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In Southwark Diocese this year, Thy Kingdom Come has a theme of “All God’s People”, recognising that in our diversity of ethnicity, place, and vocation, we are united under Jesus Christ, the Servant King.

Each day between Ascension and Pentecost we will be focusing on a different theme, from social and racial justice to disability and discrimination. To help you pray “Thy Kingdom Come”, we have gathered resources for each theme: a prayer, further reading and suggestions for actions you might wish to take aimed at adults, children and young people, and all ages. Each day also includes resources for people working with children and young people.

Each parish, school or community will pray “Thy Kingdom Come” with their own specific focus. This might be in response to national events, local needs, or global concerns. You may choose to concentrate on one theme or to follow each day in turn. However you choose to mark it, we wish you joy during this exciting season.

Grants

Small grants of up to £100 are also available for parishes wishing to celebrate Thy Kingdom Come, for example to cover the cost of setting up a prayer station or for printing costs. Download and fill in the application form below, adding a brief description of how the money will be used.

Download TKC grant application form

Day 1: Social justice and refugees

Something to read…

8Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute.
9Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
– Proverbs 31:8-9

Something to think about…

Heavenly Father, you to teach us to seek justice, to defend the oppressed and take up the cause of the fatherless and the plea of the widow. We ask that when the scale of injustice seeks to overwhelm us, your spirit will be the encouragement we need to keep to speaking out against it.
Today, we ask for breakthrough for those facing situations of injustice. May they know a sense of hope that only you can bring. Amen.

Something to pray…

God of strength and peace,
send your blessing on the people of Ukraine.
Sustain them in their struggles,
hold them in their fear,
protect them all from danger
and be for them the hope they desire; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Write a monthly letter or email to your local MP or councillor on issues that are important to you.
Take time to read about the current crisis in Ukraine. You could listen to some of the audio diaries available (for example, File on Four from 15 March, bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0015b0b). Allow yourself to experience the suffering there and hold that pain before God.

Actions for children and young people
Think about what it would be like to have to leave your home with only a single backpack (like your schoolbag) to carry everything you want to take. What would you take with you? Draw a picture or write about the things you would take, and the things you would have to leave behind. Pray for children who have to do this.

Actions for all ages
Make a donation to your local food bank or to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC; dec.org.uk).
You could donate your favourite treat to the food bank. Or give up something you enjoy, such as a Friday evening takeaway, a takeaway coffee, or dessert after Sunday lunch, and donate the money saved to the DEC.

Day 2: Children and young people

Something to read…

6that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments…
– Psalm 78: 6-7
28Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
– Joel 2:28
12Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
– 1 Timothy 4:12

Something to think about…

1 Corinthians 12 talks about how everyone plays a role in the body of Christ. Everyone. Where might we intentionally find opportunities to include everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, across church life, worship and decision-making?

Something to pray…

God of all, thank you that we all have gifts and skills and a part to play in the body of Christ. Help us to make space to hear what you want to say through the oldest person to the youngest. Give us opportunities to connect, communicate and share life and faith stories with different generations and give us love and understanding for each other as we seek to truly be ‘church family’. Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Have a conversation with the children and young people in your life about faith and how to notice God at work. If you’re a parent, Parenting for Faith (parentingforfaith.brf.org.uk) has some great ideas and support to do this with confidence.

Actions for children and young people
Where might you be able to use and develop the gifts and talents God has given you as you serve in your church? Tell your parent or church leader any ideas you have to help you be more involved.

Actions for all ages
Why not share faith stories with a person from a different generation to encourage each other with where you see God doing things in your life? If you are in church leadership you might find the Welcoming CYP Toolkit (bit.ly/SouthwarkToolkit) and The All-in Thing by Big Ministries useful (yfc.co.uk/theallinthing).

Day 3: Lay ministry

Something to read…

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. 12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot were to say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body”, that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”, nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
– 1 Corinthians 12: 4-21

Something to think about…

Without being humble, give thanks for the gifts God has given you. Name, out loud or on paper, the abilities, strengths and talents you bring whether that is in church, work, family or social settings. Give thanks again for the opportunities to use those gifts. Remember that all baptised people are called (i.e. have a vocation) to some sort of service in Christ’s name.

Something to pray…

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Explore the resources for authorised lay ministries in our Diocese:
bit.ly/LayMinistry. Might one of these ministries be right for you?

Actions for children and young people
There are all sorts of ways in which people of all ages can serve God and our neighbours. What might you do?
Sometimes the most difficult places to be a Christian are our schools, colleges, or clubs. What do you need to help you? Let your parents/carers/clergy/youth group leaders know.

Actions for all ages
If you have a lay minister in your church, ask what led them to offer that service and get them to tell you what they do.
Count the number of different people doing things to make the Sunday service, fellowship time, and activities during the week happen. How many Readers, SPAs, musicians and other lay ministers are in your church?

