In the print May newsletter, I wrote a meditation on our parish conversation about gun violence. I began to map out some next steps. One step was the formation of a Parish Prayer Guild to pray for our neighborhood, wider community, and world. Here’s what I wrote: “Going forward, I want to think about ways that we can integrate this intentional prayer for our community into some of the other things we do including our Sunday worship and Compline. I’d love to formalize our commitment to prayer through the formation of a Parish Prayer Guild, This would present us with an opportunity to make a commitment to God and each toward a particular prayer practice for our neighborhood.”
Well, we’re taking that step. Without my bidding, members of the Compline group have integrated the Parish Prayer List into daily Compline. And, in the next couple of weeks, we are forming a Parish Prayer Guild as a way to commit to prayer. You can see exactly what this entails below. Next Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost (May 23) seems like an appropriate time to make this real. So, as part of our Parish Eucharist on Pentecost there will be an opportunity to join our Parish Prayer Guild and make the commitments outlined below. If you feel safe and if it’s right for your family, I encourage you to attend in-person, but you may also participate in the formation of this guild online (The online component of our services is not going anywhere).
This is a necessary, really important next step in our path toward discerning what God is up to, and what God wants us to be up to in relation to gun violence and the many other issues surrounding it. It’s a next step, but not the last. Prayer is what got us started on this and prayer is going to sustain us, and move us forward, wherever that might be. But, prayer always leads further and deeper, and it won’t let us be apathetic. So, if you care about the issue of gun violence, if you care about our neighborhood and wider community, if you care about this parish, then I encourage you to consider making this commitment and being part of this prayer guild. If you intend to do so, please let me or Nancy Haas know. And, as always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
The Parish Prayer Guild
The guild exists to facilitate intercessory prayer for this parish, our wider community, partners, diocese, and world. It will seek to bolster the life of prayer in our parish, seeking ways that we can learn and deepen our faith individually and corporately.
Members are asked to:
- Commit for a period of time to pray the parish prayer list every single day. The time period may be 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year (renewable).
- Endeavor to receive the sacrament of Eucharist on a regular basis.*
- Participate in other guild activities as able.
Other guild activities:
- Compose or adapt Prayers of the People for the Sunday Parish Eucharist on a seasonal or quarterly basis with the aid of the Rector and according to the directions provided in the Book of Common Prayer (p.383)
- Help to maintain the Parish Prayer List and see that it is updated and disseminated.
- Organize and participate in special services and opportunities for prayer as they arise.
- As there is interest, engage in the study and practice of different types of prayer.
*Notice the nuance of this language: “endeavor” and “regular basis.” This is not about rigid legalism, rather it is about the intrinsic and necessary connection between prayer, Eucharist, and the healing of the world. I know many have been missing receiving the Eucharist (and in both kinds) and I hope that the wording makes clear that I don’t mean to shame anyone or demand that someone does something they are uncomfortable with under current circumstances, while at the same time underscoring the importance and vitality of the Eucharist.