Weekly Prayers

Pray for Colombia on Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Colombia: John 15:26-27 & 16:4b-15

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. ... And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment...

  John 15:26, 16:8

God of love, life and peace, we pray today for our sisters and brothers who live and minister in Colombia. We pray for an end to the decades-old civil war that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions more. You have heard the cry of the Colombian people and we have heard it too. Give us strength, we pray, to embody the Spirit of truth as we seek to support our Colombian brothers and sisters as they testify of your spirit of peace even as the guns and bombs seek to drown out their voices. Today we pray for...

  • All who serve with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission of the Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia (CEDECOL). We pray especially for the new national leadership team and its coordinator, Pablo Moreno... for strength, endurance and courage.
  • Pedro Acosta, coordinator of the Caribbean Coast Region of the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission, whose uncle was shot and killed on May 20 of this year by paramilitary gun-men. We pray for the wife and six children who survived Besaido Acosta.
  • Idia Miranda, whose husband Pastor William Reyes has been missing (disappeared) since September of last year. We pray for Idia and her children, William, Luz Nelly and Estefanía who recently were forced to flee from their home to another state due to on-going threats from armed groups that were likely involved in the disappearance of William.
  • The family of  Pastor Justo Tunubalá, who was shot and killed by the Colombian Army in September of last year.
  • The staff and volunteers who compile A Prophetic Call, which documents the suffering and hope of Colombian Protestant Churches each year. We pray for their safety in the midst of dangerous and important work.

Come, Spirit of truth, righteousness, justice and peace, in Colombia, in the United States and around the world. We pray thanking you for the Advocate who accompanies us all in the midst of our daily trials, Amen.

 (Prayer by Michael Joseph)

Global Ministries International Partner in Colombia:

  • CEDECOL – The Council of Evangelical Churches of Colombia. Global Ministries partners closely with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission and the Christian Women's Network for Life and Peace.

Global Ministries Missionary in Colombia:

Michael Joseph serves in Colombia with the Restoration, Life and Peace Commission of the Council of Evangelical Churches (CEDECOL), including the Christian Women's Network for Life and Peace. He is providing a pastoral critical presence to church and lay leaders who are living in life-threatening situations.

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Pray for Japan on Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Japan: John 17:6-19

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

Dear God, thank you for the many gifts of community and fellowship with the global Christian community brought to us through missionaries around the world. This week we pray for Japan. We ask for your light and guidance for Christians in Japan, while few, continue faithfully on their journey towards your kingdom here on earth. Help us, as missionaries, to learn to serve and walk alongside our partners in the Japanese church on this mission. We…

- Pray for global food security and for ministries like the Asian Rural Institute in Tochigi Prefecture which help to inspire leadership in rural communities both in Japan and around the world. 

- Pray for the indigenous peoples of Japan from the Ainu peoples of northern Japan and Hokkaido to Ryu Kyu peoples in Okinawa, and others as they continue their struggle for acknowledgement by the Japanese people and government.

- Pray for the Christian centers and smaller ministries like the Emmaus Center, the Douhoku Centre, the Student Christian Fellowship (SCF), Bazaar Café, and Ginowan Seminar House as they continue to serve as a vital meeting point between the church and the wider community. Help them to continue their work serving the most vulnerable and needy.

-  Pray for sexual minorities, the LGBT community in both Japan and the US, that they are able to find acceptance and understanding from their families, religious institutions, and government leaders.

- Pray that awareness of Article 9 of Japan's Peace Constitution will continue to grow both here in Japan and abroad. We pray that Japan will be an example of peace in seeking non-military means for conflict resolution.

