Weekly Prayers

Pray for Angola on Sunday, December 13, 2009

Prayers for Angola: Luke 3:7-18

Gracious God, we come before you this day aware that it is by the fruits that we bear that people can see the faith that we claim.

Stretch us in Angola and all around the world to see that we need to understand and embrace what happens beyond the four walls of our church buildings. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what is going on in the lives of church members, in our communities, in our own nation, and all around the world.

It is in this spirit that we pray for and ask your prayers for the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) today as it struggles with spiritual, political and social realities that call for the Church to lift a prophetic voice to address issues related to poverty, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and economic justice.

As we are about to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace this Christmas, we ask you to rescue people in Angola from the paralyzing fear that allows acceptance of peace without justice in order to avoid a return to armed conflict.

As we anticipate the earthly ministry of Jesus the Son of God who threw the money changers out of the Temple, let us pray and work for economic justice in a land where over 70% of the people live in absolute poverty, off to the side of all so-called economic progress.

And,  in April when we will mark the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, help us to know that although the truth that truly sets people free has yet to be spoken in Angola, there are signs of hope:

  • Women are getting water from wells dug through the IECA's Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) knowing that they and their children now have safe water supplies;
  • Women are being trained in midwifery so that they will become agents for change by bring healthy babies into Angola's remote rural villages;
  • Men in the rural areas now have a team of oxen that they then rent out to other farmers to create revenue which allows them to plant their own crops, feed their families, and sell produce in the markets;
  • Children are arriving at the Church's schools, greeting their teachers and their friends and running around with their school bags full of books and hope.

Help us, Gracious God, to embrace hope, to live out the knowledge that faith and actions are best understood as two sides of the same coin. Guide us, we pray, that our social actions will be accompanied by interpreting and preaching your liberating Word, and that our relationship with Jesus the Christ will be reflected in the quality of our daily lives. In Jesus' Name, Lord hear our prayer. Amen

(Prayer by Donna Dudley and Luis Samacumbi)

Global Ministries International Partners in Angola:

  • Council of Christian Churches in Angola: CICA, is an ecumenical institution founded in 1977 with the purpose of being the Angolan's faith community's guiding institution in the country, as well as the prophetic voice of its member institutions towards local and international governments.  CICA began with 7 member communions, and today has 22 member communions and related organizations.  CICA is based in Luanda, yet supports activities and ecumenical relations in all 18 provinces of Angola.  The Department of Justice, Ecumenism, Reconciliation and Cooperation was created as an organ responsible to respond to the various needs in peace building and conflict transformation in order to promoted a culture of peaceful coexistence, relationship building  throughout Angolan society.  http://www.edicisa.org.zw/FOCCISA/angola/index.html
  • Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola: The Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is a longstanding partner of Global Ministries.  The entity now known as IECA was founded in 1880 on the Angolan central plain by missionaries from the United Church of Canada and the American Committee of the Missions (USA), a forerunner of the United Church of Christ. The Church expanded in the central plateau through the creation of missions. During the long civil war (1976 – 2002), most church institutions were destroyed and members were dispersed throughout Angola, but the Church continued to expand, and currently has over 900,000 members and almost 3,000 congregations. IECA's Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) was created in 1991, to improve the general well being of the Angolan people by implementing projects in the areas of: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation; Gender-Equity, Women and Children; Health and HIV AIDS; Education and Training; Institutional Strengthening; and Sustainable, Integrated Community Development. The current peace in Angola allows DASEP to be an agent of social transformation in implementing the Church's vision: To create a more just Angolan society, founded on ethical-moral and biblical principles, leading to a better world for all. http://warc.jalb.de/warcajsp/church.jsp?news_id=19&navi=9&church=127

Global Ministries Missionary in Angola:

Donna Dudley, a member of University Church, United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chicago, Illinois, serves the Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola (IECA). She assists in developing organizational capacities and by offering guidance on a variety of development projects.

