A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." --Psalm 40:8, NRSV
The Community Developers Program is a network of U.S. racial-ethnic congregations and communities that focus on systemic change. Participants create this change by generating awareness, organizing youth, promoting social action, organizing and developing communities, addressing and identifying local needs, and advocating for transformation.
Community Developers challenge congregations and communities to tackle issues like substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, affordable and transitional housing, sexual exploitation, child and senior abandonment, and economic development opportunities.
The Hoover Treatment Center at Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church provides affordable, accessible and quality substance-abuse treatment. Based in Little Rock, Ark., it is part of Better Community Developers Inc.
The only licensed, faith-based provider of its kind in the state, the center provides a structured, 24-hour, intensive residential and outpatient program for adults.
Next Sunday is Human Relations Day. Please give generously! Offer struggling people an opportunity to change their lives and to reach out to others.
Loving God, give us your heart for the lost and the lonely. Teach us to see needs and do what it takes to meet them. As we reach out to those in our faith community and beyond, use us as a source of hope and unity. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday After the Epiphany/Baptism of the Lord - Loving God, you sent Jesus in power to reconcile all people to right relationship with you. We rejoice that he continues to bring peace and healing to people who are oppressed through sin, sickness, addiction, or other struggles. Fill us with your Spirit to speak as faithful witnesses of Christ's resurrecting power. Use our gifts and offerings to fulfill your mission in our wider community. We ask this through Jesus, your Beloved Son. Amen. (Acts 10:34-43)
Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. In the southern hemisphere, where January is a vacation time, churches often find other days to celebrate it, for example around Pentecost, which is also a symbolic date for unity.
The World Council of Churches, along with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, selects a passage of Scripture each year for churches to use as they observe the week.
This year's theme is "Reconciliation - the love of Christ compels us" and focuses on the text in John 17:21. At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus' prayer for his disciples that "they may be one so that the world may believe" (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
--Adapted from the World Council of Churches