We bring these prayers to you from a world, still broken, as a forgiving and forgiven people of God.  Amen

(Prayer by Sandra Lee-Takei)

Global Ministries International Partners in Japan:

  • Doshisha University: http://www.doshisha.ac.jp/english/ Martha Mensendiek is a teacher of Social Welfare at Doshisha University, Kyoto. Casilda Luzares teaches English.
  • Asian Rural Institute: The mission of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is to build an environmentally healthy, just, and peaceful world, in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential. This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. To carry out this mission, ARI trains and nurtures rural leaders for a life of sharing. Leaders, both women and men, who live and work in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia, Africa and the Pacific form a community of learning each year together with staff and other residents. Through community-based learning they study the best ways for rural people to share and enhance local resources and abilities for the common good. 
  • Emmaus Center: Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek works as the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center, Northeast Conference of United Church of Christ in Japan, based in Sendai, Japan. Ms. Sandra Lee-Takei works as a global mission Intern at the Emmaus Center as the assistant to the Director of youth ministries. 
  • Kobe College: http://www.kobe-c.ac.jp/ekc/index.html
  • Korean Christian Church in Japan: http://www.kccj.net/
  • Miyagi Gakuin Women's University:
  • National Christian Council of Japan: http://ncc-j.org/english/profile.htm
  • Tohoku Gakuin University: http://www.tohoku-gakuin.ac.jp/en/index.html
  • United Church of Christ in Japan:

Global Ministries Missionaries in Japan:

Sandra Lee-Takei serves as a Global Mission Intern at the Emmaus Center

Casilda Luzares teaches English at Doshisha University and is involved in pastoral ministries to migrant workers from the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

Martha Mensendiek teaches Social Welfare at Doshisha University

Jeffrey Mensendiek serves and the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center and the Sendai Student/Youth Center in Sendai.

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Pray for the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for the DRC:  John 15:9-17

Loving God, as we turn our hearts this week towards our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we ask you to teach us what it truly means to love one another the way that Jesus has loved each one of us. We thank you for our fruitful partnership with the Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) and the Church of Christ in Congo which brings all of the Congolese Protestant denominations together. We ask that you would continue to show us ways to make our journey together more fruitful.  Amen

Rev. Bonanga, the President of the CDCC, shared with Sandra Gourdet the following information:

  • Greetings and blessing to all the Disciples and UCC constituents in the U.S. and Canada
  • Prayer for the various Global Church Partnerships that have been established or that are in process… Michigan Region, Indiana Region, Missouri Mid-South Conference…
  • Prayer for the Mbandaka District Council meeting which is being held at the moment.
  • Prayer for the DRC that peace would continue to gain momentum in the country.
  • Prayer for Rev. and Mrs. Bonanga as they travel to Indianapolis for the General Assembly this summer and for  Rev. and Mrs. Illumbe as they travel to the Indiana Region for congregational visits and the General Assembly.
  • Prayer for General Assembly and Administrative Council of the CDCC which will be held in August 2009.
  • Prayer for the ongoing communication challenges that the church is experiencing due to the lack of communications equipment.
  • Prayer for the transportation challenges that church staff constantly face as they seek to visit remote locations by motorized canoe, motorcycle, bicycle and by walking.
  • Prayer for those affected by tornados in the Mbandaka district and praise for the repair of buildings that were damaged through funds that were channeled through Global Ministries.
  • Prayer and praise for the progress on the rebuilding of a portion of the Bolenge hospital of which the dedication will occur sometime within the next year.

Note: The Indiana Region and the Mbandaka District have proclaimed the week of May 17-24 as Partnership Week, in observance of the first anniversary of their partnership agreement. To access the worship resources they are using this Sunday and other types of Congo resources, go to: http://www.indianadisciples.org/congopart.php

Global Ministries International Partners in the DRC:

