The Bishop’s Call to Prayer
We know that the way to our lives having meaning and purpose is through love. When love flows freely, abundantly and generously through our life and embraces a wider community beyond our close family and friends – then we experience fulfilment of life.
We all know from experience that fulfilment can’t be achieved through indulging ourselves, in what we consume or take in. It is when love flows through us and out from us that we find fulfilment, and the more abundant and generous and wider that flow, the more fulfilled is our life. When we seek this, we mature to recognise and acknowledge that it is God’s abundant love flowing. We see that Jesus lived and breathed this way of life and died with the passion for showing humanity this way to human fulfilment. When a community allows love to flow beyond close family and friends, embracing and caring for others, selflessly, generously, and abundantly, mature, wide and open to all, acknowledging, recognising and learning Christ’s way to human flourishing, then it grows as a church.
It feels in recent months as if this part of our community has grown and flourished, but in new ways. Church seems to have shifted. The networks of friendship and support have changed, the generosity and giving has changed, the ways and places we are open to others has changed. The way we worship together has changed. This may be part of God’s long term plan for us. We don’t know yet. Maybe it is right that church as we’ve known it, with a vicar or minister and people worshipping God together weekly in a building in their community, should change. We know that this way of being church is based on people turning up weekly and lots of generosity flowing in giving time, money and resources to sustain it. If the flows of love and generosity are shifting elsewhere then maybe church is too, and we will have to respond. In the meantime we will wait and see how local people respond to the call to resource our church as we know it.
The Bishop has called for a time of dedicated prayer and fasting across Lancashire between 4th – 18th October for God to pour out his blessing on our churches as we know them, and a further two weeks for local people to prayerfully consider what commitment they will make to finance, sustain and resource the current mission and ministry of their churches. We pray for God to unlock our giving and generosity as church communities to show us how we will be shaped for the future.
Jesus promised: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”