Lectionary Selection: Matthew 4:1-11
Prayers for Honduras:
The lesson that you taught us in Matthew offers us a guideline for how to deal with temptation. Help us to adapt your teachings to our modern-day lives. Help us recognize the temptations that we are faced with every day. May we always remain vigilant not to put temptation in front of others.
As Maryjane and I leave our post in Honduras, we pray that someone can be found to continue the relationships that we began. There is much work to be done. We ask your blessings on all our partners and friends that we leave behind in Honduras. Keep them safe from harm. Help them feel your presence and guiding love every day. Also, be with the students as they struggle with the temptations that can lead to life or death decisions.
We ask all these things in Your Name.
Amen y Amen.
Let every heart prepare Him room … Issac Newton
I bet you can’t read these words without singing.
Advent is all about preparing; preparing for birth, planning for the celebration of new life, making arrangements for family celebrations, baking cookies and cleaning out the chimney for St. Nicholas.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 7:36 - 8:3
Prayers for Honduras:
Gracious Father Mother God
Violence, corruption, and natural disasters surround us yet people offer lavish hospitality to us and abundant gratitude for what they have been given. Forgive us, God, for turning a blind eye on our brothers and sisters. Forgive us for forsaking Mother Earth. Help us appreciate the stranger among us and offer lavish hospitality. Guide us to give gratitude for what we have. Direct us to lovingly care for what we’ve been given. Thank you for the love and forgiveness offered freely by our Lord.
The murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres on March 3rd has sent ripples through Latin American policy circles and those who had worked with her on environment, indigenous, or Honduras-specific causes. Within the United Church of Christ, she is remembered for her life's work, while those whom she met are mourning her death.Read more
The murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres on March 3rd has sent ripples through Latin American policy circles and those who had worked with her on environment, indigenous, or Honduras-specific causes. Within the United Church of Christ, she is remembered for her life's work, while those whom she met are mourning her death.
Berta championed efforts to protect indigenous peoples from the large-scale development projects that are being advanced in Honduras without consultation of communities and without concern for the environment. She organized communities in Honduras and across the world against the unconsented extraction of natural resources and in defense of the Gualcarque River, a sacred site of the Lenca people and an essential water source, against the construction of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam. She was a much-loved leader of the diverse social movements in her country.
We urge a response from the State Department that is not business as usual but a profound change of direction towards improving the abysmal situation of human rights in Honduras. Act now – Add your name to the letter that will be delivered by United Church of Christ advocates to the State Department and Secretary John Kerry.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
We write in shock and deep sorrow regarding the murder of Honduran human rights and environmental defender Berta Cáceres, founder and general secretary of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). We urge a response from the State Department that is not business as usual but a profound change of direction towards improving the abysmal situation of human rights in Honduras.
We urge you to support an independent international investigation led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights into Ms. Cáceres’ murder and to urge that the Honduran government invite and fully cooperate with such an investigation. Such an independent investigation is essential given the lack of confidence in the judicial system; reigning impunity, including for cases involving human rights defenders; and the emblematic nature of this case.
We support the call of Senator Patrick Leahy and others for an end to the Agua Zarca dam project, and the protection of the territory that Berta devoted her life to defending. And we urge the State Department to suspend all assistance and training to Honduran security forces, with the exception of investigatory and forensic assistance to the police, so long as the murders of Berta Cáceres and scores of other Honduran activists remain in impunity. The U.S. government must stand with those who are putting their lives on the line for the protection of human rights and the environment in Honduras.
Want to do more? UCC Rev. Deborah Lee was part of a delegation of advocates who met and worked with Berta, and had the honour of attending her funeral in Honduras. You are also invited to add your name to the Statement of Solidarity from the US Faith Delegation to the Funeral of Berta Cáceres.
Job 37:23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
Psalm 9:8 NIV He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 6:1-21
“Surely this is the Prophet that has come into the world. “
Prayers for Honduras:
Dear Creator of all things good, we know of your love all of creation, yet we struggle to understand why there is disease and hunger and inequity. We know you are walking along side us in this imperfect yet perfect world. We implore you today to work through us to feed the bodies and spirit of our mothers and fathers, sisters and brother in Honduras and worldwide.
Thank you for sending your Son to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Give to us, his disciples, the strength, the will and the resources to continue Jesus’s work of feeding and healing.
Don and I watch with interest the news of the marchas de las antorchas, Torch-lit Marches, in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Students and middle-income workers, who call themselves the indignados, the Indignant Ones, are calling for an end to government corruption. Then, one evening, we saw the Torches in our small town of Yoro. We heard rumors they would be marching in the evening, taking the protests country-wide. The march in Yoro was loud as protestors’ voices blasted from loud speakers, but it was peaceful. They blocked traffic for a short time, but since our business district is only three blocks long, it didn’t cause much disruption. They carried signs and banners denouncing corruption, demanding accountability from leaders and calling for the resignation of the President Juan Orlando Hernández.Read more
The new year brought a new assignment for the Westras. We moved to Yoro, Honduras in the middle of January. Yoro and its surrounding communities have a population of approximately 40,000. It lies 7 hours from Tegucigalpa and 2 ½ hours east of San Pedro Sula.Read more