PRAY with the world church. Prayers and Reflections from the Anglican Communion

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "PRAY with the world church. Prayers and Reflections from the Anglican Communion"


1 PRAY with the world church Prayers and Reflections from the Anglican Communion 22 October February 2018

2 For more information about USPG, visit Please contact us to order bulk copies of this prayer diary for your church. USPG, Harling House, Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BS ISSN Registered charity number You are welcome to use this publication for public worship. Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of USPG.

3 praying with the anglican communion Once again, in this prayer diary, we embark on a journey around the world, visiting our Anglican partners, hearing their voices and listening to their concerns. Our partnership in prayer is a tangible outcome of our being members of the one body of Christ: if one member suffers, all suffer; if one member is honoured, all rejoice (1 Cor 12:26). Some of those voices speak of shocking situations as we feel their suffering, we invite into it God s presence and comfort. Some of the voices give us reason to celebrate the hope the church can bring and we rejoice with them. Some of the voices call us to pray for climate justice and we pray with them for the future of the planet. Yet other voices cause us to give thanks that the church remains constant even when the media loses interest such as with the community of Grenfell Tower or the refugees in Greece. We offer this prayer diary as a daily reminder to remain constant in prayer with and for our global church partners. As we pray God s presence into the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world, we offer ourselves as vehicles of God s love, grace and mercy to the needs of the world. The Revd Tim Harford, Director for Communications, USPG

4 Sunday 22 October 19 th sunday after trinity A reflection from the Philippines This article is taken from an address given by the Most Revd Rhee Timbang, the new Obispo Maximo of the Philippine Independent Church (PIC). (In his early training, he was the first member of PIC to receive a USPG scholarship.) Counter-terrorism has become a broad generic term in the Philippines to characterise attacks against those who advocate for justice and peace, for the defence of human rights and civil liberties, for the protection of ancestral lands, and for the integrity of creation against development aggression. These advocates are struggling for change so that a just and lasting peace may reign, genuine development may take place, and real independence and national sovereignty may be enjoyed. They desire liberation from a system, controlled by ruling elites and foreign power, that has brought massive poverty and social injustice. Today, as we gather to begin a new chapter of the continuing journey of PIC, we affirm our resolute commitment to stand for and be with our people whose aspirations are for genuine change and liberation. As so I invite our ecumenical friends and mission partners to accompany us in this continuing journey of service and servanthood.

5 God of every new beginning, we thank you for the new ministry of the Obispo Maximo Rhee. Bless him, the churches in the Philippines, and all your people as we strive for your will of justice and peace for all. Monday 23 Give thanks for both the Philippine Independent Church and the Episcopal Church of the Philippines as they reach out to the marginalised and speak out for human rights. Tuesday 24 Pray for communities in the Philippines where lives and limbs have been lost during attempts to defend land and resources from business and government. Wednesday 25 Pray for wisdom and protection for churches in the Philippines as they seek to be a channel of God s grace in seeking justice for all. Thursday 26 Pray for the release of the Rt Revd Carlo Morales, Bishop of Ozamis, a peace activist who (at the time of going to press) was in prison on false charges. Friday 27 Pray for peace-makers in the Philippines who campaign alongside indigenous people for economic freedom and the right to self-determination. Saturday 28: Simon and Jude, Apostles Pray for legislation that ensures mining operations in the Philippines are required to protect the environment and lessen their impact on local communities.

6 Sunday 29 October last sunday after trinity A reflection from greece Article by the Revd Deacon Christine Saccali, who is the Anglican Church in Greece Refugee Response Facilitator. The situation in Greece is as fluid as ever. Hundreds of refugees still arrive daily on the islands. They must register at the point of entry and stay in makeshift refugee camps until the asylum process has been completed. Only the most vulnerable cases are moved into sheltered accommodation. Many NGOs are moving onto the next humanitarian crisis and declaring there is no longer a crisis. In reality, the needs are as urgent as ever, with 45,000 refugees stuck here. The Anglican Church in Greece continues to work with the Orthodox Church and other church groups. We continue to work with MedIn, a Greek NGO, which has opened five hostels for unaccompanied minors, including one for female minors, the most vulnerable group of all. We provide support to some of the refugee camps and involve our congregations and communities in appeals. This has included emergency funding for medicines, milk and bread in Vathi camp on Samos island. In Ritsona camp, with the NGO Lighthouse Relief, we are supporting young people, aged 15 to 23, who face an uncertain future with no access to education.

