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Monday, September 20, 2021

National Migration Week

 September 20 - 26

Migrants cook in a temporary shelter near the burned migrant center "Lipa" during snowfall and freezing temperatures in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dec. 27, 2020. The Vatican announced the theme for the next World Day of Migrants and Refugees: "Toward an ever wider 'we.'" 

The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

Every year the WDMR is the last Sunday of September; in 2021 it will be celebrated on September 26th. As the title for his annual message, the Holy Father has chosen Towards an ever wider “we”.  Read Pope Francis’ Message here:

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 107th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2021


Refugee Rights

Some basic rights, apply to all refugees. A refugee becomes entitled to other rights the longer they remain in the host country, which is based on the recognition that the longer they remain as refugees, the more rights they need.
  • The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions;
  • The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State;
  • The right to work;
  • The right to housing;
  • The right to education;
  • The right to public relief and assistance;
  • The right to freedom of religion;
  • The right to access the courts;
  • The right to freedom of movement within the territory;
  • The right to be issued identity and travel documents.

Prayer for Migrants and Refugees

Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear and doubt, but you poured out your love and compassion on the migrant crowd, welcoming them as brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God's family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts and in our minds.

Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,

To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;

To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their many needs;

To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;

To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;

To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring.

We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together from so many people. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we make our prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

For information on Refugees in America go here:

REFUGEES IN AMERICA



Saturday, September 18, 2021

Season of Creation

 September 19th Sunday III



Reading from the Book of Proverbs 31: 10 - end

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night 
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the
city gate.

Psalm  1

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Reading from the Letter of James  3:1-13 - 4:3,7-8b

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Gospel of Mark 9: 30-37

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.’ But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’


Reflection Points

1.  Peace’ is at the heart of the Christian gospel. We live in a fractured world, where relationships between people, nature and God are deeply broken. In Christ, God comes to bring ‘peace’, not only spiritually through the forgiveness of sins, but to restore all these damaged and broken relationships.

2.  The Hebrew concept of ‘Shalom’, often translated as ‘peace’, reflects restored relationships in every dimension: with God, self, neighbors near and far, and with the earth and its creatures. It is an integrated vision of ‘the good life’ that combines faith, justice, and peacebuilding – as summarized by the idealized wife of Proverbs 31. Note how she ensures everyone and everything can flourish: her family, the poor, the land, the economy! This is a lovely example of being a peacemaker / home-builder / shalom-spreader in very practical local terms!

3.  Building on last week’s theme of ‘Wisdom’, James 3:17-18 states, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” Jesus said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). The phrase ‘children of God’ is often applied to those who believe in Christ – the church. 
How can we, as the Christian community, be peacemakers both globally and locally, particularly in a context of inequality and unsustainable lifestyle choices?

4.  in Mark 9:36-37, Jesus tells us that in welcoming children we welcome God himself. Today, many children and young people suffer from climate anxiety and despair about the future. How can we welcome the Father, by listening more effectively to the voices of young people and changing our attitudes and behavior in response?

Action Pay attention to what you feel as you contemplate
   the fragility, health of Earth.

Is Earth’s ecosystem healthy? 
How is this ecosystem at risk of illness? 
What are the keys to sustaining the equilibrium and balance of our Common Home? 
What niches and diversity must be protected to maintain the health of this habitat? What are the sources of stress that threaten the balance of this particular ecosystem? 
Do those stresses drive your co- creatures from their home on Earth? 
How do you feel when you consider the fragility of life that depends on the health of this place? 
What is your effect on this balance?

How will you protect and steward this planet this week?

A Profession of faith

We belong to the Creator in whose image we are all made.
In God we are breathing, in God we are living, in God we share
the life of all creation.

We belong to Jesus Christ, the true icon of God and of humanity.
In him God is breathing, in him God is living, through him
we are reconciled.

We belong to the Holy Spirit, who gives us new life and strengthens our faith.
In the Spirit love is breathing, in the Spirit truth is living,
the breath of God always moves us.

