Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20
My siblings in Christ,
I hold sacred my calling as Shepherd to the laity and a pastor to the clergy. We are now 22 months into COVID. Our diocese has been resilient, innovative and courageous. While variants may arise, we adapt, adjust and move forward. Our churches will need to prepare for the new season that awaits. For this reason, we must pray, prepare and recharge.
I am asking that all churches embrace the Daily Office found in The Book of Common Prayer for a “Morning Prayer Week.” While voluntary, I strongly encourage this time as we prepare for Lent, Easter and the fall of 2022. This should be time for prayers, reflection spiritual renewal for our clergy. I encourage you to also consider the needs of your lay employees for spiritual renewal and to make similar accommodation as may be appropriate.
Our Anglican heritage is rich, deep and varied. In recent years, more and more of us have rediscovered the beauty of the Daily Office. Although some came to it out of necessity, I constantly hear from you about the ways in the Daily Office has enriched your spiritual lives and added a new dimension to worship at your church.
If possible, please schedule this time before the beginning of Lent. Such time should not count as vacation. Planning ahead, please make allowances for a second “Morning Prayer Week” later this year at a time of your choosing.
As you know, we have been compiling and publishing complete Morning Prayer guides to assist our churches throughout the pandemic. The latest version, which covers all of Epiphany through February 27, can be found here. You can also use the Daily Office App.
If you have any questions about how to lead Morning Prayer, please contact us. Your diocesan staff will be happy to assist.
As one people and one diocese, let us continue to support one another and strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ in whose love rests all our hope.
The Rt. Reverend Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania