Getting ready for Open Churches Week 2017
Once again the Archbishops are inviting every parish, fresh expression of Church, school, chaplaincy, retreat house, and praying community to join in ten days of prayer for evangelism and witness in the run up to Pentecost 2017.
Thy Kingdom Come week of prayer will take place between Thursday 25 May and Sunday 4 June 2017.
This week the Archbishops have written to all clergy in England to ask them if they would consider being part of the 2017 week of prayer. The hope is that everyone will take part in some way. They wrote:
"We are writing in the hope that you and those whom you serve in Christ's name might share with us in prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost 2017 for the witness of Christians in this country. The aim is simple and threefold:
They continue: "We show our faith and trust in God in prayer. It is in prayer that God takes hold of our lives and works through us in ways we can barely imagine possible. Our praying is particularly transformative when it is done in the company of others. Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow him, might 'be one that the world might believe.' There is an invitation then, to make a lasting difference in our nation and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer."
Earlier this year more than 100,000 Christians joined together in over 3,000 events and services in churches and Christian communities across England to pray for our witnessing of Jesus Christ and those we seek to reach in Thy Kingdom Come 2016.
Flagship 'Beacon Events' packed out a number of Cathedrals (with over 300,000 people watching online). There was a commitment from churches across the full diversity of Anglican parishes and in 2017 it is hoped this will grow internationally and across all denominations and streams.
For some that might be hosting special prayer events, prayer rooms or holiday clubs. For others it might mean working with other sisters and brothers in hosting your own 'beacon event'. Whatever it is, please consider joining in this global movement of prayer.
Over the coming months there will be more stories, ideas, resources and information but for if you would like to receive information direct from the Archbishops please enter your e-mail address on the Thy Kingdom Come website.
As the Archbishops finish their letter, "As we utter the words that Jesus himself put on our lips, we pray 'Thy Kingdom Come' because we long for God's Kingdom to come on earth as in heaven. In the Kingdom of God the hungry are fed, the poor hear good news and the oppressed find justice. In that Kingdom the broken are made whole, the sick are healed and the sinner is set free. In that Kingdom all can know right relationship with the Father, through Jesus, the Son, and so find the goal and purpose of their lives. In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of communities."