Anglican Fellowship
of Prayer


The Bible in the Life of the Church
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Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

Partners in Prayer

Easter 2011

Newsletter of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer
Printable Copy


OUR MISSION is to serve the church by encouraging, facilitating, and promoting the understanding and discipline of prayer in the Anglican Communion. OUR EMBLEM depicts the world, held in praying hands and raised to the Holy Spirit, which is represented by a dove descending toward the world.

From our president, Dr. William C. Williams:

One year when we were visiting Italy we were in Siena at Easter. Walking back to the hotel after dinner (very late) we noticed people walking uphill across our path toward the Cathedral, a very lovely cathedral made with alternating horizontal rows of grey and white marble. We immediately decided to follow and possibly attend the Easter Vigil, as indeed that was what it was. A brazier was outside of the tremendous door waiting
for candles to be lit from it. Even knowing we would be unable to follow the service word for word, we nonetheless went in, realizing our Episcopal and the Catholic services are not that much different. We were able to follow along pretty well, and after the reading of scripture and the sermon (of which we knew nothing) we heard words we recognized---Pax Dominus. With enthusiasm we passed God’s Peace with our fellow worshippers. Even though we departed before the Holy Communion we felt at peace ourselves having
worshipped and passed the Peace with fellow believers at Easter even though we were foreigners in their country.

Really, this is what Easter should be about. Recognizing that without Easter there would be no Christianity, why not, while there is still time, worship and praise God together? How wonderful it is to praise God with fellow believers when our common language is that of the risen Lord! Christianity is not a set of rules which Christ laid down for us to follow. It is a relationship, a personal relationship between us and Christ
which translates into a relationship between us and other believers. After all, isn’t that what the cross signifies, the vertical bar being our relationship with God and the horizontal bar being our relationship with each other?

As we march in that Great Procession joining others from all across the earth let us this Easter say with gusto and with meaning “The peace of the Lord be always with you”, ”Pax Dominus”, and “Alleluia, the Lord is Risen”, and let us answer with “and also with you”, and “Alleluia, the Lord is risen indeed!” Amen.

From Esther Jackson, AFP Canada Chairperson, and Betty Gracie: Tribute to Archbishop Reginald Hollis

Archbishop Reginald Hollis became the International Director of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer in 1990. He will always be remembered as an exemplary man of prayer. The AFP Noon Day Prayer attests to his sensitivity to God's encompassing purpose for His Church as it is lived out through its people:

Lord Jesus, give to your church a renewed desire to pray, that together we
may know your will, be filled with your love, and experience your grace and power
for the healing of your world, to your glory. AMEN

It was with great sadness we heard of his passing November 9, 2010. Yet there must be great joy in heaven as this devoted man is welcomed to his heavenly home. Archbishop Reg and Marcia were an exceptional team together for A.F.P. "Each for the other and both for the Lord." When doing a workshop with the Niska in Greenville B.C. Betty was privileged to chat with Bert McKay, a native leader in Aiyansh, about Hollis'
prayer. He said, "I am saturated with God right now."- - - after some silence I dared to ask, - - -"and if the road got rocky??" "With God's help I turn the rocks into stepping stones," was Bishop Hollis' response.

From Valentina Cannell, Diocese of Massachusetts: Tribute to the Rev. Samuel S. "Tobe" Johnston

Valentina wrote this January about "Tobe" Johnston (1911-1994). "Tobe" was chairman of the board of AFP in the 1980s, having returned as interim to St. Andrew's Church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he'd been rector 1951-64. He'd left St. Andrew's for St. Andrew's in Kansas City, Missouri, where my husband and I met him and were inspired by him, and then had parishes in Michigan and Maryland. In the 1930s, while a
student at Virginia Theological Seminary, he had organized a church in the Appalachian Mountains. VTS awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1967. About his years at St. Andrew's, Wellesley, Valentina says: "He was the reason the church was thriving in an incredible way...two sessions of Sunday School..about 900 students! … a very HAPPY place... He was the most spiritual person I have ever met, and it was he who introduced me to AFP...whatever came up that was upsetting or of concern, it was always "let's pray..."

From Carla L. Rueckert, AFP Diocesan Representative in the Diocese of Kentucky. © 2011 L/L Research

Sing to Me

I sing the songs I hear
To any who care to listen.
To all who wish good cheer,
Whatever your condition.
I am a troubadour, I guess,
With the wind and fire to guide me.
The wind speaks of Christliness
And the flame leads on so lightly.

Jesus, it's the middle of the day.
And we've run until we almost can't hear you.
We toss out noon like a plastic spoon,
Too busy in our racing to be near you.
You came to lift the noontide
So that our dazed eyes might see.
My soul is running so very hard.
Run with me.

Jesus, it’s the middle of the night,
And you sing in the tires on the highway.
I hear your hum like a kettledrum,
But I know it’s just my heartbeat inside me.
You came to save the sunrise,
To set the midnight free.
My soul is just a beginner.
Sing to me.
Lord, the evening sky is washed with water,
And I see you in the distance on the ocean.
You make moiré of the plain sand of the cay;
On the beach, the broken shells cease their motion.
I feel my crazy year,
The puzzlement of slave for free.
My soul is just a beginner.
Sing to me.


