I am a Global Mission Intern, living in Seoul. I work with our partners in the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea in their ecumenical office.Read more
Long-term Mission Co-Worker in Japan, Jeffrey Mensendiek, was instrumental in coordinating humanitarian relief during and in the years following the 2011 Fukushima “Triple Disaster” of tsunami, flooding, and nuclear contamination. Since then he has facilitated an exchange of Christmas cards between U.S. congregations and those of our partner church in Japan. Jeffrey’s letter to participating churches is also an invitation to any new congregations to take part in this Advent season. You can find stories and current information on what is happening in Japan from Jeffrey’s blog http://jeffreyfromjapan.blogspot.com/. Those interested in participating can contact Jeffrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Global Ministries East Asia Pacific Executive, Derek Duncan (email@example.com).Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 18:1-8
Prayers for Japan:
Today we remember those in Japan who, like the widow in today’s gospel lesson are pleading for their rights.
We remember those who still suffer from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima 8 1/2 years ago - those who still are unable to return home to their beloved communities due to dangerous radiation levels. We stand with the plaintiffs who are deeply hurt and dejected by the recent court decision that ignored their voices and failed to bring justice to those that suffer at the hands of the powerful.
We remember the many migrant workers in Japan who are working long hours, and for refugees waiting for amnesty, anxious about their future. We pray for the rights of foreign workers and refugees in waiting.
We remember those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. May they find the hope and will to live. We also lift up the families of those whose illness led them to take their own life. May they be comforted and be freed from the blame that families often face. We pray that all those who struggle with life may be embraced by love and understanding.
In Jesus Christ, we pray,
Dansalan College is an educational ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). The school was established in 1948 with the vision to be a responsible, empowered, self-reliant, and caring community of Christian believers committed to the pursuit of a transformed church and society. The main campus of Dansalan College lived out that vision in Marawi City, which is almost entirely Muslim.
In 2017, a group of militants attacked Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao; the college suffered fire, vandalism, and hostage-taking. Most of the Marawi campus was destroyed. You can read more about these events here. The 2019 Global Ministries Award of Affirmation for East Asia and the Pacific was given to Dansalan College for its resilience and dedication to carry on its important bridge-building mission to educate all of God’s children.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 16:1-13
Prayers for Hong Kong:
O God, we know one day each of us must stand before you to give an accounting of our lives. How did we manage the responsibilities you entrusted to us? How did we handle the resources you placed in our hands? What did we give back to you in return for all you have given us? Whether we have little or much, may we be faithful in all things. O Lord, during this time of protest and unrest in Hong Kong, pour out your grace and wisdom on both sides of the political divide. Help everyone to seek the common good, rather than insist on their own way. Open their hearts and minds to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and a just outcome for the city’s seven million residents. In the midst of the anger, fear, and exhaustion, show us the way forward. For truly, we cannot serve two masters. Only you God are worthy of our total devotion. Only you God can provide eternal answers for our earthly troubles. May we put our trust and hope in you alone as we serve all your people in the name of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.Read more
This prayer of commitment is being used in 72 Protestant and Catholic churches all over Hong Kong on the evening of 6 September 2019. The theme of the event is "Pray for Hong Kong: Reconciliation, Healing, and A Way Out." You are welcome to join us in prayer for Hong Kong at this critical time in its history. Thank you and God bless.
Hong Kong Christian CouncilRead more
This edition of the summer newsletter has many interesting articles and unveils a newly redesigned look for the publication. Articles in this newsletter include a reflection on ARI's first study trip to Africa, an article about working with local governments in Kenya, a look at sustainable agriculture and climate concerns in Vietnam, a profile of the work of recent graduate Thomas Matthew, and the reflections of a young adult service volunteer among many other intriguing reads.Read more
Joint Pastoral Letter signed by 54 Hong Kong Chinese Christian Ministers and Scholars on 5 August 2019
Brothers and sisters in Christ. Peace be with you all.
Today Hong Kong is at a time of crisis. Clashes in society are escalating by the day. In June, we experienced two massive protest rallies. In July, on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, apart from the protest rally, there was the storming of the Legislative Council building. By the second half of July, we also had the 7.21 Yuen Long and 7.28 Western District incidents. During these multiple demonstration clashes, demonstrators charged forward and the police reacted with tougher and tougher measures. Amid all these protests and clashes, the government, other than repeating its views and condemnations against the violence, has not truly addressed the demands of the people, nor taken any measures to calm down the situation. At the time of writing, Hong Kong is facing the "three strikes" and rallies in all districts intended to force the government to respond to the demands. Hong Kong is like a box full of explosives ready to explode.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:49-56
Prayers for the Philippines:
Our land is bleeding, O God, as well as your people. We raise to you our pains and laments!
Extractive industries continue to expose the veins of the earth, mine its wealth, plunder its resources, destroy its ecosystem, and displace the indigenous peoples. Those who resist are often silenced. The Philippines has now topped others countries in the numbers of people killed in defense of land and the environment. Pile of dead bodies, especially indigenous people and environmental defenders, continue to rise. God, hear our cries.
Beyond natural calamities and poverty, the war on drugs and counter-insurgency campaign have already claimed the lives of many, especially the poor and the marginalized sectors of our society. In recent weeks, a surge of killings happened on the island of Negros, and perpetrators continue their killing spree with impunity. Hear our cries, O God.
Help us, just and loving God, to see the signs of your presence in the midst of our troubled society. Remind us that violent reaction is the usual default of the power wielders and social division is a reality when the good news is preached to the disenfranchised.
In the hours of trial empower and sustain us with your steadfast love, dear God, so we can continue to hold on to what is right, and let your spirit guide us to faithfulness. Amen.Read more