Take Heart!

November 1, 2022 by Kimberly Orr
Rev. Kimberly C. Orr, Publisher of The Upper Room

I find courage and reassurance is Jesus’ words to his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

Indeed, each year presents itself with crises that stretch our faith. The Upper Room remains committed to helping people—both near and far—navigate through challenging times, reminding them of God’s love and grace amidst the trauma, fear, and chaos. When our neighbors cannot hold on any longer, we stand in the gap, holding them close in prayer and undergirding them with spiritual support. Our donors who give to the Crisis Impact Fund make it possible for us to provide this level of care. 

When Russia invaded Ukraine, we worked with our publishing partners in Poland and Hungry to translate and make available our prayer booklets Prayers for Hope and Finding Our Way. These resources (available in print and online) were given to Ukrainians who fled their homes and sent to those who stayed behind. We also printed extra copies of the Polish and Hungarian editions of The Upper Room devotional to serve relief workers helping the refugees. 

Not long after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, we sent a staff member to the hurting community. Copies of El Aposento Alto, the Spanish edition of The Upper Room, were given to the United Methodist pastor to use with families affected by that senseless tragedy. Follow-up opportunities continue to be explored. 

The Upper Room is committed to a vision of God’s shalom for all people. With that in mind, we see a need to foster safe spaces for people to grapple deeply with the roots of systemic racism. Rev. Dr. W. Benjamin Boswell has helped us create such a space, the Confronting Whiteness Online Experience. This online course, funded by donors, offers video sessions and a trained facilitator to help participants share honestly while learning a new posture for addressing racial injustice. 

Our commitment to spiritual well-being never wanes. Last month, we began partnering with Rev. Dr. Ron Bell, Jr. to explore and create a trauma recovery and resilience program to help church and spiritual leaders worn down by these difficult days. 

All the initiatives named here are possible because of generous donors like you who give to The Upper Room Crisis Impact Fund. This fund allows us to respond faithfully and quickly to the crisis at hand, serving as a healing balm for people during their time of need. Can we count on your prayers and gifts to support this meaningful work?

When crisis strikes, it can be hard to hold on to faith. But with your support, we can help people take heart, reminding them that Christ has already overcome the troubles of this world. Thanks be to God!

Rev. Kimberly C. Orr serves as the publisher of The Upper Room.

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