Do it in Word and Action in 2012
Peterborough Cathedral welcomed people from across the city to Hope for Peterborough’s fourth New Years Eve joint
service of thanksgiving, prayer and renewal.
Hope for Peterborough is the local expression of a national ecumenical initiative seeking to bring churches of all denominations together with a shared vision for mission: Do more – Do it together – Do it in word and action. They seek to make the love of Christ credible by offering practical service to local communities and the City.
The service was well attended by several hundred people who were led in worship with a mixture of traditional hymns and modern classics, with both the Cathedral’s grand pipe organ as well as the CROPS Youth Worship Band. During the evening there was time set aside to visit five Prayer Stations around the Cathedral. Each Station focused on an area of current concern in our society today and used a variety of creative methods to assist those praying to focus. The methods include meditative silence, lighting a candle, attaching prayers to a cross, and burning incense. It was a powerful time of intercession with a heady presence of smoke and incense filling the main altar area of the Cathedral.
Below are details of the five focuses for prayer, you may want to use them yourself in your church or your own times of reflection:
Hope in times of economic crisis
· Good Stewardship
· Generosity not greed
· Entrepreneurs and jobs for the unemployed
· Justice between rich and poor
· Work experience for young people not in education or training
Hope in the Media
· Honest reporting
· More reporting of good news
· Lessening demand for pornography and proper regulation
· Quality investigative journalism
· For positive influences on children and young people
Hope in Politics
· Wise leadership in national and local government
· Higher morals and integrity of our MP’s
· More prayer for and church engagement with our MP’s
· Less party interest and more national interest
· International cooperation and peace
Hope in the Church
· For the church to be communities of Good News
· For the church to be communities of love
· For the church to be communities of transformation
· For the church to be communities of faith and action
· For the church to be the voice of hope in times of despair
Hope in our communities
· For schools and the teaching of Christian truth
· For work and business and commerce
· For peace and prosperity in our shopping centres
· For our neighbours
· For the salvation of those around us
The service also included a time inviting all ministers or church representatives to stand at the front in order to join in a declaration of Hope with at least 15 representatives from local churches.
The message over all was to make 2012 a year where we, as Christians live out our faith in word and deed, with a particular emphasis on speaking out and not just silently delivering deeds.
One key scripture read during the service included these words from Ephesians 1:
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Maybe you could make this prayer and also Hope, a focus for your faith this year?