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In preparation for the Episcopal election on September 26th 2020, we encourage you to enter into a day of prayer and fasting for our diocese and for those who have offered their service on behalf of Christ's body, the church.

Our Senior Diocesan Administrator, The Very Rev. Ansley Tucker implores us to pray as she writes: "Dear people of God, please pray. Pray for the Church. Pray for the candidates. And remember that regardless of whom we elect, we have been and continue to be deeply blessed by the ministry of all our candidates".

We enter into this day, having read and prayed and discussed the candidates and the future of our church in this specific time and place and now we come together, knowing that there is something powerful in our collective faith turned toward God in this time of discernment.

In a resource, for such a time the Diocese of Toronto writes: "There is great blessing and power in unified prayer. Throughout the centuries, God’s people have gathered in times of need, seeking God’s will to be known and accomplished. These prayers have often been given focus and clarity through the spiritual discipline of fasting, voluntary and temporary abstinence (primarily) of food. Fasting helps in deepening our attentiveness to God and God’s will by turning from the desires of
the body and towards the life-giving desire of serving and knowing Jesus Christ. In prayerful fasting,
we are brought closer to the humble reality of our dependence upon God for all things, drawing
from God as the Bread of Life, and are often given a sense of spiritual clarity which further helps
hone our prayers and discernment.

This discipline of fasting can also include withholding any contemporary behaviour or practice that represents a significant aspect of one’s daily “diet of life,” such as an intake of internet/TV/media. This is especially relevant for those whom restricting food is not medically advisable." 

Answering this call to fast and pray, I have included a sample timeline for how Sept 25th could be structured. This could happen in your own home, with your bubble or at the church building in a socially distanced way. No matter how we gather, we are invited to engage the day in a prayerful and discerning way, putting aside our own preconceived notions and staying open for the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

The church building at 600 Richmond will be open from 9 am-2 pm for socially distanced prayer.

The Electoral Synod will take place On Saturday, September 26th starting with a Eucharist that will be live-streamed from the Cathedral at 9 am. The electronic vote will begin around 11 am. 

May the Holy Spirit breathe life into our Diocese and prepare our hearts for this time of discernment and prayer. 

For more information on the Electoral Synod, contact your Synod rep or local clergy or check out our Diocesan Website.  https://bc.anglican.ca/collections/episcopal-transition

Prayer for Synod

written by Herbert O'Driscoll

Lord Jesus, 

May your Wisdom be our wisdom;
Your Vision our vision;
Your Will our will:
That we may seek, find, and call one who will Shepherd your people,
Nurture reconciliation,
Love your creation,
And speak Hope to the Church and the World
In Your Name.
Amen 

Prayer for Discernment
Written by Joyce Rupp

Spirit of Guidance, I see before me numerous choices and a decision to be made.
There is division in my heart.
I entrust my decision-making into your hands, ready to do my part but also knowing that I cannot do this
without your help.
Lead me through all the unsure, unclear, doubtful, hesitant, and questioning moments that are mine as
I search to find the right way in which to go.
Grant me the grace to choose freely, without being attached to the outcome. I trust that you will be with me as I make my decision prayerfully and with faith.
Assure me that your peace will rest deep within me as I make the decision that seems best at this time.
I may continue to experience feelings of turmoil and confusion, but deep within I know that I can return to that settled place in me where you always dwell.
Guide and Director of my life, I place my life in your hands. Lead me to the path that will best deepen and strengthen my relationship with you.
Amen

Schedule for the 25th

Morning Prayer: 9 am (either at home or in-person)

Possible Scriptures

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; ...From this,
we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (I John)

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that
your fruit should abide.” (John 15:16)

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee. He stood up to read,and the scroll of
the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has
sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant,
and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them,
“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21)

Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among
you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a
ransom for many.”(Mt 20:27-28)

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to
him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” (John 1)

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides
soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4)
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so
that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Philippians
1:9-10)

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. (Jn 13:12-14)

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you
may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Candidate videos:  10-11 am

at home or streaming from the church building (Review the written information again if you prefer)

https://bc.anglican.ca/episcopal-transition/candidate-information

Watch each video (perhaps in a different order if this is your second time through). Take a few minutes between each video to pray and note where you feel resonance or dissonance, do you sense the Holy Spirit’s encouragement and prompting? Based on your understanding of the deep needs and vision of the church here in this place, how do you see this call to serve the body of Christ in all its diversity embodied in the candidate's presentation? What other questions, reflections come up as you watch/read?

Pray for each candidate, their family and church community and for this Diocese and all of the delegates, staff and people throughout these islands and inlets. 

Holy Eucharist (spoken) 12pm

Zoom check-in/debrief: 1:30pm

(email: [email protected] or [email protected] for the link) 

Closing prayer: 2pm (either at home or in-person)