19 April 2020

Praying in Easter with USPG:
8, Sunday, 19 April 2020

Living with a World of Difference … an image from the USPG study pack

Patrick Comerford

Throughout Lent this year, I used the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. 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.

I decided to continue this theme throughout the season of Easter.

Throughout this week (19 to 25 April 2020), the USPG Prayer Diary has taken as its theme the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe – Central Africa Province. This theme is introduced this morning in the Prayer Diary:

Through initiatives such as its HIV Stigma and Discrimination Reduction programme, the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe (ACZ) is spearheading God’s mission ‘to ensure Christ’s love for all’, ensuring that people living with HIV all have dignity and experience the love of Jesus Christ abundantly.

The programme has been training church leaders on issues of HIV and HIV stigma since 2015. This has become a more mainstream topic for church sermons: people who have disclosed their status are now welcomed into the church and offered support. The programme also encourages people to come forward for HIV testing and counselling. Knowing their HIV status allows people to make informed decisions: they can receive medication to prolong life, be advised on a suitable diet and join wellness groups.

Work on this programme goes on despite some very serious challenges ACZ faces. For a very long time, ACZ has suffered from a paralysed negative cash flow, due to ongoing economic hardship in Zimbabwe. ACZ’s House of Bishops has initiated a strategic revival process to deal with the church’s financial challenges, to enable the church to drive its mission and fulfil its purpose.

Sunday 19 April 2020, Second Sunday of Easter:

We thank you, Lord,
for all who endeavour
to ensure Christ’s love for all.
May more of us follow their example.

The Readings: Acts 2: 14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; I Peter 1: 3-9; John 20: 19-31.

The Collect of the Day (Easter II):

Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins
and to rise again for our justification:
Grant us so to put away the leaven
of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post Communion Prayer:

Lord God our Father,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
you have assured your children of eternal life
and in baptism have made us one with him.
Deliver us from the death of sin
and raise us to new life in your love,
in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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