Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
My brothers and sisters, I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
During the sacred season of Lent, Christians around the world will journey together through this time of preparation. Lent is a time of fasting, reflection, and centering. And because we are a people and a world in need of the saving power of Jesus Christ, it is also a time to acknowledge and repent of our sins. As we walk together toward the promise of Easter let us make use of this time to go deeper in prayer and make our beliefs manifest to the world.
Our vision is "To know Jesus and make him known to the world through prayer, proclamation, and peace." As we live into this sacred calling, I invite you to participate in at least two of the various holy offerings: The Daily Office, Reconciliation of a Penitent, uplifting the Maundy Thursday liturgy and service to both church and community.
As a diocese let us pray the Daily Office. The ritual of daily prayer is a part of our heartfelt identity as Episcopalians. I pray the Office daily and can tell you that this regular grounding in prayer and scripture has profoundly deepened my connection with God, and it is my prayer that we will know and use it together. The Office also contains shorter forms that can be used as family devotions. It will be a fantastic sign to the Church if our dioceses can continue this practice throughout the year. If you need help getting started please visit:
www.missionstclare.com . It contains everything necessary to pray the office. There is also an app that you can download onto your smartphone.
In the midst of my hectic schedule I find myself yearning for the time when I hold our beloved Book of Common Prayer, and begin reciting those holy words. I trust the Holy Spirit and believe we will make the Office just as much a part of our daily routine as is our morning coffee or exercise. It is part of the beautiful, historical and sacred identity we share with Anglicans throughout the world. "Jesus said, 'Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'" (Mark 8:34)
I invite you to enter into the Service of the Reconciliation of a Penitent. In Reconciliation, we confess our sins and make restitution where possible with the intention to amend our lives. The Book of Common Prayer provides two forms of service for the Reconciliation of a Penitent. I read the service and reflect on my actions and seek God's loving hand and saving forgiveness. I encourage each of you to read it and also humbly ask the clergy to offer the service to your congregations. Moreover, I humbly request that both laity and clergy join me as we participate as penitents. Holy God, heavenly Father, you formed me from the dust in your image and likeness and redeemed me from sin and death by the cross of your Son Jesus Christ. Read more.