SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Frank J. Beard is asking that the Illinois Great Rivers Conference set aside the week of Jan. 22-28, 2017, as a Week of Prayer for the Way Forward Commission and its work.
The week selected is part of a church-wide call to prayer in 2017 and 2018 as the Commission moves forward its work. Bishops of the church have covenanted with one another to pray 15 minutes each day for the Commission. The second phase is involving each individual annual conference in prayer for a week.
Birmingham Area Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett told a gathering in Jacksonville, Fla. That the prayer emphasis was two-fold. “We are praying that God help us to more effectively fulfill the mission of the church. And we are praying to be one in Christ,” she said.
Bishop Beard said the selection of the week of Jan. 22 was strategic in that events inside and outside the church have called for people to be united.
“The week will be the first week in which a new president will be leading the country following a very contentious campaign,” he said. “And the week overlaps the Week of Prayer and Christian Unity, a worldwide ecumenical focusing on unity within the Christian faith.”
The Upper Room has developed a website called umcprays.org The website features many tools and resources to help you to plan for the week of prayer and additional information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.