Weekly Prayers

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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Pray for Ghana on Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Ghana: John 3:14-21

God, we thank you today for the reminder of how much you love the world. Thanks for sending your Son to walk among us and show us the way to sacrificially love one another. We pray today for our brothers and sisters in Ghana. We ask you to empower them in their efforts of love in your name. We pray particularly for the ministries of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana:

  • For the Christian Council of Ghana as they work in the area of education by providing scholarships for girls to attend school and with refugees from the surrounding countries.
  • For the work of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana, especially for it's hospitals, schools, pastor training institutes, women's work and HIV/AIDS work.

Amen.

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • Christian Council of Ghana: The Christian Council of Ghana, founded in 1929, is the unifying organization of Christians in the country.  It represents the Methodist, Anglican, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian, African Methodist Episcopal Zionist, Christian Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, F'Eden, and Baptist churches, and the Society of Friends.  The Council serves as the link with the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies. This Christian organization is concerned primarily with the spiritual affairs of its congregations but has occasionally acted in circumstances described by the government as political. Such was the case in 1991 when both the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Ghana Christian Council called on the military government of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) to return the country to constitutional rule. http://www.un.org/africa/osaa/ngodirectory2/dest/countries/printNGO.asp?lang=ENG&country=21&ngo=GHA30
  • Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana: The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana is an established partner of Global Ministries, having been founded in the 1840's by the Breman Mission of Germany among the Ewe people of what was then considered German Togoland.  After World War 1, Togoland was divided as a spoil of war between Britain and France.  The Ewe people were politically divided between Anglophone Ghana and Francophone Togo, and the Church became divided as well.  The United Church Board for World Ministries began its involvement with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana in 1946. The EP Church, Ghana is one of the oldest self-governing churches in Africa, having adopted its own constitution in 1922.  It has strong roots in the Evangelical and Reformed tradition and includes approximately 600,000 members and 512 congregations. The EP Church, Ghana is very committed to its spirituality and social action ministries. Global Ministries supports the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana in programs of church expansion, education, and service. http://www.reformiert-online.net/adressen/detail.php?lg=eng&id=12200

Global Ministries Missionary:

None at the present time

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Pray for Australia on Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Australia: John 2:13-22

God, in our zeal for your "house", the Body of Christ around the world, we join with our brothers and sisters in Australia, who have suffered through devastating fires and are now in the process of healing and recovery. May you make your presence know to them as they seek you in prayer. And may we walk with them in solidarity this Sunday using this liturgy:

LIFE AFTER THE FIRES

 

WE ARE GATHERED

We are the people

who face life after the fires.

We are those whose lives

will never be quite the same again.

We are gathered here to grieve,

to claim the ground of our lives in a new way,

to support each other

and to be part of the creation of the future.

The Christ who has walked the way of human pain

will be with us here,

weeping within our tears

and holding us in love.

 

WE REMEMBER

Let us remember this country as it was

and our lives as they were

before the fires.

Let us place our symbols here

in loving memory of our world as it was then,

when the greenness surrounded us

and the bush creatures and birds were our companions,

and life felt safe for us all:

The green cloth is spread down the aisle and the people place

The memories which they have placed on the cloth (see above).

 

THE GRIEVING

This is the truth.

Our lives will never be quite the same again,

even though we will journey on together.

The stories have been shared

and yet no words or images

can ever really capture or express what we have lost.

While we play this quiet music,

let us grieve all those things which are no more,

which have been damaged,

or which will be a loss for us for some time to come.

Music is played

We will hold in love all that is gone from us

with respect, with honour, with tenderness and with grief.

We will gather its beauty into our good memories

to carry with us into the future.

Now, in the silence, let us reach out

to touch the heart of a God

who waits to comfort us.

A silence is kept

O God, as our Loving Parent,

we believe that you are with us now.

Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

O God, life is often so painfully ambiguous.

When tragedy strikes, we sometimes cannot help

but anxiously ask what we have done to deserve this.

We pray today that we will know with confidence

that you would never wish fires of destruction upon us.

