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The AFP emblem depicts the world, held in praying hands and raised to the Holy Spirit, which is represented by a Dove descending  toward the world.

Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

Partners in Prayer

Advent 2010

Newsletter of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer
Printable Copy


Our Mission: The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer serves the church by encouraging, facilitating, and promoting the understanding and discipline of prayer in the Anglican Communion.

ADVENT THOUGHTS
From our president, Dr. William C. Williams, lay leader in the Diocese of Virginia:

Just about everybody likes to have a new beginning. Social golfers call it a Mulligan when they hit a second ball off of the first tee if they do not like their first drive. In social tennis they refer to it as “first serve in”, realizing that it isn’t any fun to begin with a double fault. Thus, they have a new beginning. Each school year there is a new beginning for the students. Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) might have said (and probably almost everyone at some time or another), “If I could do that over I would do it differently”. That is the way it is at Advent, the season for a new beginning as we begin a new church year and again look forward to the coming of Jesus into our lives. Zacchaeus certainly had a new beginning when Jesus came into his life.

Mary and Joseph must have been on their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem at about this time as they bumped along on the road with Mary riding on that donkey preparing for a new beginning in their lives. They were preparing for Jesus the baby to come into their lives, and we will do that also, but we must surely also prepare for the coming of Jesus the Messiah into our hearts, that is, Jesus’ second coming. I am not sure I have
done that so well in the past, but because of Advent I plan to make a new beginning, a new resolve, with prayer, to look at Advent with different eyes and thoughts. I will be looking at that infant in the cradle not only as a baby but as the person He will come to be, my Lord and my Savior. I praise God for this season of new beginning, a season in which we will grow as we proceed from season to season throughout the church year to
culminate in that great Easter procession across the world as we join millions of others and say, “Alleluia, the Lord is risen indeed."

From board member Paula Claire Hall, priest in the Diocese of Western Louisiana:

ABC's of the Season: we begin again the season of Advent as if it were the first. The initial Sunday of the ecclesiastical year begins on the Sunday nearest to St Andrew’s Day, November 30th in 2010. For four Sundays we celebrate the preparation for and expectation of the birth of the Christ, the anointed one. The season is observed as a time of preparation not only for Christmas, but also for the Second Coming of Christ as Judge at the Last Day.

Advent was formally kept as Lent, though less strict. The liturgical color of this season is purple, symbolizing penitence and humility, although in some places blue may be used. Rose colored vestments may be used on the third Sunday, called Gaudete ("joy") as we focus on anticipatory joy in the coming of the Savior. Advent is seen as a penitential season as suggested in the collects, which prompt us to reflect on the reasons why God had to send us a Savior.

Advent is a season of blessing. Perhaps the Magnificat [BCP 119] reflects this beautiful image in Mary’s song of praise when Elizabeth greeted her: “…From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.”

Another image of blessing is found in the Old Testament book of Numbers. The benediction is “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” [Numbers 6:24-26]. Advent awaits the coming of Christ or the Messiah. One tradition in our liturgy is the "O Antiphons", also known as the Great Antiphons, which may be sung before and after the Magnificat on the seven days preceding Christmas Eve. The "O Antiphons" appear in the hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" on p. 56 of the Hymnal 1982. The appropriate antiphon will appear on the AFP website each day from Dec. 17 through 23.

These ABCs of the Season include Advent, Blessing and the Coming of Christ, which leads us into the white season of Christmas. Consider completing the alphabet in the days ahead as you await the coming of the Christ child.

From Jane Richardson Jensen, AFP Diocesan Representative in the Diocese of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Below is an excerpt from her "Advent Intercessions," written for her parish, St, Martin's Church, and adapted by Celinda Scott for this newsletter and present needs of the AFP as we move forward:

For the Roots that we have been given by God through the founders of the AFP, Helen Shoemaker and Polly Wiley, and the bishops, priests, teachers, writers, planners, and pray-ers who continued and continue their ministry as the years have unfolded. Gracious God, we praise you. For the Inspiration to respond creatively and with feeling to the needs for prayer and teachings on prayer we learn about in the coming year, for the people of different generations who encourage us to keep growing in our faith, and in the knowledge that you hear our prayers, whatever our age. Gracious God, we praise you.

