I’m looking forward to being at the Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky next week, for the 2018 Conference of the Society of Vineyard Scholars. I’m honoured to be representing my local church as ‘Theologian at Large’ (it’s something to put on the badge!) and giving two papers – one on the Vineyard and Evangelicalism, and the other on a tentative theology of place. My previous experiences (2013, 2014, 2015!) at SVS have been rewarding and encouraging times – and so this is just a short blog post to invite all those of you who care about the Kingdom of God (Whatever brand you subscribe to!) to join me in praying for this gathering of pastors and theologians and other folk (like myself) before we land in Kentucky.
So, here are five things to pray:
- For safety and simplicity on travel and other logistics – this is an international conference, which is always exciting, so please do pray for safety and arrival for all those who God is bringing to the table.
- For the right posture for all of us involved – that we would remember we are not brains in jars or unthinking automatons – but people made in the Image of God, who care deeply about connecting the church and the academy, making theology mean something, and to start and continue all of that in a posture of worship and hope.
- For our hosts – those organising the conference, those hosting, those of us presenting and speaking and otherwise contributing to creating a space to think theologically in community – that they/we would be rested and refreshed, restored and renewed, and generally thoroughly enjoying the time together.
- For our community(/ies) – that, whether this is the one place we feel safe, or an over-stretch, and for everyone in between, this gathering of the SVS community would be a place of blessing and restoration: and that the overflow into the local communities in which we find ourselves living would be one of joy and renewal.
- For the Kingdom to Come. We don’t know what that might mean – it might mean a simple answer to the prayers above. But this is the prayer we are called to pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.