  • Church of Christ in Congo: is the ecumenical Christian organization that brings under one umbrella more than sixty Congolese Protestant denominations. Global Ministries has been in partnership with the Church of Christ in Congo since its inception and was one of the founding members of the organization through the Disciples of Christ. This Christian organization is even more relevant today than ever before.  After a bloody war that counted more than 4 million deaths, countless rapes and traumatized survivors, the people of Congo look to the church for its leadership in national reconciliation and peace.   Core values of the ECC are reconciliation, justice, peace, struggle against corruption, and respect for human life.  It also encourages the mentality of power as a service to others and not a privilege reserved for self interest. The Women's Department recognizes that women are that part of the population who are the most affected by the war.  They are also the ones most easily manipulated by politicians and predators.   Therefore the Women's Department is determined to be engaged in the reconstruction of the country on principles based on love and forgiveness, respect of human lives and values as well as good governance. http://ecc.faithweb.com/
  • The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC): was founded in 1889. The church has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States since its inception.  The church functions with 22 ecclesial regions located in the Equator, Bandundu, East Congo, Lower Congo and Kinshasa regions.  Its 358 congregations serve 650,000 members.  The church has 6 general hospitals, 9 maternity centers and 42 functioning health centers. The communities where the congregations are located are confronted with many socio-economic problems.   They are all struggling from the effects of a civil war that included the involvement of surrounding countries as well as some international involvement.  Health care, education and development programs suffered greatly during the war and during years of systemic corruption before the war.  One of the devastating effects of the war has been the rapid increase in the number of HIV/AIDS patients, particularly in the Equator with more than 7 million inhabitants and where the largest numbers of Disciples are located. 
  • The Protestant University of Congo, Kinshasa: is a church-related institution with four colleges, [Business, Law, Theology, Medicine.] The enrollment for the academic year 2006-2007 is over 5000 students. It is the outcome of a century-long effort by the various Protestant missions and the Congolese "Eglise du Christ au Congo [ECC]" to provide university level education, in a Christian environment, to Africans from any nation, but principally in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  All nationalities and faiths are considered for enrollment.  The goal of the university is to provide university level education for all enrolled National and International students, and prepare them to serve the needs of their community and the African Christian Churches. http://upcpublicrelations.org/

Global Ministries Missionary in the DRC:

None at the moment

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Pray for Brazil on Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Brazil: John 15:1-8

 

O God of all creation, hear the pleas for justice of the millions of Brazilians who live in sub-human conditions in the rural areas and shanty towns of the cities with inadequate sanitary conditions or water for daily consumption, often with no schools or health facilities and jobs, and inadequate transportation; who suffer all kinds of violence including social and economic injustice.

 

Guide the leaders of this great country to make laws that will give these people the dignity they deserve as citizens. Help these politicians to understand that if the vine is not healthy, good quality fruit will not be produced. The nourishment to produce good fruit requires that all the things that are lacking for millions of Brazilians be provided so that this country may grow in production and fair distribution to the people as well as contribute to the world Brazil's diversity, natural resources and gifts.

 

We praise you for the community health educators who share with the families they visit daily, their lives, frustrations, concerns, fears as well as joys. These health educators are neighbors of these shanty town families and suffer the same anxieties. They suffer with their patients the lack of adequate hospitals, or doctors trained in specialties, such as cancer and cardiology as well as the lack of medicines or ability to purchase them. They live in the same community where poor sanitary conditions and violence affect them as well as their patients, yet they continue to show the love of Christ as they listen and try to do what is possible for them.

 

Guide them, merciful God, and give them the strength and patience to continue even though they are underpaid and overworked. Help them to know that they are showing the love of Christ in their daily work and are his missionaries. Help them to continue to have pride in their profession as health educators and see the positive results of their work.

 

Guide the leaders of this country so that they may make the laws necessary to benefit these millions of Brazilians; that they may put aside their individual political and financial gains to work in benefit of the people who elected them especially those who are the victims of social, economic injustice. Help them to understand that the corruption so apparent to these people is not the correct attitude of sisters and brothers in Christ.

 

Guide the middle and upper classes to understand that as long as one child goes to be hungry; as long as this class inequality exists, there will always be violence, drugs and corruption affecting all classes.

 

Amen.

 

(Prayer written by Rev. Barb de Souza)

 

Global Ministries International Partners:

 

