Means of Grace: Welcoming Prayer Guided Meditation


Welcoming Prayer Guided Meditation - Episode No. 19

In this meditation, Rev. Ashley Pickerel Thomas leads the Welcoming Prayer, created by Mary Mrozowski.  According to Contemplative Outreach, the Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. The purpose of the Welcoming Prayer is to deepen our relationship with God through consenting in the ordinary activities of our day.

Show Notes - Episode 19

Read the full prayer here:

Ashley Thomas is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference, currently serving in two ministry capacities:

The first is as a clergy coach with Passion In Partnership. In this role she has the opportunity to invest and work with clergy across several different conferences, largely in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, helping to cultivate life-long fruitful ministry and resilient leaders. 

Additionally, she serves as the Missioner for School of the Spirit, a contemplative practice-based spiritual formation experience for clergy and lay ministry professionals. In this role she is a storyteller and advocate of the transformative nature of this program and is currently developing second-mile mentoring for alumni, helping contemplative spiritual formation practices take root in the local church. 

In her favorite moments, you will find her either on a trip to some place new or in her flower garden at home, both of which she enjoys with her favorite person, her husband, A.J.


Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
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