Pray with Italy, June 26, 2022
Lectionary Selection: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Prayers for Italy
In times when we feel lost, you are there to guide us. In times when we feel weak, we are blessed by the power of your Spirit. Like the prophets and saints before us, we are but vessels to do your work. May we take on that task joyfully, never forgetting that our strength comes from you.
We ask your blessing on those working to support people on the move. We pray for good communication, a well-informed public, engaged politicians, and creative policy-makers. We pray that those who are hostile or indifferent would start to understand how society is enriched by diverse cultures and nationalities. We pray for opportunities for encounters that change hearts and minds. We ask that welcome, rather than pushback, would become the default response.
In these summer months, when the weather is clement and the seas calm, we pray for the safety of those who attempt to cross the sea from Africa to Europe. We ask that those subjected to violence and abuse as they make their way north would know your presence, that they would encounter acts of kindness rather than exploitation, and that, in time, their trauma would be healed.
We ask this all in Christ’s name.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Italy
In June, mission co-worker Fiona Kendall was pleased to help run a weekend of ecumenical encounter for young people with a focus on modern slavery and exploitation. Disciples and UCC partner through Global Ministries, Mediterranean Hope (the refugee and migrant program of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy), has for many years advocated on behalf of those who are exploited and is now collaborating with the Church of England’s Clewer Initiative in finding ways to raise awareness of this global phenomenon, particularly within faith-based communities.
The weekend drew together young people from different denominations across Europe. They heard directly from victims of sexual and labor exploitation and were shocked to hear not only about the harsh reality of being exploited but also by the realization that this exploitation is on our doorstep, in this case, in Italy itself. Through dialogue and workshops, these young people were encouraged to respond to what they heard. Their thoughtful reflections, determination to take the knowledge back to their own communities, and willingness to advocate for change were an inspiration to us all.
The victims of exploitation whose testimonies we heard have turned their lives around: one has written a book about her experiences and is now at university; another has a management position in a cooperative committed to ethical practice. As communities of faith, we are well-placed to shed light on this phenomenon and to support those who are victims; this weekend was one such opportunity to do just that.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Fiona Kendall
Mission Partners in Italy
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Italy
Fiona Kendall serves with Mediterranean Hope, Italy. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.