May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15:5
War claims many victims in many ways, and long after the peace agreements are signed. A civil war, fought by Sri Lanka’s Tamil people during the late 20th century and settled in the 21st, began in the hope of establishing an independent Tamil state on the island of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. When the fighting stopped, anger did not.Read more
Focusing on the theme ‘Lord, Send Your Light and Truth to Lead Us’, the Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) initiated by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) is scheduled to take place in Manado, North Sulewesi, Indonesia, April 6-13, 2018.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:14-20
Prayers for Thailand:
We give thanks, O God, for the knowledge that the people all around the world are our sisters and brothers. We thank you for your faithful people in every land who pray for those on the other side of the world. Open our hearts, we pray, to remember the sister or brother we have never met and may never meet. Help us to remember that human struggles are similar everywhere; that we all long for moments of peace and hope, and the people of Thailand long for it just as we do where we are. We ask for your strength and grace for those in Thailand who minister in the name of Christ, and who work to share the Good News of abundant life with those who are weary and tired. In the words of the Psalmist, let us all trust in you, for you are our refuge. We pray through Jesus Christ. Amen.Read more
I saw a woman on the main street of Lospalos selling vegetables the other day. She was crouched on the sidewalk beside a bucket of jackfruit, selling big pieces of the sticky, succulent fruit for a quarter. Her smile was as bright as ever despite the hard life she leads as a subsistence farmer. She greeted me warmly and insisted on giving me some jackfruit for Simon. I accepted gratefully.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 1:43-51
Prayers for Sri Lanka:
God of all people and of all hope, we give thanks that you created us to be love, hope and peace for and with each other.
You trust us all with mighty work in a world of mighty needs.
Were we to trust only ourselves, we would fail. We would invite the future we fear most – war and injustice, destruction of resource, possibility and beauty, slaughter of God-created life for our amusement. When we place our faith in you and your presence in us and each other, we become hands, heads, eyes, ears and the possibilities you created us to be.
Open our senses and thoughts to the wonders of being human and of being in this world, our home. Give us courage to dare to be our best when we fear what others will think or say. Inspire our imagination to dare to live a vision of a world when we will all celebrate each other’s gifts and possibilities.
Fill us with a peace that resists angry words, cruel jokes, threats of punishment and pain, violence as entertainment ... and grant us a sense of justice that seeks not to punish, but to calm, to educate, to understand gentleness as strength.
May these be our weapons against war, hatred, prejudice, our protection against the violence of ignorance and fear. May you be the shield and armor that leads us all to respond with love and hope.
As Jesus taught and lived, so may we ... AmenRead more
In October 2017, a group of Disciples women participated in a Woman-to-Woman Worldwide pilgrimage to India, coordinated by Global Ministries. The women were moved by a number of ministries offered by partner organizations. Each year upon the return to their home contexts, the participants share their experiences and promote special giving opportunities to support the life-giving ministries to women offered by partner organizations. This year, the group of participants selected the Anti-Human Trafficking program of the Church of North India’s Diocese of Durgapur and the Education Resource Centers (ERC) of the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion in Delhi. In 2018 and years to follow, these ministries are being promoted as giving opportunities while the delegates visit Disciples women around the United States and Canada interpreting their experiences during a special period of study, prayer, reflection, and advocacy.Read more
The Church of North India was formed in 1972 by the union of six Protestant denominations committed to actions of restoring the integrity of God’s creation through breaking down barriers of caste, class, gender, economic inequality, and the exploitation of nature. Currently, the Diocese of Durgapur, a district of the Church of North India is involved in a number of ministries that care for all ages and members of the community. These ministries include a thriving medical hospital and eye clinic, a nurse training program, an anti-human trafficking program, homes for children at-risk of being trafficked, gardening projects, emergency relief programs, and income-generating projects.Read more
Over 600,000 Muslims and 500 Hindus have fled to Bangladesh from the Rakhine state of Myanmar, and it is reported more are waiting to flee. The influx started 25 August 2017 and such a sudden inflow of people has put Bangladesh under huge pressure, which could cause massive social and economic disorder. The situation is too devastating and is beyond manageable.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 25:31-46
Prayers for Sri Lanka:
Gracious God, we thank and praise you for the many ways you offer us to be your people – hands and feet, listening hearts and inventive minds - to bring your love and creative spirit of help and healing to your people. In a world that seems increasingly to find reasons to solve problems with threats and anger and violence, we cherish your gift of quiet hope of undoing our most complicated reasons to disagree.
We pray for your soothing touch in our hearts and heads when differences begin to define our relationships. Help us with your love and view of each of us, the possibilities of all of us, and your vision of a world of peace and appreciation, love and sharing for all. Lead us to live as Jesus taught us to do. May we live for you, for each other, for all your people and all our possibilities. May all come together in your love to shape the world as home and hope for all. We offer our prayer in the name of Jesus, Messiah, teacher, bringer of good news. AmenRead more
Interfidei is a Global Ministries partner in Indonesia. This newsletter features articles on art and culture, peacemaking, and the history of Interfidei.