09 July 2024

Daily prayer in Ordinary Time 2024:
61, Tuesday 9 July 2024

‘When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them’ (Matthew 9: 36) … the theme of this week’s USPG conference is ‘United Beyond Borders’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are continuing in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar and the week began with the Sixth Sunday after Trinity (Trinity VI). I arrived late yesterday at the High Leigh Conference Centre at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, where the annual conference of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) begins today (9 July) and continues until Thursday (11 July).

Before today begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a reflection in connection with this week’s USPG conference;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

4, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

In the grounds of the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hoddesdon, the venue for the USPG Conference this week (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Matthew 9: 32-38 (NRSVUE):

32 After they had gone away, a demon-possessed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees were saying, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.”

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

Bishop Dalcy Badeli Dlamini of Eswatini is leading the Bible studies at the USPG conference this week

This morning’s reflection:

The annual conference of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) begins this morning in the High Leigh Conference Centre near Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire and continues until Thursday.

The conference theme this week is ‘United Beyond Borders’, and I intend to continue to reflect on the conference in this prayer diary throughout this week.

I met a number of key USPG staff members over dinner yesterday and later in the evening. The conference opens this morning with worship at 11 am and a Bible study at noon led by Bishop Dalcy Badeli Dlamini, Bishop of Eswatini in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. She is the second woman bishop in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and she is leading the Bible studies throughout this week, bringing fresh perspectives on leadership, faith and community.

Bishop Anderson Jeremiah, the new Bishop of Edmonton and a suffragan bishop of the Diocese of London, is this afternoon’s keynote speaker at 2:30. He was consecrated bishop by Archbishop Justin Welby in Canterbury Cathedral on 25 April and was installed as the Bishop of Edmonton in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London, on 19 May. His commitment to justice and peace, rooted in his experience as a Dalit Christian, is expected to set a powerful tone for the conference.

The other speakers this week include the Very Revd Dr Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral, and Bradon Muilenburg, the Anglican Refugee Support Lead in Northern France. Brandon works along border lines and his day-to-day experience of ministry in Calais is expected to bring many of this week’s discussions to life.

In his welcome to the conference, the General Secretary of USPG, the Revd Duncan Dormor, writes:

‘It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s USPG conference, United Beyond Borders. I am looking forward greatly to our time together, to warmly welcoming friends, old and new, and to come together, reflect and learn. We will be challenged and inspired by guest speakers and contributors from across the Anglican Communion including the Right Revd Anderson Jeremiah, the Very Revd Dr Kelly Brown Douglas, Bradon Muilenburg and the Right Revd Dalcy Badeli Dlamini.

‘A few weeks ago I was with Bradon in Calais as the guest of a joint refugee action project between the Diocese in Europe, the Diocese of Canterbury and USPG. The project seeks to ensure that refugees receive the basic support that they need, and to provide hospitality, support and care. This is part of what we’re called to as a Church – following Christ in standing alongside those who seek safety and refuge. I pray that we will leave this conference feeling inspired, encouraged and refreshed to return to our communities emboldened to pray and speak and act with a love like Jesus’ that unites beyond borders.’

Bishop Anderson Jeremiah of Edmonton … this afternoon’s keynote speaker at the USPG conference in High Leigh

Today’s Prayers (Tuesday 9 July 2024):

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘United Beyond Borders.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday with reflections on this week’s USPG conference by Rachael Anderson, Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, USPG.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (Tuesday 9 July 2024) invites us to pray:

Lord, we pray today for the safe travel of all people to the USPG conference. May all preparations go smoothly.

The Collect:

Merciful God,
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you
that we, loving you in all things and above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

God of our pilgrimage,
you have led us to the living water:
refresh and sustain us
as we go forward on our journey,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Additional Collect:

Creator God,
you made us all in your image:
may we discern you in all that we see,
and serve you in all that we do;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

‘Lord, we pray today for the safe travel of all people to the USPG conference’ (USPG Prayer Diary) … a walk in the trees at High Leigh (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition copyright © 2021, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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