I have just returned home from my time with the Bristol District and it seems timely to post this item about tomorrow’s Women’s World Day of Prayer service, written this year by the women of the Philippines. I quote from the WWDP Facebook page, where this message from Corinna Harbig, WDPIC Chairperson and Rosângela Oliveira, WDPIC Executive Director has appeared:
‘As we prepare for our services on Friday, we have received this message from the International Committee, with new, updated prayer requests for the Philippines –
“Mabuhay! Come to the circle and tell your story! Jesus told stories to teach about the Kingdom of God. We tell stories to make ourselves aware of God’s presence today in the world. The worship service tells the stories of Filipino women seeking for justice. This week, on our common day of prayer, from our own context we will tell the same story, reflect on the same question, and be assured of God’s generosity for all.
World Day of Prayer motto – ‘Informed prayer and prayerful action’ – is at its climax. You have dedicated time to learn about the Philippines, to connect with Filipino people in your own country, to listen to their claims and to ecumenically lift up their concerns and joys to God.
Since we started preparations for this celebration, important changes have happened to the country’s political and social context. To mention just two for its overall impact, let’s highlight the termination of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the war on drugs. The Peace Talks had the promise to reach agreements about human rights and humanitarian law, ceasefire, social and economic reforms that would alter the context of poverty, violence, and unemployment. The War on Drugs has claimed more than 7,000 lives since last July, and also the arrest of opposition voices to the government’s policy.”
As our WDP sisters in the Philippines are telling us ‘WE NEED THE WORLD’S PRAYERS NOW’. Once again, the WDP program is timely and we trust that the Holy Spirit will carry on our prayers to fill the hearts of the afflicted. With them, we will be sent off affirming that the God of Justice calls us to plant the seeds of hope, to become fruits of liberation and love. As one voice we will offer our hands to plant, nurture, and harvest those seeds. We want to thank all who are celebrating the World Day of Prayer. May we be sent forth with the fruits of our communal harvest by God’s sole generosity!’