Pacific Basin Initiative Advent Devotional

Pacific Basin Initiative Advent Devotional

Week 1 – HOPE
Week 2 – PEACE
Week 3 – JOY
Week 4 – LOVE


A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

O Holy Night

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13

In May 2017, Dansalan College, a K-12 school in the Philippines and Global Ministries partner, suffered a horrific attack. The results of the attack included burned buildings, vandalized property, and students and staff taken hostage. It was a bleak and challenging time.

But now, six years later, Dansalan College has fresh hope. They are rebuilding and doing their best to continue offering quality, accessible education to all. They have relocated their primary campus and are constructing an academic facility and athletic spaces. They also have plans to digitize the Gowing Library, which houses one of the most exhaustive collections on Asian and Filipino Muslim culture. They have continued their bridge-building work between Muslim and Christian communities, with a primarily Christian staff and primarily Muslim students. They experience hope for a better future every day.

Christ entered the world at a bleak and challenging time and brought fresh, new hope for what could be. This gift of hope is one we still celebrate and honor in this season because hope is such a precious, life-giving resource. Dansalan College reminds us that, even today, hope is still possible, and hope can still help us imagine what could be.

Prayer: Holy one, we give you great thanks for the gift of hope. We are sorry that we have sometimes squandered or dismissed this great gift. May we cherish hope and spread it wherever we may go. Amen.

Action step: If you’d like to walk with Dansalan College in hope, consider giving an alternative Christmas gift to a loved one this year. Gifts supporting the work of Dansalan College may be given in honor of any loved one, and a card will be sent to them acknowledging the contribution.

Learn more about Dansalan College, a ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), a partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ through Global Ministries.


O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

The land of Korea is divided. It has been since the war began over 70 years ago. But its people want reunification and peace.

In 2022, Global Ministries partner, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), challenged members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ to sign the Korea Peace Appeal. This global campaign sought to gather 100 million signatures by 2023, the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice. Their goals were to:

  • End the Korean War and establish a peace agreement
  • Create a Korean Peninsula and a world free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat
  • Resolve the conflict with dialogue and cooperation instead of sanctions and pressure
  • Break from the vicious cycle of the arms race and invest in human security and environmental sustainability

On this Peace Sunday, we remember that many communities do not experience peace. We know that there is still much division and violence in the world. But we also know of the Prince of Peace. We understand and trust God’s ability to heal our wounds and divisions. And we pray that Korea and all lands seeking peace with justice experience God’s peace.

Prayer: God of peace, please meet us in our divisions, our lines in the sand. Meet us there and help us to eradicate them. Help us to seek justice and peace. Help us to see the humanity in each other. Remind us that we are all your beloved children. Amen.

Action step: What is one loving action you can take toward sustainability this holiday season? Reuse gift wrapping? Recycle or upcycle waste? Craft eco-friendly gifts? Choose one action between now and the end of the year to share love with God’s creation and people.

Learn more about the National Council of Churches of Korea, a Global Ministries partner.


Tempus adest gratiæ/ The time of grace has come
Hoc quod optabamus,/ What we have wished for,
Carmina lætitiæ/ Songs of joy
Devote reddamus./ Let us give back faithfully.

Gaudete (original Latin and English translation)

“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.'” – Luke 2:10

Recently, the Bazaar Café in Japan celebrated its 25th anniversary. Their mission is to create a gathering place for people of diverse backgrounds, including people of different sexual orientations, ages, genders, nationalities, religions, interests, and values. Along with providing a place where these individuals and groups can network with others in the community, the Café is a place to network for jobs for people with health problems and non-Japanese who have difficulties finding work.

Mission co-worker Martha Mensendiek described the 25th anniversary celebration in her recent newsletter. “The Bazaar Café was decorated with photographs from its 25 years of history, festive ribbons, and even a piñata. People shared their stories, memories, and feelings about the Bazaar Café. There was music, dance, and other performances. Many people who had helped in the early days returned for the event. Some who were students back then brought their children. It was like a homecoming and a celebration of what the Bazaar Café is all about – being open and accepting of persons of all backgrounds and identities, being a place to support one another, and providing a safe and understanding work environment.”

The joy of this celebration and this space are palpable in reading her words. Joy is our focus for this Sunday in Advent as we joyfully anticipate the arrival of Christ. We remember the angel’s words of “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” And we celebrate that there are spaces like the Bazaar Café, where “all people” truly does mean all.

Prayer: God, we celebrate your great gift of joy on this day. We are grateful for the moments of delight, joy, and anticipation. We give you thanks for the ways you share joy with us and for organizations like the Bazaar Café that share your joy freely. Amen.

Action step: What organizations or people can you think of that bring you joy? Write a card or give a gift, celebrating the joy they share with you.

Learn more about the Bazaar Café and the United Church of Christ in Japan, a Global Ministries partner.


Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.

Love Came Down at Christmas

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

At Christmas, we celebrate that God became flesh and lived among us. It was a tremendous act of love. It is an act that still leaves so many of us in awe and wonder.

Global partners share this great love with local communities each and every day through their actions and words. One partner that does a tremendous job of sharing love is the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), headquartered in Fiji.

The PCC mainly focuses on climate justice as a way to love God’s people and world. Frances Namoumou, Program Manager with the PCC, shared these powerful words, “I must thank you all for your generosity through Global Ministries. These gifts have allowed us to reach communities/groups, meet communities halfway, and bridge gaps/ create opportunities to adapt, mitigate, and empower. We have been provided a platform for communities to raise their voice, to speak truth to power, to provide pastoral accompaniment, and identify local solutions that are replicated to other communities. Your generosity, love, and support have allowed us to show God’s love in action through these various engagements and have given us hope and resilience in the face of climate crisis.”

On this love Sunday, we are grateful that love came down at Christmas and that love continues to be shown and shared throughout the world.

Prayer: God of love, thank you for the ways in which you share your great love with us and for the opportunities to share your love with each other. Help us to find even more ways to be your love in action. Amen.

Action step: What is one loving action you can take toward sustainability this holiday season? Reuse gift wrapping? Recycle or upcycle waste? Craft eco-friendly gifts? Choose one action between now and the end of the year to share love with God’s creation and people.