2021 Global Health Week
August 23, 2021 will begin a week of focus on health challenges in all 5 regions where Global Ministries works. We are not focusing exclusively on the COVID-19 pandemic, but it certainly has made addressing pre-existing global health challenges even more difficult.
Ecumenical Liturgy “Hear the Groans of Creation” from RECONPAZ (The Continental Christian Network for Peace). Download the liturgy in English or en Español.
Songs suggested in the liturgy are available in the SoundCloud playlist to the right.
Bible Study – Love Thy Neighbor in the Raging Pandemic? You Must be Joking!
Preachers may also find this useful in sermon preparation.
Monday – Southern Asia
Annie Namala, Director of the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI) based in Delhi, India shares in this video about the impact of COVID-19 for those on the margins of society in India and how social discrimination impacts access to health care. She shares about how a health pandemic has actually evolved into a socio-economic pandemic. The lockdown has led to unprecedented unemployment in a context where 90% of the population works in the informal sector. Some households are spending 40% of their income on healthcare, especially among street hawkers, sewage workers, and sex workers, who are especially at risk because of the nature of their work. Read the most recent update on the work of CSEI related to COVID-19.
This video was recorded before the deadly second wave of COVID-19 in India when the health system was overwhelmed, including the hospitals of Global Ministries partners. Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on partners in Southern Asia.
Consider making a gift to support the work CSEI is doing.
Tuesday – Middle East and Europe
What happens when healthcare intersects with conflict? We are currently seeing this play out in Israel/Palestine as we see discrimination and inequity in access to COVID vaccination. This disparity and clash of conflict and health has been most visible in the Gaza Strip where recent wars and the blockade have created a dire situation for health.
Al-Ahli Arab Hospital is the oldest hospital in the Gaza Strip and a project of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. In the video to the right, Ms. Suhaila Tarazi, Director General of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital shares about the work of the hospital in the midst of very challenging circumstances.
Archbishop Hosam Naoum of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem offers a prayer for the work of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital and for peace and healing in the region.
Consider making a gift to support Al-Ahli Arab Hospital.
Take action today and call on your member of congress to support H.R. 2407, the “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”.
Wednesday – Latin America and the Caribbean
RECONPAZ is a peace network made up of many organizations across Latin America, many of whom are also Global Ministries partners. Mission Co-worker Ricardo Mayol serves with the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala and is an active leader with RECONPAZ. The Guardians of Creation program is active in six different countries: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Colombia.
This video highlights activism in Puerto Rico to remove coal-burning plants that deposit coal ash. Over 2 million tons of coal ash have been buried in 14 towns in Puerto Rico. Coal ash is a known hazard and causes pollution and illness, including cancer and birth defects. Open-air coal ash deposits are blown into the air and seep into the water causing harm to surrounding communities. A camp was set up in front of the Peñuelas landfill in 2014 and demonstrators protested the coal ash deposits from Applied Energy Systems (AES).
Thursday – Africa
In every country, women face barriers to accessing prenatal healthcare. High costs, lack of access to transportation, understaffed rural clinics, and no paid sick or maternal leave exist here in the United States as well as in other countries. Mission co-worker Brigitte Eale, currently serving with the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), believes that the church can help women overcome these barriers. In fact, she has made this the focus of her Ph.D research and has been conducting this research while serving in Kenya. Read more about her work.
Brigitte has also recorded a COVID-19 prayer (video to the right) that can be used during worship.
The Thursdays in Black campaign is an ecumenical campaign that originated with the World Council of Churches (WCC) during their Solidarity with Women awareness decade (1988-1998) in which stories of rape as a weapon of war, gender injustice, abuse, and violence became increasingly visible. As WCC member churches, we are called to commit to education and action to end gender-based violence. Join us today and every Thursday in wearing black, pausing at noon (your local time), and praying for those who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence.
Friday – East Asia and the Pacific
2021 was the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. We are still learning about the health effects that disaster has had on the local communities and environment. In March 2021, we had a webinar with one of our partners, Terumi Kataoka from the Aizu Radiation Information Center, and our mission co-worker, Jeffrey Mensendiek who was working in Fukushima and helped respond and recover in the immediate aftermath. In the webinar, Terumi talked about the health effects the disaster has had as well as the possibility of the Japanese government choosing to dump irradiated water from Fukushima into the ocean.
Jeffrey Mensendiek offers a prayer for health and healing as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster and seek to make the right decisions to preserve the health of the planet.
Partners in the Pacific have long advocated for the rights of people exposed to nuclear weapons testing in the 1940s and 1950s and the need for reparation, particularly around health issues. They continue this advocacy today, as the containers that hold the waste from these tests are now degrading and allowing contaminated material to seep into the ocean, threatening the health of the people and environment yet again.