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Pray for Zimbabwe on Sunday, November 29, 2009

Prayers for Zimbabwe: Luke 21:25-36

Revealing God, we thank you for this time of Advent when we wait expectantly for your coming into our world. Help us to discern the signs of your presence and the workings of your reign among us. Today we think of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. We thank you for their vigilance and discernment during these tough economic and political times in their country. We thank you for their contribution in making your presence known and felt in the everyday lives of Zimbabweans. We ask you to continue to give them courage and strength as they await the full manifestation of your presence and might in their midst. We pray as well for Maryjane and Don Westra as they begin their ministry at Mt Selinda. Empower them to discern their place in walking with our brothers and sisters of Zimbabwe. Help them to be a critical presence in your name. We thank you also for Mary and Dale Patrick who will be serving as Bible teachers at the United Theological College beginning in January of 2010. Prepare them also for this time of volunteer service in your name. Help us all to be alert and prayeful servants in this world you love so much. Amen

 (Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

OK God,
You know I didn’t go to preacher school.  You know I can’t say those fancy preacher prayers.  I never get all the thou’s and thee’s in the right place.  You and I have always had an understanding about that.  You don’t seem to mind that I don’t close my eyes or fold my hands when we talk.  So here I am again, my jaw dropping at the wonderment of your Creation.  I walked to a village today along the ridge overlooking the valley.  I’m sure you know the place.  Thank you for showing me the lush, deep green color of the tea plants, the tiny village on the reservoir and the border with Mozambique where only a few years ago there was war and violence but now there is peace and beauty.  Thank you for making the monkeys and boabab trees.  Thank you for making little children who yell greetings to the stranger.  Thank you for making spiders, snakes and cockroaches .. But if you could keep them far away from me, I would be oh so grateful.   You have somehow put me in this place, far away from my family and everything familiar.  (Just how did that happen? We‘ll discuss that later.) Now that I am here, I am begging for the wisdom and discernment to do the work you ask of me.  It is not hard to love the people I walk alongside (literally and figuratively), but help me, God, to go to a deeper level of love, honor, respect and understanding.   Give me guidance in ministry to the sick, heartsick and grieving.  Help me as I comfort a woman in labor with a too-big baby.  Stand by me when I hold a dying child.  Guide me as I comfort a mother, whose words I don’t understand, but whose wails are understood universally. Thank you for trusting me to do your work, God.  I won’t let you down.   Amen.   

PS  The music, dancing and drumming is great!  Keep up the good work!    

 (Prayer by Maryjane Westra)

Global Ministries International Partners in Zimbabwe:

  • Christian Care: Christian Care was formed in 1967 by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches tasked to improve the quality of life of the disadvantaged, including refugees.  As an arm of the church Christian Care is called to witness the presence of God among the poor and disadvantaged who are burdened by oppression, poverty, ill health, lack of freedom or knowledge to make sustainable life-supporting choices. Before Zimbabwe's political independence in 1980, Christian Care was concerned with relief of families of political prisoners and the prisoners themselves.  This program reached out to about 5000 people.  Other relief program included drought relief, special emergencies, an essential service for people displaced by escalating war which peaked around 1975 with the establishment of protected/consolidated villages. Shortly after independence, Christian Care was heavily involved in post war reconstruction.  In 1985 the organization broadened its mandate to include rural development.  Projects to date have included disaster relief programs, dam construction and irrigation development, integrated rural development programs, water and sanitation, livestock restocking, HIV/AIDS, gender, advocacy and income generating projects.
  • United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe: The United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) was founded in 1893 by the American Board of Foreign Missions, predecessor mission program of the United Church of Christ.  Global Ministries works closely with this partner church in the many facets of its ministry in Zimbabwe.  The denominational membership today is approximately 30,000 people in 47 churches and several preaching points and worship groups.  The UCCZ has worked ecumenically on important efforts in Zimbabwe and is responsible for many schools and several health institutions in the country. The church's mission is to promote Christian living and to relate humankind to the larger body of Christ through teaching, healing, stewardship, preaching, and farming.  The church revolves around the core values of hard work and self-reliance, and works to eradicate poverty and disease through technical and vocational life skills training for survival, and integrated participatory community-based development.
  • Zimbabwe Council of Churches: The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has been in partnership with Global Ministries since 1964.  The council has twenty member churches, nine associate member churches, and two observer members.  The Zimbabwe Council of Churches' mission is to meet the needs of their communities, proclaim the gospel, develop their capacity to be self-sustaining, and to speak with one voice on issues of national interest.
  • Zimbabwe Synod-UCCSA: The Zimbabwe Synod is one of five synods comprising the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa.  It is located in Bulawayo with congregations and schools throughout Matabeleland. The church's greatest constraint is the economic and political situation prevailing throughout the country.  As a result of this situation, ordinary Zimbabweans suffer greatly.  The migration of the youth and other members of the work force is taking its toll on the church and communities where the churches are located.
  • United Theological College, Harare: United Theological College is an interdenominational institution whose purpose is to train quality pastors and teachers of the Christian gospel for churches in Zimbabwe and the region.  The College seeks to prepare students to understand and articulate the Bible's transforming holistic and prophetic message to individuals, families, groups and society at large.  The college recruits qualified and experienced Christian lecturers who are committed to excellence in teaching and research. United Theological College is the largest ecumenical theological training school in Zimbabwe run by seven participating churches namely:  Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, United Congregational Church in Southern Africa, Uniting Presbyterian Church and African Methodist Episcopal church.  United Theological College (UTC) was founded in 1954 as an institution of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, situated on part of the Epworth Mission Farm and named Epworth College.  It became an Ecumenical Protestant Seminary in 1955 when the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe,  The United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (therein called the participating churches) resolved to co-operate in sponsoring the college for the training of pastors and other church workers.  In 1976 the name was changed to United Theological College. 

