2020_010_A
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Washington National Cathedral offers prayer generator

Washington National Cathedral offers prayer generator

The Washington National Cathedral has created a prayer generator. The program asks for your name and religion (the options are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Other), and asks you to pick which issues are most important to you from a few short lists. You can also enter your email address “if you’d like to receive a beautiful, printable copy of your prayer by email,” along with other “inspirational materials.” Then the program generates a personal prayer. The primary difference between prayers for members of different religion seems to be whether or not there is a reference to Jesus Christ; most of the sections of the prayers seem to be from the Book of Common Prayer, regardless of which religion was selected on the generator. The website is attractive and easy to use, but its purpose seems somewhat oblique.

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Paul Powers

You can generate a prayer without giving an email address.

Marshall Scott

You know, I am in Kansas City, home of the Unity School of Christianity (best known for “Words from Unity”). Long a part of their mission, they have a program called “Silent Unity.” They are prepared to receive and respond to prayer requests 24-hours a day, and have a team of volunteers for the purpose. They have done this for years, starting with requests by post, and for years focusing on phone conversations, until email became the norm. The requests came from persons of all traditions, just needing to be heard and supported in prayer. By the same token, their volunteers did as well, coming from many local communities including Episcopal parishes. They are strictly enjoined from requesting or accepting contributions, and from advocating for Unity or individual congregations. I have heard many stories from the volunteers of their service, and a good number from folks who, feeling distressed, called for support.

If this is what the Cathedral Chapter wants to do, more power to ’em. If, as in some concerns expressed, it’s marketing (however it may be otherwise described), I agree, we shouldn’t be doing it.

Phillip Cato

Evidence of an off-kilter theological and moral compass. Too clever and self-serving by half.

jim knutson

It is very nice that the episcopal church has allowed gay marriage

Br. Jeffrey Shy, CoS

Or, it could be a clever way to get you on an email list?

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