07 March 2017
The following article was published in the March/April 2017 issue of Crosslincs...
‘When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.’ Acts 4.31
In the last issue of Crosslincs we shared three stories of how churches took part in Thy Kingdom Come in 2016. Planning is well underway as to how every church in the diocese might be helped and encouraged to engage with this global wave of prayer (25th May – 4th June). The Archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging every diocese to get involved this year, and he hopes to see each local church praying in its own way, according to local context.
So how might we all be encouraged to take part in a way that does not involve the extra pressure of organising lots of extra events? The Thy Kingdom Come website (www.thykingdom.co.uk) offers a range of helpful ideas, and here are some further suggestions for the local church:
each deanery might wish to consider holding an Ascension Day service that could be used as a launch event, encouraging a time of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. A service outline, prepared by the mission team, can be provided.
might your church host 12 hours of prayer during the 10 days of prayer? This could start with Morning Prayer and close with Evening Prayer. You could have the church open to give people the opportunity to use the church for prayer. Ideas of available resources to help encourage prayer could be provided.
could you use the diocesan homily resources to enable more churches to provide worship on the Sunday after Ascension and on Pentecost Sunday?
might you encourage use of the diocesan prayer diary?
might you host a prayer meeting in your church or encourage people to prayer walk around the communities in which they live and work?
could you keep the church open during the week and have prayer stations that offer people an opportunity to pray in different ways?
From Friday, 26th May until Saturday, 3rd June 2017 the Cathedral will have a labyrinth set up in the South Transept, together with pop-up labyrinths available in the cathedral during the week. Church groups that wish to visit the labyrinth can request tickets to enter the cathedral from Simon Dean (please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01522 50 40 50).
In addition, and beginning at 7.30am on Thursday, 1st June a prayer vigil will be held in the Chapter House for 24 hours. This will be in the style of a 24/7 prayer space, with times of corporate prayer, prayer stations and other creative prayer ideas. Finally, at 7.30pm on Saturday, 3rd June a special diocesan beacon event will provide an opportunity to celebrate all that will have happened throughout the 10 days of prayer, and to consider what happens next. Plans are currently being put in place, but it is hoped that 1000 people will come together to pray and worship in the Nave. Might it be possible for every parish to be represented at this event? More details will be available nearer the time.
Further details will follow as Thy Kingdom Come 2017 draws near.
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