7 O God, who made your home among us in Jesus of Nazareth, we pray for those who have been forced from their homes and now live as migrants and refugees. Bless them, and all who work to bring them relief, comfort and a new home. Monday 30 Give thanks for the Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece, which is reaching out to some of the 45,000 refugees in the country, with support from USPG. Tuesday 31 Pray for refugees in Greece who have fled war or persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. Pray that they might have hope for the future. Wednesday 1 November: All Saints Day Give thanks for the shelters for unaccompanied refugee minors in Athens, which were founded by the charity MedIn with support from USPG. Thursday 2 Give thanks for the NGO Lighthouse which, among other projects, supports refugees on the Greek islands and runs a USPG-supported scheme for young refugees. Friday 3 Give thanks for co-operation among churches and faith-based organisations that are collectively reaching out to refugees in Greece. Saturday 4 Pray for an end to crises and persecution in the Middle East and around the world that are forcing people to flee their homes.

8 Sunday 5 November 4 th Sunday before Advent A reflection from Polynesia Article by the Most Revd Dr Winston Halapua, Bishop of Polynesia and Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia. In Polynesia, we cannot deny climate change. We see it, feel it and experience it every day, so we know we are talking about something real. We know where the sea was when we were growing up and where it is today; our reality is that sea levels are rising. The tide now comes up to our houses. The water we drink is like seawater because we can taste the salt. The soil is affected; vegetables and coconuts are no longer so abundant. And while we have always had storms, now the hurricanes are extreme and the sun is so hot it burns. We wonder how anyone can deny this reality. We can see it on TV, hear it on the radio and read about it in the newspapers. Denying climate change is like denying God it is a denial of reality. God is in our midst and calls us to care for every person, which means there can be no true development without God at the centre, and to have God at the centre means to remember our neighbour. If your children and grandchildren have education, health and wealth but ours do not, how can we call that development?

9 Holy God, thank you for all that is good: for Creation and your care of all that you have made. Heal the earth, and transform us, your children, for you are our companion, our guide and our way. Monday 6 Pray for the people of Polynesia, and other low-lying countries and islands around the world. Pray for an end to rising sea levels so that homes and habitats might be saved and communities might live in safety. Tuesday 7 Give thanks for the work of the Anglican Church in Polynesia as it seeks to support communities that are suffering due to rising sea levels. Wednesday 8 Pray for an end to human-induced climate change, reducing the likelihood of drought, extreme storms, flooding and famine. Thursday 9 Pray that churches in Britain and Ireland might be inspired to engage more deeply in campaigning for climate justice. Friday 10 Give thanks for all those who are working to limit the causes of climate change and reduce the impact on the environment. Saturday 11 Give thanks for the USPG-supported Hope for the Future initiative which trains UK churches to lobby their MPs on environmental issues.

10 Sunday 12 November 3 rd Sunday before Advent A reflection on Grenfell Tower We remember all who were affected when fire destroyed the Grenfell Tower, North Kensington, on 14 June. Five months after the Grenfell Tower disaster, local churches and others continue to offer support to survivors and the local community. The Ven Stephan Welch, Archdeacon of Middlesex, who is leading the Diocese of London s efforts to support the local community, reported: It is wonderful to see how quickly Christian compassion is mobilised and [to see] the resilience of our churches and other faith groups in the face of this horrendous tragedy. Once this story disappears from the newspapers and TV screens, the churches in this west London community will continue to minister to local people over the next generation, healing grief, anger and hurt. Speaking at an interfaith vigil for the victims, Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington, said: [The response to the tragedy] showed the importance of faith and community groups, as they rose to the challenge magnificently to offer help when it was needed. We are here for the long haul our churches have been here for centuries and we intend to be so for centuries to come, and we are committed, along with others, to play our part in rebuilding the community here.

11 Loving God, we pray for all affected by the terrors of fire: those who have lost loved ones, homes, possessions, or hope. Reveal your love to them daily and bless the work of those who reach out to them in your name and with your compassion. Monday 13 Pray for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster as they rebuild their lives after losing loved ones, homes and possessions. Tuesday 14 Pray for the community of North Kensington as it mourns. Pray that the people will be able to move on in constructive ways. Wednesday 15 Give thanks for the ministry and witness of churches in North Kensington, including St Clement s, St Helen s, St Francis Delgarno Way, Latimer Christian Centre and St Francis of Assisi RC church. Thursday 16 Pray for survivors and local residents as they process the trauma of what they have been through. Pray for the church s involvement with trauma counselling. Friday 17 Pray for long-term change in how the authorities treat the most vulnerable in our country. Saturday 18 Pray for continued co-operation among people of different faiths and backgrounds as they unite to support those in need.

