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Rev Adam Pawley

The Rector writes,

It is the summer season and whilst it is not Lent or Advent, (the traditional times in the church calendar when we set aside time for prayer and study), I suspect for many of us, with the longer summer evenings and the slower pace of life that seems to more easily come as we holiday and relax in the weekend sun (not least too in the week if the school run for the kids or grandchildren has halted!), it is actually a very good time for us to pick up a book, take time out to pray or engage in some personal or group Bible study…

“Be still and know that I am God…”
Have you often wondered how to pray? Do you struggle to make time to pray? We pray in our Sunday services but what opportunities do we have in the week in Hope Parish to pray?
Personally I have always found it easier to pray in a group than alone. A reminder to you that every week, a small group of us meet in the lady chapel of Hope Church for Monday Morning Prayer. We say the office together, read Scripture and take time to pray together in silence or aloud (whichever we prefer) for the spiritual needs of the parish that we believe the Lord has placed onto our hearts.

Those in licensed ministry in the parish are also working on creating additional midweek opportunities to pray too such as trialing a reflective short monthly service of prayer, scripture and devotional readings, on a midweek evening in the lady chapel of Hope Church. Watch this space!

In particular this summer, in response to the diocesan Power of Prayer initiative, Rev Sally Baird, deacon in Bistre Parish (part of our Mission Area grouping), is offering four ‘experimental prayer’ sessions in the form of Celtic Evening Prayer with 20 minutes of silent prayer. Do join Sally on a Wednesday evening, 7:30pm-8pm on 29th July, 5th,12th and 19th August at St Cecilia’s Church, Mynydd Isa, CH7 6XY, especially if you are looking for some peace and quiet at the end of the day.

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” (Mother Teresa)

Pilgrim Course LogoThe Pilgrim Course… The Church of England has introduced a new Christian learning or discipleship resource, called Pilgrim. You can read more about it online here: www.pilgrimcourse.org/the-course.

To date, it is made up of eight short courses, each of six sessions. Firstly, is the Follow Stage (books 1-4), looking at Turning To Christ, The Lord’s Prayer, The Commandments and The Beatitudes. The material from book 1 onwards is written for mature Christians to study but also for new Christians or enquirers into the Christian faith. The Grow Stage (books 5-8), is a study of The Creeds, The Eucharist, The Bible and The Church and Kingdom.

If you would like to try the course, we will be hosting the first session from the first book, Turning To Christ at 7:30pm on Monday 10th August in Emmanuel Church, Penyffordd. If we like what we look at we will carry on!

Our next Deanery/Mission Area Confirmation Service is set for the evening of 10th November. In particular I commend Pilgrim to you too if you are thinking about Confirmation. The first book explores the promises that our parents and godparents made at our infant baptisms, which are the same that we then affirm at our Confirmations or if we are baptised as an adult.

For the past 18 months Bistre Parish has been following Pilgrim. In fact to date up to 50 people, from Bistre, Buckley, Hope, Mold and Shotton, have worked through the Follow Stage (books 1-4), and The Creeds (book 5) in Bistre. Most recently they have looked at the history, theology and belief attached to the Apostles and Nicene Creeds that we regularly affirm in our worship and I gather those attending are finding it to be of real interest.

Following the Celtic Prayer Evenings in August, Sally will begin The Eucharist (book 6), on Wednesday 23rd September in St Cecilia’s Church, Mynydd Isa, at 7:30pm. Again you are invited and again, if you are thinking about confirmation, this would be an excellent course to follow too. Studying books 1 and 7, I suspect would be an ideal confirmation preparation course.

Give it some thought (!) and of course… prayer!
In Christ,
Adam.

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