Wait with anticipation is the age-old theme of Advent. As a child I (Karen) remember waiting with anticipation for Christmas morning when my brother, sister, and I would fly downstairs to piles of bright gifts beneath a spruce covered in glitter and glass ornaments. Sunday School had taught me there was a connection between God’s gift of love in the birth of Jesus and our giving gifts to one another. But in a youngster’s imagination, that meaning became murky—there was always a disconnect between the message of a baby born in a stinky manger (notice how the stink is never mentioned; surely it stank as any livestock owner knows) and the glitter of toys.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 3:13-17
Prayers for Indonesia:
O Great Shepherd, unite us in prayer with the churches of Indonesia as they seek to discern and bear witness to your Word of hope and salvation. Be with our brothers and sisters gathered today in worship across the islands—in the militarized regions of Papua, next to chemically-saturated rice paddies in Java, longing to be heard amidst the cosmopolitan confusion of Jakarta, struggling to survive on the parched plains of south Timor, resting from their labor on palm oil plantations in Kalimantan. Grant these your sheep, guidance for their journeys, protection from exploitation, and comfort in the face of loss and despair. We pray for the Church of West Timor. May its new leadership encourage repentance, heal wounded relationships, reform broken systems, instill hope and be strengthened by your grace. We pray for the Christian University in West Timor. Bless its teachers and students that they may grow together through research, study, reflection, and community service. Help especially the Theology Faculty and its Truth and Reconciliation Team as it seeks to break a long tradition of campus violence. O God, make your presence known in all these places that your sheep may be saved. Amen.Read more
This briefing from Global Ministries focuses on Indonesia, sharing the work of our partners and missionaries.
News closer to home: Yesterday there was a demonstration involving representatives of GMIT's Synod body, to protest human trafficking and the illegal marketing of human organs. Below is a translation of a recent post explaining yesterday's event.Read more
Last month the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) issued a pastoral letter encouraging dialogue about how the churches relate to the LGBT community. For years we have been expecting the issue to raise a storm in the churches here, and it appears the time has finally come.Read more
Earlier this week there was a national symposium to debate the widespread killings, torture, and other violence in 1965 and the following years. The below press release by AJAR, an organization I have been working with part time since the beginning of the year, helps give a condensed overview of the issues involved. Even 50 plus years later, many in the government STILL refuse to acknowledge the state's responsibility for what happened.Read more
Greetings from Jakarta, a city I (John) generally avoid like the dentist. I am at the guest house owned by the Indonesian Communion of Churches with a small working group who are designing a workshop on environmental awareness and advocacy for local congregations.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 2:1-11
Prayers for Indonesia:
God of truth and justice, we pray for Indonesia in its struggle to heal the wounds of past oppression and to overcome the endemic corruption that sickens public life and robs the people of the resources that could bring them a better life. We thank you for the courage of those who put their lives and livelihoods at risk to seek justice, and for the bonds of friendship, patience, and tolerance that enable Muslims and Christians to work together in peace.
Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Gereja Kristen Sumba (STT GKS) is a Theological School built by GKS (Christian Church of Sumba) in 2007 and is located in Lewa, East Sumba.Read more