Lectionary Selection: Matthew 22: (34-46)
Prayers for Sri Lanka:
Gracious God of all of us, we give you thanks for the many people you have created, each with gifts to offer to the rest of the world. Some of us become famous with the way we help many people. Most of us live according to our best understanding of what we can do with and for each other. We give you thanks for the many gifts we have found among our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka – joy, sympathy, help, a listening ear, humor, patience, song and celebration, knowledge, laughter, quiet acceptance, respect, a kind word. Remind us that the gifts we can offer need not be spectacular. The love with which the gifts of Sri Lanka are offered makes them precious – and blessed. We give thanks for the One who taught us in your name that we each have something special to give that our world needs. In the name of Jesus our Christ, we pray for our Tamil sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka in the joy and challenges they have in their homeland. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Sri Lanka:
The 200-year-old history of American missionaries among the minority Tamil people of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was celebrated this and last year, recognizing early partnerships in exploring new possibilities for learning, working, and growing in faith and sharing leadership in educational, medical, and church programs.
We are near the end of our 2-year stay in Sri Lanka working with our partner, the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM), Andy as the associate pastor of the local CACM church and teacher at the CACM seminary, particularly with a group of women studying for ordained leadership. Lindley has been the administrator/head teacher of an after-school program serving poor families in a nearby village.
The late 20th and early 21st centuries were marked by civil war begun to establish an independent Tamil homeland. CACM clergy provided services and sustenance in the worst of the fighting. Clergy and lay leaders continue to work with people still suffering from the many losses war can bring. Neighborhoods were laid waste and mined, and property ownership documents were seized and destroyed. Many Tamils emigrated, and the CACM provides important services to those who remain.
CACM pre- and after-school programs help children benefit as much as possible from public education. Groups for and led by war widows work together in personal and family recovery and in providing economic support for their families and communities. Women heads of families face particularly difficult challenges because of the continuing second-class status of women in Sri Lanka.
Families recover, children graduate, homes are built, crops and gardens fill stomachs, neighbors help each other, and life goes on. So do faith and purpose and dedication to whatever it will take to keep people together and healthy and prepared for the future, and prayer speaks of needs and thanksgiving, on Sundays and every other day and moment of faithful life.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Andy Jepson)
Mission Partners in Sri Lanka:
- Church of the American Ceylon Mission
- Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue (EISD)
- National Christian Council of Sri Lanka
More information on Sri Lanka: http://www.globalministries.org/sri_lanka
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Sri Lanka:
Andy Jepson serves as a long-term volunteer with the Church of the American Ceylon Mission. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.