International Day of the Girl Child

“On International Day of the Girl Child, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential. ”
(UN Secretary-General António Guterres)

Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

2018 theme: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce
Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.
Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls to expand existing learning opportunities, chart new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work.
Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.

• Over 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18
• 125 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
• 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year – many of these children are girls forced into sex trafficking
• Pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged 15 to 19
• Literacy rates for girls in many countries remain low – just 12% of Afghan women aged 15 and over are literate

Prayer: For girl children in the world, especially those subjected to discrimination and abuse; that their human dignity and equality be recognised, protected and valued by people everywhere as we acknowledge the International Day of the Girl Child.

Unfortunately, in many countries and cultures the girl child carries negative images of discrimination and abusive treatment, for they are devalued by countless years of superstitious beliefs and misinformation. Those born into the world risk death in infancy, either through murder, abuse, neglect or sickness. If they survive to the age of five, they may face servitude, irrational submission, childbearing, brokenness, exploitation, violence, sexual abuse and discrimination. The illogical and ignorant reason is that she is a girl.
Cultures that believe that the girl child is inferior to the boy child subject her to strangling, drowning, abortion, and deny her the basic rights of childhood. Girls face and experience discrimination, sexual stereotypes, rejection, devaluation, and violence, often at the hands of the people closest to them, whom they look up to, love and trust the most.
We want to pray for the girl child who is
Abused – those who suffer female genital mutilation, are forced into marriage and child bearing while they are still children; sold or bonded into labour.
O God of Love, embrace these children that they may feel that they belong and are accepted within their family, community and culture.
Neglected. Those uncared for, deprived of proper meals and health care. Left to fend for themselves in the slums or the streets
Lord Jesus, lay your hands on these children, bring them to yourself that they may hear and understand how you value and love them; for to them belong the kingdom of heaven.
Sexually Exploited. Since their families are unable to care for them they are often forced into becoming soldiers’ “wives,” or “trophies”, temple “wives” or forced into prostitution and/or early marriages.
God of justice and truth, stop all the people and mechanisms that sexually exploit and traffic girls and liberate these girls to live in the freedom of the children of God.
Lacking Education – Discrimination and poverty deprive many girls of an education which keeps them in poor health, restricts their prospects to a brighter future and traps them in the poverty cycle.
O God of unity and truth, we pray that all peoples and all cultures may view the girl child as your precious creation and through the knowledge of your word understand that all belong to you through Jesus, your Son and are one in him; that all prejudices against another human be completely eradicated.
Rejected: Those whose birth bring disappointment and sadness and are viewed as a burden to society.
O God, send forth your light and your truth to all families gifted with the girl child that they may rejoice at every gift of life. That every girl who feels rejected may experience restoration of her dignity and self-worth and be emotionally strengthened to live life to the full.

God of all life, you created every girl in your image and likeness. Pour out your love on them who even today feel less than human because of their background or culture. Give them your protection and loving care. May all the people in their lives show them acceptance and treasure them as your gift to their family, community, society and the world. Assure them with signs of your love and lift them up in hope of a better future and lead them out of their prisons of condemnation into the freedom of your beloved children. We also remember the privileged girl child, that they may live their lives in gratitude and integrity, caring and sharing their blessings with the disadvantaged, the marginalised and the troubled through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source: RGS, Malaysia Singapore

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A pastoral prayer (victims of sexual assault)

A pastoral prayer
(Dr Christine Blasey Ford gave testimony about her experience of sexual assault. This week’s cover of TIME: Using words and phrases from her testimony, artist John Mavroudis (@zenpopart) “recreated her likeness by drawing each letter by hand.”)

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in before testifying the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS TPX

Rage and sorrow choke our throats.
The gladiator gloats
over his victim,
hand over her mouth again,
memory opened like a vein,
the sacred profaned,
her pain is yours,
(the crowd cries, horrified, for more),
this kind of blood
spilled like guts
and swept aside,
another crucifixion,
another woman’s word:
This is my body.

The tender wound is scorned,
is disbelieved, and not received, unheard,
consumed without grace.
The sleek deny their own humanity
and hers,
aggrieved, feign victimhood,
and wield their sword.

Who made this memory the bread of hope,
who poured such courage into this fragility?

This sacred blank,
this muted word,
each stifled cry, is heard,
is heard,
and earth resounds.
This is the Christ cry,
uttered and received by God,
every wordless sigh of broken hearts,
where cries the agony of God,
the wrath of God, the hope of God.

Bread is blessed and broken,
body of the vulnerable one
who suffered for our sins,
in whom the witness lives forever.