Global Ministries Missionary in Zimbabwe:

Maryjane and Don Westra, members of Federated Church UCC, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, serve the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe. Maryjane works as the Hospital Administrator at Mt. Selinda Hospital and Daisy Dube Children's Homeas. Don works on the staff of the Micro-Enterprise and Strategic Planning/Management program with the Eastern Conference of the UCCZ.

Mary and Dale Patrick, members of Glen Echo Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Des Moines, Iowa, will serve with the United Theological College beginning in January 2010. Mary will teach Greek and New Testament. Dale will teach Hebrew and Old Testament.

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Pray for Israel & Palestine on Sunday, December 6, 2009

Prayers for Israel & Palestine: Luke 1:68-79 and 3:1-6

Liberating God…

God of peace, mercy, justice and love…

With Zachariah, and in the power of your Holy Spirit, we come before you to praise and honor your name, because you are committed with the redemption and restoration of your people. You sent your son, Jesus of Nazareth, as a powerful savior from the House of David, according to the prophet's messages, to free ourselves from the chains of our enemies, to show your mercy and love, and also to reveal the saving and liberating power of your Holy Spirit…

In that spirit of humbleness and hope we come before your presence to intercede for the peoples of Israel and Palestine… For over sixty years these two communities have been trying to live together in peace, in the midst of violence, terror, deaths and wars! For more than six decades these two nations have been trying to discover the path of justice, in a world of aggressions, occupations, invasions and resentments! For over half a century these two peoples have been trying to create the necessary conditions to discover, promote, affirm and enjoy the results of a just peace!

But the challenges have been enormous, the problems extraordinary, and the obstacles formidable… When they talk about peace, a war develops… When they gather to explore new ways of understanding and respect, a new political and military difficulty arises… When they are ready to move forward firmly in the road of international recognition and national respect, hostilities erupt and the cycle of violence starts again and again hurting seriously the peace processes and affecting adversely the hopes, aspirations and dreams of both communities.

We come before your powerful presence, God of hope, in the priestly tradition of Zachariah and with the prophetic spirit of John the Baptist, to celebrate your mercy and justice, to announce your grace and love, to affirm the good news of salvation and liberation, and also to recognize your commitment with the people in need and distress of these two nations… We come to you because we recognize your power and we know about your interest in the children and widows, orphans and blinds, dispossessed and captive, disenfranchise and oppressed… We know very well that you have experience in this type of «critical presence» situations, where despair reigns, oppression rules and life is threatened…

And because we know about your saving will and we trust your desire for peace with justice in the region, we pray for…

· The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Middle East, and for Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan. They serve the churches in the Holy Land and communities all over the world, and preach the gospel of Christ with integrity and love…

· The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem and its ministries, especially for its pastor, Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb… They are building the kingdom stone by stone, in the complex dynamics and contexts of separation walls, economic challenges, spiritual needs, political and military occupation…

· The Sabeel Liberation Center, and its president, Dr. Naim Ateek, which are seriously engaged in translating, transforming and reformulating the traditional theological categories and disciplines into contextual and concrete liberating and renovating programs, to bless both communities, the people of Israel and Palestine, not only in Jerusalem but also in Nazareth…

