A Prayer for Pentecost: Thomas Traherne – Fill Me with the Riches of Thy Glory

May 27, 2012

From our August 2004 Archives, originally posted by Fr. Al Kimel at Pontifications

A Great Prayer for Renewal: Fill Me with the Riches of Thy Glory

It’s been awhile since I’ve stolen any prayers from the Pontifications blog. This one is eminently worth stealing and reposting here!
———-

O Thou who ascendedst up on high, and ledst captivity captive, and gavest gifts unto men, as after Thy ascension into heaven Thou didst send Thy Holy Spirit down upon Thine Apostles in the form of a rushing mighty wind, and in the shape of cloven fiery tongues; send down the Holy Ghost upon me: Breathe upon me, inspire me, quicken me, illuminate me, enflame me, fill me with the Spirit of God; that I may overflow with praises and thanksgivings as they did. Fill me with the riches of Thy glory, that Christ may dwell in my heart by faith, that I being rooted and grounded in Love may speak the wonderful Works of God. Let me be alive unto them: let me see them all, let me feel them all, let me enjoy them all: that I may admire the greatness of Thy love unto my soul, and rejoice in communion with Thee for evermore. How happy, O Lord, am I, who am called to a communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in all their works and ways, in all their joys, in all their, treasures, in all their glory! Who have such a Father, having in Him the Fountain of Immortality, Rest and Glory, and the joy of seeing Him creating all things for my sake! Such a Son, having in Him the means of peace and felicity, and the joy of seeing Him redeeming my soul, by His sufferings on the cross, and doing all things that pertain to my salvation between the Father and me: Such a Spirit and such a Comforter dwelling in me to quicken, enlighten, and enable me, and to awaken all the powers of my soul that night and day the same mind may be in me that was in Christ Jesus!

Thomas Traherne

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A prayer for Pentecost

May 23, 2010

Come, thou Holy Spirit come:
and from thy celestial home
send thy light and brilliancy.
Come, thou father of the poor,
come who givest all our store.
What is filthy make thou pure,
what is wounded work its cure,
water what is parched and dry.
Gently bend the stubborn will,
warm to life the heart that’s chill,
guide who goeth erringly.
Fill thy faithful who adore,
and confess thee evermore,
with thy sevenfold mystery.
Here thy grace and virtue send,
grant salvation in the end, and in heaven felicity. Amen

– From a 13th century Latin Hymn


A Pentecost Prayer

May 23, 2010

The following prayer comes from Dean Rick Lobs’ blog:

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen your adopted children with the gift of greater fidelity and faith, revive your universal Church, most especially the Episcopal Church, with the breath of true love, and renew the face of the earth by delivering your church from mimicking earthly values. Finally, give us the gift of holy dread and fascination provoked by your holiness. We ask this through the mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The full entry is here.


Pentecost Links Around the Blogosphere

May 31, 2009

Still under the weather, so for now here are a few quick Pentecost links. I’ll try to post some of my own reflections on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit within the next few days
– Karen:

Pentecost Blog Carnival (I’ve tried not to duplicate too many links. The blog carnival has several EXCELLENT links I have not posted.)

Splendor in the Ordinary: Ideas for Celebrating Pentecost as a Family (FANTASTIC! Don’t miss this…)

Anglican Mainstream has a collection of reflections on Pentecost from various saints & Church Fathers – Must reading! : Pentecost: the living water of the Holy Spirit poured out upon us

Fr. Tim Fountain at Northern Plains Anglican has Come Down O Love Divine, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Reflections on Pentecost and a prayer of preparation for Pentecost

Pat Dague at Transfigurations has Pope Benedict’s The Gift of God is the Holy Spirit

Ten O’Clock Scholar: Pentecost: Reignite Your Ember

At A Hen’s Pace: Pentecost Sunday

Cruciform Life: Preparing for Pentecost and Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart

Kingdom People has a Pentecost Prayer

Victor Hoagland has two reflections on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit

Amy at On a Joyful Journey has posted St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit. I’ll close with that:

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Saint Augustine of Hippo

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
Amen.


Pentecost blog carnival

May 28, 2009

So much I want to blog, but I’ve been sick in bed a few days this week, plus we’ve had major electrical problems (thus no internet) at our office for a few days.

For now, head over to On A Joyful Journey for the link to the Pentecost Blog Carnival.

Hope to catch up with a few Pentecost blog entries over the weekend.
-Karen

Actually, come to think of it – I better not take having electricity over the weekend for granted. So in case I don’t get to post, here are some of the blogs to check out for Pentecost reflections, prayers, poems, etc.