We are not silenced.
Unbroken lines of martyrs sing us on.
The bread nourishes.
Even as we mourn and rage
we rise,
we speak.

(Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

I’ve just discoveed a U.S. initiative – Break the Silence Sunday. Considering how that might be something to explore in the Uniting Church.

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Anti-Poverty Week

In 2018, Anti-Poverty Week will be held from the 14th to the 20th of October. The main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to:
* Strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and in Australia; and
* Encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments.

Everyone is encouraged to help reduce poverty and hardship by organising an activity during the Week or taking part in an activity organised by others.

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COCU60B.14Oct2018

RCL Readings
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Job longs to put his case before God, but he does not know how to find God. If he could get to God’s dwelling place, he believes, he could lay out his case, but God is absent to him.
Psalm 22:1-15
A cry for God’s presence and rescue in a time of great persecution and trial in which God seems to have forsaken the Psalmist. God is holy and the Psalmist’s ancestors trusted God and were saved, but now the Psalmist is being attacked, and is suffering greatly, and no rescue seems to be forthcoming.
Hebrews 4:12-16
God’s word is sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing into the deepest parts of our beings and judging our thoughts and intentions. Therefore we need to keep our trust in Jesus who was tempted in every way, as we are but did not sin. In him we can draw near to God’s throne and find grace.

Mark 10:17-31
A wealthy man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus answers that he must follow the commandments – which the man claims he has done. Then Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow him, at which point the man goes away sad. Then Jesus teaches that it is very hard for the wealthy to enter God’s Reign. When Peter points out that the disciples have left everything to follow him, Jesus responds that those who have left behind loved ones and possessions for the Reign of God will receive much more in return, both in this life and in the one to come.
(Bible reading summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Readings to print in landscape A4 folded format COCU60B.Readings

Resources
Textweek
Starters for Sunday (Church of Scotland)
Singing from the lectionary
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette:Hymns (Year B Pentecost, scroll down to the date)

Components of worship
(including links to resources on this website)
Acknowledgement of Land
Gathering
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Readings (see above)
Prayers for others (see also below)
See also the Pastoral Prayer on Sexual Assault
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion)
(Communion Hymns)

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no
food, they call me a communist.” (Dom Hélder Câmara)
“I don’t know which Bible people are reading when they say that religion and politics
don’t mix.” (Desmond Tutu)

Prayers for Others
The following prayer is based on the song “Jesus Christ is waiting” (TiS 665) and can be used with one verse of the hymn being sung after each stanza of the prayer.
Lord Jesus Christ
Born in a shed, child refugee, friend of the outcast, political prisoner
We ask you to give strength and companionship to people who have no-one else to turn to Be with those in our own community who struggle with loneliness
And in the midst of our busy lives, help us find time to connect with them
One: Jesus Christ is waiting
All: Jesus Christ is waiting… (sung)
There is so much wrong in the world: poverty, violence, greed, hunger and much more
We ask you to be a light in the darkness, bringing hope where none exists
Walk alongside those who fight injustice, and carry those who can’t go on
Help us keep the fires of justice burning in our own hearts, never accepting the status quo
One: Jesus Christ is raging
All: Jesus Christ is raging… (sung)
We all suffer from ill health at some point, be it physical, mental or spiritual
We ask you to bring healing and comfort to those who are struggling right now
Help us do our part in caring for those around us
As we give thanks for those who devote their life to a ministry of healing
One: Jesus Christ is healing
All: Jesus Christ is healing… (sung)
In a world where power is abused and suspicion breeds fear
We ask for the courage to be bold in the face of hatred
Help us to stand with those who are oppressed
And to show that goodness and love are stronger than evil
One: Jesus Christ is dancing
All: Jesus Christ is dancing… (sung)
As we reflect on the many challenges that we and our community face
Help us to recognise the gifts that we have to offer in tackling poverty
We ask for guidance in understanding how we are called to service
And help us to be bold if it means stepping out of our comfort-zone
One: Jesus Christ is calling
All: Jesus Christ is calling… (sung)
(Source: Starters for Sunday, Church of Scotland)

Reflections on the Gospel
The world’s 100 richest people earned a stunning total of $240 billion (2012 – check out more recent statistics). It is enough money to end extreme poverty worldwide four times over, Oxfam has revealed, adding that the global economic crisis is further enriching the super-rich. Read the article here.

We continually have to resist the belief that there’s something we have to do to “be saved.” We think there are “good” people (the man thought Jesus was one) and others who are less so. We believe our salvation is up to us. Clearly the disciples think so. Were that true, of course it would be impossible. But it’s up to God. And God has already “saved” us.
Take note that Jesus looks at the man and loves him. The man does not need to do anything for Jesus to love him; he already does. He responds to the man not with requirements but with love. Because that’s his point. There is no requirement. God already loves us. We are already saved. There is no salvation beyond God’s love; God’s love is not insufficient for our eternal joy. All we need to be “saved” from is our own distrust. The man seems to have great possessions but “lacks one thing.” Jesus looks on him in his poverty and sets him free: let go of what you can measure and what you can lose—either riches or goodness—and grasp only what is infinite, what is already yours.
Meditate on this infinite love of God. It is yours, now. It surrounds you, fills you, gives you every breath. You can’t deserve it more or less. It is imply here. Even as you ask and wonder, maybe even doubt, God looks at you with love. God’s delight is not up to you. Let this light break in, and become you.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Benediction: To do what we can
a commissioning and blessing after Mark 10:17-31
Go now, community of Jesus the Christ,
And love who you can,
Share what you can,
And be fully present as you can.
May the Creator give us enough,
May Wisdom show us what is enough,
And may the Spirit enable us to be enough.
For the sake of the Holy and all that has life. Amen.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

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International Day of non-Violence.2 Oct each year

The United Nations has designated Oct. 2, Gandhi’s birthday, as International Nonviolence Day.

Prayer Service-Prayer for Nonviolence

LEADER: Each day we are inundated by images and experiences of violence: international war and oppression, aggression and fighting in our cities and furious words hurled by complete strangers. Within our health care facilities, we see the wretched results of sexual and domestic violence wreaked upon innocent and vulnerable persons. Amid these disturbing images, let us today together reflect upon the peace and nonviolence to which those who trust in God’s presence are called. Let us recall that our strength and our ministry come from God.

READER 1: A reading from the Gospel of Luke 12:4-8.

I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

LEADER: God is our refuge and strength
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the sea.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: The Lord Almighty is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

LEADER: He says “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
ALL: God is our refuge and our strength.

READER 2: From the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of humanity. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of humanity. Nonviolence is not passivity in any shape or form. It is the most active force in the world…The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world. We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice, but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That, at any rate is my dream. When the practice of nonviolence becomes universal, God will reign on earth as God reigns in heaven.” (From Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings)

LEADER: Let us lift up in prayer those places and people who suffer from violence and destruction. After each petition, please respond:
God of love and gentleness, hear our prayer.

(Pause for prayers from listeners and responses)

LEADER: Let us bring our prayers to our loving God in the words that Jesus taught us:

ALL: Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Amen.
(Source: Sr. Patricia Talone, CHAUSA)

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World Habitat Day October 1st

In 1985 the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. Access to adequate housing is a global challenge growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in slums and informal settlements.

The theme for World Habitat Day 1 October 2018 is Municipal Solid Waste Management

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International Day of Older Persons

The International Day of Older Persons is a celebration of the older people in all societies, and a reminder to continue developing a society for all ages. It is an opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and aging.

“It is widely recognised that older persons are an asset to the society; their wisdom, value-system and experience helps in guiding and mentoring the present generation…..What is important is not merely adding ‘years to life’ but also adding ‘life to years’”.

God of the unknown, as age draws in on us, irresistible as the tide, make our life’s last quarter the best that there has been. As our strength ebbs, release our inner vitality, all you have taught us over the years; as our energy diminishes increase our compassion, and educate our prayer. You have made us human to share your divine life; grant us the first fruits; make our life’s last quarter the best that there has been. Amen.
(Source: A New Zealand Prayer Book, pg. 747)

Prayers for others
On this United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons, we pray for all who are in their senior years. We pray for churches that run lunches, cafés, clubs and groups of all kinds for older people. We pray that those who have the wisdom of many decades find opportunities to tell their stories. And we pray that all who are lonely in their later years find the love of God shown to them in the love of church communities. Until thy kingdom come. Amen

