From the Annals of Midday Prayer April 12, 2011Posted by Meredith Gould in being church, Daily Office, humor.
Do you always feel like attending and participating in prayer? I surely do not and this can be challenging, what with being on the prayer team plus serving as Abbess for our virtual community. But I’m committed to praying the Daily Office, in great part because of its structure.
I thank God that prayer times and actual prayers for the Daily Office are more-rather-than-less set. I need this framework when my mind is bouncing around in my brain which, in turn, is oscillating in my skull. Last Friday was one of those days. In case you don’t follow my hysterical (as in crazed rather than hilarious) tweets, here’s the backstory.
On April 8, my accountant of 26 years had a major meltdown about tax info I’d provided at the beginning of February. He’s always been a bit “edgy,” but this explosion was way out of the normal zone. My blood literally ran cold when said he was sending back my stuff. “You live in Maryland now, get an accountant there.” (Note: This is a very cleaned up version.)
So what does this have to do with prayer?
It was 11:45 am by the time I finished my crying jag. Did I want to tweet Sext at 12:15? Nope. Did I do it anyway? Yep. And while I didn’t tweet “LOL” while leading prayer, that’s what happened when I realized Psalm 17: 1-9 was part of the Midday Service.
And so, it was with no shortage of amazement and eye-rolling that I tweeted:
As for the deeds of men — by the words of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
Can’t make this stuff up. Thanks be to God.
The Real Experience of Virtual Community September 29, 2010Posted by Timothy in being church.
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Editor’s note: Back in August, our community and prayer team member, Emmetri Monica Beane (@EpiscopalXian) received a most disturbing early-morning call leaving her feeling empty and alone. Who could she call at that awkward time of day?
It took me a while after hanging up the phone, but I finally realized the Virtual Abbey would be having Morning Prayer on Twitter. While I wasn’t sure I was ready to talk about what had happened, I knew I did not want to be alone. I could join the group for Morning Prayer and settle into the companionship of the community.
Weeks later, I still remember a sense of comfort coming over me once I realized I was not going to be alone through this experience. I had the Virtual Abbey to walk alongside me.
Some traditionalists might argue I should have called my home parish, which I did after a few days. Two people from the parish have gone out of their way to keep in touch with me and see how I am doing. On Sundays, we meet face-to-face and exchange hugs, pass the peace.
With members of the Virtual Abbey, I experience Namaste (trans: God in me speaks to God within you”). Our interactions focus me spiritually.
Online, I never worry about what my hair looks like, how my daughter is behaving, conversations in another part of the church, or if I remembered to lock the car.
Whenever I pray with the Virtual Abbey, no matter what is going on around me, I am somehow fully present for the 140 characters as they appear on my screen. God does a lot with me using that small investment.
As part of the prayer team, I’ve shared details of my situation with others who lead prayer. They, in turn, have been generous with prayer support, words of wisdom, and tweets of encouragement.
During this difficult time, I have wrapped myself in the Virtual Abbey community. As soon as I tweet, our community rises up within me and around me. Eventually, a tweet appears affirming that there are others who witness that God is who He says is. I am not alone.
Image: Spiritual Awareness Community of the Cascades