If you visit the Diocesan website (as you are doing) you’ll notice a tab called Pray With Us. It reads: “ ‘from earliest times, Christians gathered at regular hours during each day and night to respond to God’s word with praise on behalf of creation and with intercession for the salvation of the world.’ We invite you to pray with us.”
This invitation to prayer is an invitation to help us be what God calls to be as a diocese. Over the last few years at Synod, our bishop has encouraged us to get out of our comfort zones, to decide to follow Jesus, and to share our faith in order to bring in the kingdom.
So we pray and we step out, and God brings in the harvest.
Synods are filled with folks who are new. There are churches (my own was one a few years ago) whose names we don’t recognize. We are no longer a diocese that is only in Illinois, or, for that matter, only in the U.S. We have new parishes, new priests, new deacons, and, along with that, God has raised up a number of people who want to become deacons and priests. He is weaving us all together into this incredible tapestry hemmed by prayer, focused on mission, and filled with fellowship.
Which brings us back to prayer.
If you’re on the email listing for the clergy or the laity, you’ve seen regular calls for prayer for folks around the diocese. On Sundays, the diocese is held up in the Prayers of the People at Quincy parishes all over; prayers that are raised in English, Karen and Spanish, blessing our clergy and staff. There is a monthly schedule for prayer that gives daily intercessions for these same folks; it is available on the website.
We’ve also begun a prayer team for the people who are going through the ordination process. Old and young, these people have come before their parishes and the diocese, opening their hearts and hands to serve God. These servants have a long road ahead, as they go through the varying stages of discernment for holy orders, and they need prayer.
Additionally, we have priests who have come into Quincy ready to work and plant for the kingdom. They come from places such as California, Texas, and Florida to find a home among us. They also need prayer as they enter into the life of this diocese, seeking to serve our parishes and people.
The prayer book has this prayer for those seeking vocations:
Almighty God,you have entrusted to your Church
a share in the ministry of your Son our great high priest:
inspire by your Holy Spirit the hearts of many
to offer themselves for the ministry of your Church,
that strengthened by his power,
they may work for the increase of your kingdom
and set forward the eternal praise of your name;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
If you are interested in praying for these folks specifically, please join into the prayer team by emailing me.