14 Oct 2017

Prayer Connects

This past March, I had the great privilege and pleasure to attend a gender rights conference with other representatives of the Anglican communion. As a result, I now have more friends all over the globe. Through the wonders of social media, we can share aspects of our lives with one another in very simple ways.

One of the aspects of my life, that I share easily and regularly, is that I am a pray-er. I pray a lot. I speak about prayer. It's a big deal for me.
So when the "Thy Kingdom Come" prayer initiative happened this spring, a 10-day global prayer wave from Ascension through Pentecost, I shared it: I spoke about it, I tweeted about it, it was on my Facebook - I was a supporter, needless to say.
One of my friends from the March conference asked what it was - and so I told her, and she also signed up for it. Obviously - Anglicans pray! Why not pray together!

This week she sent me a picture through Facebook. She had been at her church's office and found  "Thy Kingdom Come" mug. So, a quick picture, a quick message, and a quick note - that the mug made her think of me.

What a gift to be thought of, and remembered, from so far away! What a beautiful gift that comes from prayer. We receive the gift of prayer for ourselves, for one another, and for the community. Whether we live next door, or halfway around the world, prayer unites us. What a tremendous and unexpected gift that God grants us through prayer: that our dance with the divine also invites us into relationship that connects us all, regardless of location and temporality.

Thy Kingdom Come, indeed.

8 Oct 2017

A Thanksgiving Letter

As the world around us seems dark and fearful, it’s easy for us to get wound up in the culture of scarcity – where the primary emotion becomes anxiety or fear, restriction and even jealousy. Even in the midst of what we have, our world seems to tell us that we need to have more, and newer, and bigger, and better. This way of thinking prevents us from truly engaging with one another from a place of peace and community

How wonderfully refreshing, then, that the church intentionally focuses our attention into a culture and theology of abundance. Our faith encourages us to re-focus our perspective to one of gratitude. This gratitude is not meant to come from comparison with others (“I have more ___ than that person”); rather faith inspires us to have thankful hearts which celebrate what is before us. This heart rejects the cultural norm of ‘never enough’ and finds delight in simply BEing – being exactly who our loving Creator made us to be.

Our scriptures echo this shift, and invite us to celebrate the abundance which we have in our society. God gives us the gifts and resources that we have, and God gives us the opportunity to demonstrate a similar practice of abundant sharing. We are blessed with the ability to connect with one another, with God, and with God’s gifts through creation. God assures us that we are perfectly and wonderfully made (Ps 139.14), God brings us together in community (Heb 10.24), and God provides wonders to remind us of the blessings of this world (Ps 65.8).

I invite us, then, to hear the call from God to live in the reality of God’s abundant blessings to all of us. May we interact with one another, demonstrating the love of God. May our hearts rejoice as we recognise our abundance, and with that the privilege to share. May we, with joyful hearts, give true and unending thanks to the Lord our God.