Lectionary Selection: John 20: 1-18 or Mark 16: 1-8
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
Dear Lord: Here we have seen the oppression of your people, their loss of opportunity, possessions, freedom, dignity and hope. Despair encompasses them as the darkness of your tomb. Who will roll away the stone? Yet, as the sun of this Easter morning rises, the promise of life dawns again and the brightness of your victory, even over death, resurrects their faith and hope. Lord, you have known the challenges and trials that await those who faithfully follow you; but you also gave your assurance that you have overcome. We trust in you! By your power, save those who suffer the crushing weight of occupation. By your grace, save those who are consumed by the zeal to continue the occupation. By your peace, penetrate the minds and hearts of the occupier and the occupied and restore them to their full humanity; help them to find their true peace and security in your love. By your loving kindness, inspire, encourage, empower, help and use all of us to be ministers of reconciliation, builders of hope and makers of peace. Yes, Lord, we trust in you! Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Israel/Palestine:
Thanks to the visionary initiative of the Diyar Consortium leadership and the commitment of teams of Middle Eastern Christian scholars and activists, and also to support from several persons and organizations, including the Disciples and the UCC, The “Religion and State – Middle East” program is moving forward with confidence, and is making such tangible progress that looks forward to transformative results.
In recent months, a group of 25 Arab Christian academics has finalized and released a document that is likely the first of its kind to deal forthrightly with issues relevant to the relationship between religion and state in today’s Arab Middle East, and to publish a statement of a Christian commitment to address them. The group included men, women and young university graduates. The majority were theologians, political scientists, constitutional law and the legislative experts, sociologists and economists.
The Document, titled “From the Nile to the Euphrates: The Call of Faith and Citizenship,” has identified 10 current, critical issues, some of which are chronic challenges, that confront the Middle East, and has set forth a commitment based on our faith and our Christian vocation to actively seek the welfare of our societies, as responsible citizens.
The Religion and State Program is particularly grateful for the financial support of the Week of Compassion, and to the appointment by the CGMB of mission personnel to help design and coordinate its activities.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Sara and Victor Makari)
Mission Partners in Israel/Palestine:
More information on Israel/Palestine:
Global Ministries Missionaries in Israel/Palestine:
Rev. Victor Makari, a member of Highland Presbyterian Church (USA), Louisville, Kentucky, and Sara Makari, a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Mercer, Pennsylvania, are jointly appointed with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA) and serves with our Mission Partner, the Diyar. Their appointments are made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.