalist across the Episcopal Church. Currently serving as dean of chapel at Union Theological Seminary, Sandra is passionate about leading worship that is honest, thoughtful, joyful, and liberating. You can read more from Sandra in Abiding with God: Day by Day from Forward Movement. She has also written for Forward Day by Day. Her latest title, Becoming Real, is available from Church Publishing Group.
Sam Portaro is a retired priest of the Episcopal Church. He served as vicar of the Church of the Epiphany in Newton, North Carolina, Episcopal chaplain to the College of William & Mary, and associate rector of Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, from 1976 until 1982, and Episcopal chaplain and director of Brent House at The University of Chicago, 1982-2004. From 2005 to 2017, he served on conference faculty and wrote for CREDO, the education and wellness division of the Church Pension Group. Author of eight books and numerous essays and articles, he conducts quiet days and retreats, and has served as a consultant, educator, and preacher. He lives in Chicago with his spouse, Christopher Dionesotes, with whom he enjoys cooking, music, theater, movies, reading, and the endless cultural and culinary bounty of our beautiful city.