Living Through 2020: Covered by Prayers and Hats



Rev. Martha Orphe, a former Pittsburgh District Superintendent who returned to her native Louisiana to help lead churches through recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, wants to help us pray for the world.

Her newly released book Living through 2020: Covered by Prayers and Hats, published by AuthorHouse,  offers a collection of prayers, poems and nearly 100 photos with a message of gratitude that inspired, encouraged and connected those who contributed them to God and their neighbors. At the end of each chapter, Orphe invites readers to review and reflect on their own experiences of the unprecedented year 2020. Their reflections can remain as entries in their own personal prayer journal or can serve as discussion topics in a group setting.

Rev. Orphe will return to Western PA for a book signing at First UMC of Pittsburgh, 5401 Centre Ave., 15232 in the Shadyside section of the city, on Saturday, July 24, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. 

Included in the book are general prayers for all days and some that relate directly to the challenging events humanity endured during the year with the global COVID-19 pandemic and the racial divide and social unrest in the United States.

“I’m not surprised that Dr. Orphe turned the circumstances surrounding a pandemic into something that helps others. It’s who she is," said Rev. Aaron DeGruy, Sr., pastor of Boynton United Methodist Church, Gretna, Louisiana. "Rev. Martha is a nurturer, warrior and confidante.” 
An excerpt from the book reads:

When we reflect on this historical time, will it be seen as a time when people turned toward God, or away from God wondering how God could allow a biological virus to infect our physical health and the spiritual virus of racism and injustice to affect our social order?  My faith moves me to trust God.  How about you?

 “Orphe says the book "is filled with emotions, happy, sad, anger, gratitude, etc. that readers can relate to. I hope that this quilt of inspirational and encouraging prayers, poems, and pictures reminds us that living through 2020, we were indeed covered by prayer and we continue to need prayer in 2021 and beyond.” 

Rev. Dr. Martha Orphe was born in St. Martinville, Louisiana, and was nurtured in the local Mallalieu United Methodist Church. Faith in God; a praying, supportive family and church; and determination helped her to overcome a debilitating speech impediment. She now helps others to overcome challenges.

A graduate of Clark College in Atlanta, she earned a master of divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, and a doctorate of ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has traveled the world and one day wants to visit her two remaining continents on her list, South America and Antarctica.
An ordained United Methodist elder, she is a confident community leader, advocate and preacher. She served three churches before becoming the executive director of the Ward Home for Children in Pittsburgh. In 1999, she was named the Pittsburgh District Superintendent, but in 2006, she returned home to become the Mission Zone Director for the Louisiana Conference, where she was charged with leading 47 churches damaged by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and three churches damaged by Hurricane Rita in Lake Charles. Through her leadership and guidance, 38 churches were reopened, six were merged, and six were closed.

She pastored First Street Peck Wesley and Williams Ross UM churches in New Orleans until March 2017 when for health reasons, she could no longer serve in active UMC ministry. She is grateful that people pray for her, and she prays for and covers people with her prayers.
“Living through 2020: Covered by Prayers and Hats” by Rev. Martha Orphe is available in softcover or an e-book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.