As we face a coronavirus pandemic, some churches are canceling worship services and other gatherings to slow the spread of disease. This means that many Christians will find themselves praying and worship at home instead of going to church.
Forward Movement is offering an array of free resources to support individuals, families, and groups as they worship and pray at home.
“Especially in this time, we must turn to Jesus Christ our Lord as we face fear and uncertainty,” said the Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement. “Though we may not be able gather in person with others in our churches, we can pray knowing that we are never alone, as Jesus has promised to be with us, even to the end of age.”
Resources for morning prayer and daily devotion are still available, as they have been. Links for texts, apps, and podcasts can be found below.
“ChurchNext, a ministry of Forward Movement, has released a set of free courses, Prayer and Worship in Our Homes,” said the Rev. Chris Yaw, director of ChurchNext. “These courses will equip people for prayer and worship even if they cannot gather with others in person in their churches.”
Prayer and Worship in Our Homes includes five classes:
- Everyday Spiritual Practices with Keith Anderson
- How to Pray with Christopher Martin
- Praying with Saints with Scott Gunn and Tim Schenck
- How to Pray Online with Karekin Yarian
- Praying the Anglican Rosary with Suzanne Edwards-Acton
This is a free offering, and people can sign up at ChurchNext.tv. The course can be taken by individuals at a time of their own choosing, or a church group could take the class together in a zoom-style online classroom. In that case, the leader guides the students through the classes, opens with prayer, watches the videos together, and then offers opportunities for discussion using the course discussion questions.
In addition to this new offering, there are two other courses currently available free of charge through ChurchNext.tv. Bridging the Political Divide by Parker Palmer will help you learn how to walk through our divisive political climate with grace and peace. Author and activist Parker J. Palmer shares inspirational and practical knowledge on how we might approach deep political division. A recent offering, Make Me an Instrument: A Guide to Civil Discourse, continues to be free for individuals or for groups.
Beyond ChurchNext online courses, Forward Movement has made morning prayer available in ways that support individual or family prayer. You can find the daily office (morning prayer, noonday prayer, evening prayer, or compline) at the Forward Movement Daily Prayer website. You can choose a variety of options to customize the prayers according to your preference. There is also a daily podcast, A Morning at the Office, with various people leading the prayers and reading the scripture lessons for the day.
The popular daily devotion Forward Day by Day is posted each day online, and it too is available as a podcast.
Both Forward Day by Day and the daily office are also included in Forward Movement’s app for Apple or Android for a one-time charge of $6.99.
Gunn said, “We are continuing to collect resources to offer for this unique time in our civic and church life. Stay tuned for more offerings.” Forward Movement’s customer service team is available by phone or email during normal business hours if you have questions about how we can support you and your church community.
Forward Movement is a ministry of the Episcopal Church that inspires disciples and empowers evangelists. With offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, Forward Movement has been serving the Episcopal Church since 1935 by producing resources such as Forward Day by Day, books, apps, pamphlets, conferences, courses, and more. Visit www.forwardmovement.org to learn more.