A TIME OF PRAYER: LISTENING FOR DIVINE SPARKS IN OUR MIDST

February 2024

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. Here is a suggested prayer for the coming month. Parishes are invited to include this in their Prayers of the People and as an intention for their prayer groups.

Living God, as we listen for your divine sparks in our midst, strengthen us for your service by your grace. Help us remember that we are like trees planted by your life-giving water and keep our hearts and minds open to hear your desires for our diocesan church, our parish, and our community. Give us your wisdom so that we might bear fruit worthy of your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

LISTEN

Psalm 1

Bible Study Guide 

PowerPoint Slides you can modify and edit

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 reflection. 

Lectio 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. 

The guide and slides contain opening and closing prayers, the scripture passage, reflection questions to stimulate discussion and links to some brief commentaries on the passage. 

Parishes are encouraged to bring together people who feel called to listen for divine sparks in their parishes and local communities to share in A Time of Prayer. These resources can also be used to open meetings or groups in the community such as Parish Council. 

Capturing important reflections as they emerge from the monthly bible study will enable a fuller discernment as this prayer initiative unfolds, as well as facilitate participation in diocesan-wide meetings for prayer and sharing of insights.

CONSIDER

What does data tell us about the religious landscape in Canada?

This Statistics Canada infographic depicts the most current picture of the state of religion in Canada. 

Here is a summary of researcher Louis Cornelissen’s Statistics Canada Insights on Canadian Society analysis, an examination of overarching trends in religiosity in Canada between 1985 and 2019 based on data from the General Social Survey.

The brief overview provides insights on the key findings about the diverse relationships Canadians have with religion and includes a link to the fuller report for more detailed graphs, charts and analysis.

INSPIRE

How have other parishes approached contextual mission and the creation of new worshipping communities? These examples from our diocese, as well as other parts of Canada and the world are offered as food for thought.

In this brief video, Kitty Galt of Epiphany Anglican Church tells the inspiring story of the origins in 1983 of what would become Cornerstone Housing for Women. It is a testament to the fruitfulness of humble yet determined efforts to serve others in the local community! 

January 2024

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. Here is a suggested prayer for the coming month. Parishes are invited to include this in their Prayers of the People and as an intention of their prayer groups.

Wondrous God, we praise you for the gifts of the Holy Spirit which you continue to shower upon us. Help us to be faithful disciples of all that Jesus taught us. Inspire us to look out into our world with Jesus’ loving eyes as we seek to discern your divine sparks around us. Guide us so that we understand how you want us to be messengers of your good news in our communities and our diocese. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

LISTEN

1 Corinthians 1:3-9 

Given that this prayer initiative 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 guide supporting the monthly bible study suggests a Lectio Divina approach to animate reflection. 

Lectio 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. 

In addition to prayers to open and close the bible study and instructions to lead the Lectio Divina, the guide also contains some reflection questions to stimulate discussion, as well as links to some brief commentaries on the passage which may also be illuminating. 

Parishes are encouraged to bring together people who feel called to listen for divine sparks in their parishes and local communities to share in A Time of Prayer

Capturing important reflections as they emerge from the monthly bible study will enable a fuller discernment as this prayer initiative unfolds, as well as facilitate participation in diocesan-wide meetings for prayer and sharing of insights.

CONSIDER

How are we enabled by the Holy Spirit for discipleship?

In her book Introducing the Practice of Ministry, Kathleen A. Cahalan argues that “ministry” is a shared call to active discipleship on the part of all baptised members of the Body of Christ. The good news is that in the mystery of baptism the Spirit ensures we “are not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1 Cor 1:7) needed to faithfully embody the personal and collective discipleship to which Jesus calls us in support of God’s mission.

 

INSPIRE

How have other parishes approached contextual mission and the creation of new worshipping communities? These examples from our diocese, as well as other parts of Canada and the world are offered as food for thought.

 

In this “Missional & Outreach Moment ” video from the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, parishioners from St. John, East Orangeville and their circle of friends of newcomers to Canada explain how the “Abundant Garden” initiative has brought comfort, hope, joy and fellowship to them all!

December 2023

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. Here is a suggested prayer for the coming month. Parishes are invited to include this in their Prayers of the People and as an intention of their prayer groups.

Creator God, as we listen for your divine sparks in our midst, we await the Incarnation of your beloved Jesus with wonder and thanksgiving and are inspired by Mary’s “yes” to your divine will. You send your Son to proclaim the good news of your kingdom to all people, and to urge them to turn to you with confidence in your steadfast love. Help us through your grace to hear and understand how you wish us to be sent into your world to support your loving action in our communities and in our diocese. As Jesus is sent by you, show us the path you wish us to pursue. We ask this in the name of the infant, Emmanuel, our Saviour. Amen

 

LISTEN

 Luke 1:26-38 The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Given that this prayer initiative 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 guide supporting the monthly bible study suggests a Lectio Divina approach to animate reflection. 

Lectio 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. 

In addition to prayers to open and close the bible study and instructions to lead the Lectio Divina, the guide also contains some reflection questions to stimulate discussion, as well as links to some brief commentaries on the passage which may also be illuminating. 

Parishes are encouraged to bring together people who feel called to listen for divine sparks in their parishes and local communities to share in A Time of Prayer

Capturing important reflections as they emerge from the monthly bible study will enable a fuller discernment as this prayer initiative unfolds, as well as facilitate participation in diocesan-wide meetings for prayer and sharing of insights.

 

CONSIDER

How was Jesus’ theology incarnational? And what does that say to us?

In his thought-provoking book Doing Local Theology: A Guide for Artisans of a New Humanity, Clemens Sedmak presents “fifty theses” about why and how followers of Jesus need to interpret God in a way that embodies their own time and their own place, just as Jesus did in his public ministry. In this sense, the church, the Body of Christ, is incarnated afresh in every local context. This backgrounder summarizes a selection of Sedmak’s arguments.

 

INSPIRE

How have other parishes approached contextual mission and the creation of new worshipping communities? These examples from our diocese, as well as other parts of Canada and the world are offered as food for thought.

Diocesan Pilot Projects: Trinity House and St. Jimmy’s Table