Conference deacons write prayer and worship guide
As The United Methodist Church grapples with issues related to human sexuality and the future of the denomination, United Methodists are being called to pray intentionally and fervently.
The denomination-wide “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative launched New Year’s Day 2017 with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference will take one week to pray for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. The Commission was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.
The effort began in the North Carolina Conference and will conclude in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018. The South Georgia Conference’s week of prayer is January 14-21, 2018.
During this week of prayer, South Georgia United Methodists are being asked to commit to worshipping and praying daily using a guide written by the Conference’s deacons. A breath prayer is provided to help guide each day’s worship.
“It’s been a holy and sacred privilege for the deacons to come together for this common goal,” said Rev. Meg Procopio, minister of congregational care at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church in Savannah and Chair of the Order of Deacons. “We have put our hearts into words and we are grateful to have been asked. We hope it will be used for wisdom and discernment.”
The “South Georgia Prays” daily prayer guide may be found online here. Prayers will also be sent daily via email and posted on the Conference’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Click here to subscribe to the daily prayer emails.
Bishop Bryan has also asked each congregation to take time during its Jan. 21 worship service to pray for the Commission on a Way Forward. He gave pastors and church leaders several ways to engage in corporate prayer for the work of the commission and the future of The United Methodist Church: through a prayer from the umcprays.org website, with an original prayer, or by hosting a special prayer vigil.
“We are called to a posture of prayer, praying for God’s leadership to guide us effectively in fulfilling the mission of the church,” he said. “All persons – clergy and laity, conferences and congregations – across the denomination are invited to pray for God’s guidance.”
During phase 1 of the “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative, 84 bishops of the church spent 15 minutes each day for four months in prayer for the selection and initial work of the Commission on A Way Forward.
Churches and individuals are invited to join the initiative beyond their annual conference’s week of prayer by praying daily and fasting weekly for the Church, its mission, and future. The Upper Room has developed umcprays.org, a website where prayers, information, and resources can be shared.
Download prayer and worship guide