From Jane Richardson Jensen and Patricia Harris-Watkins' She Who Prays: A Woman's Interfaith Prayer Book, © 2005 Morehouse Publishing, p. 92. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

As we begin this season of anticipation, looking forward to the joys of the Christmas season to come, let us remember the challenges some experience at this time.

For Those With Addictions

God of wholeness, we lift up anyone who is or has been addicted to any kind of substance.
For those whose addictions started innocently as a result of a doctor's prescription, have mercy.
For those who wanted to belong so much they paid too high a price, have mercy.
For those who wanted to blot out the intolerable pain of living, have mercy.
And for those who just wanted to have some fun, have mercy.
For those who are not yet in recovery, guide them.
For those who are recovering day by day, strengthen and support them.
For anyone in a relationship with a recovering or active addict, help them to detach lovingly.
For we pray in the name of Jesus, who when faced with a life or death struggle, wrestled with it, and made the hard choice, for the love of God and us, his sisters and brothers. Amen.

Note: we remember with thanksgiving the ministry of the Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, whose feast day is celebrated January 31. He helped formulate the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anomymous, and was the husband of AFP co-founder Helen Smith Shoemaker.

From Carla L. Rueckert, AFP Diocesan Representative in the Diocese of Kentucky. © 2002 L/L Research:

How easy it is to become discouraged and to falter in our enthusiasm and feelings of contentment! Let us encourage each other through our prayers, our smiles, our hugs, and our words. Such times give us chances to be steadfast that would otherwise not come about. What do we feel passionate about? Let us find ways to spill that over from our own hearts to the sustenance and encouragement of others. There is a tendency to feel that we can do little, individually, but we can all do that magical little bit that, added to the little bits of our fellows, becomes the loaves and fishes of that feeling of orientation and normalcy that is the heart of a Christian home. Let us love one another, and keep each other safe within our hearts.

AFP NEWS AND NOTES

Diocese of Oregon

AFP Diocesan Rep Patricia Hayes, who has long been involved in the healing ministry, attended the fourth International Order of St. Luke Conference June 21-25 in British Columbia. Diocesan Rep Mary Leberknight from the Diocese of Idaho also attended. The theme was "Sharing the Heart of Jesus with the Individual, the Church, and the World." Pat has written a full report of the very inspiring and helpful conference; it is available on our website, <www.afp.org>. The next North American Conference will be in San Diego June 22-25, 2011; the next International Conference will be in New Zealand, October 14-18 2013.

Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania

At the ECW Annual Meeting May 8 at St. James Church in Titusville, Diane Pyle, Diocesan Representative, led us in Celtic hymns as she played and told about her bagpipe. Celinda Scott, AFP board member (US Council), spoke about the history of the AFP. At the ECW Retreat Sept.25 at Episcopal Cottage in Chautauqua, NY, the
Rt. Rev. Donald Hultstrand, past executive vice president of the AFP, led a teaching and discussion on "The Praying Church." Around 40 people, including a guest from the ECW in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, participated in this helpful and very inspiring event. Copies of Bishop Hultstrand's book can be ordered from the AFP (see contact information below). Thanks to Enid Bishop for her leadership in organizing these events.

Anglican Church of Bermuda and the Diocese of New Jersey

Archdeacon emeritus of the Anglican Church of Bermuda, the Venerable Dr. Arnold Hollis, has been active for many years in the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer in Bermuda, where he is rector of St. James Church in Sandys Parish. He was the honored Guest Speaker August 28 in Atlantic City, New Jersey during the 110th anniversary celebration of St. Augustine Episcopal Church: "Beauty for Ashes." Dr. Hollis was rector at St. Augustine's 1970-77, and his children Allison, Catherine, and Joanna (now a priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles) were born in Atlantic City. This was a very festive and inspiring occasion.

