The very last day of January saw an amazing thing happen in Lebanon. The
country, whose people had gone to the polls nine months earlier to elect a new
government, could finally say that they had one.
On the heels of the Israeli election and with the U.S. Administration preparing to release the political component of its purported Peace Plan for Israel/Palestine, 22 Christian leaders, including Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens, United Church of Christ General Minister and President John Dorhauer, and Global Ministries Co-Executives Julia Brown Karimu and Karen Georgia Thompson, signed a letter to the President outlining recommendations for US policies that would help bring about a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine. A full copy of the letter, including signatories, can be found here.Read more
On July 17, Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced to the US House of Representatives a resolution (H. Res. 496) entitled, “Affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.” The resolution cites examples of the use of boycotts, starting with the Boston Tea Party, to rectify instances and policies of injustice. The examples listed are domestic, like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, as well as international, such as the US boycott of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and of the Soviet Union in the 1980 summer Olympics. The resolution goes on to enumerate cases in which the US Supreme Court upheld the right to boycott as among the rights of free speech protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The resolution currently has 18 co-sponsors.Read more
On the 74th Friday of the ‘Great March of Return’, 75 civilians were injured as a result of the Israeli military’s continued use of excessive force against mostly peaceful protests along the Gaza Strip’s eastern border; 34 children, and 1 journalist were among those injured in another clear violation of international law.
God of all comfort, we pray for all who were injured as they peacefully protested this week in Gaza; the thousands still recovering from injury and trauma; the thousands more mourning the unrecoverable loss of a sibling, parent, friend, or child. We pray too for an end to the unjust and ongoing military blockade of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.Read more
The biennial Starpoint Reformed Youth Festival was held for the ninth time in Debrecen this summer. Reformed young people gathered from all over the Carpathian Basin to discuss, reflect, and experience how the Kingdom of God is among us. They also welcomed an international delegation from various parts of the world.Read more
On Tuesday, a nationwide group of 62 organizations, including Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ came together to send an unequivocal message to Congress: Now is the time to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq (2002 AUMF).Read more
Over six thousand protestors took part in the weekly Great March of Return along the Gaza/Israel border on Friday, the 6th of September. Several protestors breached the fence and incendiary devices were thrown at the Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces responded with live ammunition, shooting dead two Palestinian teenagers, Khaled Al Raba’i, 14 and Ali Al Ashqar, 17. There were 70 other protestors wounded, including 38 by live fire.
Lord, we pray for the families of Khaled and Ali as they mourn the loss of their young lives. We continue to pray for a peaceable and just end to the siege of Gaza and for relief from the deprivation suffered by the people of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 16:1-10
Prayers for Italy:
We live in confusing times when we often crave simplicity and black and white thinking can seem attractive. We can be slow to get informed, slow to think for ourselves and slow to express an alternative view.
Yet we are called to live by kingdom values and not to take the easy way out.
So we pray for ourselves, and for the people of Italy, who are faced with momentous choices about the direction their country should take, to act with integrity. We pray that, notwithstanding the current political crisis, Italian leaders would work to make the best of a difficult situation, and would be careful stewards of the country’s fragile economy. We pray for strong alliances, however uneasy, whose success does not depend on trampling on the rights of the weakest.
We pray for our partner, the Waldensian Church, working in tandem with the Methodist Church and Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, and its vital work to relieve the situation for migrants traveling to and settling in Italy. We thank you for the example it has set in developing humanitarian corridors through which vulnerable migrants can safely travel. We pray that the corridors might extend across Europe, and that sister churches would feel called to participate by hosting migrants and by lobbying their own governments for change.
We pray that our siblings in Italy might continue to stand up for the rights of the marginalized. We pray for courage and tenacity when criticism is fierce. We pray for constructive dialogue with those who are most hostile. We pray that, through the witness of those working to improve the lot of those on the fringes, others might know the compassion and love of our Lord.
In Jesus’ name
Representatives Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and John Lewis have introduced a resolution affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad. Let us encourage your representatives to join them in standing up for our civil liberties by cosponsoring H.Res 496!Read more