Splendor in the Ordinary
A Ten O’Clock Scholar
At A Hen’s Pace
StoryFormed
Godspace

Happy reading!


Easter Resources – Presbyterian Pastor Mark D. Roberts: What is “Eastertide?” series

April 20, 2015

Digging through some old drafts of Easter posts prepared in years past, but never finalized and published, I came across some entries by Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts.  He’s one of those non-Anglicans who “gets” the importance of the liturgical seasons and the rhythms of the church year, and I have often posted his resources.  So… several prayers & quotes by Mark D. Roberts will be appearing on the blog this week.  Let me start first by posting links to his series on celebrating the full 50 Days of Easter, since that’s a theme near and dear to my heart.

***

As we all know, even for those of us from liturgical churches, it is very tempting to celebrate Easter for only one day, or one week, and very challenging to remember and practice the celebration of Easter for the full 50 Day Season of “Eastertide.”

Back in 2011 – 2012, Presbyterian pastor and blogger Mark D. Roberts wrote a series examining the tradition of the 50 Day Eastertide season, and giving some practical ideas and encouragement for how to celebrate Easter for more than just a few days.  Here are the links to his Eastertide series.  Below are exceprts from several of the entries.

***

Easter Isn’t Over Yet – An Introduction to Eastertide

During my first year as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, I was finally introduced to a Christian community that stretched the celebration of Easter beyond just a day. Our worship director at the time, Loren Wiebe, explained to me that he took Eastertide quite seriously. This meant, for example, that we’d sing Easter hymns, not only on Easter Sunday itself, but also during worship services in the following weeks. I was ready to experiment with all of this, though I must confess it felt rather strange to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. (“Christ the Lord is Risen Two Weeks Ago” didn’t work either.) Moreover, the word “Eastertide” sounded strange to me, like some remnant of days gone by. … Slowly, over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate celebrating Easter for more than just a single Sunday.

… I want to write about how we might let [Eastertide] be a time of spiritual growth, a season of deeper intimacy with God. I’ve come to believe that, in many ways, Easter gets short shrift in our churches. As a result, we miss out on some of the richness and joy of a full Easter celebration.

***

Fifty Days of Easter! What Would We Do?

Celebrating Easter for fifty days is not duplicating Easter Sunday fifty times over, either. Rather, it’s taking time to reflect upon and delight in the truth of Easter and its implications for our lives.

The basic truth of Easter is simple. In the classic litany of the church, it’s this: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! On Easter Sunday, we celebrate this good news, rediscovering for ourselves what the earliest followers of Jesus realized on that first Easter Sunday. Yet the implications of the resurrection are more than we can adequately ponder on one day. Every year, during my sixteen-year pastoral tenure at Irvine Presbyterian Church, when I prepared my Easter sermon, I left dozens of life-changing truths on the cutting room floor. There’s no way I could begin to probe the depths of Easter in a mere 20 minutes. So, I proclaimed the basic truth of the resurrection and explained one or perhaps two implications.

Eastertide provides an opportunity to see “the director’s cut” of the Easter sermon, if you will. The season of Easter gives us a chance to reflect more broadly and deeply on the multifaceted meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.

What might this involve? Let me suggest a few ideas:

• You could meditate upon what the resurrection says about the character of Jesus Christ as the Righteous One of God (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-28).

• You might ponder the fact that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).

• You could reflect upon the fact that the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you today (Ephesians 1:15-23).

• You might think of how the resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).

• You could consider how the resurrection gives us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

And so on. And so on. Eastertide allows us to think deeply and to pray broadly about what the resurrection of Jesus means, both to us and to our world.

***

Read the rest of this entry »


Practice Resurrection 2015 – This Sacramental Life blog (and a roundup of other resources on the same theme)

April 15, 2015

 

photo credit: Emily Polis Gibson

photo credit: Emily Polis Gibson

OK, I’m really not sure how Tamara Hill Murphy’s blog This Sacramental Life has flown under my radar screen for so long.

By searching Twitter for posts on Eastertide, I came across a Tweet by Tamara with a link to her blog and her entry and exhortation to #PracticeResurrection2015.  It is truly MUST READING for anyone wanting encouragement to celebrate the full 50 days of the Easter Season. 

In reflecting on Wendell Berry’s phrase “practice resurrection” and a passage by NT Wright in Surprised by Hope, Tamara writes about her resolve to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection throughout the 50 days of Eastertide and encourages us to join her!

