Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson invites members of the church pray for peace in the Middle East on the 24th of each month. The regular call to prayer is part of a global ecumenical prayer vigil initiated by ACT Alliance.
You may wish to pray together as a family, as office/parish colleagues, or as a congregation on the 24th of each month as part of the vigil, says Bishop Johnson, noting that the first opportunity for ELCIC members to participate in the vigil will be on Palm Sunday, March 24. During these most sacred days of prayer, I encourage you to also remember the people who live in the Holy Land today and their deep yearning for peace.
The full letter from the National Bishop follows.
March 14, 2013
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18
Dear friends in Christ,
Grace to you and peace in the name of Christ our Saviour!
I am writing today to invite you to pray for peace in the Middle East on the 24th of each month.
This is part of a global ecumenical prayer vigil that invites people around the world to pray for the Christian communities in Palestine and Israel, for all those who are suffering in the Holy Land, for Palestinians and Israelis, and for peace in the Middle East and the world.
This vigil was initiated by ACT Alliance, of which Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) is a member. Additional information about the prayer vigil for peace in the Middle East, including the opportunity to sign up your congregation or group as a participant, can be found at: www.actpalestineforum.org/vigil/
This invitation to prayer has come to the ELCIC through our membership in The Lutheran World Federation. It is in harmony with the 2009 ELCIC National Convention Resolution on Peace in the Holy Land that “commits this church to supporting and working for justice and peace in the Holy Land by praying for peace in the Holy Land.” (www.elcic.ca/Public-Policy/documents/600.52009- ELCICResolutiononPeaceintheHolyLand.pdf)
You may wish to pray together as a family, as office/parish colleagues, or as a congregation on the 24th of each month as part of this vigil. Participating in the vigil comes with an invitation to contribute prayers, sermons and other worship materials to the Resources section of the prayer vigil.
The global vigil began on December 24, 2012 and continues across the globe on the 24th of every month until the Israeli occupation is dismantled, violence in the Middle East ends, and all can celebrate a just and lasting negotiated resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The first opportunity for ELCIC members to participate in this vigil will be on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013. During Holy Week, scripture and worship move our attention and imaginations to the Holy Land as we ponder Christ’s Passion. During these most sacred days of prayer, I encourage you to also remember the people who live in the Holy Land today and their deep yearning for peace.
I thank you for all the prayers you offer, for the needs of the world and for the mission of the church. And I thank you for all the ways that you serve, give and tell every day as a church In Mission for Others.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson,
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada