HISTORY

WEEKS OF GUIDED PRAYER under the direction of the Lowville Prayer Centre began in 1985 with one congregation and a team of spiritual directors from the Jesuit Centre for Spirituality at Guelph. We are indebted to Father John Haley who worked with Rev. Bruce Seebach at Emmanuel United Church in Hamilton, Ontario to introduce the concept of a Week of Directed Prayer fashioned after the program "The Retreat Comes to the Parish" prepared by Father John Veltri.

When the Week of Directed Prayer came solely under The United Church of Canada leadership, the program was renamed WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER. This change reflected our understanding that both lay people and ministers were capable of serving as Companion giving attention to the work of the Spirit in the prayer journey of the Retreatant, even though they are not qualified to give the leadership of a trained Spiritual Director.

In 1989 Lowville Prayer Centre, through the Nurturing and Companioning Committee, assumed oversight for the WEEKS OF GUIDED PRAYER. Training programs for Companions and Coordinator were developed together with the preparation of materials. We are indebted to many clergy and laity for their support in this process.

In 2003 as the Lowville Prayer Centre was completing its ministry, our Committee became the WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER NETWORK of the Hamilton Conference of The United Church of Canada. We are grateful to the Conference Staff for their support.

It is our hope that this outreach ministry will enhance the prayer life of individuals and faith communities across the church and serve as a supportive instrument of the Holy Spirit for individual and communal growth.

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