WITH only two weeks to go to Brisbane archdiocese’s Pray 2010 gathering organisers are pleased registrations are continuing to increase.
On current numbers more than 2100 people will be present across the four nights and three days from July 7-10.
In a further endorsement for Archbishop John Bathersby’s gathering, about 25 per cent of attendees will be coming from interstate (all seven states and territories) or overseas, with Pakistan and New Zealand representing some of the farthest pilgrimages being made.
The positive uptake of tickets, both from around Queensland and beyond, has been pleasing for project co-ordinator and Brisbane archdiocese’s Faith and Life Vicariate executive director Geoff Gowdie.
Mr Gowdie said the multi-faceted event, which he describes more simply as a “giant prayer expo”, would surprise people by its interactive nature, practical application and the range of diversity within its many prayer workshops.
“Prayer is not simply about set formulas; it’s about understanding core beliefs and the reality that one can relate to God in many different ways,” he said.
“Seeing how other people pray and learning some of those ways is often helpful because it’s a learning experience that can free us.
“People can realise for the first time ‘Oh, that’s prayer’, or ‘Oh, you can do it that way’, so it’s often as much about clearing away the formula.”
Realisation of the Pray 2010 concept has taken two years from the archbishop’s proposing of the idea, through the juggling of the international speakers’ diaries and down to the brass tacks of staging and the technical set up of venues.
It is being held at the combined campus of Clairvaux MacKillop College and St Bernard’s Parish because only a venue this size could accommodate the 37 keynote presentations, more than 130 presenters and choice of 300 prayer workshops over the four days.
In recalling the archbishop’s initial impetus for the gathering, Mr Gowdie said the archbishop was concerned that people can easily neglect prayer.
“Of course the archbishop understands that in today’s world people find it difficult to pray because life is so busy and there are so many distractions and challenges in these uncertain times,” he said.
“Yet through it all he’s still absolutely committed to getting the Christian vision out into the community and believes firmly that prayer is at the heart of it.
“Whether or not people want to have a relationship with God depends often on experiencing ‘how to’ and if they can experience how to, sometimes it fuels the ‘want to’.”
For more details on Pray 2010 or to register go to www.pray2010.org.au