For the next six weeks (from now until Pentecost), will you join me in feasting on Resurrection goodness in our everyday lives?  It can be as simple as a special candle you use for your meals during Eastertide or as elaborate as travelling across the world to meet new people.  Whatever it is, will you show us a picture and tell us a few words?   Plant spring flowers (maybe a new variety this year)?  Show us! Get up to see the sun rise on a Sunday morning?  Tell us about it! Take a new route to work (maybe taking more time than necessary in honor of the mad farmer)?  Share it!

Three steps to play along:

  1. Add something to your day that helps you practice resurrection. (one day or fifty days doesn’t matter)

  2. Take a picture and write a description in 1-50 words.

  3. Share it with me via an email, Facebook or hashtag it on Twitter or Instagram #practiceresurrection2015.  I’ll share some of your photo-stories with everyone here each week.

Also check out her Easter 2015 daybook posts.

UPDATE:   I’ve just discovered:  Tamara is a contributor to an excellent EASTERTIDE Devotional produced by Christ Church Austin.  I’m so excited to find this.  You can read it online, or download a PDF version.

***

In case it’s helpful, here’ are links to some other blog entries & resources we’ve linked in the past that focus on this same theme:

Tara at Story Formed blog:

Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary Blog:

Emily Polis Gibson at Barnstorming

Christine Sine at Godspace:

WAU.org Resource Guide for Celebrating Easter’s 50 Days

And for various entries I just discovered this year and posted in our Eastertide Resources Compilation


Easter 2015 – menu of links and resources

April 11, 2015

He_Has_RisenUPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post will remain sticky during Easter. Look for new entries below.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!!

All of us at Lent & Beyond wish our readers a glorious Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! We’ve posted a lot of good Easter devotional resources over the years:

See also: Easter Devotionals, Easter Music, Easter Prayers, Easter Quotes, Easter Resources

A few featured posts:

Remember, Easter is a 50 day season! I hope to be able to post often throughout Easter – prayers, music, quotes, devotionals – to help me, and all of us, to live in the joy and reality of the resurrection each day. So stay tuned…

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

art credit


A Compilation of Eastertide links and resources – celebrating the full 50 days of the Easter Season

April 9, 2015

UPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post is sticky – look below for new entries

This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles).  Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year.  Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin.  Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him.  With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide. 

***

NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THISA Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns.  Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!

NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015.  This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).

Let me link the blog and devotional separately:

The blog: This Sacramental Life by Tamara Hill Murphy.  See especially #practiceresurrection2015 – who wants to join me? and her Easter Daybook entries

The devotional:  Eastertide Devotional 2015 from Christ Church Austin (pdf version here)

And you can follow along on Twitter using #practiceresurrection or #practiceresurrection2015

***

First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:

Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!

Read the rest of this entry »


Eastertide – an invitation to cling to Jesus

April 7, 2015

A Great reflection on Eastertide (history and what it means for us as Christians…) by Porter C. Taylor at the liturgicaltheologian blog.  Here’s an excerpt:

Second, Eastertide is another invitation to tell time differently.

Rather than telling time according to the Julian or Gregorian calendar, or based on sporting events, or holidays or family celebrations, the church tells time according to her corporate memory of God’s acts of salvation. Sure, May 14, 2015 is a lovely date but the Feast of the Ascension has far greater meaning. Remembering Eastertide means we remember the Resurrection and Pentecost; it means we remember Passover and Shavu’ot; it means we remember God’s actions and ongoing activity in his world.

Third, we can and should cling to Jesus.

When Mary Magdalene encountered the Risen Lord in John 20 she was told to not hold onto him. Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father,” (John 20:17). We however are on the other side of the Ascension and can cling to Jesus. In fact, I think we should see the season of Eastertide as an invitation to cling to the Risen Lord! The post-resurrection accounts of Jesus show him teaching his disciples and followers the meaning of the Scriptures, how the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms had been fulfilled, and how he was leaving them with peace.

As we await the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, may we cling to Jesus with joy and gratitude for all he has done.

READ IT ALL!


Times of Refreshing from the Lord – a good Advent reflection from Bishop Steve Breedlove

December 1, 2014

PEARUSA Bishop Steve Breedlove has a good reflection for Advent entitled Times of Refreshing.

It’s focused on the verse from Peter’s post-Pentecost sermon in Acts 3:  “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out and that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Bishop Breedlove admits that’s not a passage we usually associate with Advent, but makes a strong case for how it can be helpful in shaping our Advent devotion.  Here’s an excerpt:

In Acts 3, the Apostles Peter and John had healed a beggar lame from birth. He was a familiar figure to the Jews going in and out of the Temple precincts, and when they saw him “walking and leaping and praising God,” a large crowd had gathered. Peter took the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel, pointing to Jesus and reminding these Jews (without mincing words!) of their rejection of the man in whose Name this miracle had occurred. After nailing them with the truth, Peter opened the door of mercy, “You, and your rulers, acted out of ignorance.” And then an invitation to enter, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out and that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” This beautiful, evocative phrase comes in the context of a Gospel call to repentance and faith in Jesus. Not particularly applicable to Advent . . .?  Maybe we should rethink that.

The core of the Gospel is the Gift of Jesus, the Christ, wrapped wondrously in layers upon layers of grace. This is whom we look to, whom we long for, on whom we wait in Advent. The complex, multifaceted Christology woven into Peter’s sermon expands our understanding. Consider his Names, “his (God’s) servant,” “the Holy and Righteous One,” The Author of life,” “the Christ,” and “the Prophet.” Wrestle through the references to his suffering, his resurrection, his glory, his power, and his blessing of God’s people, so that they might bring blessing to the world in his Name (the very Name which Peter has declared). Reflect on all that Peter declares about the Christ, and about his character and ministry, and about the grace which attends this Gift. This (and none other) is the One we long for.

Read the whole entry here.

 


The Persecuted Church–Iraq (Re-posted)

September 14, 2014

From The Telegraph:

“Christians are so frightened,” Canon White says. “The Christians here are frightened even to walk to church because they might come under attack. All the churches are targets.
“We used to have 1.5 million Christians, now we have probably only got 200,000 left in Iraq. There are more Iraqi Christians in Chicago than here.”

–There have been Christians in Iraq since the first century. Acts 2:9 records Parthians from Mesopotamia in the crowd as the Apostle Peter preached at Pentecost.
–During the fourth century, Persia’s Zoroastrian zeal against the newly Christianized Roman Empire threatened to destroy the Christians living in the Mesopotamian lands of modern-day Iraq.
–The European Christian crusaders often saw the Iraqi Christians as false and the Muslims saw them as part of the enemy.
–Church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette found it amazing, not that Christianity survived as a minority cult, “but that it survived at all.”

Nahum 1:7-8 (New Living Translation)
The Lord is good,
a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.
But he will sweep away his enemies
in an overwhelming flood.
He will pursue his foes
into the darkness of night.

O Lord,
Our hearts cry out for so much spilled blood. Is the land cursed with violence from Cain’s murder of Abel?
Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. How many times has He wept in Iraq? Might His Blood shed on the cross break this curse on the land!
Be close to the Iraqis who trust in You. Sweep away their enemies in an overwhelming flood and pursue their foes into the darkness of night.
Stay close to them, dear Lord. Stay close. Amen.


Matthew 28 and Acts 2

August 2, 2014

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17)
      Jesus, help us come to meet you, even in the midst of our doubts.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18 )
      Jesus, please come and speak to your disciples today. Help us all acknowledge your authority over us. Thank you.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)
      Holy Trinity, One God, help us go forth at your bidding to make disciples of who people groups. Help us do this in our cityies and communites and wherever we go.

teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:20)
      Thank you, Holy Spirit, for bringing Jesus’ presence into our lives day by day. Teach us to obey him in all that he taught. Thank you.

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
      Jesus, you are the anointed one: be Lord of my life. Thank you.

Words received recently:
WORD: Place your hope in me.
Psalm 37:1-8, WORD: Wait on me — wait patiently on me and see what I will do.
WORD: Turn to me — let me have your fears.
Psalm 22:3, WORD: Praise me no matter what happens.
But Peter followed him at a distance… Matthew 26:58a, WORD: Pray for a new Pentecost so that today’s fearful followers will find the courage to proclaim and follow me openly.

Daily Lectionary
Saturday: 75, 76 * 23, 27; Judges 5:19-31: Acts 2:22-36: Matt. 28:11-20
Sunday: 93, 96 * 34; Judges 6:1-24: 2 Cor. 9:6-15: Mark 3:20-30
Holy Communion
78:1-29 or 78:14-20,23-25; Nehemiah 9:16-20; Romans 8:35-39; Matthew 14:13-21

Albany Intercessor


Matthew 28:9-10 and Acts 2:1

August 1, 2014

[I am recovering now from the right knee replacement in June and am starting the prayer notes again. There are MANY prayer table reports that have come in during the past two months. I am afraid that I just can’t get them all out to you, but I have appreciated them. My Inbox has gotten totally out of control with over 1,900 entries. Serious weeding is necessary. Torre]

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. (Matthew 28:9)
      Jesus, please come and meet us with your word of joy so that we too may fall at your feet and worship you.