Embrace us in ways which restore our faith

and which help us to live, in confidence,

with the awesome freedom of your creation

rather than imagining a punishing God.

Send us your Holy Spirit this day

with gifts of wisdom, healing and comfort, we pray.

We especially remember before you these people and situations:

The people pray

Show us ways of caring for all those who grieve and suffer, O God,

and open our lives to share what we have with those in need.

Renew us for the days to come,

that we may lift up our heads and begin again in hope.

This we pray in faith.

Amen.

 

THE AFFIRMATION

In the power of a loving God,

we will survive the future,

as we have the past,

and in the same spirit with which we faced the fires.

A song could be sung, a poem read

In a silent moment,

let us bring to mind what we see among us

which will carry us forward in faith:

A silence is kept

Now let us take these green leaves (or flowers),

name what we see among us for our future survival and strength

and place them over the symbols of our past.

Let us place them gently

as a covering of peace over that which we have lost.

Let us place them in confidence as signs of the renewing of our life.

The people do so

 

LET US GO OUT

As the bush springs green again,

restoring its beauty to us as a gift,

as the seeds are broken open by the fire

for the beginning of new life,

and as we bring together all that is among us

for the future in this place:

let us go from here,

stronger than when we came,

holding on to those who have lost the most,

ready for all that is to come

and walking firmly into a new day.

Let us go in courage, hope and peace,

surrounded by the love of God.

 

BLESSING

And may the God who never leaves us nor forsakes us be with us,

the Christ, who wept for the loss of a friend, walk before us

and the Holy Spirit heal us and bring us a new dream.

Amen.

 

With love and prayers from Dorothy McRae-McMahon

For other information and resources on the fires in Australia, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/eap/australia-black-sat-ash-weds.html

Global Ministries International Partners:

  • Churches of Christ in Australia: committed to making the love of God known to the world as revealed through Jesus Christ http://cofcaustralia.org/cofc-cms/
  • Uniting Church in Australia: providing a witness for social justice and multi-cultural expression in Australia's diverse population http://www.uca.org.au/
  • Churches of Christ Theological College: celebrating 100 years of ministerial education http://www.cctc.edu.au

Global Ministries Missionaries:

None at the present time

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Pray for Cuba on Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Cuba: Mark 8:31-38

God, we thank you for your church in Cuba. We praise you for how the Cuban church has taken up the Cross and followed after Jesus through all these years of isolation and difficulty caused by the travel ban and embargo. We ask you to bless our partners in Cuba as they continue to walk faithfully after Christ in their various ministries. We pray for the end of the ban on travel to Cuba so that we might freely visit our brothers and sisters in Cuba and receive the gifts that they bring to the global church. We ask that legislation (H.R. 874 was introduced by Rep. Delahunt (D-MA) and Rep. Flake (R-AZ), along with seven original co-sponsors.  The Senate version, S. 428, was introduced by Senators Lugar (R-IN), Enzi (R-WY), and Dodd (D-CT).) that is now in Congress would be successful in paving the way for a more productive Cuban policy in our country. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

To read more about lifting the ban on travel to Cuba, click here: http://globalministries.org/news/lac/lifting-of-us-travel-ban.html

Global Ministries International Partners in Cuba:

  • Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  http://www.ecaminos.org/
  • Concilio de Iglesias de Cuba (CIC)
  • Evangelical Seminary of Theology
  • Iglesia Cristiana Pentecostal de Cuba (ICPC)

Global Ministries Missionary in Cuba:

None at the present time

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Pray for Syria on Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Syria: Mark 1:9-15

God, we pray for your church in Syria. We thank you for her commitment to announcing the coming of your reign in the world. We ask that you might give her strength and courage as she reaches out to Iraqi refugees who are displaced from war. (2 million Iraqi refugees have fled to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.) We also thank you for the generous efforts of the Syrian government in their relief efforts for this displaced population of your children. Continue to help us encourage these efforts and advocate for policies that will make this part of your world a place of peace and justice. Amen

