Invitation to Fasting & Prayer

It has been a month since the 2019 Annual Conference adjourned. Over the last month, we’ve been discerning what a faithful next step might look like for Virginia Methodists for a New Thing. We were incredibly moved by our pre-conference rally and gathering and are planning for opportunities like that later this year. We have been challenged to consider what full inclusion looks like beyond the stated goals of including the LGBTQIA+ community. And we have been inspired, blown away, and filled to overflowing by the movement of the Holy Spirit during the election of delegates, voting on motions, and the many other spaces of worship and holy conferencing during the Annual Conference session.

So as we discern where to go from here, we want to do two things: ask for your input and invite you to a shared discipline. First, what does a faithful next step look like for you? Does it involve personal reflection, community interaction, or some combination? And how does that get lived out most faithfully? Please let us know your thoughts below. 

And as we discern, we want to invite you into a season of shared discipline of fasting and prayer. Inspired by our friends in the Iowa Annual Conference, we’d like to ask that over the next forty days (starting this week) that you might fast as you are able from sunset on Thursday to 3pm on Friday, in the Wesleyan tradition. We invite you to read and pray over the message of liberation found in Isaiah chapters 40-66. If you read five chapters a week it will take you through that whole section. 

Additionally, during this season we invite you to be praying for this movement and its next steps, for the leadership of the Virginia Annual Conference, and for our United Methodist connection. Many within this movement have been inspired to pray the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer as a daily discipline. We would offer this prayer as an opportunity to unite voices together as we move toward next steps. 

Fasting and prayer have long proven to be effective spiritual disciplines, and we believe this may be a powerful way for us to both discern and build community in this new season of the life of the church. If you are willing to join us in this collective effort of spiritual discernment and being, please let us know below. 

Thanks for being a part of what God is doing in Virginia and beyond! 

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I am participating in the season of fasting and prayer.