· The much necessary and relevant literary and witnessing ministry of Jean Zaru as presiding Clerk of the Friends (Quakers) programs in Ramallah… They are affirming that peace in not a dream, but a real possibility in this region…

· The extraordinary and pertinent ministries of the YMCA and YWCA, the primary school «Gardens of Flowers», the service and solidarity ministries of the MECC, the EAPPI, and the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza… These institutions are making extraordinary educational, accompaniment and health contributions in the center of torn apart societies, full or prejudices, rancor, hostility, mistrust, resentment,

·  And for the spiritual and emotional needs of Palestinians and Israelis, as they move forward to create more just and respectful societies, as they create the needed environs for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and as they discover and recognize that they need each other in order to enjoy peace, which means to have security, and also to have a viable state…

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace… Amen  

(Prayer written by Noemi and Samuel Pagan)

Drs. Samuel and Nohemí Pagán are teaching Hebrew Bible and Spanish at Dar al-Kalima College in Bethlehem…

Global Ministries International Partners in Israel & Palestine:

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and the Diyar Consortium: The Diyar Consortium is a Lutheran Based, ecumenical oriented institutions serving the Palestinian community «from womb to tomb». Their main emphasis is on children, youth and the elderly, through transforming, contextual and holistic programs. Their initiatives are inspired in the Biblical message: «That they might have life and have it abundantly». In a context of too much politics, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem (CCB) and Diyar Consortium believe in caring for the city and its citizens… In a context of exclusive forms of religion, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in investing in ecumenism, inclusion, dialogue, respect… In a context of too much disempowering aid, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in empowering the individual and the community, in the name of Jesus Christ… In a context of too much segregation, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in building bridges and platforms for international, intercultural and interreligious encounters, dialogue and mutual respect… In a context of despair, ELCJHL, CCB and Diyar believe in creating rooms for hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, justice, and peace… www.elcjhl.org  and www.annadwa.org
  • 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 Guadeloupe and Martinique on Sunday, November 22, 2009

Prayers for Guadeloupe and Martinique: John 18:33-37

Dear Lord we pray for the people of the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. This is a time of cultural, political and economic turmoil as the people of both islands engage in the debate about their historical and political links to France. We ask you to help calm and channel the anger felt by many into positive actions. As the discussions and social movements continue may the people of both islands and the political powers in France be attentive to the teachings of Jesus.  May all realize that the true kingdom is not of this world and that love, respect and fairness must be the basis of all societies.

In particular we pray for:

-The 25 percent of the population that is unemployed and struggling to make ends meet.

-The growing prison population, especially among young adults.

-The large number of refugee and asylum seekers, mainly from Haiti, who are living precariously. 

-The political and union representatives who are in negotiation over the future status of the island.

(Prayer by Tim Rose)

Global Ministries International Partners in Guadeloupe and Martinique:

  • The Protestant Reformed Church of Guadeloupe
  • The Protestant Reformed Church of Martinique

Global Ministries Missionary in Guadeloupe and Martinique:

Tim Rose, a member of the United Church of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, serves the Protestant Reformed Church in Guadeloupe and Martinique as the Pastoral Assistant for Diaconal Ministries and as a Prison Chaplain. He is jointly appointed by Global Ministries and the DEFAP (the mission agency of the Reformed and Lutheran Churches in France).

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Pray for Mozambique on Sunday, November 15, 2009

Prayers for Mozambique: Mark 13:1-8

God of Grace, Mercy, and Truth:

We pause today to reflect on the country of Mozambique:  a country rich with history, culture, and your unfailing love.  We thank you for giving us the opportunity to travel, sa Sojourners, to explore the richness of your grace present in Maputo, with our partner churches, to share with your people who worship you "in Spirit and in Truth," in justice through suffering, in compassion through action, and unwavering determination through peace.

There is no lack in Maputo's love, spirit, and care for your people. When other cities and countries are rich in materialism, their spiritual abundance surpasses selfish greed, indulgence, and compromise.  Through your grace, continue to meet their basic needs.

We pray for the leadership of Mozambique; for their continued pursuit of peace.  We thank you for government administrators who worked to provide freedom of association, expression, assembly and movement, as well as equal and universal suffrage and the right to vote.  Your word encourages us and them to "Be still and know that you are God," you will be exalted in the land. 

We pray for our church partners:  the Christian Council of Mozambique, the Mozambique Synod of the UCCSA, United Church of Christ in Mozambique; for their unity and spirit of cooperation with each other; to bring resources together for ministry and the movement of your work during hard economic times.

