New Time of Prayer resources added online each month

Kitty Galt in front of a prayer wall
Kitty Galt provided some contextual mission inspiration in a video recounting how Cornerstone Housing for Women began at All Saints Sandy Hill. Photo: ADO
By on February 22, 2024

There was a lot of excitement at the past two Synods when members talked about finding new ways for Anglicans to engage with their communities and people outside the church. Last fall, the Synod set two goals: First, for all parishes to engage in contextual mission and get involved in some new venture by 2028, and secondly, to have 35 new worshipping communities in a variety of shapes and sizes by 2031, the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese.

Getting started and knowing where to start is the hardest part of many endeavors, but the team working on the Action Plan for Contextual Mission and New Worshipping Communities spoke with people who have started new worshipping communities and planted churches and heard repeatedly that this work must begin with prayer.

They launched “A Time of Prayer — Listening for Divine Sparks in our Midst,’ at Synod. “We believe that God is calling us to proclaim the good news in our time and place, and that our engagement in contextual mission and the creation of New Worshipping Communities needs to be Spirit-led and rooted in prayer,” team lead Archdeacon Mark Whittall explained. 

The team has also created resources to help parishes get started praying and listening for those divine sparks of inspiration.  

Each month, new resources are posted on the Time of Prayer page on the diocesan website:  They are divided into four sections: Pray, Listen, Consider and Inspire.

Pray: “Individuals and parishes are asked to pray for God’s wisdom as we listen for how God calls us to engage in the world,” and a sample prayer is offered.

Listen: “A Time of Prayer is a Spirit-led time of listening to how God is calling our diocesan church and parishes to cooperate with God’s loving action in the world. The bible study guide and accompanying slides present a Lectio Divina approach to animate reflectionLectio Divina is an ancient practice in the church which combines an attentive reading and praying of a Scripture passage with periods of silence to create space for the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts.î

Consider: Ideas from relevant books and other sources are introduced with questions to stimulate discussion.

Inspire: This section provides examples of ways that other parishes and diocese have approached contextual mission and created new worshipping communities.

The guide and Powerpoint slides contain opening and closing prayers, the scripture passage, reflection questions to stimulate discussion and links to some brief commentaries on the passage. The slides can be downloaded and edited, so that different parishes or groups can adapt them to be most relevant for their context.

Our hope is that prayer groups will form across our diocese and use these prayer resources to discern God’s call for their parish to engage in contextual mission,” Whittall told Crosstalk. 

In addition to parish prayer groups, the team plans to have a facilitated diocesan-wide prayer group meeting every three months. The first of these is planned as an online meeting for March 20 at 7 p.m. 

“The idea behind that meeting is really to give people examples of how they can use the materials, have a few testimonials of how people have used it in their contexts, and then actually pray through the April set of materials,” said team member the Rev. Simone Hurkmans. She added that they hope it will help those who participate feel comfortable to go back to their parish or group and lead a similar session. — Leigh Anne Williams


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