From 20th September until 20th October 2020, we will be having a whole month of prayer and fasting as a church. We are specifically seeking God's direction for us as a church, his financial provision and guidance over buying a piece of land adjacent to the church grounds.
In the church building, we have set up a prayer space, so that anyone can come into the church building and specifically pray for the vision. We recognise that not everyone can access the building physically, so we have replicated the prayer space as best as we can online.
If you want to follow the creative prayer activities that are set up in the church building, you will need to gather together the following objects:
Coloured transparent paper or similar (that let's the light shine through)
A tea bag
A scented candle
A chocolate or sweet
A note card
A 20 pence piece
2 paperclips, linked together
A lavender sachet or similar
A greetings card
Weekly Prayer Guide
We've tried to imagine what St James Church may look like in 20 years time. Take a read of our visualisation and consider it as you pray about the different areas of ministry.
Connecting to God in intercession and being agents of transformation through our obedience and His actions.
Give thanks for the developing and deepening of our corporate prayer life.
Smell the candle and imagine your prayers being like the fragrance spreading out and touching and changing.
Pray that we will continue to be dependent in prayer rather than just asking God to bless what we are doing.
Connecting to God through love of who He is and what he has done through Jesus
Mark Pickett interviewed Jonathan Berry, our worship co-ordinator, about his vision and passion for worship at St James.
Transforming for God by our witness in our network and neighbourhood
Give thanks for the freedom to share our faith with our community and the opportunities that already exist.
Pray for relationships to be built at our community events.
Serve. Where is your mission field and how are you being a witness?
Hold the coloured gel up to the light and consider how Jesus shining through us brings about transformation.
Connecting to God through friendship with others and changing with God through obedience and accountability.
Give thanks for the 100 people at St James who are in a small group.
Hold the tea bag and smell it. The simple act of sharing a brew connects us.
Pray for the development of community in our groups and a willingness to go deeper in faith and accountability with one another.
Serve: Consider your own involvement in a small group particularly if God maybe calling you to the leadership of a group.
By definition, a St James Small Group is one that meets at a different time from the morning services. Have no fear - there is no height restriction! No, the sizing is about number not stature. The groups vary in number but tend not to exceed 14 or thereabouts.
The intention is to have a group size that allows for deeper relationship with each other and with God; through sharing of time, vision, thoughts and lives.
As there are a variety of sizes, there are also a variety of styles and cultures within the groups. In fact, there are as many different styles as there are groups, but all have one aim, which is to build relationship with God and his people and to serve.
Ensuring that Connecting, Changing and Transforming is at the centre of everything we do.
Pray: Look at the plaited ribbon and use it to guide your prayers for all the complex operation that is St James, and for Naomi as she takes day to day management of the church.
Serve: As you look at the areas on the board, do you have the skills, experience to offer to help in any of these areas?
Give: Consider your financial giving to St James. We need to increase our giving by 20% to continue all the ministry.
Hold the 20p in your hand and ask the Holy Spirit to prompt people to increase their giving. What is this saying to you?
My role involves so many different aspects: from managing events to HR to dealing with building issues. I've illustrated this with a ribbon braid - each strand of my role is interwoven with others. For me, it's about communication and making sure that each of the strands are moving together in the same direction.
Beyond 2020, I believe God is shaping us to serve our community well, through social justice, caring for the environment and simply serving the needs that exist. I am really excited by how family faith is developing, and feel this is an area we should really nurture and invest in. There are still some big challenges, particularly with COVID, but I'm excited by what God is doing in this time.
I'd be grateful if the church could pray for me personally: there are a lot of different strands in the braid, and it's very easy to drop one! With the building and the decisions we have to make, I'm very out of my comfort and experience zone as well. Finally, please pray for financial provision. Some of my role is funded by a grant from the Diocese of Blackburn, and this will run out in early 2022.
The Parish Share
Providing the employment of the Rector to lead St James in its ministry to connect, change and transform and contributing to the training of new leaders and support of other churches.
Pray for our diocese, our Bishops and Senior Leadership team particularly in a time where Covid has meant reductions to the Common Fund.
As you eat the gift of a chocolate/sweet, thank God that our gifts to poorer parishes allow their ministries to continue
Serve: Consider how an increase in your giving will contribute to the lives of others.
Transforming for God by partnering other Christian agencies through our prayers, actions and giving.
Give thanks that St James partners these projects by tithing 10% of our income
Pray: Commit to pray for one project a day during this month. Find out more about these projects on our Mission Partners page.
Serve: Consider if God might be calling you to get further involved with one of these projects.
Kings Highway Partnership
Changing with God as we learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Hold the paper clips and give thanks for our partnership with Kings Highway Church and particularly what we at St James have learnt about prayer from our brothers and sisters in Eldoret.
Pray for the reopening of Kings Highway School and the witness it and the church is to their community.
Transforming for God by serving those in need.
Give thanks for the number of people that have engaged with CAP, those that are now debt free and those that are now on a journey of faith.
Pray that those in debt particularly because of Covid will ring the CAP number on 0800 328 0006 and seek help.
Squeeze the lavender and consider how such a small act creates a big impact.
Serve: Do you have time to become a befriender, a life changer, a prayer partner? Contact Graham Haldane.
Children and Families
Providing multiple opportunities for connection, change and transformation
Pray: Look at the pictures on the board. Let your eyes focus on one or two individuals. Ask God what to pray for for that person and do so.
Serve: 100 people volunteer with children and family ministry in some way. Consider how you might serve the team, by volunteering, praying regularly and giving.
Connecting through discipleship, changing through equipping and transforming through outreach
Pray: Look at the three words that describe the purpose of our youth ministry: Discipleship, Equipping and Outreach. Spend some time reflecting on the meaning of each word and pray into what God shows you.
Serve: Consider how you might support Lucy, our youth minister. Can you encourage her and the team in some way? Will you commit to pray regularly? Will you serve on the youth team?
Enabling others to continue to connect to God and be changed by God through specific support and care.
Give thanks for the members of the pastoral team as they visit those in need
Pray; Particularly for members of St James that can no longer attend public worship
Serve: Consider becoming part of the pastoral team. Contact Peter Williams if you would like to know more.
Using the card write a note of encouragement and appreciation to either someone on the list who we visit regularly or to someone that you know personally.
Buildings and Overheads
A fit for purpose space that serves the vision of transforming our network and neighbourhoods.
Give thanks for the people of faith that built this church, and re-ordered it in 2000.
Pray for faith and vision as we consider the purchase of land next door to the church.
Serve: Look at the big bricks on the table and now hold the little lego brick in your hand. Ask God what He wants to build in the future.
Providing opportunities and material to enable growth in connection with God which leads to change and transformation.
Give thanks for all the opportunities St James provides for people to grow as disciples
Pray for all those involved in discipling others and particularly for the discipleship track sessions running at this time.
Serve: Look at the connecting, changing, transforming cogs; where are you on the discipleship journey at the moment? What might God be saying to you about your life of faith?
Find out more about the Discipleship Track