Prayers for Poland: Matthew 2:13-23 - Mary and Joseph’s flight into Egypt
God of the journeying, we give thanks that believers throughout history have heard the angel’s message and journeyed forward in faith, even in the face of the threat of death. We pray today for all who have experienced fear, trauma, war, displacement, or the need to take refuge somewhere that is not home. Guide, protect and heal the lives of all your traveling people, especially those for whom there has been no room in the inn. We give special thanks for the unquenchable hope, tenacity and faithfulness of the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland. We pray that you will:
-Support our partner congregations, as they seek to hear your Word for them today;
-Encourage the tireless pastors. Clarify their vision for congregational health and growth;
-Help pastors to feel your guiding presence as they journey long miles to serve the “diaspora church,” ministering to believers in homes with no congregation nearby;
-Open doors for new congregations to be planted where you wish the Church to serve;
-Bring special blessings to the new congregation planted in Wroclaw, that it may flourish;
-Help each congregation to develop a heart for giving--for outreach and service;
-Develop in them and in us the transforming desire to share both your Word and your work in the world, as a living community of faith and hope.
All this we ask in the name of your Greatest Gift, Jesus. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Poland:
Youth camps and conferences are important everywhere, but are especially critical to the future of minority protestant congregations of Poland. “Kids who come from very small towns--maybe they are the only protestants for miles. They feel supported at camp. And . . . to be frank . . . we hope they fall in love, marry, and raise their own kids in our congregations,” says Pastor Semko Koroza of Lodz. There is pressure to join the mainstream culture when people marry someone from outside the church. Protestant congregations are so few. Many families keep their faith alive without the support of any congregation at all. It is a diaspora church. Koroza speaks as a church planter and congregation-builder in the post-communist era, and from personal spiritual and romantic experience, as well. Raised Catholic in Lodz, he came to a KER camp with a buddy. There Semko caught more than the spirit: he caught the eye of Anna from Zelow, a historically Czech Brethren community. The rest is history. Over twenty years on, both work with youth in the churches.
Youth gatherings nurture the future of the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland. Yet, camps are very costly, and_ many need financial help to attend. Global Ministries has supported church growth by sending volunteers, games, puppets, bells and other ministry materials, and by inviting youth into the US church setting. Seven youth attended UCC and DOC camps in the US, and experienced youth programs at the DOC General Assembly, for example.ΓÇ¿And, thanks to Global Ministries, mission workers Liz and Doug Searles seek to nurture growth and outreach in their ministry of accompaniment, as well. Global Ministries is meeting a critical need in the life of minority congregations in Poland.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Liz and Doug Searles)
Video Resources for Poland:
- Pastor Semko Koroza, mission liaison:
- Doug and Liz Searles “Dancing in the Spirit” (play music behind it):
Global Ministries Partners in Poland:
Founded in 1551, Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany—the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland--is a small and marginalized minority denomination in a country where over 95% profess membership in a Catholic Church. Evangelical-Reformed Church of Poland: http://www.reformowani.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11&Itemid=8 It is a diaspora church of 4000 members spread over a score of churches and meeting places. The forced “repatriations” and ethnic cleansings that followed the World Wars of the 20th century, and the many occupations and divisions of Poland before and after these wars, decimated the ancient and traditional reformed church which, at one time, had hundreds of thriving congregations.
To learn more about the partners and projects in Poland: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/poland/
Global Ministries Missionaries in Poland:
Elizabeth and Douglas Searles are Global Ministries mission workers with Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany, a new partnership in Central Europe. Theirs is a joint sending, shared between Global Ministries and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Based in Lodz, Poland, Liz and Doug have a weekly circuit ministry of teaching ESL, English language Bible Study, youth programs, pulpit supply, and music development that takes them to many small communities beyond Lodz. The Searles are commissioned to support in whatever ways they can efforts towards church health, growth and outreach of the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland.
Prayer for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Germany
God, we pray for the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK) in Germany. We pray for the UEK pastors, as they face ever increasing workloads, in helping their congregations to respond to unfamiliar problems. We ask for your blessing on the German churches' outreach to youth who have become alienated and disoriented. We lift up the many partnerships which exist between our churches and UEK congregations and regional churches, that they may be the means of deepening the commitment of both partners to faithful service in their respective societies. Amen
To learn more about partners and projects in Germany: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/germany/