The Discovery and Discernment Committee has adopted a beautiful prayer to open its biweekly meetings. This Committee is the “reference team” of six parishioners being guided by the two consultants we hired from the healthy church program out of Eastern Mennonite University. The prayer, said aloud by all, embodies what the committee is about, listening to the Holy Spirit to start a parish-wide process of deep listening to one another. The Vestry has also adopted this prayer for the beginnings of its monthly meetings. So has the Stewardship Committee.
Here is the prayer.
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with us as we seek to renew the mission of your Church as Christ’s mission, working through us in all that we do. Teach us to seek first your wisdom and glory. Guide us to perceive what is your will, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This was adapted from “For a Church Convention or Meeting,” a prayer in the Book of Common Prayer on page 818. The words in italic and underlined (if these fonts appear in this digital version) are the changes or additions made by Peyton Craighill a year or so ago. Peyton, a former Episcopal missionary in Taiwan and the son of a missionary, was doing a lot of writing around his mission in our church, to clarify how the five “Will you” phrases of our baptismal vows put Christ at the center of the six domains of our weekly lives – work, leisure, the world, etc. He re-worked this BCP prayer to be recited by a small circle of parishioners he was in – Disciplining Each Other (DEO). And so the prayer is spreading. Amen.