Lectionary Selection: John 14:15-21
Prayers for Indonesia
O Holy One of Truth and Love, we long for the Advocate that embodies a Spirit of Truth. We are so often confused by claims about truth and falsehoods, facts and fake news, that we forget our mission to love and care for all. May Your acts of love and compassion inspire us to nurture our local communities as well as national and international ones.
We pray for the many small churches in rural Indonesia who seek an Advocate to stand by them in their struggle to protect the mountains, forests and streams you have entrusted to them. Strengthen our bonds in the spirit of partnership so that there will be no orphans in the Family of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.Read more
We returned to the US just one day after demonstrations were being held at airports across the country to protest the Trump administration’s immigrant ban. It was difficult to breeze through customs and immigration at Logan International in Boston knowing that others, by the circumstance of birth alone, were being turned away. The body politic in this country— the ability to live together as members of one community—is being tested. Parallels with issues in Indonesia are striking: tolerance of difference and the role of faith in politics is being tested there as well.Read more
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