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” (Matthew 28:10)
      Holy Spirit, please help us fearlessly go and deliver Jesus’ word to the Brethren.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1)
      Father, please bring us to this same accord throughout this diocese. Thank you.

Words received recently:
WORD: Praise me for the many times I have rescued you from trouble.
Psalm 72, WORD: Pray for my righteousness in the public life of the nation.
WORD: Give me your heart.
Matthew 7:24-27 WORD: I have set you on a rock — my son Jesus — do not be afraid.

Morning Prayer
Friday: 69:1-23(24-30)31-38 * 73; Judges 5:1-18: Acts 2:1-21: Matt. 28:1-10
Saturday: 75, 76 * 23, 27; Judges 5:19-31: Acts 2:22-36: Matt. 28:11-20

      Notes from the Front Lines

***** Liz Miller, Diocese of Down and Dromore in Ireland spoke at the Healing Service at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center at the Diocesan Convention. She strongly recommended the following book (which is available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition). I have read it and strongly recommend it myself. Torre
      The GRACE OUTPOURING by Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts.

***** Schenectady City Mission Prayer Table Report, Thursday, July 31, 2014, 5:00 – 6:10 p.m.. Torre and Jean Bissell, and Chuck Rinaldo from Christ Church Schenectady. This took place during the evening meal at the City Mission.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
rock–indicates small rock hand painted by Sharon with the name “Jesus” on it and a cross

Antonio (man) — We blessed him.

Ted (volunteer) — His daughter is still stuggling with Lyme’s disease.

Dan (staff) — We prayed for the blessing of peace at the Schenectady City Mission meals. On Monday evening a new comer to the meals started a fight.

Gary (staff) — We prayed for his witness at a new part-time job and we prayed for his son Chris and his job situation.

+Jeffrey (man) — He gave thanks for the way God has blessed him.

rock Joanie (woman) — She is looking for a safe place to live.

+ James (man) — He asked prayer for his dog Val who died a month ago. He also asked prayer for his fellow soldiers who died in Iraq (he was there 8 months).

rock Matt (man) — He asked prayer for his brother John who is going through “issues”.

Chuck (man) — He has possible prostate problems.

Torre (man) — Speed recovery from knee replacement and relief of pain.

+ rock Tamara (young woman) — She is scared for her mom and asked prayer that her mom would be safe.

+ Jennifer (woman) — She asked prayer for safety.

rock Josh (young man) — He asked prayer that he would get his daughter back from Child Protective Services.

***** We had a family reunion in July:


Albany Intercessor


Praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop

June 15, 2014

I’m very thankful to the AAC for posting an article with suggestions about how to be praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop. Here are some excerpts:

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Almighty God, giver of every good gift: we thank you for miraculously raising up a new Anglican Movement and giving us a courageous Archbishop, Robert Duncan, to lead our Anglican Church in North America these past five years. Look graciously now on your Church, and send your Holy Spirit to guide the hearts and minds of the College of Bishops who will choose an Archbishop for our Province, that we may receive a faithful Apostle who will lead us in mission and evangelism with our brothers and sisters around the world, and who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries in North America, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, friends of the Anglican realignment,

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will gather to elect a new Archbishop beginning Thursday evening, June 19 and, if necessary, adjourning Sunday evening June 22. I am grateful for the Collect (above) that we have been able to pray during these recent weeks leading up to the election of a leader to succeed Archbishop Bob Duncan. I am also grateful for our Lord’s hand upon the ACNA, its growth under the inspired leadership of Archbishop Duncan, and our opportunity to celebrate both during Provincial meetings June 23-28 at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA.

[…]  Pray for the bishops who will be gathering in conclave to elect.  Pray for their discernment. Pray that they will be guided and governed by faith rather than fear.  Pray that they will confirm by their ballots the man whom God has already chosen. Pray for the bishops’ unity behind their choice of the man whom God has already chosen from the moment they and we move forward from this election.