Day 4: Racial justice

Something to read…

28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
– Galatians 3:28

Something to think about…

Read and reflect on the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) report created for Racial Justice Sunday 2022 (ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RJS-2022-edit.pdf).
While this resource focuses on Racial Justice Sunday, it is a comprehensive overview of many issues around racial justice.
The Diocese of Southwark’s Anti-Racism Charter (southwark.anglican.org/antiracism) is also a useful resource.

Something to pray…

God of justice,
we rejoice in your creation and the beauty of our diversity,
give us a passion to live well, with respect for all,
with delight in difference, with commitment to inclusion, and with hope for our future
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Find a story about someone from a different ethnic group who has contributed to this country’s history, reflect on that contribution and then find someone to tell about it.
Find a story where someone from a different ethnic group has been treated poorly by the justice system, and talk to someone about it.
One might be a positive conversation and one might be challenging. Reflect on how you feel as you read, as you reflect and as you relate.
Have these conversations with people whom you might not have felt comfortable having the conversations with before about race explicitly and about how we advance racial justice.

Actions for children and young people
Create art – visual or written – that reinforces and honours our common humanity while celebrating the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.

Actions for all ages
Watch Small Island, a two-part 2009 BBC1 television drama adapted from the 2004 novel of the same title by Andrea Levy. The story is centred on four main characters: Hortense, Queenie, Gilbert, and Bernard. It focuses on the diaspora of Jamaican immigrants during and after the Second World War. Trying to escape economic hardship on their own ‘small island’, they have moved to England, the Mother Country, for which the men fought during the war. However, they find they are not readily accepted into their new society.

Day 5: Disability and discrimination

Something to read…

35As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” 42Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” 43Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
– Luke 18:35-43

Something to think about…

Read and reflect on the Bible passage above.

Something to pray…

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David and source of all mercy,
Help us to notice those on the roadside,
To hear their cry and not let the crowds silence them.
Give us the boldness Lord to ask them what they want,
Listen to their answer,
And be led by the Spirit as we minister that they might become followers of Christ with us,
So all would see You at work to the praise and glory of God the Father. Amen

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Consider what voices around us may drown out, or even silence, those cries.

Actions for children and young people
Who is around you that others don’t see but who may be ‘calling out’?

Actions for all ages
How could we listen and minister to those on the margins (‘roadside’) and respond with the compassion of God?

Day 6: The environment

Something to read…

31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
– Genesis 1:31

Something to think about…

The Diocese of Southwark’s From Lent to Lent booklet offers a year of tips and ideas for living a more sustainable life. Find it here: bit.ly/LentToLent

Read Psalm 8 and reflect on how we care for the world around us. How do you care for the great gift from God?

Something to pray…

Creator God,
whose goodness shines through creation,
whose wonders are known in the deeps,
whose beauty is seen in the skies,
whose image is found in each one of us.
forgive our failure
to steward all you have made
and set us on a better path
where we will find that all is good.
Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Repair, Reuse and Recycle. Over the course of a month try and repair something, reuse something and recycle something that you would otherwise have thrown away.

Actions for children and young people
Create a ‘recycling competition’ between siblings, or give a young person the role of Recycling Monitor at home with a forfeit for family members who fail to recycle something.

Actions for all ages
Use the World Wildlife Fund’s environmental footprint calculator (footprint.wwf.org.uk) to work out how much of a footprint your household has and what areas you might want to improve on.

Day 7: The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Something to read…

8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts.
– Haggai 2:8

Something to think about…

Read and reflect on Our Faithful Queen (£5), which explores our monarch’s Christian faith through a series of devotions written for her to use in 1953 (bit.ly/HOPETogether1).

Something to pray…

God, save the Queen,
as we give thanks for Her Majesty’s
70 years of service to this nation
and to the Commonwealth.
With the splendour of silver,
the dignity of gold,
the sparkle of diamonds,
and the quality of platinum
may we seek to serve one another
and follow in the steps that she has trod
for the common good
and for the building up of your kingdom;
in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Find out more about the Christian faith of Her Majesty and how it undergirds her life.

Actions for children and young people
A Happylands Platinum Jubilee animation and book (£2), published in partnership with The Entertainer and Hope for Every Home, is being made so the under-fives in your community can be introduced to the Queen and her Christian faith (bit.ly/HOPETogether2). Other resources for older children are also readily available.

Actions for all ages
Plan an invitational event in your home/garden/local park/church grounds that would welcome people of all generations to gather in thanksgiving for the stability and faith that Queen Elizabeth II has demonstrated during her reign.

Day 8: Ministerial well-being

Something to read…

16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.
– John 15:16
8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”
– Isaiah 6:8

Something to think about…

98% of the people in the Church of England are not ordained, and we spend 95% of our lives outside church and in society. There we have the privilege and opportunity to serve Christ in every task we do, in every encounter we have, and in every place we find ourselves – in the factory as well as the sanctuary, in the primary school as well as in the Sunday school, in the team meeting as well as in the prayer meeting.