  • Instituto de Estudos de Religião, ISER (Institute for Religions Studies) Involved in research and religious studies as they affect social/economic/racial/sexual policies. An ecumenical institution, which publishes books and articles about religion and religious issues, ISER is active in educational programs, such as health and sexuality, women's programs, special school programs for adolescents and action for the betterment in all these categories.
  • Association of Community Health Educators (AECS) A non-profit (NGO) Association formed in 1996 by the Global Ministers Missionary, Barb de Souza, and students of the training course for Community Health Educators.  In 1999, the City Health Dept. of Rio de Janeiro, signed a contract (renewable every 2 years) for the financial support of the Family Health Program in the Shantytown of Canal do Anil where these women had been working as volunteers since the founding of the Association. The family health program promotes health education and health care in economically poor areas.  The Association's family health clinic has 3 doctors, 3 nurses and 6 nurses assistants, 18 health educators, a dentist and 2 assistants, a social worker and administrator.  The city has not yet approved financial support for the Association's rehabiitation center, with the 3 physical therapists and teacher but we still hope the value of this program as part of a basic health program, will be recognized in an area where there is no such treatment for lower income famies. http://www:aecsprojetobrasil.com.br/
  • Igreja Presbiteriana Unida do Brasil (United Presbyterian Church of Brazil)
  • Ascociacion de Igrejas Metodistas do Brasil (Association of Methodist Churches of Brazil) http://www.metodista.org.br/
  • Igreja Evangelica Congregacional do Brasil (Evangelical Congregational Church of Brazil) http://www.iecb.org.br/

Global Ministries Missionary:

 

Rev. Barb de Souza is a Global Ministries long-term volunteer with the Global Ministries and the Brasilian Partner, ISER, Institute of Relgious Studies, serving as an advisor and teacher of popular education in the areas of sexuality leading to women's empowerment. She retired in 2002 after 16 years as a health education missionary for Global Ministries and in 1996 became a long term volunteer of the Global Minstries´ new international partner, the Association of Community Health Educators. She is coordinator/director of the Family Health Program, a city financed program in contract with the Association of Community Educators which administers it in a 3 building clinic that was built and is maintained by the Association.

 

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Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sri Lanka: John 10:11-18

Please pray for peace and reconciliation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the innocent people trapped in the middle of the war. The following excerpts from the Sri Lanka Statement on Peace, Security and Development in South Asia by the World Council of Churches (WCC), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and the South Asia Council of Churches (SACC), can be turned into prayer points as we ask the Good Shepherd to bring peace to God's flock in the country of Sri Lanka:

  • Expresses deep concern over the continuously worsening humanitarian crisis in the northern parts of Sri Lanka;
  • Appeals to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to immediately stop the ongoing military operations to ensure safe passage arranged by credible and neutral agencies for those who are trapped in the war zone;
  • Urges the LTTE to facilitate safe conduct for the people who want to leave such areas and refrain from any form of forced conscription, of both children and others;
  • Appeals to the Sri Lankan government to allow international and national agencies to address and assist the persons in camps and in the conflict areas;
  • Urges the Sri Lankan government to take initiatives conducive to undertaking talks with all concerned and also to present an outline of a political formula with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issues behind the conflict;
  • Assures the churches in Sri Lanka of the support of the churches around the world, represented by the WCC, the CCA and the SACC, as they are engaged in responding to the urgent humanitarian needs and also in working with others in seeking practical ways of resolving the conflict.

To read the entire statement, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/sri-lanka-statement.html

To read an appeal from concern citzens of South Asia: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/an-appeal-from-concerned.html

To read the Common Global Ministries Board statement on Sri Lanka: http://globalministries.org/news/sasia/seeking-peace-in-sri-lanka.html

Global Ministries International Partners in Sri Lanka:

  • Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (CISRS) has co-sponsored a Joint Women's Program with the William Carey Study and Research Center.  This program has attempted to address the issues of communal harmony; growing violence against women and children; economic policies particularly as they impact women; and the JWP has lobbied the government on these and other issues related to women.
  • Church of American Ceylon Mission
  • Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue (EISD) is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among members of the various religious traditions represented in Sri Lanka.  The Study Center building is used by a number of church-related organizations and other institutions to provide accommodation for participants involved in Study Programs.  The endowment fund enables the EISD to continue developing and offering opportunities for programs that will promote respectful and cooperative relationships among differing faith traditions.
  • House for Hope, Sri Lanka is a Leper Colony which provides a home, treatment and hope for those battling leprosy.
  • Jaffna College has been serving the people of Sri Lanka for over 175 years.  The College provides the opportunity for a good quality education to youth who would not otherwise have this opportunity.  The Jaffna College Technical Institute offers technical training in air conditioning and refrigeration; automobile technology; mechanical engineering; electronics and telecommunications; civil engineering and quality surveying; electrical engineering; and computer programming and information processing. 
  • Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. The Christian communities of Sri Lanka are members of the Church of South India.  The Jaffna Diocese is their local body of church governance.  The Jaffna Diocese has been challenged for many years to find ways of promoting peace in a country torn by war. 
  • National Christian Council of Sri Lanka has been involved in interfaith dialogues, theological education and rehabilitation in the midst of the civil war.  They are now developing their capacity to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.
  • Uduvil Girls College was created to provide educational opportunities for Tamil girls who were getting only minimal education.  It is now 175 years old and still dedicated to promoting the education and cultural advancement opportunities for girls. 

