Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recommended Congregational Actions for Peace - September 13-14, 2014

We urge churches to continue Bishop Eaton’s recommendation for a moment of silence at congregational prayer times. Maybe some think that prayer doesn’t answer quickly enough for our “modern society” that, when flicking a switch on a light plate or swiping a finger across a smartphone, brings immediate response. But our promised prayers for those who have asked for them mean all the world to their hope for life.

At the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Bishop Younan spoke:

“We are tired of wars and hatred. We continue to be committed to the vision that our children and grandchildren will experience peace based on justice and reconciliation based on forgiveness. I ask you to pray for the Middle East. Please pray for Syria, Egypt, Palestine and Israel. Pray that God may open the eyes of our leaders to say “no more hatred, no more weapons, no more bloodshed—only dignity for every person and justice for every nation.” Please pray for the LWF and the ministry of the ELCJHL.”

This holds true for 2014 as the bloodshed continues. We pray for an end to the anguished cries and mourning sighs.

The Rev. Mitri Raheb has said that “hope is a call to action”. Part of that action must be one of the most sacred actions of all faiths: prayer. We must never miss an opportunity to be a part of putting our partnered faiths and conversations with God into action by not only solitary prayer but by communal, community, national and international prayers for an end to futile conflicts and outright wars that do nothing but denigrate the humanity in all of us.

Continue your moment of silence time and plan for a rich prayer experience for Israel and Palestine on the 28th of this month.

Also, please encourage members of your congregation to set their DVR to record the show on ABC 11:30-noon on September 14 in CHICAGO: "Augusta Victoria Hospital for Palestinians in the East Jerusalem, East Bank, and Gaza."

Rev. Joanne Fitzgerald, WGME Convener