Bless, O Lord, the Associates of the Community of the Sisters of the Church. Strengthen us to promote your glory and to aid in the extension of your kingdom here on earth: and may we, by our prayers, uphold the Sisters and each other, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Associates – women and men, ordained and lay –are very important members of our extended Community. This network of committed Christians comes from all walks of life: ordained, working in the fields of health, education, social work, business, commerce, from top executive to check-out clerk, retired and those looking for work. They are people who value the particular contribution of Religious Communities and want to be associated with them. Our rule for Associates states this intention: "To unite with the Community in its life of prayer and its task of proclaiming the gospel, and to grow in the realization of one's own role in that ministry."
Associates acknowledge the importance of prayer in their living out their Christian life. They acknowledge the value of, when possible, having some time of quiet and retreat, a value which the ordinary world is recognizing, at least in theory. Associates who live near the Community house can and do help in all sorts of practical ways with our outreach ministry. Those who live further afield help in different ways, organizing local meetings to provide the group with a retreat day or some input of a subject of interest. Groups find it helpful just to meet together and to share what is going on in their lives. This is of great value, especially for those living in small, isolated communities.
The Community gives their Associates support and encouragement by correspondence and by being a place where they can come when the opportunity arises to renew their strength. The Community provides a network which transcends the local boundaries of parish and diocese and gives a connectedness to the sense of the wider Anglican Church and to the whole Communion.
So although our physical numbers in Community might be small, together with our Associates we make a sizeable contribution to the whole church's task of proclaiming the gospel and feeding the inner spiritual life of those who seek to follow Jesus in the Way.
by whose power we are created
and by whose love we are redeemed:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we might give ourselves to your service,
and live this day in love
to one another and to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- A.C.S.C. PRAYER