Pray for the church

Published January 1, 2011

In parish visits across the country, I cherish the opportunity of meeting people at the door. There are often interesting exchanges. Without fail there will be someone who warmly takes my hand into theirs and says, “Thank you for being with us. We pray for you every week. It’s nice to put a face to the name and the voice.” As I say, “Thank you,” I tell them I go in the strength of the grace for which they pray, and I ask them to continue praying for me and for our beloved church. And they each say, “You can be assured, I will.” As often as I have this experience, I am humbled and grateful.In the confidence of your prayers and God’s mercy to hear and help us, I bring before you three requests.I ask your prayers for one another across the church in Canada as you prepare for annual meetings. May they be marked by a spirit of celebration for ministries that have borne much fruit in the past year, and a spirit of anticipation for the opportunities to be of service in God’s mission in your communities in the coming year.I ask your prayers for the Archbishop of Canterbury as he gathers the primates of the Anglican Communion in Dublin at the end of the month. Pray that in the midst of continuing tensions, a spirit of graciousness will prevail. Pray for renewed communion, compassion and courage in Christ and his gospel of redemption and peace for all people. I ask your prayers for the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 16 to 23. Inspired by the witness of the Church in Jerusalem, the theme is appropriately drawn from the Acts of the Apostles (2:42)-“One in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.” I encourage you to attend the liturgy in your neighbourhood and join with others in praying for unity in faith, sacramental life and service in the name of Christ.With many thanks for your prayers and commitment to the vows of your baptism, I pray for every blessing for you in this new year in our life together in Christ. ΩArchbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.


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