A few years ago, during a fourth-of-July sermon, a pastor asked the congregation we were visiting, “What would your slogan for America be?”

My daughter, being a dog enthusiast, leaned over and whispered to us, “Puppies for all!”

Water of Life in Forney, Texas is making that dream a reality. As an addition to their prayer shawl outreach, they started a “Prayer Puppy” ministry. Prayer puppies (like the one pictured in this article) are used to bless and comfort children and adults who are going through challenging times.

The Prayer Puppies are hand-made by a church member, blessed in a worship service, and distributed far and wide with a card attached to the ribbon dog collar that says, “Jesus Loves You.”

It’s an innovative and winsome way to engage with the community and share the love of Jesus. If you’d like more information, reach out to terri@wateroflifelc.org.

Water of Life is also partnering with Alcance Comunidad Cristiana Luterana, a Spanish-speaking faith community led by Pastor Oscar Gamez. Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab connected Water of Life with Pastor Gamez through Jaime Gonzalez in Rockwall. Jaime is helping to start a number of LCMS churches and apartment ministries in the area.

During our Sunday gathering, Water of Life and Alcance joined together in a potluck lunch between worship services. It was a joy to see the mutual warmth and joy of God’s people together. We were celebrating “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” Eph. 4:5, and one potluck! This was the Kingdom of God being lived out.

It’s what our beloved church has done well for over 170 years. We welcome one another. We befriend each other. We form new faith communities in new places for new people. We care about each other. We eat together, laugh together, and cry together. We place our hope in Christ alone together.

What a joy it is to experience the blessing of puppies and potlucks in the Texas District!

By Rev. Michael Newman