What is the Jacksonville Prayer Meeting (JPM)?

We are a group of lay Christians, belonging to different churches, who are trying to live a radical life for Christ. Many of our members are Catholic, but others belong to Protestant, Pentecostal, and non-denominational churches.  We express our life together by way of our covenant or commitment sheet, and we meet each week for prayer meetings, small groups, outreaches, and recreation activities.

Is JPM a church?

The Jacksonville Prayer Meeting is not a church; it is a community of people who belong to different Christian churches. Members are encouraged to continue worshipping at their current churches.

Are members of JPM involved in their own churches?

Members of JPM remain active in their own congregation— people are serving in over 20 parishes and churches in Jacksonville. In these congregations, members work with youth groups, Life-Teen programs, as Eucharistic Ministers and lectors, do side-walk counseling for abortion minded women, work in confirmation and baptism classes, in RCIA, as Director’s of Religious Education, with the Spanish, in Cursillo and the Charismatic Renewal, in bible studies, in the Florida prisons, at help centers, with pregnancy centers, music concerts, and on numerous church councils.

Is it necessary for all Christians to live in community?

The New Testament describes the Christian life in ways that are clearly communal-oriented. Christians are called to relate to one another as “brothers and sisters.” They are to be knit together as “members of one body.” They are “members of the household and family of God.” In this sense, all Christians are called to live in community. By its existence, JPM hopes to be a witness to the communal dimension of the Christian faith. We hope that our life together encourages and inspires people to take a closer look at the New Testament’s call to a corporate life.

Who can join JPM?

Membership in JPM is open to all people who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ, attended the Conversion Course and the Release of the Spirit Course, and are willing to live out the JPM commitment paper—what we call our covenant. The commitment is renewed annually by current members and semi-annually by newer members. The best place to start is to come to a prayer meeting, held on Monday nights at St. Joseph’s Church in Mandarin.

Are there other communities like JPM?

Yes. There are thousands of Christian communities in the U.S. and around the world. Some are very similar to JPM and some are very different. JPM is connected with a network of communities called the Sword of the Spirit. Communities in the Sword of the Spirit have a similar approach to community life—centered on a life of prayer, the reading of Scripture, a desire for ongoing conversion, and a commitment to serving the mission of the church. Some communities are exclusively Catholic while others are ecumenical.

How does JPM get its income?

JPM is supported through grants by organizations and through the generous gifts of its members. JPM is a federally approved not-for-profit 501-c-3 organization. All members work in regular jobs. They provide for themselves and their families with their income, but they are also committed to the financial support of their church, JPM, and to other organizations as they so choose. The amount of money given to the community is a personal decision made by each community member. There is no formal percentage.

Does JPM have a statement of faith?

Because members of JPM belong to several different Christian traditions, we do not have a single, comprehensive statement of faith. We adhere to the primary Christian beliefs as they have been held by the mainstream of Christianity through the centuries. We uphold the truths of the gospel as presented in the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed. Members are encouraged to turn to their church in matters of doctrine.

Why do people join JPM? What do they expect to get out of it?

People join JPM for many different reasons. Some have a strong desire to live out a more committed Christian life. Others are attracted by the devout prayer and the emphasis on having a personal relationship with Jesus. Some are looking for the family-like relationships found in the community. Others want to grow as Christians and see JPM as a place to love and serve the Lord. The decision to join JPM is a personal response to the work of the Lord in the life of an individual. It’s a calling.

Members receive teaching that will help them in every aspect of their day-to-day lives. They receive tangible support to grow in Christian maturity. They become part of a loving network of like-minded brothers and sisters. They can expect the gifts God has given them to be employed to help build the church and to evangelize others for Jesus Christ.

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