Thank you for being a Diocesan Contact.
The AFP Diocesan Contacts (DCs) are the front-line personnel of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. You are the one who has the opportunity to work with people in your diocese. You have been appointed by your diocesan bishop to encourage and help further the life of prayer within your diocese.
AFP Diocesan Contact Requirements
The main requirement for a diocesan Contact of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer is a personal commitment to prayer and a desire to see other people grow in their walk with Our Lord. Whatever you lack in training, experience and knowledge can be compensated for by inviting other members of the Body of Christ into a diocesan AFP committee and as workshop or retreat leaders, and obtaining help from members of the National Executive Committee.
AFP Diocesan Contact Responsibilities
Nothing can take the place of your faithful prayers for the progress of this ministry, both in your own diocese and in the larger church. AFP Rep’s are also asked to support each other.
Encouraging others to pray
Some of the ways you can do this are outlined in this handbook, starting prayer groups, and by arranging for retreats, quiet days, prayer workshops, prayer vigils and prayer conferences. Articles on prayer in your diocesan paper are another helpful approach.
Consultation with the Diocesan Bishop
You were appointed to this ministry by your bishop and it is important that you keep in touch with him or her to make sure that your ministry is in line with his/her priorities. If you have been actively promoting prayer through any of the means mentioned above, be sure to tell your bishop what you have been doing. (See Appendix A at the back of this section for a letter from a Contact describing her visit with her new bishop, and the goal sheet she presented to him.)
Remember too that your bishop can help you in a number of ways:
Support for Bishop
- by writing a letter to the clergy to commend your ministry (or a particular aspect of your ministry)
- by celebrating the Eucharist or speaking at a diocesan prayer conference or quiet day
- by helping you to find seed money for a diocesan conference or other project
- by helping you to attend any prayer conferences which may be of value and the DC’s Consultations (if only by pointing you in the right direction to apply for funding!) In looking for this kind of help, however, be aware that you are more likely to get help if you are either completely new to the work or are seen to be actively promoting prayer through one means or another in your diocese.
Always support your bishop in this difficult and demanding position with your own prayers, and encourage others to do the same.
Getting to know the clergy
Send them a letter introducing yourself . If you have time, go and visit them to talk about how the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer can help their church.
Commending Anglican Fellowship of Prayer
While our preferred method of distributing our periodic Newsletters is via Email, you can obtain a package of paper copies from the Newsletter coordinator, as they are produced, to distribute as you see fit. You can also print your own from the electronic copy Emailed to you.Printed copies can be given out at AFP events you are organizing (ask for more if required), but otherwise may be left at the diocesan office, at churches or given to prayer groups. If there are people that you think should receive the newsletter on a regular basis, send their names and addresses to the Executive Committee Membership Coordinator and they will get the regular mailings.Many pamphlets about the work of Anglican
Fellowship of Prayer and prayer in general are also available to give away free or at a low cost to interested people.
A display table at your diocesan synod is a good way to make contacts.
Finally, Anglican Fellowship of Prayer has no endowments and is always in need of financial assistance. We operate on a low budget with a lot of volunteer help. When the opportunity arises, please be prepared to commend the needs of this ministry to diocese, parish councils, and concerned individuals with which you are in contact.
The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer organizes International, National and regional conferences at various time. DC’s are encouraged to attend whenever possible. However, it is recognized that distance and cost considerations may make this difficult. AFP-Canada organizes a DC’s Consultation for DC’s and members of the Executive Committee form time to time. Its purpose is to provide teaching and mutual support for the DC’s and feedback to the Executive Committee members.
Ways and Means to Get Started
Getting people to recognize their need for prayer is not always easy, and receptivity to Anglican Fellowship of Prayer events varies greatly from diocese to diocese. This handbook has a number of suggestions about strategies for commending both Anglican Fellowship of Prayer and prayer itself. Many of the ideas have come from other Contacts and have been well-tested ‘in the field.’ However, the fact that something works in one diocese does not mean it will work in another, so do not be discouraged if you try something and it does not go well. You will also find that receptivity varies greatly from parish to parish, and a particular workshop or other prayer event may be worth trying elsewhere.
Do not be discouraged either by the variety of suggestions in this handbook. You are not expected to do everything at once. It would take a large and active committee to get everything suggested in here off the ground and going.
Feel free to start with something small because God often brings about great works from small beginnings! But, equally, be ready to tackle something big (like a diocesan prayer conference) if the opportunity presents itself because God can enable where our own ability falls short. The important thing is to pray your way through whatever you do. God will use the gifts you have in ways that may surprise you.
AFP (Canada) Membership
When the opportunities arise, you can encourage others to become members of AFP. Membership in AFP (Canada) is open to all praying people who are drawn to the organization, and who desire to be part of a growing body of people of prayer. All members will regularly receive news and access to a wide variety of resources, as well as other prayer related items.It is very easy to become a member of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (Canada). All that is needed is to provide our Membership Coordinator with a person’s contact information. For electronic distribution only a name and e-mail address are needed. For surface distribution we will need name and address, including your postal code. Requesting a name be added to our membership list implies that a person is giving us permission to send them our material. Our Membership Coordinator will confirm receipt of the contact information.Note
: Our membership lists are kept for our own use. Please note that we DO NOT share our membership list with any other organization or business, and of course, one may ask to be removed from the membership list at any time, simply by contacting the Membership Coordinator.