Monday, June 05, 2006

Prayer and Fasting

The Octave of Prayer for General Convention will be held from Pentecost, June 4th, through Trinity Sunday, July 11th. From The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church:

...There is a long tradition in the church of celebrating octaves: that is the full eight days following major feasts. This year the Octave of Pentecost, which is the eight days between the Feast of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, is a period immediately preceding the General Convention. This, therefore, is a particularly appropriate time for Episcopalians to pray for the 75th General Convention.

Supported by the prayer of the whole church, it is my hope that Deputies and Bishops gathered together in Columbus will make decisions that reflect the mind and heart of Christ who through the cross has drawn all to himself in the fullness of his reconciling love.
From today's meditation, Grow in Hope, offered by the Very Rev'd Kevin Martin, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Matthew in the Diocese of Dallas:

...Often these days, it seems that a grim resignation has settled upon our church, especially our leaders. They seem to have accepted that the present problems, discord, and even polarization will continue. Many have resigned themselves to the idea that divisions must increase, and that the decline of our church is written in the destiny of others of the “mainline.” Has our hope been taken away?

Growth in hope is possible not because we wear rose-tinted glasses. Hope is not merely optimism. Growth in hope is possible because when all else fails us, like the poor, it becomes all that we have. Yet, as long as we have it, we have all that it promises. Give to your church in these days, O Lord, growth in hope.
The Society of St. Francis will be offering a Witness of Prayer and Fasting at General Convention:

We write to you as fellow Franciscans to let you know that a number of Anglican Franciscans will be at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-21, 2006, as part of a Franciscan Witness of Prayer and Fasting for the mission of the Church. Our witness is inspired by a letter from the international leadership of the three Franciscan Orders to Archbishop Rowan Williams, and all other Primates of Anglican Churches throughout the world, from their meeting at Canterbury in August 2005.

We will not be involved in any lobbying or political partisanship around the issues that presently divide the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, but focused on the life of Gospel discipleship, the fruits of the Spirit manifested in the sacrificial love of Christ, and the works of mercy (Matthew 25) by which we will be judged. We believe that a clear vision of the Reign of God proclaimed by Jesus, for which he was willing to die, will enable our Churches to deal openly and honestly with important differences among us and still stay focused on the mission to which we are called.

Some of us will choose to be in prayer at the place in the Convention hall set aside for that purpose; others will make a more public witness at places where Bishops and Deputies come and go about their business. All of our witness will be conducted in a spirit of non-violence and humility...
Let us pray.

God our Wisdom, who eternally makes all things new:
encourage by your Holy Spirit those who prepare for General Convention
to labor together for the building up of your world and your Church;
counsel them when to act and when to wait;
turn their hearts always toward those in greatest need,
and away from their own preoccupations and fears;
help them never forget that love and mercy are your greatest gifts
given us all to offer one another
as we see in them Jesus Christ who alone
is our joy, our way, our truth, and our life.


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