We pray for Ricalta Seminary; for education and equipping of present and future leaders; 

For health and education through the HIV Aids Project, we thank you for resources, advocacy, hope and healing for those who will receive the information needed and be transformed to life once again.

We pray for the CARAN School for Girls – as they reminded us "You are my mother, you are my father, please don't forget about us."  We pray for remembrance that would lead us to action, advocacy and support by "whatever means necessary" to give your daughters light, unconditional love, and hope for a future.

We pray for future missionaries to be sent forth to Mozambique, as a Disciples witness, and for the resources to make this partnership possible; to send those who have the call, passion, and heart to do ministry with our partners in ministries of justice.

And finally, we pray for the church mothers who loved us, provided for us, and allowed us to see a reflection of ourselves through their eyes, to claim our heritage as brothers and sisters in Christ, and to know that although oceans divided us, your Spirit connected us, and blessed us to be present with them for a while.

We pray these things in the name of the one who calls us to witness, in Jesus Christ, Amen.

 (Rev. Dr. Nadine Burton)

To read the journal of the Disciples New Church Start Pastors Pilgrimage to Mozambique and to view photos from the trip, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/africa/disciples-new-church-start.html

Global Ministries International Partners in Mozambique:

  • Christian Council of Mozambique: Christian Council of Mozambique is a Church based organization formed in 1948 by the main line churches like the Methodist, Anglicans and Presbyterians. Presently it constituted 22 different denominations both main line as well as small denominations including two Associations (The Bible Society and the Scripture Union). CCM works countrywide with offices in each province and in some districts, administrative posts and localities. 
  • Mozambique Synod - United Congregational Church of Southern Africa:  The Mozambique Synod is one of five synods comprising the United Congregational church in Southern Africa.  Its office is located in Maputo.  The synod is engaged in ministry in various districts throughout the country.  In recent years, the country has suffered from many natural disasters and the synod has been in the forefront trying to alleviate some of the suffering.  It has constructed new homes for the homeless and cared for hundreds of children.
  • Ricatla United Seminary: The United Seminary of Ricatla is an ecumenical theological institution in Maputo. It was founded in 1958 by a group of Protestant churches committed to creating a school where ministers can receive cross denominational training in an ecumenical setting.  The United Seminary of Ricatla has since graduated hundreds of ministers, both male and female, who have gone on to work in a variety of churches throughout the country. The ecumenical mission of the United Seminary of Ricatla is demonstrated in its practice of requiring students to complete their practical training in three denominations besides their own.  The Seminary also offers exchange programs and accepts students from outside Mozambique.  In addition to being respected for its theological training, the Seminary is well respected for the leadership and spirit of unity and understanding its graduates provide both among churches and in the communities in Mozambique.
  • United Church of Christ in Mozambique:  The UCC in Mozambique was founded in 1905. It is made up of 56 congregations with 20 ordained ministers. It has around 10,000 members.

Global Ministries Missionary in Mozambique:

None at the present time

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Pray for Germany on Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prayers for Germany: Mark 12:38-44

As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, let us pray for the country of Germany. We ask you, O God, to bless our partners in ministry there, the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK). We thank you for their commitment to peace and justice and we ask that we might be strong in supporting and encouraging one another in this global struggle. We ask that you might help us to practice what we preach and to display generosity in giving to your work around the world. Help us to continue to find ways to tear down dividing walls through our prayers and action. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

To download resources for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, click here: http://globalministries.org/resources/20th-anniversary-of-the-fall.html

Global Ministries International Partner in Germany:

  • Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK): The Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) traces its origin to 1817 when, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III decreed that the Reformed and Lutheran parishes in his domain should be united in a single church. In 1981, the United Church of Christ's General Synod declared a relationship of full communion (Kirchengemeinschaft) with the Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU). The EKU was an historic union of the Lutheran and Reformed traditions in Germany and the ancestral church of many German-American pioneers who founded the "Evangelical Synod in the United States"—one of the UCC's antecedent traditions. In 2003 the member churches of the EKU voted to disband the EKU and join with other United and Reformed churches in Germany to create a larger body: the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK).

