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Celebrating our common prayer

16 August, 2017

Every week in church we pray the prayer Jesus taught us, the Lord’s Prayer. It is a challenging prayer, partly because, in it, Jesus asks that God’s kingdom, God’s reign, would come on earth just as it already is in heaven.

The Bible reveals that God has a passion for justice and for those living in poverty. Part of God’s reign coming on earth as in heaven involves the pursuit of justice and the alleviation of poverty.

When we speak in churches, we often tell the story of Jim Wallis, the founder and President of the Sojourners community in the United States.

When Jim was first starting his ministry, he wanted to find out what the Bible said about poverty and justice, if anything. So he and a friend took a Bible and a pair of scissors and proceeded to literally cut out of their Bible every passage they could find which talked about God’s concern for justice and the poor. Jim recalls that what they were left with was a ‘holey’ Bible; it was a Bible full of holes, because they found more than 2,000 passages that speak about poverty and justice.

From the creation story in Genesis, right through to the fulfilment of the new creation in Revelation, we find in the Scriptures a theme of God’s heart for the poor and vulnerable. This is why Jesus spent so much of his time with such people, and it is why we choose to go where Jesus was sent.

This is also why engaging with the Anglican Church is a vital part of our work. Being Anglican is part of our identity, so we see it as central to talk to all Anglicans about the God whose heart is for the poor and vulnerable.

In the last few years we have been increasingly busy visiting churches and community groups who want to know more about how they can be part of our vision for a peaceful, just and sustainable world, a world where God’s reign is increasing.

For this reason, we don’t just talk about our work in a practical sense (though it definitely includes that). We talk about our work in the context of our Christian faith. That means that we regularly preach on a Sunday morning at Anglican churches.

One story from the gospels that we sometimes preach on (and which you will see discussed in the Bible Study on the previous page) is that of the woman with the flow of blood in Mark 5. This is a story of transformation at every level, not just the physical. Check out the Bible study for more on this wonderful story.

Each year we speak to people in churches big and small. Most churches we visit are in the Melbourne area, but we also travel from time to time.

In previous years we have visited Perth and other parts of NSW for speaking engagements. And in September this year, our Marketing and Communications Manager, Brian Holmes, will be speaking at various churches around the Hunter Valley region of NSW as part of the Spring Celebrations of Anglican Women Newcastle.

We consider it a privilege to preach and speak about our work. For us it is about living out our vision and inviting Anglicans throughout Australia to join us on the wonderful journey of celebrating our common prayer of working for the kingdom of God to come on Earth as in heaven.

If you would like to book one of our staff members to preach or speak at your church or community group, please give us a call on 1800 249 880 or email us at aoa@anglicanoverseasaid.org.au

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