12 Sunday 19 November 2 nd Sunday before Advent A reflection on development in Africa Article by the Revd Canon Grace Kaiso, General Secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA). Africa has suffered setbacks in sustainable development for many reasons, sometimes because leaders have succumbed to selfish ambitions at the cost of serving the common good. But, at the same time, Africa has suffered at the hands of assorted development theories that have originated in the west. Organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and various development agencies even some mission agencies seem to believe that they alone have the answers. But this can make Africans feel like guinea pigs being used for all kinds of experiments. Indeed, some approaches to development have had a very negative effect and broken down our social fabric. For example, in contrast to our traditional care for the environment, we have been encouraged to view our natural resources in terms of profit, with little regard for the welfare of future generations. Instead, what Africans need is the space to reflect and engage with issues in a way that builds up, rather than saps, our confidence. Western countries may choose to accompany Africa in such a journey, but they must do so in ways that recognise our inherent capacities to find our own solutions.

13 Holy God, you call us to live as a family of love, where each is respected and gives to the common good. Form your global church into one body, with many members working together in your mission for the world. Monday 20 Give thanks for the wisdom and insight of Canon Grace (see article) and his colleagues at the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA). Tuesday 21 Pray for honest and robust dialogue among development practitioners in Africa and around the world so that all are heard and no single agenda prevails. Wednesday 22 Pray that governments, agencies and faith groups might be united in sharing and implementing approaches to development that honour and respect all people. Thursday 23 Pray for communities throughout Africa that are struggling to access healthcare, education and employment. Pray that God would offer comfort and security to those who are most vulnerable Friday 24 Give thanks for the mission of Anglican Churches throughout Africa. Pray that their bishops and leaders might find inspiration and guidance in God. Saturday 25 Give thanks for the work of USPG in listening to our partners in Africa and supporting them in ways that benefit their local mission.

14 Sunday 26 November christ the king A reflection from Zimbabwe Article by a man with HIV (name withheld), from Harare, who has received help from a USPG-supported Anglican programme to tackle HIV stigma. I was very afraid when I tested HIV-positive. I endured a lot of hardships. I got very sick and lost a lot of weight. I had scars that were disgusting to many. People started pointing fingers at me. I couldn t help myself I had to be carried to hospital in a wheelbarrow. I was required to eat healthy food, but this was a challenge because my own family had declared I was preparing for death. However, I was very thankful when I was put on treatment through the HIV programme. I started to realise that being HIVpositive was not the end of the world. But stigma was still a problem. My children were mocked and told I was going to die. They would run home from school to check I was still alive. I had to comfort them and remind them that HIV doesn t kill. My wife was also mocked. We really appreciate the Anglican Church for raising awareness about HIV. Some of us even feel confident to tell our stories to help others. Your church can directly fund this HIV programme through USPG s Partners in Mission scheme. Visit

15 Lord, you reach out to the suffering with compassion. We lay before you all people living with HIV. Inspire those who are researching a cure, and help sufferers know their worth as your children. Monday 27 Give thanks for the work of the church to combat HIV-related stigma in Zimbabwe and to find new ways to care for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Tuesday 28 Pray for an end to the stigma that leads to people with HIV in Zimbabwe and around the world being abused or mistreated. Wednesday 29 Pray for Zimbabwe s public healthcare system, which is under enormous strain due to a lack of resources. Thursday 30: Andrew the Apostle Pray for openness and sensitivity in the church so that those with HIV might feel welcome and accepted in God s eyes. Friday 1 December: World AIDS Day Pray for the ongoing search for better treatments for HIV and AIDS. Pray that all who have HIV might have hope and find ways to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Saturday 2 Pray for those who live with people who are HIVpositive, including children who are victimised (see article). Pray for comfort for those who have lost family members to HIV and AIDS.