We belong to the Holy Trinity, who is one in all and Three-in-One.
In God we are all made, in Christ we are all saved,
in the Spirit we are all united.

Together, we belong to the Earth, our common home.
The Earth that is the Lord’s, and all that is in it.
(Per Harling)


For the Beauty of the Earth
Children’s Choir
 
Reclaim Our Common Home
Video


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Season of Creation

 September 12th Sunday II


Reading from the Book of Proverbs 1: 20-33

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:  ‘How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.

But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you – when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
 
‘Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.  Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;  but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.’


Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing  in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Reading from the Letter of James 3: 1-12

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.  We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
 
Gospel of Mark  8:27- 38
 
Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’  ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’
Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’  Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.’

Reflection Points

1.  Oikos’ is also the root word for ‘ecology’, the science of relationships of organisms (including us) to each other and their surroundings.

2.  How do Proverbs 1:26-30, about how disaster (often ecological) will overtake those who ignore God’s Wisdom, speak to our situation today? Are there examples in your context?

3.  In Mark 8:34-35 Jesus asks his followers to take up their cross and follow him. How can we ‘take up our cross’ and follow Christ as Lord of creation in an era of ecological trauma? Why not share stories of environmental campaigners, eg in Latin America, who have lost their lives in challenging powerful vested interests that are destroying God’s world.

4.  In Mark 8:36-37 Jesus asks what good it is to gain the whole world but forfeit our souls. Is this verse calling us to focus only on the ‘spiritual’ gospel, or is it rather a challenge to the materialism that hardens our hearts against God, and against true Wisdom?

Action Reflect on the ecological cycles of this place
   with gratitude for all that it provides 

What nutrient cycles are supported by this place? 
Is this a watershed that filters water?
Is this a rainforest (tropical or deciduous) that fixes nutrients? 
Is this a meadow or field that fixes nitrogen? 
Is this a green space that absorbs CO2 and cleans the air? 
What plants, animals, microbes and minerals are sheltered here? 
How do they serve the whole earth in their being?
 For all that this place provides to nurture you and all that
 belong to this place, let a feeling of gratitude fill you.

How will you protect and steward this week?

Benediction

May God who established the dance of creation, 
Who marveled at the lilies of the field,
Who transforms chaos to order,
Lead us to transform our lives and the Church
To reflect God’s glory in creation.
 
(CTBI Eco-Congregation Program)

Canticle of the Sun
Marty Haugen


Thursday, September 9, 2021

 Peter  Claver’s  Vision:  The Dignity of All Peoples


The life and work of
Saint Peter Claver
led to naming him
Patron Saint
of…

African Americans
African Missions
Colombia
Interracial Justice



 

Peter Claver and Anne Marie Javouhey

Captured by the Vision of Jesus’ Mission and the Dignity of All Peoples, Peter Claver and Anne Marie Javouhey, were called to ‘Go to all peoples’.  Their Missionary Vocation and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives were manifested in the decisions and bold actions of their lives and their congregations.

Both went beyond their homeland; they served the most abused, rejected, and lowly of all people, the new world slave, and they became known for their service to the least, the lost and the last of society.  Their lives witnessed powerfully to the work to liberate, give dignity to and value all human life.

When Anne Marie Javouhey formed her young congregation in 1807,  St. Peter Claver, missionary to enslaved peoples of the Americas, was named one of the Patron saints of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny.

During this Year of Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, the Cluny Sisters around the world, call upon their Patron, Peter Claver, to intercede for the canonization of our founder and the mission of the 2,500 Cluny Sisters to serve all peoples everywhere, especially to the lost, the least and the last in our world today.

Remembering the Story of Peter Claver

A native of Spain, young Jesuit Peter Claver left his homeland forever in 1610 to be a missionary in the colonies of the New World. He sailed into Cartagena, a rich port city washed by the Caribbean. He was ordained there in 1615.