Global Ministries Missionary in Sri Lanka:

None at the present time

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Pray for India on Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for India: Luke 24:36-48

Dear Lord,

In a land which has the highest population of the world, where there is such extremes of wealth and poverty all at the same time.  Where the masses are coming out to vote hoping for a better tomorrow amongst a line of people fighting and buying each other out to be the Prime Minister of this country, give them hope. Where people kill and persecute your people as they are scared and do not understand the power of that Love that You pour out.

But most of all give us the strength to believe in you in each step we take, to have the faith that with you all things are truly possible just as you rose from the dead and came back, let us also go in the knowledge that you are the true and risen God and with no doubts in our mind ready to live our lives as an example of you.

Amen.

Prayer requests:

1.   Help us dear God as we battle with the elections of the biggest Democracy of the world as it stands divided and leaders are buying each other up in order to gain power, right up to the position of the Prime Minister.

2.  As the elections go on, others may not lose their lives as we have already lost many in the first phase.

3.  The threat of terrorism as we deal with Pakistan and its latest hit on Mumbai and the suspicion in which we continue an estranged relationship. 

4.  For The Christian Hospital Mungeli which as small a drop in the bucket, works hard to bring comfort in the lives of those who come in hope and suffering.

5.  For the little minds of Rambo Memorial English Medium School that they may see God touching their lives as their little minds reach out to the wonders Thou Hast Created.

 (Prayer by Anil Henry)

* Please pray for Nancy Lott Henry, Anil's Mom, who sustained an injury after slipping between a train and the platform. She suffered broken ribs and some internal injuries. Currently Anil is concerned about a possible spinal injury.

Global Ministries International Partners in India:

Besides the Church of North India and the Church of South India, Global Ministries has about forty partners in India. To view a list of those partners and a paragraph summary on each, go to: http://www.globalministries.org/sasia/countries/india/ and scroll down to the partner section

Global Ministries Missionaries in India:

Teresa and Anil Henry are serving a four year term with the Synodical Board of Health Services of the Church of North India. Teresa is the anesthesiologist of the Christian Hospital of Mungeli and Anil works as a medical doctor there.

Nancy Lott Henry is serving as a long-term volunteer with the Church of North India. She is working as a teacher of nurses for hospitals in their eastern region.

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Pray for China on Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for China: John 20:19-31

God, we thank you for the incredible work you have been doing in China. Hundreds are turning to you daily, and we pray that you continue to guide new believers here so that they can grow more fully in their faith. Give them the faith to be able to believe without seeing in a country where it can be a difficult choice to follow you:

-We ask that you help new christians grow in faith.
-Continue guiding people with your loving hand as the people of Sichuan are still rebuilding from last years devastating earthquake.
-Be with the families who make hard decisions between sending their children to school or the factory to make ends meet.
-Help rural churches find the preachers they need so that they can continue their ministries in the countryside.
-We pray that you help the Amity Foundation, which has done so much good in rural china, that it may find more volunteers as it faces shrinking numbers.

(Prayer by Tom Morse)

Global Ministries International Partners in China:

Global Ministries Personnel in China:

Tom Morse serves with the Amity Foundation as an English Teacher.

Doreen and Michael McFarlane are in their third year as professors at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, in Nanjing China. Doreen teaches Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament courses, mostly to the graduate students. Michael serves as choir director and teaches sacred music and other music-related courses. They are privileged to serve in these positions, laboring together with the Christians of China to build up an educated clergy and prepare the greatly needed seminary educators for China's future, as the church grows there by leaps and bounds!  