16 Sunday 3 December 1 st Sunday of Advent A reflection from Tanzania Throughout Advent, as we remember the Nativity, we re looking at how the church around the world is reaching out to mothers and babies. This article is from the USPG-supported PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) HIV programme run by the Church of Tanzania. In 2000, Sophia left the village of Mzula and moved to the capital Dar es Salaam in search of a better life. She found work as a waitress, then met a young man with whom she started a family. Sophia had two children, but illness claimed their lives while they were very young. Then Sophia became sick, developing partial paralysis, and the couple separated. In 2015, Sophia met another partner. But when she became pregnant, he abandoned her. Unable to cope, Sophia returned to her mother in Mzula. When a mobile clinic from Mvumi Hospital visited the village, Sophia was found to be HIV-positive. She started attending the hospital s PMTCT services, which showed Sophia how to care for herself and her unborn baby. In June 2016, Sophia gave birth to a baby boy, Shedrack, who was free from HIV. Sophia was overjoyed! She reported: Without the support of this project, I would never have been tested or received support. I have regained the happiness I lost.

17 O God, whose promises to faithful Abraham and Sarai were fulfilled in the birth of Isaac: bless all expectant mothers in Tanzania, and bring their children to fullness of life. Monday 4 Give thanks for the work of the Anglican Church of Tanzania in reaching out to mothers and babies affected by HIV (see article). Tuesday 5 Pray for mothers who have lost children to HIV. Pray that all who have lost family members to HIV may know God s love and blessings in times of hardship. Wednesday 6 Give thanks for the health work of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, which has 37 health facilities countrywide, providing over 30 per cent of the health services in some remote areas. Thursday 7 Pray for support for church-run health work in Tanzania, where there is often a lack of medicines, medical supplies and equipment, and skilled health personnel. Friday 8 Pray for an end to discrimination levelled at those with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania and around the world. Give thanks for the work of the church to combat HIV-related stigma. Saturday 9 Pray for more openness in the church regarding HIV and AIDS so that people may know they can turn to the church for support.

18 Sunday 10 December 2 nd Sunday of Advent A reflection from Ghana Continuing our Advent series looking at how the church is reaching out to mothers and babies, we look at a USPG-supported Anglican health programme in Ghana that has helped to eradicate cholera in parts of the Cape Coast. One beneficiary tells her story. My name is Gloria. I have two children, aged three and oneand-a-half years old. The health programme has helped me and my family. Before, I didn t know I needed to wash my children s hands with soap and water before they eat. They would be playing, but I wasn t washing their hands afterwards. But now, because of the programme, I make sure I wash their hands. Also, before the programme, whenever I bought fruit and vegetables from the market, I wasn t washing them. But now I wash them with a soap and salt solution before I use them to prepare food. Another thing I learned was that before breast-feeding my baby I first needed to wash my breasts. I learned that a child can contract diseases if I do not wash in this way. Before the programme, I was not putting these things into practice and my children, in fact the whole family, would visit the hospital a lot because of diarrhoea and sickness. But now it is five months since we went to hospital.

19 O God, who spoke through the prophets: we pray for mothers in Ghana protecting their children from sickness. Bless those who bring life-saving knowledge and give thanks for children now healthy and full of life. Monday 11 In this Advent period, join USPG in praying for mothers and babies around the world. This week, give thanks for health interventions in Ghana that are helping mothers like Gloria (see article). Tuesday 12 Give thanks for the success of the Anglican Church s health programme in Ghana that has helped to eradicate cholera in many parts of the country (see article). Wednesday 13 Pray for all mothers and children in Ghana who struggle to access health services and information. Thursday 14 Give thanks for the ministry of the Anglican Church in Ghana. Pray that leaders might have the grace and wisdom needed to help strengthen and grow the work of the church. Friday 15 Give thanks for the ongoing commitment to uphold the democratic system of governance that has helped to maintain peace in Ghana. Saturday 16 Pray for guidance to Ghana s political leaders, local chiefs and all in positions of leadership. Pray that they might lead by example and serve the people.

20 pray with the world church 22 october february 2018 England: Pray for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster. Greece: Give thanks for the church s work among refugees. Ghana: Give thanks for the eradication of cholera in some areas. Brazil: Pray for an end to human trafficking and safety for victims. Zimbabwe: Give thanks for efforts to combat HIVrelated stigma.

21 Palestine: Pray for mothers who have little access to healthcare. Syria: Pray for an end to hostilities Pakistan: Pray for and for the safety and protection welfare of all. for religious minorities. India: Give thanks for the church s desire to safeguard Creation. Bangladesh: Give thanks for health work in rural communities. Philippines: Pray for church work to support the marginalised. Tanzania: Give thanks for health work aimed at mothers with HIV. South Africa: Pray for equality for all regardless of ethnicity. Polynesia: Pray for an end to global warming and rising sea levels.