By this time the slave trade had been established in the Americas for nearly 100 years, and Cartagena was a chief center for it. Ten thousand slaves poured into the port each year after crossing the Atlantic from West Africa under conditions so foul and inhuman that an estimated one-third of the passengers died in transit. Although the practice of slave-trading was condemned it continued to flourish.

When Peter Claver arrived in Cartagena, he declared himself “the slave of the Negroes forever.”

As soon as a slave ship entered the port, Peter Claver moved into its infested hold to minister to the ill-treated and exhausted passengers. After the slaves were herded out of the ship like chained animals and shut up in nearby yards to be gazed at by the crowds, Claver plunged in among them with medicines, food, bread, brandy, lemons, and tobacco. With the help of interpreters he gave basic instructions and assured his brothers and sisters of their human dignity and God’s love. During the 40 years of his ministry, Claver instructed and baptized an estimated 300,000 slaves.

After four years of sickness, which forced the saint to remain inactive and largely neglected, Claver died on September 8, 1654. The city magistrates, who had previously frowned at his solicitude for the black outcasts, ordered that he should be buried at public expense and with great pomp.

Peter Claver was canonized in 1888, and Pope Leo XIII declared him the worldwide patron of missionary work among black slaves.

Story of Peter Claver


We continue to  prayer for the Canonization of
Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey

Lord our God,
You enabled Blessed Anne Marie to
Consecrate herself to the carrying our
Of Your Holy Will in all things
And to be ever attentive to Your Calls
As manifested through the poorest
Of her brothers and sisters.

Grant that we,
In the Church of our day,
May zealously continue the work
You confided to her.

Through her intercession hear
The prayers we address to You…
(add your personal intentions)

In Your Goodness,
Grant us the favor of her canonization
For Your Glory and to
Promote Your Reign of
Love, justice and peace.
Amen.

Story of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey


Saturday, September 4, 2021

Season of Creation

 September 5th Sunday I

Reading from the Book of Proverbs 22: 1-2; 8-9; 22-23

A good name is more desirable than great riches;  to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
 
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
 
Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.
 
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
 
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will exact life for life.

Psalm 125

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
 
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and for evermore.
 
The sceptre of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.
 
LORD, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers.
 
Peace be on Israel.

Reading from the Letter of James 2:1-10, 14-17

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you, but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as law-breakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Gospel of Mark 7:24

Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

‘First let the children eat all they want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’

Lord,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’

Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.’

She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spat and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’

Reflection Points

1.  Oikos, the Greek word for ‘home’, is the root word for ‘economy’ – which, at a global level, is about planetary house-keeping. How far have modern understandings of the importance of the economy drifted from the root meaning of creating a secure and just home for all?

2.  Proverbs 22 and James 2 make clear that God will champion the cause of the oppressed, and that poverty and injustice are deeply linked to our economic behavior and systems.

3.  In a world of climate injustice, where careless use of fossil fuels leads to insecurity, disaster and suffering for the world’s poor and marginalized, what is the ‘Good News’ ? Can there be good news without addressing such injustice? 

4.  James 2:6 “Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?” Is this passage aimed only at the ‘super rich’ or also at the many Christians who live comfortable lives, acting as if they (we?) are ignorant of the links between that comfort – built on exploitative and unsustainable economic practices - and the suffering of the poor.

5.  In Mark 7:28-29, Jesus commends the Syro-Phoenician (a woman and a Gentile) for arguing with him, and heals her daughter! Are there issues of injustice, where God seems silent, that drive us to wrestle with God in prayer?
 
Action Become aware of God’s presence in a natural or agricultural
place that you contemplate


How is God present in this place? 
How does all the life you see exist in God’s spirit? 
How do you feel knowing that the Holy Spirit has filled this place for geological ages, with every plant, animal, organism and mineral that has called this place home in the deep past, makes its home here with you now, and will live here with creatures in this place in the future? 
How do you feel knowing that you, earthling, belong to this place, are made of the same carbon, breathe the same air, are nurtured by the same cycles and life processes, and are enlivened by the same Spirit of the Creator?
How will you protect and steward this week?

