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Partners In Prayer Newsletter

Summer 2003

Pray for a Prophetic Vision

God of the prophets, bless the prophets' heirs!
Elijah's mantle o'er Elisha cast:
each age for thine own solemn task prepares,
make each one stronger, nobler than the last.
Hymnal 1982

Later this summer, Episcopalians from all over the country will gather in Minneapolis for the General Convention of our Church. The elected representatives, both clergy and laity from each diocese, along with their bishops will gather to pray together and to discuss a plethora of issues around the way the Church lives out its mission in the world - how it works together; how it prays together; and how it will share it resources. Although we are often distracted by differing opinions about how to go about this, our ultimate goal is to fulfill our mission: "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ." (BCP, p. 855)

When the General Convention gathers, it is always an unsettling time. People of genuine faith in Jesus, but with differing opinions, become painfully concerned about what will be said about the Body of Christ in the resolutions that are passed or rejected. There is often deep dissension, which always carries with it the threat of separation or schism. It is a time when many become discouraged about the future of the Church, and fearful about where it all might lead. It is all too easy to forget some of the wonderful signs of reconciliation that also have come out of General Convention - like the "Call to Common Mission", which brought the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America into full communion with the Episcopal Church.

Friends in Christ, each age comes with its own challenges to faithfully living into our call to minister in Christ's name. Despite our deepest fears, there is evidence that the God the Holy Spirit IS at work. There are still places prophets among us - people who are willing to risk rejection, to suffer "weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ" and for the mission of His Church, which is reconciliation, restoration, and unity.

One year ago, We began praying for our bishops and delegates. Each diocese has shared in AFP's "Circle of Prayer for the Church." I encourage you to "let the circle be unbroken." I invite you to pray for the prophets of our own age.

As a people of prayer, we are called to pray that through our work and witness, all people will know the reconciling love and power of God in Jesus Christ. So pray that our leaders who gather at the end of July might be prophets. Pray that those who gather will be blessed with God's vision for our work together. And pray, without ceasing, for the mission and unity of the Church.

Remember, Prayer Unites!

Peace in Christ,
The Rev. Carlotta B. Cochran
Executive Director

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