Friday, October 23, 2020

World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle - North America (25th-31 October 2020)

We remember Canada and the member associations in  Canada

(the next post will feature other member associations in Canada and the U.S.A.)

* Order of Diaconal Ministries -Presbyterian Church in Canada

* Association of Anglican Deacons in Canada

* Deacons of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

* Diakonia of the United Church of Canada


Diakonia of The United Church of Canada was formed in the early 1980s as an association of diaconal ministers.  However, diaconal ministry has roots in our church dating back to 1890s and the formation of the deaconess communities of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches.  Diaconal ministers are commissioned to a ministry of Education, Service and Pastoral Care.  With ministers who are ordained to Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care, diaconal ministers constitute one of two streams of ministry in the United Church.  In 2018, DUCCs gathered for a national biennial meeting in Winnipeg.  The theme was taken from the DUCC Vision Statement “Courageous Risking.”  The  biennial national gathering was to be held May of 2020 in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and the focus was to be “Faith Inspiring Power and Politics.”  Instead we met by Zoom. Work has been completed on renewing the DUCC website.  We share news in the community through regular mailchimp connections.  Our database has received much attention and now in good shape.  We have also participated in a recruitment video from the national church which highlights ministry options. DUCC is a member in Affirm United, a alliance of GBLTQ+ positive ministries.

WCC prayers


We are thankful for:

the vast expanse of North America with its resources and varied landscapes; may they be preserved, enjoyed and used wisely;

those who were its original inhabitants – First Nations and Native Americans;

church-related organizations that strongly advocate for justice, and those that provide for new immigrants and refugees today, as well as for others who are poor and vulnerable; 

ecumenical and interfaith engagements which are occurring in many communities that previously were mainly white and Christian.

We pray for:

churches facing new challenges, that they may continue to witness boldly to the gospel in evolving multicultural, multireligious and secular contexts;

indigenous peoples in their long struggles for survival, land and rights; and for ongoing healing and reconciliation with those who have come after them;

new immigrants, that they will continue to be welcomed in these countries, and that policies will serve the common good;

effectively countering systemic greed that exploits communities and natural resources;

government leaders that they would advance justice, human rights, and peace for all within these countries and in the rest of the world.


Breath of the Four Winds

Come from the four winds, O Breath,

And breathe upon these slain, that they may live. (Ezekiel 37:9)

Come from the South, O Breath,

blow your life-giving promise of hope

to our sisters in ponchos, Mothers of the Disappeared, political prisoners and exiles.

Come from the South and breathe justice that they may live.

Come from the North, O Breath,

blow your Word, in Spirit and truth,

to our brothers and sisters who have lost their languages in residential schools.

Come from the North and speak freely, so there may be healing.

Come from the East, O Breath,

blow your message of peace

to children in countries shattered by war and division.

Come from the East with morning’s promise of a new day.

Come from the West, O Breath,

blow in the tongues of fire in the sky at the setting of the sun.

We are your church, kindled in your Spirit, fired in the mystery of your coming.

Come from the West and pray in us, Holy Spirit, our ending and our beginning.

(Wendy MacLean, United Church of Canada)

To wake from sleep into this day 

is gift enough for thanks.

To hear a child’s delight in laughter 

is gift enough for thanks.

To sip a glass of clean, cold water 

is gift enough for thanks.

To watch the sunset paint the sky 

is gift enough for thanks.

To share a moment with a friend 

is gift enough for thanks.

To smell the fragrance of moist soil 

is gift enough for thanks.

To feel the comfort of clean clothing 

is gift enough for thanks.

To form the words that make a prayer 

is gift enough for thanks.

(Keri K. Wehlander, also published in Wisdom Is Calling, comp. Geoffrey Duncan, Canterbury Press, UK, and United Church Publishing House, Etobicoke, Ont., Canada 1999,pp.126-27,142)

Prayer for life in freedom

God of all hope;

hear our prayer.

When money becomes a prison:

free us to choose life.

Where wealth turns into addiction:

free us to choose life.

When income determines worth:

free us to choose life.

Where poverty equals invisibility:

free us to choose life.

When economies deepen injustice:

free us to choose life.

Where greed invents new oppressions:

free us to choose life.

when finance rules every decision:

free us to choose life.

where consumption replaces compassion:

free us to choose life.

(Keri K. Wehlander; used with permission)


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