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Praying together for more than 10 years


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February 3, 2012
-Deborah Froese

Winnipeg, MAN. — For over 10 years, PrayerNet subscribers have been sharing in a ministry of prayer for Mennonite Church Canada. In 2001, Steve Plenert, who then served as Constituency Connections Coordinator, was inspired to start PrayerNet by his previous experience as a mission worker.

“When I would go to congregations while on North America assignment, I was always deeply moved when people told me that they were praying for me. It gave me the sense that my work was the work of God's people and not merely my own.”
Plenert wanted to create a space where people could find both information and inspiration to pray for the work of the church. PrayerNet began with a focus on international ministries. Soon, national and domestic ministries of Mennonite Church Canada were added to the list of prayer requests.

‘I aimed for a style in PrayerNet that was familiar, thought-provoking and fresh. I was looking for a way to pray that the Mennonite constituency would find accessible and meaningful - not clichéd or too pious.”

The original logo for the prayer letter, designed by Lynette Wiebe, consisted of a net with fish in and around it.

“The name was a source of particular satisfaction to me,” Plenert points out, “because it implied a network of people praying, a support net for those in ministry and a reference strong allusion to the internet where most of its distribution would happen.”

At PrayerNet’s inception, Plenert was supervised by Marilyn Houser-Hamm. The Executive Secretary of Witness was Jack Suderman. “They gave excellent support and feedback,” Plenert says. “Jack in particular was a model of empowerment, making me own my ideas and implement them in spite of feeling some uncertainty initially. This was a project that I still feel a special affinity for.”

Since then, the physical appearance of PrayerNet has evolved and subscriber numbers have risen from under 200 to more than 700 in 2011. Now, as 2012 begins, the total has risen to over 800 people who regularly pray for the wider church.

PrayerNet is delivered 10 times per year, electronically to most subscribers and via Canada Post for those who prefer to receive a printed copy.

If you are interested in subscribing to PrayerNet call Mennonite Church Canada at 1-866-888-6785 or fill out the online form at