Bishop Ward asks us to pray for the “Let Us Pray” gathering for clergy on Feb. 1 and draws upon the prophet Isaiah’s writing that we “shall be a thing of beauty in the hand of the Lord.”
Grace and peace to you, laity and clergy of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
As this new year begins, we hear the resounding words of the prophet Isaiah, “You shall be a thing of beauty in the hand of the Lord. ” We want to claim this magnificent promise, and to cultivate in our lives receptivity to the Holy Spirit and Christ likeness, so that indeed our lives will be beautiful.
Laity, I invite your prayers for the clergy as we gather on Feb. 1 at Saint Luke United Methodist Church in Sanford. This gathering is called simply “Let Us Pray.” We are gathering to grow in the cultivation of our lives toward prayer and attention to God speaking to us as we seek to be effective leaders in Christ’s church. The day will begin with worship at 10 a.m. Leonard Fairley, superintendent of the Capital district and the episcopal candidate from our annual conference will be the preacher. Then we will move to a platform hour. Dr. Warren Smith from Duke Divinity School will teach, drawing from his recent book on the Lord’s Prayer. His teaching will be very helpful to us as we anticipate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent just ten days after this time together.
There will be opportunities for prayer. Beautiful prayer centers have been created by clergy colleagues, and you will be enriched as you experience different and new ways to open your heart to communion with God. We will share lunch together.
All clergy are anticipated to attend, but it will be helpful for us to have your registration so that we might plan well for this day. We do covet the prayers of the laity as clergy gather. Together, we are given the beautiful promise of Isaiah. We long to be made more and more beautiful, more like Jesus, day by day. This is our prayer together as we move forward in this new year.