Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 3:13-17
Prayers for Indonesia:
O Blessed Creator, You have spread the seas of Indonesia with thousands of islands, each a place of beauty and abundant life. And yet every day our cities pour out pollution, and the sea level rises higher. The burning of forests for palm oil plantations fills the air with carbon and darkens the sun, while your people struggle to find enough clean water to drink, cook, and bathe. Corruption subverts our best efforts to restore the beauty of Your creation. Baptize Your world once again—clean our air, clean our water, clean our politics and our economy, clean our hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who was baptized in order to share all our burdens. Amen.Read more
Rain, glorious rain! It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting in our living room basking in a cool breeze and watching rain pour off our corrugated iron roof.Read more
The National Council of Churches in India, which is a fellowship of 30 churches representing 14 million people, is strongly against religion-based citizenship. Indian Christians have held this stand ever since the formation of India as an independent democratic republic. We strongly believe that any amendment to say legislation should keep in mind the secular ethos of the Constitution.
We believe that an India without its many multiplicities is not the India that we know and any attempt to homogenize religion, culture, language, and practices will only polarise communities. Any law which goes against this principle will harm the Indian living system.
The present Citizenship Amendment Act is projected as a measure to safeguard persecuted people from three neighboring countries. However, instead of persecution and suffering of people as a criterion, the Act has given special preference to people who belong to different religions including Christians. Although Christians are included, we understand the exclusion of some categories of people within this act polarizes communities based on faith and creed.
Moreover, the Act underlines the message that religion is the criteria to remain a citizen in this country. This is in contravention to the fundamental principles of the Indian Constitution. As the core spirit of the Constitution is being challenged, the minorities will face even more anxiety and fear.
The reactions and protests in Northeast India point towards how the indigenous people of the region are skeptical of this Act and the National Register for Citizenship (NRC). We affirm the demands of indigenous communities to retain and celebrate their distinctive cultural and linguistic heritage and traditions. While the government is keen on a nationwide NRC exercise as a tool to build an "New India," many continue to live in fear of exclusion. Assam, which became the first demographic laboratory for the testing of NRC, is witnessing a lot of protests.
Furthermore, the present outbreak of protests from young people from university campuses against religion-based citizenship and the counteractions of police forces are creating havoc in society. We are concerned about the psychological trauma of the younger generations who witness the result of ruthless violence charged with communal fervor.
Therefore, we ask the Government to end any act of "othering" of the minorities to make for a peaceful atmosphere in India. The National Council of Churches in India assures our prayers and support for maintaining peace in our country. Also, we request our churches and organizations take efforts locally to ensure peace.
Rev. Dr. Abraham Mathew
Executive Secretary, Policy Governance and Public Witness
Rev. Asir Ebenazer
General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India
This fall, John and I took our annual vacation and combined it with some of next year’s vacation (thank you, Global Ministries) for an extended visit to the US.Read more
Since you last heard from us we’ve entered what we call the “three-shower-a day season.” This morning I woke up at 5:00 AM as I always do, and it was 86 degrees! The humidity comes later in the day.Read more
The Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) organizes a variety of programs throughout the country to promote development and public participation. Through the Climate Change Resilient Agriculture project, the CCDB is training farmers in innovative and efficient uses of climate adaptation and mitigation techniques and technologies.
Bangladesh is exposed to some of the most extreme climates, making climate change a priority to address in communities across the country. In response, the CCDB has opened five “Community Climate Resilience Centers” in five coastal villages, which are operated by local residents. The Community Climate Resilience Centers provide capacity-building courses and mobilize funds from community contributions to implement actions in collaboration with local governments. These actions include climate change risk assessments for households, climate-resilient agriculture and livelihood opportunities, and installing freshwater technologies to increase access to fresh water. Through this activity, each community develops a long-term resiliency plan in coordination with technical experts. The agricultural training program offers support to families who farm in high-risk areas on how to adopt alternative agricultural methods or training in alternative livelihoods. The project is improving access to freshwater through rainwater harvesting and desalination technologies. Additionally, the centers are increasing access to irrigation through new excavated ponds and canals. Through these adaptive techniques, livelihood opportunities, community engagement, and risk assessments the CCDB is working toward long-term solutions for becoming climate-resilient communities in Bangladesh. Global Ministries welcomes gifts for this project.
Lady Doak College (LDC) was established in 1948 by Miss Katie Wilcox, a U.S. educational missionary sent by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM), a predecessor mission body of what today is Global Ministries. LDC has grown into a lovely campus with more than 20 buildings. LDC achieved autonomy in 1978 and was awarded the highest Five Star Status by the Indian National Accreditation Council. It is an autonomous, progressive women’s college with an international outlook and provides a high quality, holistic education.Read more
As part of the Southern Asia Initiative, seven members of the Common Global Ministries Board traveled to Sri Lanka and India in September. There, they met and visited projects of various Global Ministries’ partners to celebrate relationships and to walk Together in Hope. The following reflections will take us through their pilgrimage around these colorful and vibrant countries.Read more
The life of the capital “C” Church is bright and active! I was given that opportunity to experience the living out of Christ’s call for the Church through the efforts of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM) as a short-term volunteer with Global Ministries.Read more