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by Elizabeth Rechter

Recently I was in a diocesan meeting, and in the midst of a discussion. Suddenly, the room began to fill with the sounds of chimes, bells, and beeps. It was 4 p.m., the time suggested for prayers for our church to which all in our diocese had been invited. It was a holy moment for me as I felt our bonds of affection, and the work of our common prayer. Together we paused and prayed.

With Diocesan Convention less than a month away, all are encouraged to remain steadfast in prayer. In a previous article we were invited in the following way:

May we continue to keep a covenant to pause at 4:00 p.m. every day, wherever we are, to pray for our Diocese, and for the new day coming. Might you set a gentle reminder on your device or watch to join us now? Our prayers are needed.

When someone begins to talk about the changes ahead, might you take a moment to pause, to listen with the ears of your heart, before responding? Might we all listen to that still small voice to guide us? Our prayers are needed.

Might your congregation set aside a time during the week and during Convention to gather together and pray intentionally for Bishop Bruno and for our next bishop? Our prayers are needed.

And when we come together in December at Convention, how might we ensure that this gathering is saturated with our prayers and our faith? Our prayers are needed.

Special efforts are being made this year to bring an ever prayerful stance to our work as a convention. As has always been our custom, the Daily Office and Convention Eucharist will be anchors of prayer during our two days together. In addition, all in attendance can anticipate a rhythm of contemplative pauses in preparation for voting, and at other times during our legislative work. There will be a room set aside at the Ontario Convention Center to serve as a chapel for any who want to gather there and pray. And a group of non-delegates, seated in the visitor’s gallery, have made a commitment to silently pray for all of us to open our hearts to deeply listen to the Spirit, to listen and honor each other throughout the Convention. Our hope is to create this sacred space for all of us to be follow the promptings of the Spirit for the future wellbeing of our Diocese. We hope all these efforts will serve as outward and visible signs of the grace each of us embodies in our common work at Convention.

A prayer:

O God, our times are in your hand. Look with favor, we pray, on the Diocese of Los Angeles in these days of transition. Give us all wisdom and grace in the election of our next bishop, and receive our prayers on behalf of our bishops Jon and Diane. In this liminal time, may you show us the way toward greater and deeper service to you. We pray in the name of Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep. Amen.

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–The Rev. Elizabeth I. Rechter is executive director of Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality.