Weekly Prayers

Pray for Hong Kong on Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lectionary Text and Prayer for Hong Kong: John 1:1-18

God's holy light sets hearts aglow,

It makes more clear the way to go.

Rejoice, my soul, and do not fear,

Follow His light, through this New Year.

–  Y.T. Tsiang, 1931, tr. Frank W. Price, 1953

O, Lord, as we enter the new decade, we remember your faithfulness to us in every generation. We give thanks most of all for your son Jesus Christ, who brings eternal life to all creation. May Your holy light dispel the darkness in this world of sin and sorrow through Your church in Hong Kong and China. Let us go forward with confidence that whatever may come, Your light will shine in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it! Amen.

(Prayer by Judy Chan)

Global Ministries International Partners Hong Kong:

  • Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs: http://www.asiapacificymca.org/ - Federation of YMCA movements in 27 countries in the Asia and Pacific region, with programs for global citizenship and social responsibility, peace with justice and sustainability for life.
  • Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php - An independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realization of human rights in the Asia region, and to mobilize Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations.
  • Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture: http://www.csccrc.org -Ecumenical research institute for study of the religions and culture of China, including Hong Kong.
  • Chung Chi College Divinity School: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/theology - Ecumenical seminary providing theological education for church leaders and laity. The school is supported by mainline churches and is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong Christian Council: http://www.hkcc.org.hk - Ecumenical body of mainline churches and Christian organizations. It works for a united Christian witness and mission in Hong Kong society.
  • Hong Kong Christian Institute: http://www.hkci.org.hk/ - Christian center for education and advocacy on issues of social concern.  The organization promotes human rights, democracy and justice in Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong Christian Service: http://www.hkcs.org/index_e.htm - One of HK's largest social service agencies. It was started by mainline churches and provides Christian Service for "The Healing and Growth of People."
  • Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China: http://www.hkcccc.org (Chinese version only) – Hong Kong church denomination with historic Congregational and Presbyterian roots. The Council has 65 congregations and is the sponsoring body for more than 50 elementary and secondary schools.
  • Hong Kong Women Christian Council: http://www.hkwcc.org.hk/en - Organization to fight for social justice and women's rights, to promote feminist theology and to stand with marginalized communities.

Global Ministries Missionaries in Hong Kong:

  • Judy Chan is a Global Ministries missionary serving with the Hong Kong Christian Council in communications.  She is in charge of ecumenical radio broadcasting ministry, English publications and ecumenical partnerships in Hong Kong and overseas.
  • Bruce Van Voorhis serves as missionary with the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs in Hong Kong. He works as Coordinator for Interfaith Programs.
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Pray for Indonesia/Timor on Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lectionary Text and Prayers for Indonesia/Timor: Luke 2:41-52

God of life and love, God of all peoples everywhere,

We thank you that you have created us in endless variety, giving us many ways to live together, to love one another, and many tongues in which to express our praise and gratitude to you. 

Today we pray especially for the many peoples of Indonesia and East Timor.  We ask that you guide them in finding their common humanity amidst the great diversity of cultures, languages, and beliefs;  in praise of their One Creator may they find peace with one another, reconciliation among former enemies, and a new path toward a more just society.

We ask you to guide and strengthen those who have listened to the call of Christ and now seek His path that they may follow Him.  Help us to be true partners to the churches and schools of Indonesia with whom we have formed bonds of friendship,  even as we know that they also pray for us.  We ask your grace and blessing for:

  • The continuing recovery from natural disasters in Aceh, Nias, Alor, and Java
  • Healing the scars of communal conflict in Maluku, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan
  • The struggle to build a nation from the ruins and poverty left by centuries of colonization in East Timor
  • Tom and Monica Liddle and their children, who are just beginning their ministry in East Timor
  • Monika Mainnak, with a CGMB scholarship she is the first of her people to receive medical training ; her remote mountain village is counting on her to return so that they may have medical care available
  • The Junior High School in Lisadilla, East Timor, needs more teachers and a well so the children will not have to carry water from a distant spring
  • Newly elected Indonesian legislators in the ongoing struggle to build democracy after decades of dictatorship

The path of Christ leads us to people and places such as these.  Take us by the hand, Lord, and bring us farther along.   Amen.

(Prayer by John Campbell-Nelson)

Global Ministries International Partners in Indonesia/Timor:

Artha Wacana Christian University

Christian Church of West Sulawesi (GKSB)

Christian University in Tomohon (UKIT)

Church World Service - Indonesia

Communion of Churches in Indonesia

Communion of Churches in Wilayah

Duta Wacana Christian University, Jogiakarta

Evangelical Church in Eastern Indonesia

Evangelical Church in Minihasa

Evangelical Church of Sumba

Gerega Protestan Indonesia LUWU (GPIL)

Jakarta Theological Seminary

Protestant Christian Church of Bali – (GKPB)

Protestant Church in South Sulawesi (GPSS)

Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL)

Satya Wacana Christian University

Theological Seminary of Eastern Indonesia – STT

Theological Seminary of Kalimantan – STT

Global Ministries Missionary in Indonesia/Timor:

John Campbell-Nelson serves the Evangelical Christian Church of West Timor. He has taught at the Theological Faculty of Artha Wacana University and its Center for Regional Studies and served as a consultant to the Evangelical Church in East Timor. He provides in-service training and continuing education for clergy.

Carlos Madrazo began serving in 2007 as an institutional capacity building advisor to IPTL, Didache Foundation and ICUT.

Tom and Monica Liddle serve the Protestant Church of East Timor. Monica works as a medical doctor in the clinic in Same while Tom serves as a facilitator in the church's program for strengthening congregations and continuing education of pastors.

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Pray for Mexico on Sunday, December 20, 2009

Prayers for Mexico: Luke 2:1-14

God of grace, we bless your name during this Advent season when we anticipate the peace that you are bringing to our world. We ask that you might help us to make room in the inn of our heart for the Prince of Peace. Help us as well to be messengers of the good news of great joy which is for all of your people everywhere. Today we think of our partners in Mexico. We thank you for the work of reconciliation and unity that is taking place among the two Disciples of Christ denominations in Mexico. We pray as well for the joint round table for mission that the Disciples share with the Congregational Church. We thank you especially for the contribution of Justino and Zaida, our Global Ministries missionaries, in this important work. Bless our partners in Mexico as the seek to be agents of peace and messengers of good news. Amen

(Prayer by Bob Shebeck)

Global Ministries International Partners in Mexico:

  • Alianza de Iglesias Cristianas Evangelicas (Discipulos de Cristo) en Mexico (AICE)
  • Centro de Coordinacion de Proyectos Ecumenicos (CECOPE)
  • Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangelicas (Discipulos de Cristo) (CICE)
  • Iglesias Cristianas Congregacionales de Mexico
  • Instituto de Estudios e Investigacion Intercultural, A.C. (INESIN) 

Global Ministries Missionary in Mexico:

Justino Perez-Ojeda and Zaida Rivera-Rivera are missionaries serving with the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico, the Alliance of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico (AICEDCAR) and the Fraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Mexico. Justino is administered in the country by the Christian Congregational Churches of Mexico.  He serves as a consultant for the Mission Development Program.  Zaida serves as a consultant for the Mission Development Program. They have concluded their assignment and are currently doing interpretation in Puerto Rico.

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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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