Something to pray…

We pray for humility in leading the ministry you’ve called us to. Let us live by your humble example, serving others as the Son of God. Let our hearts be free from arrogance and pride. Let us be faithful servants to your people and concentrate on the spiritual growth of our congregation. Give us true words when preaching to them. May we serve You in everything we do and say. Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
What enhances your well-being? Ensure that you diarise it each day/week. Then prioritise it.
Take a look at Five Ways to Well-Being, a series of resources aimed at promoting health and well-being among different faith groups. As well as a booklet, you can also find advice and ideas for living a happier, healthier life online: good-thinking.uk/faith-and-belief-communities

Actions for children and young people
If you are struggling with your emotions, check out the resources at beheadstrong.uk or youthscape.co.uk/store/product/shuffle-mindset.

Actions for all ages
Children sometimes have difficulty expressing their emotions. Holy Listening Stones on YouTube help them to articulate these in a really simple way. Watch an explanation at youtube.com/watch?v=9MGygtW_504 and see a child using them at youtube.com/watch?v=AQ1pVB09Ths

You can find further resources here: bit.ly/HolyListeningSouthwark.

Day 9: The Persecuted Church

Something to read…

1O Lord, you God of vengeance, you God of vengeance, shine forth!
– Psalm 94:1

Something to think about…

Imagine having to pray and worship in secret at your church. Maybe you have to sing in a whisper so as to keep you and everyone else safe. Some 360 million Christians across the world are hiding their faith in some way.

Something to pray…

Lord, we pray for Christians who are persecuted across the world. We pray for people of all faiths and none who face persecution. May we have deep compassion and the love of Christ for your ‘Hidden Church’.
Amen.

Something to do…

Actions for adults
Micah writes: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Hide your Bible, then go to it during the day to read this passage, making sure no one sees.
Re-hide it. Then pray silently, remembering that your brothers and sisters in Christ do this too.

Actions for children and young people
Make a bracelet with beads to help you pray, just like children who have to hide their faith. Use thin leather, elastic, or a pipe cleaner. Tie or bind the bracelet to slip over the wrist. Coloured beads will help you to remember different parts of the prayer. As you touch each bead, pray part of the Lord’s Prayer for them. You can also use the beads with a Bible verse to pray for children who hide their faith.

Actions for all ages
Gather some twigs. Make a cross. Bind the twigs across the centre with gold thread. Wind coloured wool anticlockwise around each cross bar until it looks like a cross. Tuck the ends in at the back. Pray together, holding the cross, for those who have only Christ to hold on to.

Additional Thy Kingdom Come resources

The TKC Prayer for the day booklet invites us to breathe deeply, to make space for silence and to focus each day on a different theme. You might take these in turn, or choose subjects that resonate in your context.

Every day offers a Bible reading, a subject for reflection, and a prayer. There are also suggestions for actions to take, should you wish, aimed at adults, children and young people, and actions suitable for all ages to undertake together.

TKC Prayer for the day booklet

The Everyday Faith – Hidden Church resources focus on the Hidden Church, and Christians who are
persecuted. They can be used during Thy Kingdom Come or at a time of your choosing.

Everyday Faith – Hidden Church booklet Everyday Faith – Hidden Church insert

Freedom of Religion or Belief factsheet Freedom of Religion or Belief question cards

Thy Kingdom Come – praying for all God’s people poster to display.

Thy Kingdom Come poster

From Lent to Lent, a Year of Small Steps, invites you to commit to a year of weekly actions, each month focusing on a different aspect of the environment, with one suggested lifestyle change to consider each week.

From Lent to Lent, a Year of Small Steps

 

Thy Kingdom Come resources for children & young people

All resources can be used in households, churches or schools.

Young People

The Way produce faith-based video content, made by young people, for young people. Their series on prayer is available now and there will be a discussion guide for youth groups and schools to use with the videos during Thy Kingdom Come. New videos will be released during Thy Kingdom Come, download them from the TKC website.

Children and Families

11-part video series containing worship songs, games, prayer and Bible stories aimed at pre-school and younger primary aged children. The series is hosted by the Cheeky Pandas and can be used in primary school assemblies, church family services or by households.

Prayer ideas for families at home: this resource from the Church of England has multiple creative ideas for prayer with families, including for children and young people with additional needs.

Family creative prayer journal (£5) A 24 page Family Creative Prayer Journal for the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative. Aimed at families to pray together for mission and evangelism.

Particularly for churches/schools

Prayer Stations, including an activity for the Queen’s Jubilee, put together by All Saints’ Benhilton C of E Primary.

The South London Church Fund and Southwark Diocese Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee (No. 236594).
Registered Office: Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW. Registered Charity: (No. 249678).

© The Diocese of Southwark 2022. All rights reserved.
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