Saturday, February 04, 2012

A prayer for an "Open the Book" team.

A long time ago (well, I think it was in 2001 to be precise) a small group of women involved in children's work in this diocese met for coffee and conversation with the then Children's Officer. We didn't have any specific agenda, beyond getting to know one another better, and mutual support. 
I was about to go to my selection conference, so didn't pay that much attention to a conversation that was happening on the other side of the room in the ancient gatehouse that is the Cathedral's Education Centre....but 2 of my colleagues were sharing a dream they had had.....and getting very excited.
From that conversation and the dreaming of dreams, Open the Book was rolled out in this diocese and those two women found a new vocation and ministry -which has touched hundreds of adults and children.

Fast forward to 2012, and I've been asked to commission the new team that is taking "Open the Book" into one of our community schools here in the valley. Over the past 3 months as the team has developed, they have grown in so many ways - in faith, in confidence, in friendship - it would have been worth launching the team for the benefits to its members alone, without the impact that their ministry will have on the children of our schools. 
It is a real delight to be commissioning them - I'm thankful for Open the Book as a project, and for the way it has inspired so many to connect with local schools, to enable them to experience the Bible, not as something sterile or irrelevant, but as something dynamic, exciting and immediate...
So tomorrow I will anoint the team, and pray for them by name......then wait and see what happens next through their gift of time and talents.

Lord God,
you invite each of us to be part of your great story
and weave our lives into your perfect happy ending.
Bless your servants N & M as they share the story of your love
and open the book in which we learn more of you.
Give them gentle patience,
Creativity and insight
and all those gifts that they most need
as they share good news with the children of Cashes Green.
May the children, drawn by these stories
Begin to find their place in your kingdom
and so claim your story as their own
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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