Lay people are getting a new glimpse into what Vancouver church leaders and ministry directors are particularly concerned about.
A new monthly e-newsletter, called the Intercessory Prayer Network, sends anyone who signs up three prayer intentions from the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s Ministries and Outreach office.
“The idea was that any work in the Church should start with the Lord and his grace,” said senior director Pavel Reid. “Every month, the M&O leadership team talked and prayed about the key issues that we thought needed prayer.”
At first, those issues would come up at Tuesday morning staff meetings, and a dozen or so colleagues would pray for them.
Then, in October 2016, the first Intercessory Prayer Network newsletter was sent out, asking people who partner with the M&O office to also pray for their intentions.
“We focused on challenges where we discerned either an obstacle to overcome or an opportunity to take advantage of – especially when we couldn’t see an easy or obvious way forward,” said Reid.
They focused on areas of their work that were in “particular need” of divine guidance.
There were 121 people on that initial mailing list. This summer, that inner prayer circle was expanded to include anyone who wants to subscribe to support the local Church in prayer, and the numbers have more than doubled.
“Now that it’s gone beyond the walls of M&O, it is even more gratifying,” said Pauline Sturton, formerly Reid’s assistant and the staffer who sent out that first newsletter in 2016.
The office now e-mails three monthly intentions that pertain to their ministries or to Archbishop J. Michael Miller’s priorities and goals, which they are working hard to fulfil.
“It was really meant to assist with any type of spiritual blockade, and just to remind everybody that it’s out of our hands,” said Sturton.
“What is meant to come to fruition or be successful is in God’s hands.”
The archdiocese’s M&O office runs marriage and parenting programs, pro-life initiatives, the ONE Conference, and ecumenical relations as well as ministries for First Nations people, migrants, refugees, prisoners, and others.
Anyone interested in praying for their intentions can sign up by visiting www.rcav.org/ipn.