We don’t need to talk to too many church pastors to see that the last two years have been extraordinarily difficult. Of course, there have also been many blessings – and we know that God is always at work for his glory and the good of his people. So as our churches begin their third year under COVID, the ACR thought it would be helpful for us to begin the year by praying for one another.
The Sydney Anglican Diocese is a fellowship of churches partnering together in the gospel for the glory and Kingdom of our great God. There are many ways in which we can and should express this fellowship, and one great way is by praying for one another.
Over the next few weeks, the ACR will be sharing prayer points from various church pastors from within the Sydney Anglican Diocese. Will you join me in praying for these churches? What better way to express our fellowship as churches than by mimicking Paul in his relationship with the Philippian church, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer (Phil 1:3-5).
St Stephen’s, Willoughby
St Stephen’s has bounced back from COVID in the past few weeks well. Many have returned and we are about to run an outreach dinner with 50 people (including 20 guests) – beyond our expectations given the COVID environment. We give thanks for some key people who have invited and are bringing friends and family. We would love prayers for this event and the ensuing outreach course. We want to see people come to faith – something we haven’t seen for a long time here!
As a team we are coping. We felt tired through January and smaller numbers following COVID and the impact of holidays did dent our enthusiasm. We have had new staff join more recently and that has helped the staff who did the hard yards through Christmas. We would love prayer for continued confidence in God’s work through the preaching of his word.
Finally, we have found many parishioners have adopted a more passive approach to church. Over the lockdowns the task of ministry rested in the hands of a few committed people and staff. This has meant many have become less involved. We have just relaunched a new focus on each member belonging to all the others (Rom 12:5). We are hoping to remind and re-engage people in the joy of serving together in teams. We would love prayer for a deeper conviction and desire to share life like this.