Global Ministries Missionaries in Germany:

None at the present time

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Pray for the Philippines on Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Philippines: Mark 10:46-52

Churches and church-based organizations in the Philippines are helping thousands of families, who have lost relatives, homes and other properties after tropical storm Ketsana unleashed torrential floods. The 24-hour downfall of rain, on September 26, amounting to more than a foot in a one-day period, resulted in devastating flashfloods and landslides, mainly affecting the northern island of Luzon.

Let us pray:

Compassionate and loving God, just as Jesus listened to the cry of Bartimaeus and responded to his request, we ask that your ear might be attentive to the cry of your people in the Philippines. We thank you for the work of our partners in the Philippines as they reach out to meet the needs of their brothers and sisters. We ask that you might send help to those who need it after the devastating flood. We ask that you might protect those who are seeking justice for the poor. We ask that you might help us to be increasingly sensitive to those who are crying out around the world so that we might respond with the compassion of Jesus. Amen

To learn more about how you can respond to the floods in the Philippines, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/eap/torrential-floods-philippines.html

Global Ministries International Partners in the Philippines:

  • Dansalan College Foundation
  • Northern Christian College
  • Silliman University
  • Southern Christian College
  • Union Theological Seminary
  • United Church of Christ in the Philippines

Global Ministries Missionaries in the Philippines:

  • Levi Oracion is a long-term volunteer and serves as a theology professor at the Divinity School of Silliman University in the Philippines.
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Pray for American Samoa on Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for American Samoa: Mark 10:35-45

Rev. Samuel T. Tialavea Sr., General Secretary, Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa, a Global Ministries partner, recounted in an e-mail impact of the tsunamis:

"Traffic on the one and only main road, added to the chaos and folks were frantic.  As tsunami waves hit, homes were destroyed and buildings were damaged.  Public transports were stricken and people began to flee on foot. Power outage for half of the islands, leaving thousands with out utilities for an uncertain period of time. Communication lines by telephone have been restricted, with cell phone services in many localities non-operable.  It has been a nightmare for many.  For those of you familiar with American Samoa, extreme damages to those waterfront communities have been highlighted by the graves of family members being washed out, surfacing cadavers on the road, or swept out to sea.  Villagers and volunteers have rallied to assist families in some of these places to re-bury the remains of their loved ones."

Rev. Tialavea went on to express his appreciation for the messages of support he is receiving and asks for our continued prayers.

Prayer for the Pacific

One: Dear God; Creator, Sustainer, Pain-bearer; Today we mourn with all our sisters and brothers whose lives were ravaged by last week's earthquake, tsunamis and typhoon.

All: We pray with all those whose sense of security and safety was washed away. We mourn for those who lost family and friends; for those who lost homes and business; for those whose communities lost vital services and infrastructures; for those whose communities no longer exist.

One: As we mourn and pray, we also recognize our call to help restore and rebuild that which can be restored and rebuilt; to comfort those in need of comforting; to reach out to those who may need a hand.

All: Within the worst moments of human experience there are still the seeds of holy hope.

Many: In the midst of natural disaster, there are still these seeds of hope.

One: In the midst of starvation and disease, there are still these seeds of hope.

Many: In the midst of oppression and injustice, there are still these seeds of hope.

One: In the midst of violence and neglect, there are still these seeds of hope.

All: May we nurture hope as it grows through our gifts, our service and our advocacy. Amen.

Prayer by: Rev. Mike Denton, Conference Minister - Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Global Ministries International Partners in American Samoa:

  • Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa

Global Ministries Missionary in American Samoa:

None at the present time

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Pray for Honduras on Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Honduras: Mark 10:17-31

Loving God,

We come before you today together as your children.  We come before you today and ask that we may know that sometimes what you ask of us is difficult, but that with you, all things are possible.  We come before you and ask that you may help heal the wounds in a hurting country.  We come before you with hope for the future of Honduras.  We come before you and ask that we may do what we can to help in the lives of others, even if it means compromising our own wealth.  For the wealth we may have in this world is nothing compared to the wealth we have in you.

Prayer Requests:

  • The staff of the CCD, that they may continue striving towards sustainable development in Honduras.
  • Understanding from both political parties struggling for power, and hurting many in the process.
  • Safety, comfort, and healing for those effected by the human rights violations ranging from violations from police officers to having chemicals dumped on them from a helicopter.
  • Discernment for the Council of Latin American Churches, which recently concluded their tour of Honduras and their discussions on the situation here, that they may bring information to their home countries and congregations.

