Plan letter

From Revd John Anderson

Dear Friends 

When the plan allows, Mary and I often attend sung evensong at St Asaph cathedral. The last time we were there the choir sang the anthem “Do not be afraid” by Stopford. I had never heard it before; it was breathtaking and beautiful, thought provoking and humbling. Some words by David Adam came to mind, suggesting that prayer and worship should take you to and over “the edge of glory”. 1  

As I prepare acts of worship I ask “Am I creating an opportunity for people to come to and step over the edge of glory?” Choice of hymns, words and tunes, accessibility and suitability; readings and how they are read; prayers, the content and how they are prayed; any thoughts that I may have and share on the theme and the readings; encounters with people before and after the service; all these elements and more become part of the mystery.  

After a service I reflect “Did these people come prepared to encounter the glory? Have they had an encounter with God through God’s Son and Spirit?” It is rare, in my experience, that the preacher gets a chance to see the fruits of his or her labours. 
As leaders of worship we are like the farmer throwing out the seed, not certain where it will land or how it will survive. Yet the seed, the Word that we scatter comes from God; the real glory that we experience in our lives comes from God and belongs to God.  

So please pray for those who lead worship, whatever their contribution. And pray that you will come to and step over the edge of glory whenever and wherever you come to worship.  
“Lord, in the clouds and darkness of this world, grant us a glimpse of your glory, that we may set ourselves to share in the bringing of your kingdom. As you refresh and restore us, may we work for the renewal of your world, through Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the lifegiving Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.” 
2 John 

1 “The edge of glory – prayers in the Celtic tradition”, David Adam, Triangle/ SPCK, 1985 
2 “Clouds and glory – prayers for the church year, year A”, David Adam, SPCK, 2001