Diocese of Connecticut

'Supporting Each Other in Prayer" was the title of the AFP Conference October 16 at St. John's Episcopal Church in North Haven, CT. Laird Mortimer, long time member of the AFP, and the Rev. Tom Furrer, Rector of Trinity Church, Tariffville, organized it. Attendees were to "get to know our new Bishop as a man or prayer' and to "participate in building a base of prayer support for our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas as he faces the challenges ahead." Laird said "We had 38 people at the AFP Conference. Not a giant crowd, but it was a good day for sharing, teaching and prayer." See photo, page 5.

Diocese of Idaho

The Diocese of Idaho held its annual AFP Breakfast October 23 just prior to the business meetings of the diocesan convention. AFP's Diocesan Rep. Mary Leberknight shepherded this event as she has for many years. The Rev. Holladay Sanderson was featured speaker and Idaho's Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Brian Thom, attended. The convention theme,"Our Mission Toolbox: Putting our Faith to Work" was the focus of the event.

MORE INSPIRATION FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTS

The Rev. Noel Bailey, interim rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Diocese of New Hampshire e-mailed this message a couple of months ago: " I hope that you can help me find the background for a benediction that I first heard about 15 years ago and it is as powerful today as then. I remember that it was written by someone in Florida and the AFP. I looked through the AFP website and couldn't find it there, so I look forward to any help that you can send along." Dr. Will Williams, AFP President replied: "Concerning the benediction, it actually was a prayer written by our DR in Newfoundland, Bishop Stewart Payne. Nancy remembered it right away and found an AFP prayer card with the entire prayer written out with Stewart's name at the bottom." Here it is:

'May the Lord Jesus, who loves with a wounded heart, be your love for ever more. May the Lord Jesus, who serves with wounded hands, help you serve others. May the Lord Jesus, who walks on wounded feet, walk with you to the end of the road. Look for the face of Jesus in everyone you meet, and may everyone you meet see the face of Jesus in you."


Judy Steinbauer, from Young Harris, Georgia shared this poetic definition of prayer, which she says is "a work in progress:"

PRAYER IS...
-the utmost wireless connection
-love/agape
-conversation with God
-healing
-a virtue
-a gift
-aligning our will with God's
-silence
-listening for holy guidance
-persistent/persevering
-acknowledges our need for God and community
-changes us
-quiet assent with the Spirit
-our intention to be God's children
-not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that's always in
progress
-to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing,
within you (Nouwen)
-not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence (Nouwen)
-the voice of faith, trusting that God knows and cares

Oct. 16 Prayer Conference in the Diocese of Connecticut

At center, holding the AFP banner: the Rev. Tom Furrer, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, CT. Laird Mortimer, Diocesan Representative, took the picture. His wife, Ann, is on the far right in the front row as you look at the picture; The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, 15th Bishop of Connecticut, is to Ann's left. See p. 3 for the article.

HOW YOU CAN HELP CARRY OUT THE MINISTRY OF THE AFP

1. Pray, and encourage others to pray. As Partners in Prayer we are called to prayer for each other and for the Body of Christ. 2. Form a diocesan network of intercessors. We hope to have more about this in the next newsletter. 3. Let us know your ideas about how AFP can be of better service, and tell us what you are doing in your diocese.

Note: We are collecting e-mail addresses for AFP members who would like occasional e-mails with news and special prayer requests. Please contact the corresponding secretary at <celinda@fastmail.fm>if you would like your name and address to be added.

From our AFP US Council president, Dr. Will Williams: as always we appreciate your prayers for this ministry that it might be a Christian witness to a hurting world, and if you are so moved, we would appreciate any donation you might be able to make to support the ministry, and the publication and mailing of the newsletters.
Please send to AFP, 1106 Mansfield Ave., Indiana, PA 15701.

Advent Antiphon

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid thou our sad divisions cease,
And be thyself our King of Peace.
Hymnal 1982, p. 56.

 

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