Prayers for Others
God, parent of us all, you see every one of us as your child, no matter how young or old. You have known us every second of our lives. You gift us every breath, and you sustain us every day.
We hold before you this International Day of the Older Person every adult living in the late autumn of their lives silence … no matter they be rich, or poor, comfortable or struggling; no matter they be well or unwell; no matter what creed, or colour, or faith they belong, we ask your blessing upon them this day.
God of love/Hear our prayer
Loving God, we pray especially for older adults who are lonely: those whose loved ones are gone or those who have never enjoyed the relationships they might have had; those who feel abandoned and unsure of their worth; those who live alone, and who feel isolated even when they are in company. Give to each person the knowledge that you are with them always, and help us to befriend the lonely, sharing with them the companionship we have found in you.
God of love/Hear our prayer
Loving God, we pray for the sick… those afflicted in body, those in pain, those wrestling with disease, or coming to terms with frailty. We pray for the troubled in mind; those whose confidence has been crushed, those who face sorrow or suffering, those who feel their hopes have been dashed and dreams broken, the let-down, the betrayed, the abused. We pray for those who struggle to cope with the pressures of life, who are oppressed by false imagination, or facing the dark of depression. We pray for those afflicted in spirit: all who feel their lives are empty, or who feel they have lost their faith…
Living God, hold on to all who walk through the valley of tears. Minister the consolation that you alone can offer, and give the assurance that those who mourn will be comforted, and those who weep will laugh. Be that sure foundation in people’s lives, that come what may, their knowing of your love and presence with them, will uphold their spirits, and be an endless source of comfort, peace, and joy.
God of love/Hear our prayer
We pray for the dying… That wherever these people are in this moment that you will come as close to them as their very breath and bring your forgiveness and peace. In a moment of silence we name those we know and care for…
God of love/Hear our prayer
Holy One, we know, that every aging heart is held in your hands, young and vibrant to your touch. We see how you use the wisdom, knowledge and experience of the older generations to teach the young, to bring old insight to new problems, and to give love and security where there is uncertainty.
You trusted an old man to build an ark and save humanity from the flood. You brought a child to Abraham and Sarah despite their years, a child who signalled the beginning of Israel. You guided an aging Moses through the desert so he could lead thousands to the promised-land, you gave Zechariah and Elizabeth a son in their old age, a son who would prepare the way for your own, and you gave the aged Simeon and Anna the honour of first recognising the infant Jesus in the temple, seeing someone who no one else saw.
Your continued engagement with older adults is sure; and yet society is so quick to forget this generation. We are sorry.
God of love/Hear our prayer
We hold before you for blessing in thanks those people and organisations who care for needs of older persons in our city… Aged Care facilities, Chaplains and pastoral carers, those who provide in-home care, every person or organisation working to better the lives of our elders.
God of love/Hear our prayer
(Source: Revd. Amy Houben)

Blessing
Go as beloved of God to grow old in Christ. Be blessed in years and be a blessing to God’s Kingdom. Keep alive the gifts of wisdom received from older friends and become the gift of wisdom for those who follow. Remember you are God’s children even into old age: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with you always. Amen.

Worship-Suggestions-Celebrating-International-Day-of-the-Older-Person-1 2

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World Rivers Day – 30th Sept 2018

World Rivers Day is observed globally every year on the last Sunday in September. Rivers may make up only about 0.2 percent of all the fresh water worldwide but their importance is priceless. This day encourages citizens to get actively involved to ensure the future health of our rivers.

For congregations participating on Season of Creation in September, this is a good day to focus on Rivers. Liturgies online here.

2018 – In Australia the drought, the plundering of the river resources for cultivation of rice and cotton, the threat to the Murray-Darling river system, all deserve focus for the integrity of creation.

Pilgrimage Blessing
As you go into the wilderness of the land and of your heart –
May you experience the ever-flowing grace of God’s presence!
May you be immersed so fully in God’s love that you learn to let go and swim!
May you engage deeply and radically with the natural world,
as steward, co-creator, and friend!
May you drink anew from the divine source, the stream of living water!
And may you be transformed, may the stagnant waters of your spirit begin to flow,
and may all which is dead in you rise again!
God is here. The river awaits. Let the adventure begin. Amen.
(Source: Lisa Hershey Kutolowski, from The River of Life Prayer Book)

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World Alzheimer’s Day – Sept 21

World Alzheimer’s Day, September 21st of each year, is a day on which Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning. At the moment, Alzheimer’s is progressive and irreversible.

Alzheimer’s Patient’s Prayer by Carolyn Haynali
Pray for me I was once like you.
Be kind and loving to me that’s how I would have treated you.
Remember I was once someone’s parent or spouse I had a life and a
dream for the future.
Speak to me, I can hear you even if I don’t understand
what you are saying. Speak to me of things in my past of
which I can still relate.
Be considerate of me, my days are such a struggle.
Think of my feelings because I still have them and can feel pain.
Treat me with respect because I would have treated you that way.
Think of how I was before I got Alzheimer’s; I was full of life,
I had a life, laughed and loved you.
Think of how I am now,
My disease distorts my thinking, my feelings, and my ability to respond,
but I still love you even if I can’t tell you.
Think about my future because I used too.
Remember I was full of hope for the future just like you are now.
Think how it would be to have things locked in your mind and
can’t let them out. I need you to understand and not blame me,
but Alzheimer’s.
I still need the compassion and the touching and most of all I
still need you to love me.
Keep me in your prayers because I am between life and death.
The love you give will be a blessing from God and both of us will
live forever.
How you live and what you do today will always be remembered
in the heart of the Alzheimer’s Patient.

