A CLWR prayer for All Saints Sunday

Eternal and Holy God, we are tempted away from you when we trust our own direction more than your invitation to life, love and the wellbeing of all.

We get distracted by the shiny things of this world, instead of the needs of our neighbours. Our faith wavers when we suffer hardship, fear, or loss.

Inspire us with the faithfulness of all your saints in light. By your Spirit, strengthen our trust and faith in you so that we might be freed to love and praise you and serve the world you love. In the name of Jesus, we pray.

Many thanks to Rev. Annemarie MacIntosh (Abundant Life Lutheran Church, East St. Paul, MB) for contributing this week’s prayer.

 

Your October news from CLWR

RS9102_LWF Response to Iraqi Refugees in Jordan_05cropped squareRead the news brief HERE!

Contents:

  • Responding to Ebola and the humanitarian crisis in Iraq
  • 2014-15 Gifts from the Heart catalogue released
  • Visiting the Kakuma Refugee Camp
  • Photos: visiting Syrian refugees
  • Bishop Dr. Younan visits Canada from the Holy Land
  • New CLWR resources: Songs from other Cultures and posters
  • Board members – welcomes and farewells
  • We’re hiring a program director
  • Snapshot: Youth enjoy the Dar Al-Kalima sports hall in Bethlehem

Photo: Maryam is an Iraqi Christian sheltering in a church in Jordan, where she’s receiving support from Lutheran World Federation. She would like to go home, but doesn’t think it’s possible anymore. “I just want all this to end,” she says. Read more about Maryam here, and click here to learn how you can support people displaced by violence in Iraq. 

A CLWR prayer for Reformation Sunday

Spirit of Love, you show us the way of true neighbourliness.

Help us to see our neighbour in each one beside us- on the street, at the store, in the faces on the news. Re-form us to your image of loving-kindness.

Help us to love ourselves with so great a fervour that we cannot help but share that compassion with all those around us. Amen

(Matt. 22:34-46)

Thanks to Rev. Jane Gingrich (Hills of Peace Lutheran Church, Kamloops) for contributing this week’s prayer.

Visiting the Kakuma Refugee Camp

On October 8, the first leg of the Road to Kakuma shipment was completed when our container arrived at the Port of Mombasa in Kenya. Thank you to all our supporters who have made this possible.

This summer CLWR staffer Derrick Nyamori returned to his native Kenya to visit friends and family. He took the opportunity to visit the Kakuma Refugee Camp to meet with Lutheran World Federation (LWF) staff and see first-hand how our shipment might help. He offers this report:

 
Arriving at Nairobi’s modest Wilson airport at the crack of dawn, about 20 of us were led into the plane that would take us to Kakuma. Initially it was a scenic flight, with dramatic terrain that features Mount Kenya. This slowly gave way to vast plains that seemed to get drier and sparser as we approached Kakuma. With the gravel airstrip in view, it was clear that the scarcity of water must be a big challenge for this town and refugee camp. We flew over a bone-dry riverbed as we descended into a bumpy landing.

Derrick Nyamori (right) with an LWF staff member. CLWR/D.Nyamori

Derrick Nyamori (right) with an LWF staff member. CLWR/D.Nyamori

I was graciously received by Lutheran World Federation staff and driven to their offices. They were very capable in and passionate about their work, if somewhat overwhelmed by the recent surge in refugee arrivals. I came to learn that the conflict in South Sudan was the main cause for this spike.

The camp tour was as emotional as it was interesting. While life in the camp is far from ideal, I left with the impression that among the most important things the camp does for the refugees is create hope. Typically, the refugees escape areas where their lives are at constant risk from political conflict, scarcity of resources and gender-based violence, to only mention a few. At the camp, they find a home. They find a place to learn and, perhaps most importantly, they find security. While life remains a daily struggle, the existence of such a place is a big reason why these refugees can still dream of a brighter future.