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Pray for Israel & Palestine on Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Israel & Palestine: John 20:1-18

God who was in Christ, as we meditate on the cross, passion and resurrection of Jesus, asking that "thy will be done on earth," we acknowledge that, like the confused disciples at the tomb, we are not always prepared for or receptive to the answers you give us. 

Remind us that we are all interconnected - when one suffers all suffer; inspire each of us to be agents of hope, following your footsteps in a pilgrimage of justice, seeking a future of liberation for the world and all that it contains.

Keep us faithful, like Mary at the tomb, keep us open and receptive, strengthen us to walk your via dolorosa - in the busy-ness of life, in the silence of Easter Saturday and in the joyous amazement of Easter Day - til we, with Christ, can shout out, "it is accomplished!" and the whole inhabited earth may rejoice in doing your will.

In the stunning surprise of this resurrection morning, as the cry rings out " Christ is risen! Alleluia! " we give thanks for all people in this land and around the world who "do justice, seek kindness and walk humbly with God". We celebrate Christ's victory over evil and death and we pray that the international community will guide the powerful and support the weak in seeking a true and holistic peace for Palestinian and Israeli together.

Loving God, we know that millions of people around the world experience similar events like that of Passion Week and Sad Friday*.  Give them insight and strength to overcome evil through nonviolent struggle. May all who have been cursed by injustice feel the blessings of freedom and the joys of abundant life offered in Christ's resurrection.  O God, open the hearts and consciences of all oppressors so that they might hear the cry of the oppressed and turn their Sad Fridays into bright and shining resurrection mornings.

Companion God, let the Easter shout delight, strengthen and encourage us in our own personal life-pilgrimages, rippling out far and wide from Jerusalem with enthusiastic acclamation: Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Amen.

* Arabic for Good Friday

 (Prayer from Ian Alexander)

Having your home demolished is an increasing threat to the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem. The above demolition was photographed on Nov 5, 2008.

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June 2009

(www.worldweekforpeace.org)

During World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel, 4-10 June 2009, churches in different countries send a clear signal to policy-makers, interested publics and their own parishes about the urgent need for a peace settlement that secures the legitimate rights and future of both peoples. Participants are requested to plan their activities around these points:

1. Pray with churches living under occupation, using a special prayer from Jerusalem.
2. Educate about actions that make for peace and about facts on the ground that do not, especially, settlements in occupied territory.
3. Advocate with political leaders using ecumenical policies that promote peace with justice.

Become an Ecumenical Accompanier

There have now been 600 ordinary people who have done something extraordinary by giving 3 months to support peace and justice groups in Palestine and Israel and then returned home to be advocates in their own countries for a just peace between Palestinian and Israeli. You can be one too. Today.  info@eappi-us.org and www.eappi.org

International Sabeel Events:

Sabeel Young Adult Conference July 22 –August 2, 2009:  Visit Palestinian and Israeli towns and villages; celebrate Palestinian culture; worship; Biblical reflections; volunteer experiences; advocacy workshops; share experiences and ideas with Palestinian and international young adults.

Sabeel Fall Witness Visit October 29 – November 6, 2009

This Sabeel international witness visit offers a window into the daily lives of Palestinians living under military occupation.

For more information please go to the Sabeel website or the Friends of Sabeel North America website. 
http://www.fosna.org/
http://www.sabeel.org/

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

Each week at 12:00 in Jerusalem Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community.  It is a time to join together to celebrate the eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region.  Join us at 12:00 on Thursdays, starting in the Pacific, passing through Asia, Palestine, Europe and continuing around the world to the Americas to pray for Peace with Justice.  www.sabeel.org/etemplate.php?id=58

Sign up for it at: http://visitor.constantcontact.com/email.jsp?p=oi&m=1011324031170

Global Ministries International Partners in Israel & Palestine:

  • Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (Jerusalem) is an ecumenical grassroots liberation movement among Palestinian Christians. It's an ecumenical center for Palestinian Liberation Theology which seeks to make the Gospel contextually relevant. In Arabic Sabeel means "the way" and also a "spring of water." Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians.  The Center is located in Jerusalem where the majority of programs take place with participants from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah and surrounding areas. http://www.sabeel.org/
  • The East Jerusalem YMCA was established in 1949 in a tent at Aqabat Jaber Refugee Camp, near Jericho and operates with all sectors of our Palestinian Society without discrimination.  The East Jerusalem YMCA operates a variety of programs and functions related directly to the needs of Palestinian society in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, Beit Sahour, Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, and Tulkarem. http://www.ej-ymca.org/site/
  • The YWCA of Palestine is an ecumenical grassroots movement serving women of all faiths. The main aims are to promote women's full and equal participation at all levels of society through leadership opportunities and training; to work for social and economic justice through development and advocacy programs; and to mobilize women's collective power for action on issues of vital concern: women's rights, justice, equality, freedom, the dignity of human beings and integrity of their environment. Programs include vocational training programs; training courses in Computer skills, hairdressing and language; children and youth activities such as summer camps; social and cultural activities; income generating projects; and advocacy work in areas such as human rights.  The YWCA headquarters are in Jerusalem. There are three local associations in Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah, and three centers in refugee camps: Aqabat Jabr, Jalazone and Kalandia. http://www.ywca-palestine.org/
  • Rawdat el-Zuhur (Arabic for "Garden of Flowers") is a primary school for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. Established in 1952, it aims at bringing up a new generation that is aware of the principles of good citizenship, and concerned for the environment; capable of thinking creatively, and analyzing logically and critically, offering and accepting positive criticism, and excelling in performance; and equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to assume leadership in a democratic society which they would develop and preserve. It serves mainly the lower income community. Students at Rawdat el-Zuhur can be supported through the Common Global Ministries Board's Child Sponsorship Program. http://www.rawdat.org/
  • Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches was set up in the early 1950s to help Palestinian refugees with their newly acquired status following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The Department set up branches in five different regions: Gaza, Jerusalem and West Bank, Galilee in Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, with the clear mandate of working with the refugees, the poor, and the dispossessed. http://www.mec-churches.org/main_eng.htm
  • Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza of the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem was established in 1882 by the Church Mission Society and is located in the Gaza Strip area of Palestine. It became a service ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in 1982, and continues to provide important medical and surgical care to all people of the Gaza Strip. Over 60 percent of the Strip's residents live in refugee camps, and a significant portion of the hospital's care is charitable as they serve a community of exceptionally poor citizens. Al-Ahli has also responded to the needs of the victims of crises, including providing medical treatment to those involved in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. http://www.j-diocese.org/
  • Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) supports Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the Occupation. The programme, which began in 2002, is coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC). http://www.eappi.org/
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Pray for Chile on Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Chile: Mark 11:1-11

Would I imagine the Prince of Peace riding on the straggly donkey that ambles behind the man who shouts "vendo leche de burra" (I sell donkey milk) early in the morning?  Would I buy a handful of withered palm leaves from the entrepreneur child at the plaza to lay down before the Lord of lords?  As Easter marks the beginning of the fall in the Southern Hemisphere, may we remember, oh Lord, that you came to turn the world of human pride upside down and inside out.  Now in Christ, the first slip to the last, the lowest are exalted, the worthless become priceless, and the dead rise to life. Amen  ¡Gloria a Dios! ¡Gloria a Dios! ¡Gloria a Dios!  (Glory to God, three times repeated, is how we end many of our congregational prayers at the Pentecostal Church of Chile.)

  • Pray for rain for the needs of agriculture, forestry, and hydroelectricity. 
  • Pray for the organization and legalization of Shalom Center of the Pentecostal Church of Chile as one of the first Pentecostal non-profit foundations in the country.
  • Pray for the first trauma healing retreat to be sponsored by the Pentecostal Church of Chile for the relatives of those who were tortured or disappeared during the dictatorship.  The country is facing growing violence among the youth as evidence of wounds not yet healed.
  • Praise God for the many pastors and lay leaders who work tirelessly among the poorest and neediest people of this country.