For more information and resources, click here: http://globalministries.org/mee/from-war-to-peace/

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Syria:

  • Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East: The country of Syria, located in Southwest Asia, was a French mandate before it gained independence in 1946. Its history can be traced back, however, to the fourth millennium BC. Damascus, the capital of Syria, houses the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, which represents not only Syrian Greek Orthodox Christians (who make up 50-55 percent of Syria's Christian population), but also those in the republic of Lebanon, the Arabian Peninsula, parts of Turkey, and communities in North and Latin America, Australia, and Europe.
  • Middle East Council of Churches: At its first General Assembly in Nicosia, Cyprus (May, 1974), the Middle East Council of Churches was formed at the conclusion of a series of successful discussions between the Orthodox churches in the Middle East (both Eastern and Oriental) and the Protestant and Episcopal members of the Near East Council of Churches. The MECC is unique among regional ecumenical councils. It represents the advancement of ecumenism in a way not found anywhere else. At the Fifth General Assembly of 1990, the seven Catholic churches of the Middle East joined the council as its fourth family. This symbolically completed the square of wholeness and made the council a fully inclusive body. The Middle East Council of Churches is a fellowship of 27 member churches gathered in four families–Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical, and Catholic. Spanning the Middle East and North Africa from Algeria to Iran, 12 to 15 million Christians are thus represented in this all-inclusive Council. The Council has several units and programs, including the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, and the Inter-Church Network for Development & Relief in Lebanon (ICNDR).

Global Ministries Missionary in Syria:

None at the present time.

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Pray for Sri Lanka on Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Sri Lanka: Mark 9:2-9

Please pray for an immediate cease-fire, peace and reconciliation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The following are excerpts of e-mails from partners on the ground with specific prayer information:

            You may be aware that Sri Lanka recently 'celebrated' 60 years of 'independence'. I wish to bring to your kind information that we are going through a very bad period in the history of our nation and seek your prayers for guidance, wisdom, patience, tolerance and understanding at this critical time.

            The ethnic conflict that was unresolved since 'independence' has taken away many lives since 1958. In 1983 after the ethnic clashes many Tamils migrated to South India and other parts of the country. With the experiences of frustration, LTTE waged war to get a separate state and it had been continuing on and off since 1983. Various efforts taken for a negotiated settlement have failed due to many reasons. The Cease Fire Agreement signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in February 2002 was abrogated early this year. The hostilities have escalated. Aerial bombings in the North continue, claymore mines go off killing many innocent civilians in many parts of the country including the South. People are arrested and detained. Freedom of expression is curtailed. Journalists are harassed. People live in fear. It is a volatile situation. Life has been desecrated.

  Please remember the people, and the leaders of our weeping and bleeding land. Please also pray for sanity, justice and peace.

Jayasiri Peiris - General Secretary of the National Christian Council in Sri Lanka

You all are aware of the situation in Vanni. The Government of Sri Lanka is not listening to the request made by several humanitarian organizations to stop the ongoing war in Vanni.  Nearly 300,000 thousand people are encircled by the Sri Lankan Forces in a small area of land (Approximately 20KM X 30 KM) and continuously attacking the area with mortars, artillery and ariel bombarding.  Within last week alone more than 1000 people were killed and another 1500 are injured.  They do not have facilities and medicines for medical treatment.  The Government announced a place as safety zone and when people assembled there, they bombed that place.  No one can do any thing to save the innocent people.  Only our God Almighty can intervene in this regard.  Let us all unite and pray to our God to save these people from their suffering.