[…]

let me humbly offer a list of what you and I should pray for in the man whom the College of Bishops will choose as the next Archbishop of the ACNA:

 

A leader who PRAYS:  We need an Archbishop who has the gift of leadership. That’s a given. But not all leaders have a deep life of prayer and listening. This job requires a leader who will listen to the voice of God above the voices of others—even the best counselors. We have been blessed to have an Archbishop who had such a deep commitment to prayer and listening to the Lord that he took time apart to be with the Lord, to rest and pray and listen to the Lord. The qualities and competencies required of our next Archbishop must come out of this deep, inner life with Christ.

 

A leader with the gift of FAITH:  Every bishop I can think of in the College is faithful. We are blessed with a College of Bishops who stand in the tradition of the Apostles and the faith once delivered. But what our next Archbishop needs is the spiritual gift of faith (I Corinthians 12:9), the supernatural ability to trust God for the future even when it doesn’t look so good in the moment. Every ministry has those days, and the ACNA is no exception. But what we need is a leader who can lower the anxiety level in the system with a calm, non-anxious leadership that flows out of that supernatural ability to trust God for the future. We have been blessed to have such faith in Archbishop Duncan—every day, both when things are looking good and when they’re not looking so good.

 

A leader with the gift of DISCERNMENT:  This too is a spiritual gift (I Corinthians 12:10).  Yes, there’s a certain quality of discernment that one can cultivate, a wisdom born of experience.  It’s what we teach in our Clergy Leadership Training Institutes about “The Leadership Triangle”: how to accurately diagnose a challenge (technical, strategic or cultural) and so to apply the leadership skills appropriate to that challenge. Misdiagnosis or failure to discern accurately may lead to solutions that make the challenges worse.[2]  But there is also a need for supernatural ability to distinguish which spirits are at work in a particular challenge. We need an Archbishop who can cut through the cloud of confusion and acrimony that often surrounds such challenges and conflict with a supernatural ability to see God’s way forward.

 

A leader who calls on the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:  In a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, we need a leader who can call us to a new Pentecost. We need a leader who calls on the power of the Holy Spirit and invites Him into every situation.  Whether we are dealing with evangelism, church planting, reaching people who do not yet know Jesus with his transforming love—or the powers and principalities at work in the Anglican Communion hostile to the Gospel—we are dealing with spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Only the Holy Spirit can lift that veil and level the playing field so that our mission can go forward from strength to strength. We need a leader who understands that, who calls upon such Holy Spirit power daily, and who calls us to do the same.

 

A leader who walks in PEACE:  We have a saying in our Clergy Leadership gatherings:  ministry doesn’t just include conflict—ministry IS conflict. Archbishop Duncan has faced conflicts of every size and shape, domestically and internationally, every day. But he has also modeled for us what it means to be a leader who walks in peace. A leader who moves toward persons in conflict, not away from them and the conflict. We need a leader who has the same commitment to walk toward others and their conflicts—even and especially with those with whom he may disagree. We need a leader who can be a bridge builder, a reconciler, and a peacemaker, even and especially when doing so makes the leader a target.

A leader who walks in HUMILITY:  Humility is the virtue of John the Baptist—being able to decrease in order that Jesus may increase (John 3:30). In order for any leader to remain focused on vision, values and mission, the leader must be one who does not personalize challenge, resistance or conflict. We need an Archbishop who has that quality of humility to keep us focused on the main thing—Jesus and his mission. This virtue has an added blessing: it attracts God’s glory and power, as Andrew Murray observes in Humility:

“Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.  He that humbles himself—that must be our one care—will be exalted; that is God’s care.”[3]

God grant us a leader who, by abasing and emptying himself, will open the door for the Church to be filled with God’s glory and power.

A leader with VISION:  I’ve left this for last not because it is the least important. On the contrary. Any leader must have vision in order for the ministry to experience ever renewed and renewing seasons of growth. But I’m convinced that our next Archbishop will have the vision the Church needs to move forward as a byproduct and fruit of prayer, faith, discernment, calling on the Holy Spirit, and walking in peace and humility. I’m convinced of this because I have seen it in the leadership of ++Robert Duncan. First it was the vision of coming together as the Anglican Communion Network and Common Cause Partners. When that summit was reached, then it was responding to the call at GAFCON 2008 to build the Anglican Church in North America. When that summit was reached, it was the extraordinary call to plant 1000 new churches in 5 years.  We haven’t reached that summit yet—but we are well on the way because of a leader who took the time to make those qualities I’ve listed the priorities of his leadership. God-given vision flowed out of it.

 

The full article is here.


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