 (Prayer by Elena Huegel)

Global Ministries International Partners in Chile:

  • Iglesia Pentecostal de Chile (IPC): The Pentecostal Church of Chile, in over 350 congregations through out the country, carries out a vibrant ministry among children, youth, women, and men.  The church combines evangelism, social action, Christian education, and faith development in projects that include the Bethany Home for the Elderly and the Shalom Center and activities such as street preaching and energetic worship services.
  • Communidad Teologica Evangelica de Chile (CTE):
  • Fundacion de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas (FASIC):
  • Centro Ecumenico Diego de MedellinTaller Piret :
  • Fundacion Educación Popular en Salud (EPES): http://www.epes.cl/

Global Ministries Missionary in Chile:

Elena Huegel is a missionary with the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC).  She serves as an environmental, peace, and Christian education specialist at the Shalom Center.

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Pray for Turkey on Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prayers for Turkey

Gospel Lectionary Text: John 12:20-33

"Unless a gain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

O God,

We pray for Turkey, the land that has nurtured saints--Paul, Thecla, Nicholas, and a host of mothers and fathers of faith, all who yesterday and today inspire us to faithful living. They have died, but in our lives they bear much fruit. Let the many different peoples of this ever-ancient and ever-new land open their hearts to each other and hear joy and gladness. We especially ask you to be with our partners who work daily in the schools and hospitals founded by the American Board. Many have died so that these institutions may bear fruit today. Also give vision and hope to the people and congregations that work together ecumenically as IIMP. They struggle with few resources but great energy and love to serve hundreds of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants trying to survive for a time in Istanbul.

  • We thank you for the strength and resourcefulness of the women of Turkey. We ask that those who run for public office be sustained with a willing spirit to increase their public influence.
  • We pray for the schools of Turkey. We thank you that the gender gap in schooling has been closed by 15% in recent years but know that the struggle for true gender equality must continue. 
  • Make us aware of the gender gaps in our own society. O God, we tend to see faults in other societies, especially Muslim ones, more easily than we see our own. O You who desire truth in the inward being, cure us of this arrogance and blindness. 
  • Be with the refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Turkey. Be with the Turkish government as it develops policies affecting their lives. Help the people of Turkey never to lose their value of hospitality.
  • We thank you for Christian ecumenism here in Turkey – for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the World Day of Prayer and the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program. And may our Christian witness in Turkey go beyond Christian ecumenism to an interfaith witness of all who share a "Common Word" – a belief that God is one and a desire to love God with all their heart, mind and soul and their neighbor as themselves.

AMEN

(Prayer by Ken and Betty Frank)

Global Ministries International Partners in Turkey:  

  • Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program: Predecessors of the current Global Ministries personnel in Istanbul organized local parishes to serve the influx of refugees during the First Gulf War in 1991. Hearing the continuing call to minister to the needs of economic migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees stranded in Turkey – they number more than 100,000 today – the parishes over the years have sustained and further developed this ecumenical program of Christian mission. The focus is on the most marginalized group of migrants, especially women with children. Services include food, clothing, health care, counseling, voluntary repatriation, adult education, and emergency shelter subsidies. IIMP is a critical presence in the lives of those they help. Its work overlaps with NGOs that advocate for the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. GM personnel are officers on the IIMP Board.
  • Health and Education Foundation: The Health and Education Foundation, a Turkish secular philanthropy, began in 1968 to protect and renew the educational and medical institutions of the American Board, which represents the founder of these institutions more than a century ago. The Health and Education Foundation consists of volunteers who are the graduates of the American Board schools. There are three high schools in Turkey (TarsusIstanbul, Izmir), a hospital in Gaziantep (SEV American Hospital) and a printing press (SEV-YAY), founded by the American Board but now managed by the Health and Education Foundation, which has full responsibility and authority for them. The institutions exemplify the positive possibilities for bridging cultural divides and building trustful relationships that are needed in today's pluralistic world. Global Ministries follows with hope and interest the progress of these historical institutions through its office in Turkey, the American Board.

 

Global Ministries Personnel in Turkey:  

Ken & Betty Frank serve with the American Board in Istanbul, Turkey.  They share the job of General Secretary of the American Board.  They also serve on the board of the Istanbul Interparish Migrant Program (IIMP). 

Alison Stendahl serves as Academic Dean of and a math teacher at Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey.

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