Sunday, 3 May 2020

Praying in Easter with USPG:
22, Sunday 3 May 2020

‘We pray for those journalists who risk their lives’ … newspapers on sale in Omonia Square, Athens (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Our churches remain closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but I am continuing to celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday, with all the lectionary readings and a sermon. I am also continuing to use the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections throughout this Season of Easter. USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

Throughout this week (3 to 9 May 2020), the USPG Prayer Diary is inspired by the work of Saint Nicholas Seminary, Ghana, and the theme of ‘Enhancing Church Growth in West Africa.’ This focus is introduced in the Prayer Diary this morning:

St Nicholas Seminary in Cape Coast, Ghana, is a Provincial Theological College. USPG has been supporting the college predominately through the provision of scholarships to the Seminary. St Nicholas plays an important role in leadership development and clergy formation of the Province.

The mission of St Nicholas Seminary is to educate lay and ordained leaders of the Church and world emphasising the life of daily prayer and worship, high sense of community life, pastoral care, ministerial formation and social justice. The training and formation of Seminarians at St Nicholas has a pastoral dimension. As they begin the formation programme, seminarians come to understand that the priest, like Christ, is ordained ‘not to be served, but to serve’ – not to dominate, but to inspire and guide the people of God. They should become vividly aware of the Church’s mission to all people, and be ready to minister to all people everywhere.

Sunday 3 May 2020 (Fourth Sunday of Easter and World Press Freedom Day):

Heavenly Father,
we pray for those journalists who risk their lives to speak truth to power,
and we pray for more honesty in our media.

The Readings: Acts 2: 42-47 or Nehemiah 9: 6-15; Psalm 23; I Peter 2: 19-25; John 10: 1-10.

The Collect of the Day (Easter IV):

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
Raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post-Communion Prayer:

Merciful Father,
you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again.
Keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

‘We pray for those journalists who risk their lives’ … newspapers on sale at a kiosk in Rethymnon, Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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