Pray for the Episcopal General Convention

July 3, 2009

Pray for Episcopal General ConventionDuring the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, we will be encouraging people from all over the Anglican Communion – and also Christians in general – to pray for this important event, as well as for TEC as a whole, the Communion at large, and for the body of Christ.

Prayer – for anyone – is always a good thing. God never acts contrary to His own will, and will not cause plans to flourish which are not a part of His will. And the people in TEC need prayer for this moment – and for their future. The Anglican Communion also needs prayer; and we wish to pray also for the whole body of Christ.

This is also an opportunity for people from the whole Communion to express its love for the people of TEC and for our fervent wishes that God’s will is done in The Episcopal Church, during this time that our Communion sadly is so at odds about things, and some within The Epsicopal Church in particular are feeling that others in the Communion do not care. It is also an opportunity for those across the Anglican divide in the United States that lies between TEC and the ACNA, to demonstrate that we are united in God’s love, and are intent upon praying for all of His children – even those with whom we may be in disagreement. We’ll also be using different technologies reaching across a divide – between web chat (for anyone with a browser) and Second Life, to allow the faith community of Second Life to pray together with others who aren’t in Second Life.

The purpose here is to pray for God’s Will to be done. We hope that liberals and conservatives alike will come to pray. For the sake of preserving an atmosphere of peace, we hope that prayers posted will not presume or ask for any particular outcome, nor preach on any hot-button issue. Let’s bathe the General Convention in prayer, draw close to Him as we might and trust God for truth, clarity, and courage to face the future. We hope these guidelines are clear enough. If they aren’t, we have some more “fine-print” specific guidelines regarding prayer in chat, since history shows us that internet behavior isn’t always ideal, and chat media especially need good moderation.

For the first time we know of in history, we’ll be linking three web platforms together for prayer, and adding a fourth. This means you can pray with us at Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 1:00 PM Pacific Time simply by using your web browser in an easy chat interface. Or if you are in Second Life, you can pray with us as there at the same time – the two will be linked.

You simply have to come to this site. There will be a link to the chat room. If you are in Second Life, come to the chapel at Willoughby – secondlife://Willoughby/151/35/22/ (link will only work if you have Second Life installed).

And finally, we’ll be encouraging people also to pray on Twitter with the hashtag #pray4TEC througout the entire General Convention, though this won’t be linked to the corporate prayer in browser chat and Second Life.

Flyers and bulletin inserts are available for promoting this prayer event.

We would also like to draw your attention to another, similar project. Anglicans in the Wilderness is organizing a Skype group-chat based medium for praying for General Convention. This, like Twitter, will be for praying throughout the whole convention. Please also visit the project of Anglicans in the Wilderness. We are coordinating things somewhat between us so as to make sure our prayer projects are complimentary.

Father Rob Eaton has also put together a timetable for prayer vigils for the General Convention – you can register on his site in comments to commit to a time period to take part in the vigil – at GC 09 Intercessors. Lent & Beyond is also posting prayers for General Convention and some other resources.

Tech details: this will be very easy to use for everyone, but some might be interested in the technologies we’re using “behind the scenes.” We’ll be using an irc channel which is connected to Second Life via a scripted Second Life device. The irc channel will be accessed via http protocol by a javascript-powered service which allows people to chat in irc simply with their web browsers. The combination means that everyone in Second Life will be able to “hear” (or see the typed prayers) of people who using the site’s web chat; and vice-versa. We’ve never heard of prayer conducted in this way before – allowing people in the Second Life faith community to pray together with people outside of Second Life, using browsers. So it looks like this: Second life <-> irc <-> http. Still, through all this technical mediation, we are one body of Christ, praying together, to one God.

Press-announcement type short version that’s good for blog postings:

On Wednesday through Friday at 1:00 PM Pacific Time, the Anglican Ecumenical Society will be hosting joint prayer sessions in both web chat and Second Life, praying for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Communion needs healing and unity; we call all Anglicans in the United States – Episcopalians, ACNA, and other Anglican churches – and in all the rest of the Communion – to come together to pray for God’s will to be done at General Convention, in the Episcopal Church, and in the Communion at large. We also invite other Christians to join us, as the future of the Communion will have a great effect on the body of Christ as a whole.

We’ll also be praying across another divide – we will be connecting various technologies to make it possible for people within Second Life to pray with those who aren’t. At the times that we are praying together, anyone will be able to come to our site, and click on a link to open a chat box which will allow them to pray together with those of us who are inside Second Life.

Please consider praying with us. More information and flyers / bulletin inserts for Sunday are available at http://AnglicanEcumenicalSociety.wordpress.com. Consider also joining us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/AnglicanEcumenicalSociety.

The Anglican Ecumenical Society is an organization engaged in collaborative ecumenical online ministry which promotes the ecumenical principles of the Anglican Communion – particularly the first two points of the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral.

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  1. […] General Convention. Fr Timothy Fountain’s reflection on praying for General Convention. The Anglican Ecumenical Society has a chat room prayer session on Wed, Thur, and Fri at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Also, they offer […]

  2. […] is currently underway.  Our friends at the Anglican Ecumenical Society (AES) are currently hosting prayer sessions for the General Convention, as well as for TEC, the Anglican Communion, and for the body of […]

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