Tom Forney, President and CEO
Holly Forney, Community Relations Director
2020: Our community gathered virtually on Tuesday, September 15th for an unusual, but wonderful 6th annual Prayer Breakfast. Jake Speck, Executive Director, A.D. Players, gave an inspirational address about the amazing power of the arts.
“The arts have the power to move people in a way that nothing else can. Music, stories, paintings, dance, sculpture, these things evoke responses from the human spirit that other mediums simply do not. And it is in times of great stress and uncertainty that the arts are needed the most. Where did everyone run to at the beginning of the pandemic? They ran to artists! Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, virtual museum tours, living room concerts! Art brings us comfort in times of trouble, it challenges us in times of struggle, it lifts our spirits in times of sorrow and it educates us in times of confusion. Remove the arts and artists from a community and you remove the very soul of that community. God hardwired human beings to learn, to grow, to empathize with others through experiencing the arts. I believe that. Why do you think Jesus uses stories so much throughout the Bible? Because he knew how good of a tool the arts were to teach us things. Will any of the students that come through the Newspring program go on to be a professional artist? Maybe. But that’s not really the point. Will the education they receive and the artistic and emotional vocabulary they develop here help them to become a more empathetic, creative, expressive and purpose driven member of their community? Without question.”
Following Jake’s powerful message, prayers of hope for our Spring Branch community and beyond were lifted up by Community leaders for our schools, healthcare workers, service agencies, churches, businesses and all the people of our area. At the end of the prayer offerings, many people added their prayers to the “chat” feature on the Zoom meeting. Together, they form a wonderful tapestry of heartfelt prayers.
- I love you, Father Dan! Thank you for always being so inclusive in your prayers! Thank you for always lifting up our community. Good morning!
- I pray God’s love and Holy Spirit will cover our world
- I pray for the school IT staff who are helping those kids and teachers who are using Zoom for classes.
- Thank you Dr. Blaine for leading our community with strength, grace, and integrity.
- Prayers for those affected by Sally and still recovering from Laura
- Lord, please protect the teachers, staff, students and families of St. Jerome Catholic School and protect them against this terrible pandemic.
- Prayers for our school administration to make wise and compassionate decisions for our families in Spring Branch
- Dear God, I pray for our community to come together and support one another on behalf of our students academic, mental, social and emotional well-being.
- Lord I give thanks for the resources to keep struggling businesses alive during this difficult time.
- Prayers for the youth and students who are frightened and distressed. May we comfort them and support them.
- Thank you Lord for everyone who has joined in prayer this morning.
- Lord, help us to be a light in the community and a beacon of hope to those who are struggling during this time. May each teacher be girded with strength, patience, wisdom, and ingenuity to instruct in new and innovative ways.
- For those who win their elections in November that they may be successful in unifying our country
- Heavenly Father…today…business owners, executives, managers, and workers throughout the Houston community face unprecedented challenges.We pray that you will provide them with the wisdom and grit they need to be successful in their endeavors. Lord, we pray that through their initiative, innovation, and integrity they will serve as Christ’s hands and feet; that their efforts will lift up all in our community by providing them with the opportunity to experience the joy of producing valued services and products; and, that each dollar they earn will be multiplied and shared so that families in our community can thrive without financial worry.Lord, we pray that through your grace, our business leaders and workers will recognize your hand at work in their lives and give you their love and their thanks for all of the gifts that you have bestowed upon them. In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.
2019: The 5th annual prayer breakfast was a blessed event as more than 90 people gathered at St. Jerome Catholic Church, to break bread together and pray for our community. After a welcoming prayer and comments by Father Dan Scheel of St. Jerome, Robert Westheimer, Newspring founder, took guests on a narrative tour of Spring Branch describing the community and its needs. Prayers were then offered for the schools by Jennifer Parker, Community Superintendent S.B.I.S.D., followed by Josh Anderson, Houston Fire Department Captain, who prayed for the safety of the community and the Rev. Joseph Rios, Pastor of Generations Church who offered prayers for the churches and mission organizations of Spring Branch. Dr. Phil Johnson, Vice-Chair, UT Health Science Center prayed for the health and well-being of Spring Branch residents and Terry Sabom, Newspring board member, offered a prayer for the workers and businesses in Spring Branch. The morning was truly enriching and full of grace. It ended with guests taking a few moments to write their prayers for Spring Branch residents and businesses on table notes to be shared on the Newspring website. A final benediction was offered by Martha Moore, Teacher in Residence at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.