(Prayer by Alan Dicken)

Global Ministries International Partners in Honduras:

  • Christian Commission on Development (CCD): Ecumenical organization based in Tegucigalpa working on sustainable development projects with churches and communities in Honduras. http://www.ccdhonduras.org/espanol/
  • Honduran Theological Community (CTH): Ecumenical theological education with a residence program in Tegucigalpa and distance learning cells throughout Honduras.
  • Evangelical and Reformed Church of Honduras (IERH): Synod leadership is based in San Pedro Sula with 50 or so congregations spread out through the northern portion of Honduras.
  • Association of Evangelical Institutions of Honduras (AIEH): Social action arm of the Evangelical and Reformed church.
  • Mennonite Social Commission (CASM): http://www.casm.hn/

Global Ministries Missionary in Honduras:

Alan Dicken, a member of Tylersville Road Christian Church, Mason, Ohio, serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Christian Commission of Development (CCD) in Honduras. He works in the communications ministry and assists with hosting groups visiting the CCD.

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Pray for Poland on Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Poland:  Mark 10:13-16

Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:15

God of all nations, we lift up our partners in Poland and around the world this day, World Communion Sunday. We thank you for the faithfulness of believers in the face of challenges we can only dimly imagine. Nurture the faith of your children; increase their hope; and make your living presence especially known to them. We lift up to God their joys and their concerns—those specific details that only they can articulate and that are already known to you.

(Pause.)  Turning towards our brothers and sisters in Poland today, we pray especially for:

**our global partner—the Evangelical-Reformed Church—as it struggles to overcome the oppressive realities of its 450-year history, and to survive and thrive in spite of its status as a minority, marginalized and diaspora church;

Hear our prayers for Poland and for the world.

We pray for:

**the pastors and church leaders who struggle to weave the ancient and revered traditions of their historic church into the warp and the woof of a new theology of servanthood, acceptance, and sharing. Help them to meet the spiritual needs of 21st century congregations and their communities.

Pour your blessings on pastors and their families as they tirelessly travel to serve small farflung congregations, ever seeking ways to restore hope, to renew vision and energy--to feed God's sheep;

 Hear our prayers for Poland and for the world.

We pray today especially for:

**youth--the post-communist generation that remembers nothing of the scarcities and horrors of the past that have so wounded their parents and grandparents.

Help young people to maintain their faith even when they are derided by their peers, or told that they cannot be reformed Christians and still be true Poles.

Guide the children and youth of Poland as they seek compass and direction in a world that too often preaches fear before hope, tribalism before trust, commercialism before caring, and fortressing before fighting against the forces of oppression and inequality;

Hear our prayers for Poland and for the world.

Bless your Church in every place and space as it seeks to share the Good News, to extend welcome, and to serve. Help congregations to engage their communities in new and courageous ways. Grant pastors and people the strength to persevere, and the wisdom faithfully to invest time and resources, even when these are scarce and the workers are few.

Lastly, we pray that this month's observances of John Calvin's 500th anniversary will bring a renewed sense of ecumenical unity and mission to historic protestant communities, especially in Poland, long fragmented by the harsh realities of history and politics.

Hear our prayers for Poland, gracious God, and hear our prayers for healing in every corner of your world.

In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.

Global Ministries International Partner in Poland:

Founded in 1551, Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany—the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland--is a small and marginalized minority denomination in a country where over 95% profess membership in a Catholic Church.

Evangelical-Reformed Church of Poland: http://www.reformowani.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11&Itemid=8

It is a diaspora church of 4000 members spread over a score of churches and meeting places. The forced "repatriations" and ethnic cleansings that followed the World Wars of the 20th century, and the many occupations and divisions of Poland before and after these wars, decimated the ancient and traditional reformed church which, at one time, had hundreds of thriving congregations.

Global Ministries Missionaries in Poland:

Elizabeth and Douglas Searles are Global Ministries mission workers with Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany, a new partnership in Central Europe. Theirs is a joint sending, shared between Global Ministries and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Based in Lodz, Poland, Liz and Doug have a weekly circuit ministry of teaching ESL, English language Bible Study, youth programs, pulpit supply, and music development that takes them to many small communities beyond Lodz.

The Searles are commissioned to support in whatever ways they can efforts towards church health, growth and outreach of the Evangelical-Reformed Church in Poland.
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