CEDAR KEY – One of John Wesley’s most famous sayings is that the world is our parish. Members at Cedar Key United Methodist Church have taken that to heart with a ministry that spreads prayer and hope on angels’ wings.
Operating from the thought that it was important to let people know they were being prayed for, the congregation chose to send that message of hope and comfort along with a prayer angel that serves as reminder of God’s promise.
Since March 2007, when the project was launched, the church has sent more than 4,600 angels around the world to those on the receiving end of the prayers. There is no charge for the angel, and there are always are enough thanks to the generosity and good will of those involved in the program.
The first angels were small enough to fit in a flower pot. When it was boxed for sending, the church included an appropriate prayer card.
There are cards for healing, blessings, travel, marriage, births, faith, and so on. Included on each card is a quote from Psalm 91:11: "For He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways."
In September 2010, the son of a church member was being deployed in the military. His mother wanted something for him to carry with him to remind him that the church was praying for his safe return, and she came up with the idea of soft angels—small enough to fit in a pocket.
The angels are cut and sewn from the uniforms of military personnel who have been deployed and returned safely. That led to an outpouring of donated uniforms from the community, as well as the church, of soldiers who returned safely from duty.
That has enabled church members to make angels from every branch of the armed services. On the inside of the wings is a verse from Luke 4:10: "He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you carefully.”
One young man, after receiving an angel, asked if he could have one for each member of his unit. Another requested prayer angels be sent to his chaplain to be given out as needed.
The Women`s Club of Cedar Key sends care packages to service men and women at Christmas and Easter and they sometimes include Cedar Key UMC military angels in the boxes.
In April 2013, the church learned of a seven-year-old boy who was having surgery. Members felt he would like to have an angel he could hold, like the military angels. The verse on the inside of the wings is Mark 10:14; "Let the little children come to me."
What started as a small idea has now expanded to churches in Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan, and the seeds planted with those prayers can grow around the world—fitting, considering Wesley’s charge.