Today, I issue a challenge. Schedule an afternoon for nothing but prayer.
I use the word “prayer” loosely, so don’t panic.
And you already know how short an afternoon is. So this activity is not as intimidating as you might first suspect.
Here’s what I propose. Choose a place that’s good for you. It can be outdoors or indoors, somewhere in your home, on your property, or somewhere else entirely. But it needs to be a space that is physically comfortable and free of distractions.
Take just a couple of things with you. Maybe you like to pray with a journal, or rosary beads, or an image. A pot of coffee or tea might help you focus or relax. Don’t begin the time hungry—have a decent meal before you begin. But do take along a snack or two. Whatever you do, travel light; this time is between you and God, and God doesn’t need to see your calendar or lists or just-begun projects. This is not project time at all.
Read more: An Afternoon of Prayer....
Here's an online Advent calendar I really like. Focuses on Advent, not Christmas and has imagery from the world of art.
[Anglican Journal] Across Canada, in small towns and major cities, there are people slowly working on projects about which they care deeply, but which even their friends and relatives and neighbours may know little about, or have little interest in. They continue to do the work because they believe it is important, and in small ways they are able to make positive changes. Much of that work, so often lumped under the vague umbrella of “social justice,” is done in this fashion: quietly, and out of sight.
Until one day, something happens to draw the attention of the entire world to an issue, and suddenly this work becomes very visible, very quickly.
This is what happened to Debra Fieguth in early September, after the lifeless body of a young Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, and the refugee crisis became front-page news.
Read more: Canadian Anglicans & Catholics partner with Refugees
Forma is a grassroots association of dues-paying members, mostly Episcopalians and some kindred individuals and Episcopal institutions, that supports, networks, advocates for, resources, and celebrates Christian formation leaders in their Christian formation ministries.
Invites and encourages Christian formation leaders to pursue spiritual disciplines, theological studies, and other practices that ensure vocational excellence.
• offers thorough and professional quality certificate programs for Christian formation ministers
• hosts an annual conference at which members develop supportive relationships
Creates a forum for Christian formation leaders to network and explore issues of lifelong formation ministry.
• maintains a digital communication forum and interactive social networking presence for Christian educators using methods that meet the needs of membership
• hosts an annual conference at which members meet ministry colleagues and engage opportunities for new learning in the field through keynote presentations and workshops
Read more: FORMA - Christian Formation Leaders
[Episcopal News Service – Seoul, South Korea] The Rev. Jeremiah Yang, former president of theSungkonghoe University in Seoul and a theologian, on Oct. 2 here called the Christian church back to a theology of mission based on the “compassionate relationship with suffering people.”
Yang used the April 16, 2014 sinking of the MV Sewol ferry boat, which killed 304 passengers and crew, as an example for how he said the Christian church in South Korea had strayed from the gospel. The owner of the company that controlled the ferry boat was Yoo Byung-eun, who before his suspicious death in July 2014 also headed the Evangelical Baptist Church of Korea and had spent time in prison for diverting church money to his many businesses and to his personal life.
Too much emphasis has been placed on a particularly Korean interpretation of the prosperity gospel, a theology that helped grow megachurches in South Korea, Yang said, but also was linked to the rapid industrialization of the country and its growing economy. The result has been a “collusion of a distorted Christian spirituality and greedy capitalism.”
National Christian leaders beyond Yoo’s church, Yang said, were unsympathetic to the grief of the family members of those killed in the disaster, with one saying the students, who were poor, should not have taken such an expensive trip.
Saying “we are not people who have solutions for all the problems” in the world and noting that after the ferry disaster “all the theological solutions that had been given to us were helpless,” Yang called for the church to renew its commitment to a ministry of presence with those who suffer. Empathy and the spirit of compassion grows out of that commitment, and they can transform individuals, the church, and the nation, he said.
“In the end, the mission-shaped church is the hope that the church and individual lives should be radically transformed by the commitment to God’s mission beyond church boundaries,” he said.
Yang’s presentation was part of Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries’ Sept. 30-Oct. 5 international consultation here. He spoke at the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Nicholas in downtown Seoul, the main venue for the gathering.
Other ENS coverage of the gathering is here.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SusSZQNj1RQ
Read more: Renewing the Church's Compassion