Dear members of the Itchen Valley Parish,
I am writing to you in my capacity as the member of our Parish Ministry Team with specific responsibility for prayer.
I wanted to alert you to a now global initiative, Thy Kingdom Come, which was originally set in motion by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016. It is a prayer movement that invites Christians around the world (now in well over 100 countries) to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus. This 11 day period is from today, 13th May, through to 23rd May and you are warmly encouraged to join in it. A brief video (in cartoon form) explaining more about this initiative is available via this link, as are a host of other resources to support you on this short journey if you choose to embark on it: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/
In addition, during this period of vacancy, as we undertake the process to identify a new spiritual leader for our Parish as Rector, it is critically important that we ensure that we are praying for the process itself, for all involved in it (from our Bishop to Church Wardens to PCC members to those to whom the PCC has delegated responsibility as selectors), for candidates for the post of Rector themselves and for all the people who are working hard to ensure our Sunday services and other activities continue as normal.
After consultation with Theo Mezger and others, I would like to suggest two avenues for prayer that we hope will suit individual preferences, while also ensuring that we are wholly committed in prayer to discerning God’s will for this next phase of the Parish’s life and leadership, including:
- A commitment to pray individually but at the same time each week, so that we are united as a community in doing so, for all that this process involves, with the suggestion that this time be at 11.00am every Monday morning, for the duration of the vacancy (of course if this time on a Monday is not convenient for you please choose another one that suits your schedule). Some suggestions for areas on which to concentrate in prayer will be posted each week in advance of Monday morning on the Parish website.
- I will host an evening prayer session via Zoom for any member of the community that would like to join in it, every other week, again for the duration of the vacancy. These sessions would begin at 8pm and last no longer than 30 minutes, with the first of them to be held next Wednesday, 19th May. A Zoom link for these sessions will be posted on the website on the day of the sessions – all will be welcome to participate in them but participation is entirely voluntary.
I hope you will join in these important initiatives as you are able to do so – please feel free to contact Beccy Clark (via firstname.lastname@example.org) or me with any questions you have on them (Beccy can provide you with my contact details if you do not have them).
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