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Social Justice Sunday – 30September2018

Social Justice Sunday is held annually on the last Sunday in September.

“Justice is the Body of Love ~ Love is the Soul of Justice” (John Dominic Crossan)

Resources for Social Justice Sunday on NCCA website.

Here’s a link to the 2014 Social Justice Sunday resources.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr

The Prophetic Voice
God of Justice!
We call on you to guide
all those on this Land
to seek Justice.
Bless and renew our hearts and minds,
so that we may see with your insight,
mindful of the calling
to walk in your way of peace and reconciliation.
Seed in us the desire to be agitators
for holy change.

May the blessings we receive
inspire and nourish us
to bless those around us
with words of comfort
and actions of healing.
Inspire in our mouths
the words of your good news
for the sake of the world you love.

May we grow in the courage of Christ,
becoming and being prepared to take up the cross,
rather than buy in to the pressure
of dehumanizing and demeaning
that places avarice before generosity.
Gift us with the desire to share in joyful community.
Make us into catalysts for relationships.
Form us as people who become nourishment for the world.

May we deepen in our reading of your Scriptures,
that we might see your promises of mercy written in our souls.
May we work, throughout Australia,
and through our international partnerships,
to bring about a foretaste of the state of mercy and blessing
that characterizes Heaven.

Just as we seek mercy,
teach us to recognize the power imbalances
that prevent the full experience of abundant life.
May we learn to repent of those habits
that destroy your beautiful plan.
Rather, let us learn the creativity of your nature,
to better use our gifts for the sake of grace.

God of Justice,
be our Teacher and our Defender!
Correct us, so we can learn how to speak Truth.
And, when we do – protect us from the evils we confront,
For this is your will to be done
And we are honoured by your call.

So, we commit this day,
to be your holy and vocal people.
We commit to stand up for your beloved creation,
especially those who are marginalised
by the cultures of judgement and shame around us.
May we stand with them.
So be it.
(Source: Amelia Koh-Butler, Hyphenated Faith, 2017)

Love Is Calling
“Love is calling for liberation.
Love is hoarse from calling,
her voice raw from the decades
she has spent chanting at protests
and speaking from pulpits
and singing the songs of freedom.
Love is weeping into a white candle
she cups in her hands at a vigil
for one more Black life lost,
ripped away, gunned down, forgotten.
She is holding the hands of a grieving mother
and praying aloud for peace.

This is where Love shows up,
where Love has always shown up.
She is tugging at our hands and sleeves,
begging us to lay down our egos
and take up our courage
and dedicate our lives to justice.”
(Source: Jess Reynolds, Love Like Thunder)

Rev Dr Nymabura Njoroge, from Kenya (who now works for the World Council of Churches) is a theologian, who knows from personal experience and from the experience of her people, the extent of suffering and injustice present in our global community.
She has seen her communities devastated by AIDS. She has experienced discrimination as a woman in the church. She has struggled with the poverty and violence decimating African communities.
In this context Nyambura speaks of “a spirituality of resistance and transformation.”
Resistance to all that would dehumanise us and divide us from God and from each other, transformation of our realities into a world where God’s desires for us are realised – peace with justice, love and compassion mark our lives together.
Nyambura writes:
“A spirituality of resistance and transformation demands that we share the good news of the possibility of new life in the presence of death here and now. It is a spirituality that invokes a passion that believes positive change is possible. In Africa as we watch the escalating anarchy in many countries and in our streets, it is difficult to comprehend how we can end violent death and proclaim new life in Christ.
“We even wonder where God is when such chaos and destruction take place. We therefore need a zeal that believes… that we can sit down together and engage in dialogue over our difference. Passionate commitment is needed whereby we are not afraid to try new ways of relating to our neighbours and our enemies. Such zeal would be willing to listen to the word of God in the scriptures that require that we trust in God and act justly. “
Nyambura Njoroge and other women like her are seeking to nurture faith that engages the people of God in ways that will transform the whole of our realities: spiritually, politically, economically, and socially.

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