In a recent letter to all ministers, parishes, presbyteries and synods, Moderator, the Rt Rev Richard Dawson, has called the Church to prayer. His message is below (in English), and can also be downloaded and shared in the following languages:
Let us Pray!
As we approach Christmas and the end of another year I want to call the whole Church to prayer. I am particularly aware of how important Christmas is both for the Church as a family and for her witness in and to the world.
Christmas and Easter are still universally recognised as Christian festivals even if the depth of understanding is not great. Many people only come to church on these special days. It is, therefore, important that we recognise the opportunities we have at these times to bring a message of hope and mercy to those who live outside the Church family.
I know many of you do engage the community in all sorts of creative ways at Christmas and I also know that many churches put on special services to mark the occasion. Can I encourage you to continue these traditions and to work as hard as possible to raise the Christ-child up at this time? However, I also know that this is a very busy time for staff and especially for Ministers, so I want to call the Church to prayer for our Christmas witness and especially for these people for this period.
Can you please distribute this letter as widely as possible amongst your people and so call them to prayer for the areas I’ve listed below and can you engage in at least one special time of prayer in your parish where people can come apart and spend some quality time in praying for these things? The Church marches on its prayers. Let us, then, march together this Christmas.
Points for prayer:
- That our witness this Christmas may be gracious and effective.
- That we may find many ways to bless those who struggle with Christmas, especially the poor and distressed.
- That we may bless our Ministers and staff through the Christmas period and ensure they get adequate rest and refreshment over summer.
- That we will find the needed resources to staff churches over summer.
- That we will all experience peace and provision this year, which is at the heart of the Christmas tradition.
Richard Dawson (Moderator PCANZ)