Lectionary Selection: Luke 1: 39- 45(46-55)
Prayers for South Africa:
Gracious God, like John in the womb, give us news for which to leap! In South Africa, our learners have few books, our sick have insufficient care, and our unemployed grow more impoverished. We are desperate for the good news of the Gospel. Like Elizabeth, give us opportunities for which to praise you! In South Africa, we all too often construct large walls, lock our doors and set the alarm. We are desperate to expose ourselves to good people, good ministries, and inspiring examples through which we may participate and gain hope. Like Mary, bless us for having sought your way! In South Africa, we unwisely seek relief and security from the welfare state, narcissistic politicians and positive indices from Johannesburg Stock Exchange. We are desperate that our reward be only fulfillment in being in and partnering with you to establish your realm. May we be the humble, sacrificial and benevolent leaders we so desperately seek. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
Paul often said in his letters, “…because I have heard” (Ephesians 1:15). Susan and I have heard a lot from South Africa. ‘Because we have heard’ of the faith of the South African people’s fight against Apartheid, we are willing partners with them as they fight new evils. ‘Because we have heard’ Albert Luthuli, the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize, say “the road to freedom is via the cross”, we have chosen to be servants in this land. ‘Because we have heard’ Mlungisi Shangase, a deacon at the Thafamasi Congregational Church, praise God for his wife, child and new home we seek to encourage from the pulpit young men and women to nurture the wellbeing of their families. ‘Because we have heard’ Helen Muziera, a recent Inanda Seminary graduate, express profound appreciation for her education, we will do all we can to enable her to achieve her vocational dreams. As the Chaplain of a historic Christian school, Susan engenders ethical foundations for what will soon be the country’s most promising black female leaders. As the pastor of a small, poor and rural church, I provide a link to the wider church and provide pastoral care that the congregation would otherwise never be able to afford. And because our brothers and sisters in North America ‘have heard’, you have sent us to continue to be with those who are telling. Together, we “do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in [our] prayers” (Ephesians 1:16).
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Susan Valiquette and Scott Couper)
Mission Partners in South Africa:
Video Resources about South Africa:
More information on South Africa:
Global Ministries Missionary in South Africa:
Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette, members of First Congregational Church, Winter Park, Florida, serve with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). Scott assists the Inanda Seminary in strategic planning. He also serves as pastor of the Thafamasi Congregational Church (UCCSA). Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary, Durban, South Africa as the school chaplain and a class instructor.