22 Sunday 17 December 3 rd Sunday of Advent A reflection from Bangladesh Article by Sister Gillian Rose, a former USPG mission partner, who oversees the USPG-supported Bollobphur Hospital, which is owned by the Church of Bangladesh. Despite political unrest that upset the country and horrific terrorist activities, here at Bollobphur we remain a little oasis of peace. Families of different faith backgrounds Muslim, Hindi and Christian live and work together in peace and harmony. Indeed, tiny babies of different faith backgrounds share together the warmth and comfort of the incubators. Our largest incubator often has three babies growing up together. I always say these tiny babies do better if they have a companion and, indeed, they keep each other warm when a sudden power cut shuts off the electricity supply to the incubator. During the year, a total of 573 babies were born at Bollobphur. Of these babies, 38 were tiny and premature. The majority are very tiny on arrival, weighing only 800g, 900g or 1kg. Several mothers brought tiny twin babies for us to care for. Our student nurses care for them, feeding them every two hours, day and night and what a joy it is when the mother is able to take her baby home, weighing over 2kg. Your church can directly fund this health programme through USPG s Partners in Mission scheme. Visit

23 O God, whose servant John prepared the way for Jesus coming: we pray for the medical mission of the Church of Bangladesh. Bless the premature babies there, sharing a common incubator. May their world become a fair and just home for all. Monday 18 In this Advent season, in remembering the Nativity, pray for good health for mothers and babies in Bangladesh and around the world (see article). Tuesday 19 Give thanks for the work of the USPG-supported Bollobphur Hospital, in Bangladesh, as it provides care for vulnerable rural communities. Wednesday 20 Give thanks for the Nurse Training School at Bollobphur Hospital, which provides local women with a profession so they can earn an income and help to support their families. Thursday 21 Give thanks for the long service of Sister Gillian Rose, a former USPG mission partner who has dedicated much of her life to Bollobphur Hospital. Friday 22 Pray for Bangladesh which is suffering the impact of climate change, with more frequent storms and rising sea levels destroying agricultural land. Saturday 23 Give thanks for the commitment of the Church of Bangladesh to reach out to poor and vulnerable communities in the name of Christ.

24 Sunday 24 December 4 th Sunday of Advent A reflection from Palestine In this Christmas week, we visit the Holy Land with an article by Salwa Khoury, based at St Luke s Hospital, Nablus, in the West Bank. St Luke s Hospital has been serving its local community with love and care since its inception in The hospital operates in a non-commercial manner to provide medical care for all who are in need, regardless of race, religion or financial status, reaching a local population of almost 200,000, with around 9,000 patients treated each year. Our aim is to demonstrate God s love in action by alleviating suffering, supporting the poor and comforting the bereaved. Nadia, 25, from Ballata village, had a traffic accident during her eighth month of pregnancy, which led to an early delivery of her baby Ammar by cesarean. But Ammar, being so premature, was struggling to breathe, so Nadia brought her baby to St Luke s for urgent treatment. Mother and baby stayed for two weeks until Ammar had sufficiently improved and could be discharged. Nadia is a Palestinian whose family struggles financially because her husband earns very little as a daily-paid worker. So Nadia s medical fees were reduced to a minimum and she expressed her deepest thanks to the hospital for her care, for paying the costs, and for giving smiles to her family by hanging balloons in her ward.

25 Lord Jesus, mother Mary carried you in an occupied land. We pray for mothers in the Holy land today; bless church-run hospitals that serve them and their children, regardless of race, religion or financial status. Monday 25: Christmas Day Give thanks, this day, for the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord. May all people know healing through his love. Tuesday 26: Stephen, deacon, first martyr Give thanks for those whose inspiration is the Law, the Prophets and the Writings of Holy Scripture, that they may find in its pages wisdom, challenge and hope. Wednesday 27: John, Apostle and Evangelist Pray for Palestinians whose homes are being seized, bulldozed and destroyed. Thursday 28: The Holy Innocents Pray for mothers and babies in Palestine who have little access to healthcare or who lack the funds to be able to pay medical fees. Friday 29 Give thanks for the work of the USPG-supported St Luke s Anglican Hospital in Nablus, in the West Bank (see article), as it reaches out to people of all faiths. Saturday 30 Pray that the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem might be strengthened in its witness to the reconciling and healing power of Christ.