Lord’s Prayer We pray our common prayer that Christ taught us.
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your beloved community of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. 
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us. 
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever.
Amen.
(Adapted from The New Zealand Book of Prayer | He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 
This version of the Lord’s prayer was influenced by Maori theologians)

Give Thanks to the Lord
Dan Schutte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70cIycImjp8


Monday, August 30, 2021

Join the Season of Creation

 September 1 - October 4

A   Home   for All?

Renewing the Oikos of God

Join Us for a Season of Creation

 

Each year from September 1 to October 4, the Christian family unites for a worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our Common Home.

 

As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We realize that our wellbeing is interwoven with wellbeing of our Common Home. We rejoice in this opportunity to care for our Common Home and the sisters and brothers who share it.

 

 

This year, the theme for the season is:

A home for all?  Renewing the Oikos of God

 

This year’s LOGO for the Season of Creation is Abraham’s tent,
symbolizing,   “A home for all


Abraham and Sarah opened their tent as a home for three strangers, who turned out to be God’s angels (Genesis 18). By creating a home for all, their act of radical hospitality became a source of great blessing.

 

Abraham’s tent is a symbol of our ecumenical call to practice creation care as an act of radical hospitality, safeguarding a place for all creatures,

human and more human, in our common home,

the household (oikos) of God.


Human relationships also have ecological significance. Economic, social and political relationships affect the balance of creation. Everything that we fabricate, use and produce has its origin in Earth, whether mineral, plant or animal based. Our habits of consuming energy and goods affect the resilience of planetary systems, and the capacity of Earth to heal itself and sustain life. Economic and political relationships have direct effects on the human family and the more-than human members of God’s oikos. Genesis 2:15 - "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." reminds us that among our co-creatures, the Creator has given humans a special vocation to tend and keep the oikos of God.
 
Faith gives us trust that God’s Spirit is constantly renewing the face of the Earth. Within this horizon of hope, our baptismal call frees us to return to our human vocation to till and keep God’s garden. In Christ, God calls us to participate in renewing the whole inhabited Earth, safeguarding a place for every creature, and reform just relationships among all creation.
  
During this Month-Long Liturgical Season of Creation, the Christian family calls every household and society to repent and reshape our political, social and economic systems towards more just, sustainable economies of life, which respect the life-giving ecological limits of our common home.
 

Season of Creation 2021 Prayer


 Creator of All,
 
We are grateful that from your communion of love you created our planet to be a  home for all. By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a diversity of living beings that filled the soil, water and air. Each part of creation praises you in their being, and cares for one another from our place in the web of life.
 
With the Psalmist, we sing your praise that in your house even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.” We remember that you call human beings to keep your garden in ways that honor the dignity of each creature and conserve their place in the abundance of life on Earth.
 
But we know that our will to power pushes the planet beyond her limits. Our consumption is out of harmony and rhythm with Earth’s capacity to heal herself. Habitats are left barren or lost. Species are lost and systems fail. Where reefs and burrows, mountaintops and ocean deeps once teemed with life and relationships, wet and dry deserts lie empty, as if uncreated. Human families are displaced by insecurity and conflict, migrating in search of peace. Animals flee fires, deforestation and famine, wandering in search of a new place to find a home to lay their young and live.
 
In this Season of Creation, we pray that the breath of your creative Word would move our hearts, as in the waters of our birth and baptism. Give us faith to follow Christ to our just place in the beloved community. Enlighten us with the grace to respond to your covenant and call to care for our common home. In our tilling and keeping, gladden our hearts to know that we participate with your Holy Spirit to renew the face of your Earth, and safeguard a home for all.
 
In the name of the One who came to proclaim Good News to all creation, Jesus Christ.   Amen.