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Missio Dei Book of Prayer: Beta Version

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 17, 2006

I said in an earlier post that I wouldn’t make an electronic form of the Missio Dei Book of Prayer available until after it is finished. I’ve got some hard copies of what we are calling the “Beta Version” coming in the mail, but I could only really afford 10 copies. I’ll be giving them to people at Missio Dei, and a few others, for use during our “reboot” season at Missio Dei. My hope is to have a final version for everyone at Missio Dei (as well as for friends and supporters of Missio Dei) before March. March is when we enter the last phase of our “reboot” process.

Here’s the thing: I want more feedback than what I can get from 10 hard copies. This is why I’m revisiting the idea of distributing an electronic version. Your feedback can help make the Missio Dei Book of Prayer better. Not only better for Missio Dei, but also for our “generic” version. We want to have a version of our prayer book available to all missional communities (especially ones that tilt in the Anabaptist direction) that are interested in having a breviary for their community…more about that later. So, if you’d like a pdf of our book of prayer, I’d love to give it to you, provided:

1) That you don’t distribute it all over the place. You can do that with the final version, but I don’t want our beta version distributed all over the place (though I’m not sure that many people would be interested in it anyways).

2) That you promise to read it and give honest feedback. Any feedback is welcome–about spelling, grammer, theological concerns, use of particular Scriptures, formatting, etc.

Ok. Now I want to make a case for our prayer book–why it would be useful for other missional communties. Obviously, the Divine Hours is being rightly used by many people. But the Divine Hours isn’t a breviary–in other words it isn’t contained within one book. The Missio Dei Book of Prayer is mobile.

Unlike most books of prayer the Missio Dei Book of Prayer is easy to use. Everything you need for your morning or evening prayers is printed out–no need for an additional psalter, no need to flip pages.

The Missio Dei Book of Prayer is also shorter and includes prompts for spontaneous prayers. Some folks in our community were overwhelmed by praying through long formal prayers–they wanted a bit less of the formal prayers and readings, as well as built-in room for spontaneous prayers. We’ve tried to keep a tension between high church and low church with our prayer book.

Finally, the Missio Dei Book of Prayer reflects a missional neo-anabaptist sensibility. In other words, many prayers are directed towards one’s neighborhood and the people there and at the same time a strong commitment to Jesus’ way of peace and justice.

We hope to have our “generic” version edited and ready this spring–a month or two after the current version, which focuses on the West Bank of Minneapolis is finished. I don’t think there is a big enough “market” for this to be published through a publishing house, so I’ll probably have it available through a print-on-demand website, where copies will probably be available at about $10 a copy.
So, if you’d like a pdf version of the current beta version, send an email to markvans [at] gmail.com and I’ll send you a copy, provided you agree to the two things I mentioned above.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the general editor of Jesus Manifesto. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.


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