A child looks at water tanks in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Water must be trucked in daily to meet the needs of the people for drinking, washing and cooking. CLWR/D.Nyamori

A child looks at water tanks in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Water must be trucked in daily to meet the needs of the people for drinking, washing and cooking. CLWR/D.Nyamori

At the time I visited, the population of the camp was about 170,000. It is at full capacity, yet there are new arrivals every day. Resources are strained, and the refugees feel this most acutely. The water system is aging, leading to leakages and overflows. There is a constant need for non-food items (NFIs), such as those supported through CLWR’s We Care program.

Women and children wash and gather water at a communal tap. CLWR/D.Nyamori

Women and children wash and gather water at a communal tap. CLWR/D.Nyamori

Life in the camp can greatly be improved, but from every person I talked to in the camp, there’s an overwhelming gratitude for the existence and continuance of the camp, and for the help they receive through all the organizations involved. With the conflict in South Sudan still raging, the need is ever greater.

 
– Derrick Nyamori, CLWR Administration Coordinator

A CLWR prayer for the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lord of all, we see your face in the world all around us. Guide our giving of ourselves to your glory.

Give us hearts that discern the value of deeper meaning, beyond the surface sparkle that often distracts us from your truth.

Surprise us with your teaching and use us in leading others to seek the will of God in this world.

For yours is the kingdom and the glory. Amen

(Matt.22:15-22)

Thanks to Rev. Jane Gingrich (Hills of Peace Lutheran Church, Kamloops) for contributing this week’s prayer.

Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan visits Canada from the Holy Land

Bishop Munib Younan photo squareBishop Dr. Munib A. Younan will visit Ottawa, Waterloo and Winnipeg this month to speak about peace-building and humanitarian work in some of the most conflicted areas in the world.

He is the president of the Lutheran World Federation and the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. As such, he has a unique perspective on regions affected by conflict: GazaSyria,Iraq and South Sudan are among them.

Canadian Lutherans, through CLWR, are offering support to people affected by violence and displacement in these regions. Much of that work is accomplished through the Lutheran World Federation, one of our main humanitarian partners on the ground.

Bishop Dr. Younan is a Palestinian Christian who actively works to bring Palestinian and Israeli communities together. (Read his biography HERE.) While in Waterloo, he will be presented with the Civis Mundi Award for Global Citizenship at at public event on October 22.

He will also attend receptions/meet-and-greets in Ottawa (October 21) and Winnipeg (October 24).

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear Bishop Dr. Younan speak!

Ottawa: Tuesday, October 21, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street, Ottawa
Reception, meet-and-greet, and address by Bishop Dr. Younan. Free admission and all are welcome. A free-will offering will support the Elder Care Pavilion at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. For more information, click HERE.

Waterloo: Wednesday, October 22, 7:30-9 p.m., CIGI Auditorium, 67 Erb St West, Waterloo
Presented by the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. Free to the public. Bishop Dr. Younan will be presented with the Civis Mundi Award for Global Citizenship, and he will address “Building Peace in the Holy Land: The Contributions of Christians and People of Faith. For more information, click HERE.

Winnipeg: Friday, October 24, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Inn at the Forks, 75 Forks Market Road, Winnipeg
Reception, meet-and-greet, and address by Bishop Dr. Younan. Free admission and all are welcome. A free-will offering will support the Elder Care Pavilion at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. For more information, click HERE.

A CLWR prayer for Thanksgiving Sunday

God of abundance, you pour out on us a lavish feast for which we are thankful.

Bless us by the presence of those who do not feel your welcome so readily. Offer your cloak of gracious love and mercy through us this day.

Guard us from our prejudices and keep us from our judgements. Here, together, open our hearts and minds to the great celebration you offer to each and every one. Amen

(Matt.22:1-14)

Thanks to Rev. Jane Gingrich (Hills of Peace Lutheran Church, Kamloops) for contributing this week’s prayer.