Prayer Sessions

Faith in Healthcare


Biblical Meditation

Biblical Meditation: the process and steps for reading and reflecting on passages from Scripture in order to gain a deeper understanding of the Word. A selected passage will be used to understand and unfold the meaning.

Fr. Francis “Butch” Mazur is former pastor of St. Gerard’s Roman Catholic Church and a prominent advocate for inter-religious relations.

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Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.

Janet Thirlby, MS, is executive director of His Branches, Inc. HBI is dedicated as an organization to the promotion and delivery of ministry and service that bears witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ and provides tangible solutions to the pervasive issues of social injustice and physical spiritual and social poverty in the Greater Rochester community and beyond. Ms. Thirlby has been a strategic leadership consultant for 25 years, coaching leaders in strategy formulation, leading change, and personal and professional development.

Connecting With God Through The Senses

Our communication to God is many things like connection through our mouth and heart. We will go into the intuitive and tactile dimension so we can learn to pray that way. God says to be thankful for All things and I will show you how to find them.

Donna Potter, PhD is the Founder and President of In HIS Name Outreach. She is a Biblical Counselor whose walk has been tested by conflict—from personal to corporate issues, in both worldly and Christian venues. Fruitfully ministering to others since 1999, her strength lies in applying Christian values to life’s challenges. Her motto is “Conflict = Growth” and her ministry is a true catalyst for positive change.

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Ignatian Exercises

We will use a prayer strategy called the Examen to learn how to hear and sense God better in our lives. The Examen has been used by Catholics and Protestants for hundreds of years to guide their minds in prayer and understand how God is at work in themselves and in the world.

Fr. Bryan Wandel is an Anglican priest in Buffalo. He started Church of the Atonement on the West Side in December 2017. Fr. Bryan also runs The Nickel City Forum, a monthly drinks & discussion group that brings in experts to facilitate conversation on faith and mind issues among Christians and non-believers.

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Prayers for Healing, Inner Healing, and Miracles

Jesus was, and is, a “Healing Jesus”, and his disciples were the world’s experts on healing & miracles. Come and learn biblical prayer strategies for healing and wholeness.

Leeland A. Jones, MD is founder of CrossRoads Wholeness, a unique, wholistic approach to healing and wholeness. Dr. Leeland Jones is a physician, psychiatrist, and lifelong learner of the wholeness lifestyle. Dr. Jones has been involved in psychiatry and wholistic medicine for over thirty years. During Dr. Jones' twenty years of psychiatric practice in Western New York, he has served in a variety of leadership roles to support community health. These positions have included psychiatric directorship at Buffalo General Hospital, long-time elder at his Church, and two different residential practice centers for family medicine and mental health.

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Praying the Scriptures

Are you ever unsure about what you should pray? Do your prayers become dull or repetitive? Your confidence in your prayers can be strengthened when you pray God’s Words. Praying the Scriptures allows you to use the words and emotions of the Bible to gain more confidence in your prayers.  By praying the prayers of the Bible, we identify with the biblical authors and we are encouraged to allow God’s Spirit to shape us into the people God desires us to be.  This workshop will offer some good starting points for praying the scriptures, best practices, and an opportunity for practice!

Rev. Gregg Stierheim is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church serving at Williamsville UMC with his wife, Heather.  In addition to his ministry at WUMC, Gregg is also planting a New Faith Community (NFC) in the resurging downtown Buffalo area.  Wesley’s Place Faith Community is located in the vicinity of the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus and strives to be an intentionally diverse gathering that connects people with God and with each other.  The work of Wesley’s Place is to be in ministry with unknown people, in unfamiliar places.

Gregg has 20 years of experience working with young people and is a sought after speaker on youth/ young adult ministry, biblical leadership, and institutional change.  He teaches transformational leadership coursework for Wesley Seminary in Washington D.C. and is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Scripture Meditation: Lectio Divina

"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.

Matthew Mack, MD is a family physician in Rochester’s inner city where he is passionate about healing the community , bridging racial divides, redistributing wealth, and mentoring youth.  He lives in the city as well, with his wife Kelli, and baby daughter of 7 months, who is a joy during the day, but hates sleeping through the night… so forgive him if he appears a bit bedraggled at times.

The 10 Most Important Things I Have Learned About Prayer

There are a number of things I have learned about prayer that helped it to move from a chore to a life-giving enjoyable work in my life. God wants to cultivate a relationship with us and to be continually refreshed from our interaction with Him…prayer is the key.

Rev. Dr. Christopher Baldwin is the executive director of ReAwaken ministries which serves believers and churches in the areas of prayer, church planting, and church revitalization. He is the former lead pastor of The Vine in Lancaster, NY and pastor of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Hills Wesleyan. He is a Beeson Pastor Scholar from Asbury Theological Seminary. Christopher is also a certified executive coach through the On Purpose Firm and ministry coach through New Church Specialties.

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Using the Lord's Prayer to Deepen Love and Reduce Stress

You will have the opportunity to deepen your communication with the Lord by reflecting on His Prayer. Then, grow your love for Him and others while reducing your personal stress in an exercise that incorporates the  "Satisfaction Skills" (i.e., awareness, affirmations, assertive and acceptance.) This prayer experience will mix meditation, journalling and discussion to explore the possibilities, and prompt you to  develop a plan to open your heart to God's love.

Dr. Tom DeLoughry's interest in the relationship between the mind, body and spirit is reflected in his service as director of drug abuse and adolescent services in Child Psychiatry at Buffalo Children's Hospital; corporate director of wellness and disease managment at Independent Health; and director of the Center of Renewal, a Francisan Retreat Center at Stella Niagara. He has a masters in Rehabilition Counseling and a doctorate (Ed.D) in Community Health Education and Behavior.  He currently directs the Center for Health Management which created Caring Teams and other programs for the whole person, the whole family, the whole organizations and the whole community.

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Bob Tyrell is a Caring Teams volunteer and member of the Trinity United Church on Grand Island where he leads the Men's Group and is active in the youth group and other ministries.  He is an adjunct instructor of chemistry at Niagara Community College.

Praying For People You Don't Like

There is nothing that can ruin a person's prayer life like having bad relationships with the people around us. It can be an offense, a moment of anger, or an event from a longtime ago that has led to bitterness. The warning of Scripture is if we don't forgive, we are not forgiven. Let's discover together how to work through such things in order to find freedom for both us and the other relationship.

For thirty years, Rev. Paul Decker pastored four churches in the northeast, the final church being in Williamsville, NY. After serving Randall Baptist for 13 years as the Lead Pastor, Paul switched to college ministry at the University at Buffalo with Campus Ambassadors. His heartbeat is to invest in the next generation by making disciples of Jesus. His motto is "Be the person you needed when you were that age."