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Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
March 13th 2020

In Time of Calamity

O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and viruses, we flee to you for succor. Deliver the people, we beseech you, from their peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the needy; prosper the means of their safety; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is, we all may apply our hearts unto your heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York call for a National Day of Prayer and Action in response to the corona virus pandemic.

We … call for a National Day of Prayer and Action this coming Mothering Sunday (22nd March) – light a candle at 7pm and put it in your window…

Why not say the Lord’s prayer – “Our Father who art in heaven ….” when you wash your hands. It takes more than the recommended 20 seconds.

We are good in this country at holding our nerve and steadying one another. But a pandemic is something else; you can’t touch the virus, see it or even know where it is. It may be spread by those who don’t even know they are infected. It is very serious for some, very mild for many. Nevertheless, the effect of the virus could drive us apart. To some extent it must do.

Continue reading “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York call for a National Day of Prayer and Action in response to the corona virus pandemic.”

Prayers for General Synod 2019

Compiled by The AFP Executive

Here is the link to the pdf version of the prayers

Silence     (AFP Beginning to Pray – P2)

Choose a way of entering your quiet time. One way could be to pray the Collect at the beginning of the Eucharist, “… God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration, ( i.e. breathing in) of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you…” (BAS, page 185) You may find it enough to say to God “Here I am.” After this, be silent, aware of your breathing and of the presence of God the Holy Spirit in your desire to pray. Silence can be prayer without words. You need not be afraid that God will force you to do anything against your will when you open yourself in this way. Offer God all your thoughts and feelings. Continue reading “Prayers for General Synod 2019”

Prayer Journaling

By Paul Dumbrille

Many people find it useful to keep diaries and chronicles to record their experiences and thoughts, often on a regular basis. A Prayer Journal is not a diary but is a special way to use the written word to enrich one’s relationship with God. Prayer Journaling creates a breathing space in our daily journey with God. It is more than a chronicle of events. Rather, it is a place to record flashes of insight and treasured moments of encounters with God. It is also an opportunity to admit the faults and mistakes that we find so difficult to admit elsewhere. The spiritual discipline of journaling moves beyond and behind mere descriptions of life events, providing a place to ponder the pattern our lives are weaving. If a Prayer Journal answers only one question, it is. “What is God doing in my life?” Absolute honesty is possible. Our private Prayer Journal is a place to pour out our anguish, think the unthinkable, and presume to know what’s best. In the safe haven of being able to make perhaps some outlandish statements, we stumble across our true motives, feelings and desires, and become more intimate with the Divine Presence.
Continue reading “Prayer Journaling”

Prayers for House of Bishops meeting

This is a request for special prayers during the House of Bishops meeting,  March 25-29. This meeting will begin preparations for the selection of a new Canadian Primate to replace Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who will be retiring at the General Synod in July.  We would like to ask AFP Diocesan Contacts to share the invitation to prayer with their parish reps and others in their dioceses.  A suitable prayer might be:

Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, look on your Church with grace, and guide the minds of those who shall choose a Primate for our beloved Anglican Church of Canada, that we may receive a faithful servant who will care for your people and support us in our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Book of Alternative Services. P. 676) 

Prayer Vigils

By Paul Dumbrille

    We often hear about a “vigil” being held outside a home or at a specific location when a tragedy strikes, such as when multiple people are killed from a tragic accident or crime. Dictionaries define a vigil as a period of keeping awake and watchful, especially during a time that is often spent asleep. However, when an event is announced as a Christian “Prayer Vigil”, we might wonder what it is; why it is being carried out; where one might be held; and how long it last.
Continue reading “Prayer Vigils”

Please pray about the sudden death of Canon Robert Fead

Please pray for those impacted by the tragic news that the Reverend Canon Robert Fead, rector of St. Jude’s in Oakville, died on Monday, April 30, in a motor vehicle collision. Canon Fead was a gifted leader and colleague who served with distinction as a faithful servant of God.

Please pray for Rob’s wife, Veronica, and his mother, Pat; for his friends and family and colleagues; for the clergy and people of St. Jude’s, Oakville and for all the churches and military units where he served.

In a message to the clergy of the diocese, Bishop Bird and Bishop-elect Bell wrote: “rooted in the Easter season, may the hope of the Resurrection sustain us in this difficult time.”

Funeral arrangements will be posted as they become available.

OMG! The Priority of Prayer cancelled

With regret, the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Executive has had to cancel this year’s Consultation (OMG! The Priority of Prayer) in Winnipeg.
We feel that it was ultimately in the best interest of Diocesan and Parish Representatives, and all AFP members, and the work that you do in all of the regions, to re-examine what will be of greatest service to support the work that you do.
Thank you for your understanding