Lectionary Selection: Matthew 21:23-32
Prayers for East Timor:
Merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. By the power of your Spirit you send us into the world to witness to the grace and love revealed in your Son. But quite often we do not go. You work vindication and justice for the oppressed and call us to do the same. But quite often we serve you with our lips but not with our bodies. You invite all to your table, giving us yourself in gifts of bread and wine, but still we exclude and divide. And so we call on you: forgive our waywardness, heal our selfishness and redeem us from the pit of despair according your your promise. Bless this day especially the people of East Timor. Bring us together with them at your table and open our hearts to journey with them despite the ambiguities and challenges. Though our fellowship with them and in partnership with you, may we be changed for the furtherance of your will. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from East Timor:
Clinic Immanuel is a ministry of Immanuel Church in Lospalos East Timor. The Clinic serves the people of Lautem district 5 days a week with primary healthcare and health education. But the staff that serve with compassion and love have their own health challenges. Last week a staff member’s mom suffered a stroke and there’s almost nothing available in the country for rehabilitation, reminding us of the gross imbalance of healthcare in our world. There is however a compassionate and supportive community of care in the church. Yesterday after worship, several of us went to visit her in the hospital which lifted her spirits, reminding us that few things are more important that simply being present to people who are suffering.
Last week we gathered for one of our prayer meetings in a church member’s home. It was a time of gratitude because this person’s husband was making a rare visit home from England. Along with thousands of other Timorese, he works in a chicken-processing factory in Oxford. Like other Asian countries, a significant portion of East Timor’s economy now comes from overseas workers. People are grateful for the work. They can make much more abroad than they can here where subsistence farming is all that’s available for most people. But economic migration creates tensions both abroad and at home so we hope and pray for a day when East Timor’s economy will allow people to stay at home and earn a living while contributing to the development of this new nation.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Tom Liddle)
Mission Partners in East Timor:
More information on East Timor: http://www.globalministries.org/east_timor
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in East Timor:
Tom Liddle serves with the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL) as a facilitator for strengthening congregations and continuing education of pastors. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.