26 Sunday 31 December 1 st Sunday of Christmas A reflection from Pakistan This article was prepared by a woman from the Church of Pakistan. We ve decided to withhold her name for her own safety. Pakistan s 3.8 million Christians feel increasingly under threat in their daily lives. The laws applicable to religious minorities have shifted from neutral to blatant discrimination. The persecution of religious minorities is in fact enabled rather than deterred by the state, and the alarming lack of condemnation of cases of persecution by government officials, combined with a weak judiciary and constabulary, has seen an increase in the number of those seeking asylum abroad. The persecution of Christians is getting worse in every region where the Church of Pakistan is working. Christians girls are particularly affected. The list of abuses they face is shocking. They have been kidnapped, compelled to convert to Islam and forced into marriage. There have been honour killings of girls who converted from Islam to Christianity. Rape is sometimes used to take the virginity of young Christian women, who are then forced to convert and marry their Muslim attackers. Christian girls have been physically abused for not covering their heads or otherwise dressing provocatively in mixed neighbourhoods a common form of assault is to have acid thrown in their unveiled faces. Please pray for us.

27 Holy God, your only son was born homeless and laid in a manger. Fill us with compassion for all in need today. Bless your church as it works for dignity, healing and peace. and provoke us to respond to him, your most generous gift. Monday 1 January: Naming and Circumcision of Jesus Pray for safety for religious minorities in Pakistan, many of whom face daily threats and persecution (see article). Pray for tolerance among the faith communities. Tuesday 2 Pray for young women and girls from Christian communities in Pakistan, some of whom have faced unspeakable abuses (see article). Pray for their protection and safety. Wednesday 3 Pray that authorities and all religious and community leaders in Pakistan might seek to uphold and promote women s rights, rather than ignoring them. Thursday 4 Pray for safety for peace-makers in Pakistan as they seek to build bridges between communities of different faiths. Friday 5 Where they exist, give thanks for friendships between people of different faith. Pray that these friendships might be a beacon of hope to others. Saturday 6 Pray for wisdom for the leaders of the Church of Pakistan. Pray that they might seek the welfare of all and justice for the vulnerable.

28 Sunday 7 January Epiphany / Baptism of Christ A REFLECTION FROM THE USPG JOURNEY WITH US PROGRAMME The Revd Ron and Mrs Creddy Hart, from Salisbury, spent three months on placement in South Africa as part of our Journey With Us programme. Article by Ron Hart. The black township of Ikageng is an amazing social mix of people who were forcibly moved there as part of a relocation programme during the Apartheid era. The pain of this is still evident. The people were put into two-room houses often smaller than their original homes. For our placement in Ikageng, we lived in a church house on the township. Bishop Stephen Diseko asked us to be ourselves. We shared our lives with our neighbours and the church. We were linked to the local cathedral and took part in home communion visits, baptisms, weddings, funerals and other church services. It was a gift to just be with the people and with God. I went on prayer walks and met young people who were desperate for work, men in the local pub who asked me to explain the Bible, and many others. People often asked me to pray for them. Despite the country s struggles, we found the people to be loving and gentle and we were inspired by a local culture in which everyone matters equally. More on Journey With Us at

29 Help us Lord to remember, at the beginning of this year, that you will journey with us in all we do. Thank you for others whom you send to travel with us. Bless us all with your wisdom and love. Monday 8 Pray for Kate Winser a paediatric nurse from Norwich, who is spending a year observing the health ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Belize. Tuesday 9 Pray for the Revd Rosemary Cox and husband John Sturdy, from Durham, who are sharing in the life and ministry of the Anglican Diocese of The Gambia. Wednesday 10 Pray for Miranda Okon, a nurse from London, who is in the Windward Islands supporting the church s ministry to the elderly. Pray for the Revd Sarah Miller in India. Thursday 11 Pray for the Revd Judith Ware, retired, from Oldham, who is assisting with training in the Diocese of Guyana. Friday 12 Pray that those who have recently returned from placements will resettle and be blessed in the next stages of their journeys: Harriet Lawrance (Philippines), Evie Russell-Cohen (Ghana), the Bailey family (Barbados), Paul Hart (Tanzania), Roger and Diana Boyles (Greece), Ron and Creddy Hart and Fergus Butler-Gallie (South Africa), Lucy Gray (Vietnam). Saturday 13 Thank God for the generosity of our partner churches who offer hospitality to USPG volunteers on placement.

