The Olympic Torch is making its way around Britain and churches are gearing up to use the event to reach out to their own communities and guests from around the globe – athletes, their families and international visitors.
The torch reaches Glasgow on Friday June 8. Here’s what’s planned so far:
• At 4 pm on Friday June 8 the Salvation Army, supported by Methodist Church members, will provide a catering vehicle in St Enoch Square to help feed some of the 4,000 spectators expected to gather to watch the torch’s progress.
• A Prayer Baton is making its way round Britain at the same time as the Olympic torch. Churches in Belfast are to write prayers of blessing for Glasgow, while Christians here will in turn write prayers for people in Inverness, the next stop for torch and baton. It’s hoped that Glasgow church leaders will be able to participate in a prayer ceremony at lunchtime on the 8th.
• On the afternoons of June 7 and 14 there will be a prayer-walk along the torch’s route.
• Watch your mobile and social networks for details of a flashmob prayer event as part of Prayer on Fire – 7:14, an initiative of 24-7 Prayer and Alpha aimed at creating a wave of public prayer and worship during 70 days of pilgrimage based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 …
‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’
• It’s hoped that churches located on or near the route to be taken by the Olympic Torch will organise events to attract spectators. If your church or organisation would like to participate in any of these events, please email the Salvation Army’s Captain Matt Butler or Glasgow Churches Together’s Ecumenical Officer, Margaret Long.
In addition, many churches are working together to celebrate the Olympic Games by promoting 100 Days of Peace – offering a prayer for peace on each of the 100 days around the big event. Peace was the underlying purpose of the original Games, say the organisers, and was also the ideal of the modern Games when revived in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin.
There’s further information on the More Than Gold website, and Redemptorist Publications, has, in partnership with Missio and More Than Gold, produced Your Journey to Peace, a resource that contains 100 Daily reflections, personal stories and inspiration to help everyone focus on how they can play their part in promoting a more peaceful attitude.
• Find lots of information and resources on the More Than Gold website.