Rev.A.Jeyakumaran - The Jaffna Region of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission

"UN Evacuates Civilians in Sri Lanka" (The Boston Globe, Page A3, Jan. 30) only begins to tell the story of the growing number of civilian casualties from Sri Lanka's escalating violence.  As a member of a non-profit organization with historic ties to Christian educational programs in the nation's northern Jaffna region, I am alarmed by reports from local church leaders and colleagues of a civilian population in crisis, squeezed by the opposing forces, especially within a shrinking "safe refuge" in the northeastern Wanni area. On Wednesday, a local pastor who manages a Home for Girls and a Day Care Center was injured by aerial bombing. Primary school girls at Uduvil Girls' College (Jaffna) who are from the Wanni region are frantically worried for the safety of their families, from whom they have had no word. The innocent, including children, are suffering the price of this horrific war. Church leaders from northern Sri Lanka are calling for an immediate cessation of violence and a return to a ceasefire between the government forces and the LTTE. On Sunday morning, Feb. 1,  many of the Protestant churches in Sri Lanka's Jaffna district held an hour of prayer, a vigil in support of those internally displaced by the violence. My prayers joined with theirs and with those in a circle of concern worldwide who are dismayed by this tragic war.

Phil Braudaway-Bauman, president of the Trustees of Jaffna College Funds

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.  From 2003 to 2005, Global Mission Intern Diane Faires taught at the College.
  • 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.  More recently they have been challenged to respond to the devastation of the tsunami.  Much of the government's relief delivery has been directed to serve the Sinhalese population.  Tamils, in the north and northeast have been in conflict with the Sinhalese for over twenty years and the tensions are still high.  Global Ministries support for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka has been directed to the Jaffna Diocese for assisting these Tamil Communities which are not being served by the government relief programs.
  • 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.The 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.  Missionary Grace Bunker has recently retired after serving at Uduvil for 4 years.

Global Ministries Missionary in Sri Lanka:

None at the present time

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Pray for the Dominican Republic on Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for the Dominican Republic: Mark 1:29-39

Lord we see around us a society torn by inter family violence toward women and children, children malnourished and undereducated, and in situation of sexual exploitation. We've seen the innocence of youth who have learned the realities of poverty very early in life and the parents who are struggling to change their situations in life. We see not only people infected by AIDS but families suffering the effects.  We don't understand why people are still without the basic necessities of life such as clean water and food. Amidst this devastation we fail to remember that you are the ultimate healer. Lord, in our busy lives help us to find the quiet space and time to spend with you in solidarity so that we may be renewed and cleansed to go out into this world with peaceful spirits and loving hearts. We pray that you may use our hands to bring your healing powers and embrace the struggles of this world that we live in.  Amen.

Prayer requests:

  • For the staff of Caminante that works long hours to defend and promote the rights of children that the Lord will continue to renew their spirits and hearts with compassion, patience and energy.
  • For the children in Situations of the Street that they may see and know the love of Christ through the hands of those that continually are workings with them.
  • For the youth of this community that are struggling with the pressures of poverty, forced to work,  neglecting their education and right to the enjoyment of children.
  • For the families and children affected by HIV/AIDS, that they may continue to fight for their right to life and overcome the daily struggles through knowing the healing presence of the Lord.
  • Prayers for the Regional Ministers/Staff (Glen Stewart – Tennessee, Paxton Jones – Kansas, Don Hiscox – Upper Midwest, Penny Ross-Corona – Mid-America, Tom Jewell – Oklahoma, Lee Parker – Virginia, Ralph Datema – Central Rocky Mountain, Ray Miles – Georgia, Thad Allen – West Virginia, Sotello Long – South Carolina, Barb Jones – Great River and Rebecca Hale – Northwest)  that will be visiting the Dominican Republic and the partner organizations of Global Ministries that they will be visiting. We pray that minister as well as partners bring each other a renewed hope and faithful presence, that they may continue the work of the Lord our healer and ever present companion in each of their parts of the world. 

(Prayer by Erin McKinney)

Global Ministries International Partners in the Dominican Republic:

  • Acociacion Centro Cristiano de Asesoramiento Familiar (CECAF):
  • Alfalit Dominicano:
  • Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana:
  • Proyecto Educativo Caminantes:
  • Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, Inc. (SSID):

Global Ministries Missionary in the Dominican Republic:

Erin McKinney, a member of Hiram Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hiram, Ohio, has been appointed to serve Caminante in Boca Chica from 9/1/08 to 8/31/09. She works with children in Caminante's Outreach Ministry.

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