30 Sunday 14 January 2 nd Sunday of Epiphany A reflection on the church in Britain and Ireland Article by USPG Research and Learning Adviser Jo Sadgrove. For the past three years, I have been involved with a piece of research conducted with Leeds University into what makes a healthy church. We found that churches are at their best when they can offer people a sense of belonging in which they feel accepted and valued. And this, in turn, leads to better physical and emotional health. However, we found that few churches are aware of the potential benefits and riches they have to offer. What we therefore propose is that churches engage in some research of their own. This means asking questions such as: Who s coming to our church and who s missing? Why are they missing? Are they ok? What are the biggest challenges local people face and what resources are available? And so on. A healthy church has open doors. When we open our doors, we find ourselves in a dynamic dialogue with real life concerns we meet people who face racism, people who have been trafficked, people living in poverty. And when this happens, it is difficult to hold onto any sense of judgementalism. The result is a more dynamic living faith that is actively engaged in the real world.

31 Loving God, as we remember the baptism of Jesus, Give us wisdom to discern our ministry in this world. Speak to us through the communities we are part of that, as one body, we may play our part in your mission. Monday 15 Pray that more Anglican churches in Britain and Ireland might open their doors and reach out to their communities with God s love and acceptance, putting aside all judgement. Tuesday 16 Pray that God might inspire churches in Britain and Ireland to attempt new and bold things in mission. Wednesday 17 Give thanks for all USPG volunteers who give their time and energy to promote the work of USPG and the world church. Thursday 18 Give thanks for the dedication and support of USPG s Bishops Nominees, who represent the dioceses of Britain and Ireland and make up the USPG Council. Friday 19 Pray for increased financial support for USPG so we can maintain and increase our level of support for the world church. Saturday 20 Pray that more churches in Britain and Ireland would learn about the work of USPG and the global church and support the mission of their brothers and sisters around the world.

32 Sunday 21 January 3 rd Sunday of Epiphany A reflection on human trafficking in Brazil Article by Ruth de Barros, who helps to co-ordinate a USPGfunded social action programme in the Diocese of the Amazon. Human trafficking has been a concern of the Diocese of the Amazon for some time. One woman was taken to Suriname with promises of a better life. But the traffickers brainwashed her, buying her expensive gifts in exchange for selling her body. In time she had two children children born in these circumstances are often sold and used for child labour. Happily, this woman s uncle managed to find her children and bring them back to Brazil. Later, with help from the church and the police, the uncle also rescued his niece, together with a five-year-old his niece had rescued from a family enslaved in the gold mines. A common ruse of traffickers is to trick parents into sending their sons to special football schools in the hope that their sons might become wealthy football stars. These families are often living in extreme poverty with low levels of education. They fall for the sweet talk of the criminals. They send their sons, then completely lose contact with them because they have been trafficked for sexual exploitation or child labour. The Anglican Church is raising awareness about trafficking and providing legal support to help.

33 O God, you have created us all in your own image to reveal your glory, compassion and love. Help us to see your face in every human being, and to work together for the dignity and worth of all. Monday 22 Pray for an end to human trafficking, in Brazil and around the world. Pray that vulnerable communities will become aware of the tricks of the traffickers (see article). Tuesday 23 Give thanks for the Anglican Church in Brazil, and other agencies, as they work hard to prevent trafficking and rescue those who have been trafficked. Wednesday 24 Pray for international support for the antitrafficking operations in Brazil. Pray that the world would unite to fight the abomination of trafficking. Thursday 25: Conversion of Paul Pray for Ruth de Barros (see article) and the Diocese of the Amazon in their efforts to share God s love in practical ways with those who are marginalised. Friday 26 Pray for an end to the deforestation and exploitation of the Amazon rainforest which is damaging local communities and the eco-system. Saturday 27 Pray that Brazil s government might focus its efforts on upholding the rights of all citizens and seek justice and equality for all.

34 Sunday 28 January candlemas A reflection on climate change from India This article is extracted from a statement issued by the Church of South India s Synod Department of Ecological Concerns. Though climate change is a global problem, all people are not equally responsible for it. The industrialised nations, representing less than 20 per cent of the world s population, account for nearly 90 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions over the last century, mainly through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas). Hence, we make a distinction between the luxury emissions of the rich and the survival emissions of the poor. We resist the claim that anything in Creation is merely a resource for human exploitation. [As a church] we conserve energy and water, educate the congregations to ensure energy is used efficiently, encourage the increased use of renewable energy, and prevent pollutants from entering the drainage system. A fossil-fuel based, automobile-centred throw-away economy is not a viable model for the world. The alternative is a solar/hydrogen energy economy, an urban transport system that is centred on advanced public rail systems, and a comprehensive reuse/recycle economy. We have to build an economy that will support, not undermine, future generations.