AFP NEWS AND NOTES

Thanks to Paige Grimball, AFP Board member from the Diocese of South Carolina, we have an AFP FACEBOOK GROUP. The rest of us on the Board were hesitant to post on it for awhile, not being, perhaps, of the "social media" generation. However, when Leslie Nuñez Stefferson, Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at the Virginia Theological Seminary asked to join earlier this year, I"woke up" and began to realize, like Paige, the potential value of this means of communication. I sent e-mails to AFP members for whom I had them, and we now have a membership of over 25. We are identified as "A fellowship of Christians dedicated to a life of prayer. Join us as we explore a life of prayer together! God's peace." And Paige has written on the sidebar: "Prayer begins in the heart of God, and it has the power to change the world. It is our task to help you and your church put prayer first. By sharing our teaching and insights about prayer in a global community, we may learn from one another and pray together." If you would like to take a look the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (AFP) Facebook Group page, please e-mail me at <celinda@fastmail.fm> and ask for the URL. If you have a Facebook profile, all I need is your e-mail address to "invite" you to join the Facebook page.

The Rt. Rev. Donald M. Hultstrand gave a day-long workshop at Christ Episcopal Church, Greenville, South Carolina March 16 on The Praying Church. He has written a new book, Holy Living Today. Bishop Hultstrand tells us that he was inspired by the book Holy Living, written by Jeremy Taylor (1613-67) when he was in exile in Wales. Bishop Hultstrand asked himself "Can 'holy living' be new again for each of us?" I
especially liked the section on The Duty of Parents: "Some people are shy about mentioning God in daily living. Are they afraid of looking 'too religious' in front of their children? It's as if they've seen too many movies where the pious parents are perceived as sanctimonious hypocrites and they bend backwards so as not to look like that. They bend so far that they become guilty of the conspiracy of silcnce. If God is not spoken of he must not be there….A great part of this realization is to pray with them every day. Children love an appointed time of prayer…prayers are also needed at unscheduled times when the child or youth lets you know that he is troubled about something" (p. 28). Holy Living Today, copyright 2010 by the Bible Reading Fellowship, can be purchased from the BRF website at <www.biblereading.org>. Or call 1-800-749-4331.

AFP Canada invites us to attend their National Consultation, "Prayer: Transformation of the Heart," June 7-10 at the Entheos Lodge Retreat in Calgary, Alberta. For information please contact Esther Jackson at <estherj@shaw.ca> or 403-239-1004.

WHO ARE WE? If someone asks you what "The Anglican Fellowship of Prayer" is, there are several ways you can answer. You can direct them to our website, <www.afp.org>, where there is quite a bit of information. We are also mentioned by name on the website of The Episcopal Church. On the Site Map, find"Groups and Organizations." Under the category "Spirituality," we are a "Devotional Society."

When we had our AFP Homecoming in Pittsburgh in 1989, a member of the local organizing team looked us up in her Education for Ministry textbook and I kept a copy of what she found. Thanks to Sissie Wile, Assistant Director of EfM at Sewanee University, I can now cite the reference: Mackenzie, Ross, General Editor, “Theology and the Spiritual Life,” Education for Ministry, Year 4 (Sewanee: The University of the
South, 1987), 186, 187. Year 4 of the EfM program has to do with "Theological Choices."

The passage begins: "The small group movement, which began in the 1950s under the leadership of Samuel Shoemaker (1893-1963)….is a modern adaptation of the spiritual direction of post-Reformation pietism. Small groups were established for prayer, Bible study, and support among those who were committed to finding a deeper and fuller Christian life …The roots of these small groups for prayer and Bible study go
back to the Lutheranism of the 17th century." Philip Spener (17th c.) is mentioned, and John Wesley (18th c.).

Bishop Edmond L. Browning was Presiding Bishop at the time of the 1989 AFP Homecoming. In his Friday evening address, he said "What I call for in our churches is more of the deep sense of community that is often nurtured in small groups."

HOW YOU CAN HELP CARRY OUT THE MINISTRY OF THE AFP

Pray, and encourage others to pray. As Partners in Prayer we are called to prayer for each other and for the Body of Christ. Let us know your ideas about how AFP can be of better service, and tell us what you are doing in your diocese. Note: We are collecting e-mail addresses for AFP members who would like occasional emails with news and special prayer requests. Please contact the corresponding secretary at celinda@fastmail.fm if you would like your name and address to be added.

From our AFP US Council president, Dr. Will Williams: as always we appreciate your prayers for this ministry that it might be a Christian witness to a hurting world, and if you are so moved, we would appreciate any donation you might be able to make to support the ministry, and the publication and mailing of the newsletters.

Resources available from number below: AFP's "A Power House of Prayer," The Parish as a Center of Prayer, and The Praying Church (by the Rt. Rev. Donald Hultstrand).
Anglican Fellowship of Prayer 724-463-6436

 

The Great Procession

The sun rises somewhere in the world on Easter morning long before it rises here. I like to think of a Great Procession which takes place on that day. At churches on the far side on the world, the bells ring out and the faithful, the Easter people, come before the altar where the risen Christ is proclaimed and they come for sharing in the life of the Lord of glory. The shout begins to resound around the world, “The Lord is risen!”

This is but part of the Great Procession, for the King of Kings Himself is moving across the face of the earth from aisle to aisle, from altar to altar. And in His company there also comes a Great Procession of all those who have celebrated the risen life of Christ long before we came. It is a mighty procession of joyous pilgrims singing songs of victory, triumph, and of love for the Saviour who walks with them. Can you hear
them?

The Great Procession comes to your church this Easter. You are swept up in it. There are tears of gladness for our very bones vibrate with this passing throng. How small the trifles of this world become as we become enveloped in a larger, nobler company. How thrilled is our soul as we step out of the crowd to see Him face to face! He stops to speak to us, to touch us, and make us whole. The Great Procession goes on and we, by His Grace, are part of it—singing songs of victory. Alleluia!

the Rt. Rev. Donald M. Hultstrand

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