A number of people have expressed gratitude for the daily devotions on the theme of Stewardship that we distribute by e-mail Mondays through Fridays, leading up to Annual Conference 2015 in May.
Now the Rev. Maryanne Ditter is also offering to anyone a free Prayer Guide that once again includes a month of Scripture, reflection and suggested prayers to bless the Annual Conference session. The meditative resource, first offered in 2014, provides daily prayers beginning April 14, 30 days before the session opens. But, of course, it is never too late or too early to begin praying, especially for a gathering that depends on Holy Conferencing to yield peaceful, productive deliberations among sisters and brothers in Christ.
“I personally believe in the importance of continual prayer,” writes Ditter, citing 1 Thessalonians 5:16–“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” “How else can we be close enough to God to know His plan, wisdom, guidance and purpose for our lives? So in that spirit, I challenge you to be in continual, intercessory prayer for our Annual Conference.”
Ditter offered the prayer guide in 2014 at Bishop Peggy Johnson’s request to be used in preparation for Annual Conference. Disappointed that few people wrote to her to request copies of the resource, she said, “I hope many more people prayed but did it on their own.” Nonetheless, Bishop Johnson asked her to offer it again this year.
If you would like to receive the prayer guide or additional information about praying for annual conference, contact Ditter at 215-962-2769 (cell) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Pennsylvania Renewal Fellowship (EPRF) invites everyone to join them in a prayer walk just before Annual Conference begins. EPRF is a regional fellowship group affiliated with the national Aldersgate Renewal Ministries (ARM), based near Nashville, TN. ARM has worked with The Upper Room to prepare prayer rooms and a prayer guide for both General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference.
According to Ditter, “EPRF believes it is important to ask God’s Spirit to be present during Annual Conference so that all will be guided by His will and purpose as we make decisions that will impact our conference and our denomination. Whether or not you plan to join in this prayer walk, it is important that all of us pray that God’s Spirit would be present during our times of gathering. It should be our desire that God’s plan and purpose for our Conference will be evident throughout the entire time of this gathering. And it should be our prayer that we would be obedient in responding to what God desires for our Conference and for The United Methodist Church.”
If you would like to join EPRF for the prayer walk, they will meet Thursday, May 14, at 8:30 AM, in the lobby of the Oaks Convention Center. They will begin gathering at 8:30 AM, and begin walking and praying at 8:45 AM. For additional information contact the Rev. Maryanne Ditter at 215-962-2769 (cell) or at email@example.com.