35 Creator God, who saw that the world was good, we repent of the harm we have caused your planet. Stir us up to work together to sustain your Creation as guardians of all you have made. Monday 29 Give thanks for the commitment of the Church of South India to safeguarding Creation and campaigning for global justice. Tuesday 30 Pray for an end to human-induced climate change so that all nations might suffer less from storms and erratic weather patterns. Wednesday 31 Give thanks for pioneers and visionaries who are devising alternatives to fossil fuels and encouraging governments, communities and individuals to be careful to use less fuel. Thursday 1 February Give thanks for initiatives around the world to raise awareness about the human contribution to climate change and how we can reverse the problem. Friday 2 Pray that churches in Britain and Ireland would be inspired to engage more deeply in campaigning for climate justice. Saturday 3 Give thanks for USPG-supported programmes that are helping communities to respond to disaster and prepare for future emergencies.

36 Sunday 4 February 2 nd Sunday before Lent A reflection on fleeing war in Syria This is the testimony of a young Syrian refugee in Ritsona, Greece, who has benefited from an education programme supported by USPG and the Anglican chaplaincy. The war in Syria started with peaceful demonstrations and strikes demanding that President Bashar Al-Asad step down. But he chose bullets, tanks and warplanes to take peaceful demonstrators down. All of this drove people to use weapons against this regime and a savage war started, leading to death and destruction. I lost friends and family. I had to leave Syria with my family. That was two years ago. Like many other Syrians, we now depend on aid and are living in refugee camps in conditions some would call inhumane. I was cut off from education. Many refugee children have no schools or education of any sort. I fear I will always be stuck in a refugee camp, needing to queue for food, clothes and hygiene products. Syria is torn apart because of war, millions of Syrians are displaced, hundreds of thousands of children have no education, poverty is everywhere and nightmares disturb us every night. But we are determined. We hold onto any opportunity to learn and develop ourselves. I am determined to provide the world with love and peace, which the world itself could not provide.

37 God of peace, we hold before you all who are fleeing from war. Give courage to the frightened, hope to the peacemakers, and strength to those who reach out in welcome with help, and turn the hearts of those who make war to peace. Monday 5 Pray for an end to war and hostilities in Syria. Pray for an end to violence and that Syria might once again experience peace and prosperity. Tuesday 6 Pray that humanitarian aid will reach those who are most in need. Pray for protection for the most vulnerable in Syria, especially women and children. Wednesday 7 Give thanks for the church and all peace-makers in Syria who seek the welfare of the people. Thursday 8 Pray for an end to bombing and for the rebuilding of homes, businesses and communities. Pray that politicians would seek to build a society that seeks to prioritise the welfare of all. Friday 9 Pray for those who are displaced within Syria or who have fled the country in search of safety. Pray for refugees who are struggling to survive in camps with few amenities. Saturday 10 Give thanks for those who welcome refugees. Give thanks for the Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece as it reaches out to Syrian refugees with supplies, pastoral care and education programmes.

38 Faith in a Changing Climate We can all do something to help combat climate change, whether in our personal lives or as a church. Our new 32-page advocacy and church resources booklet is packed with ideas and information, including: An introductory guide to climate change, including glossary of terms; Stories that show the world church grappling with climate change; Church resources, including prayers and a bible study; Order or download at or by calling Information on how to engage politically by lobbying your MP.

39 All Things Are Possible USPG Lent course and resources for 2018 Our new five-week Lent study course explores the church s role in global development. Taking the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as our starting point, we are looking at how Anglican Churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America are playing their part to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change (see article on page 5). We have also created general and all-age PowerPoint talks. Order or download at or by calling

40 We are USPG. USPG is an Anglican mission agency supporting churches around the world in their mission to bring fullness of life to the communities they serve. Theologically, practically and financially, we encourage and enable churches within the Anglican Communion to act as the hands and feet of Christ. Together, we are working to improve health, tackle poverty, put children in school, challenge discrimination, nurture leaders, give a voice to women, and much more Founded 1701.