Worship Resources for World Refugee Day (2017)

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 20th is World Refugee Day. A day set aside for the world to remember people who have been forced to flee their homes and communities, and to take action to support them.

Did you know?

• We are now witnessing the highest levels of global displacement on record.
• An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.
• There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
• In a world where nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution, support for displaced people is more important than ever before.

Worship Resources for Your Congregation

People of faith have a clear call to ‘welcome the stranger’ and ‘feed the hungry.’ As we gather in places of worship, or around tables with family and friends, can we fulfill that calling through prayer and action for those people around the world seeking refuge? The Foodgrains Bank has put together some resources to help you do this.

Lectionary readings for June 18, 2017 (Proper 6, Year A)
Genesis 18:1-15  Abraham offers hospitality to three strangers
Psalm 116   What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?

Lectionary readings for June 25, 2017 (Proper 7, Year A)
Genesis 21:8-21 Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 Incline your ear, O Lord…for I am poor and needy

Litany of Praise: Psalm 146

Come! Sing praise to God!
We will praise God as long as we live!

Blessed are those
who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Most High –
Creator of heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them.

Come! Sing praise to God!
We will praise God as long as we live!

God keeps every promise forever.
God gives justice to the oppressed,
and food to those who hunger.

Read more: http://foodgrainsbank.ca/product/praise-litany-psalm-146/

Prayer for Refugees

Mighty Lord,
as you guided the Israelites thro ugh the wilderness,
be a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day
for refugees in search of new hope and new life.
As you brought the Israelites out of bondage to freedom
bring refugees out of persecution to safety.
As you protected the Israelites through 40 years in the desert,
protect those who languish for years in refugee camps.

Wipe away their tears of sorrow,
that their mourning may give way to joyous hope.
Put an end to warfare and tyranny
that some may return home without fear of violence.
Open the doors of safer nations,
that some may find new homes in new lands.

Read more: http://foodgrainsbank.ca/product/prayer-for-refugees/

Confession: Heal Our Brokenness

Knowing that our God walks with us in our confusion,
our doubts, our failings, our struggles,
we now come humbly before God to ask for mercy.

For the times we fail to offer hospitality
to those in our world who suffer injustice,
oppression, and poverty, we pray:
God, have mercy on us and your people.

Read more: http://foodgrainsbank.ca/product/knowing-that-our-god-walks-with-us-in-our-confusion/

Prayer of Commitment: Aliens and Sojourners

God, we are aliens and sojourners in this world,
but you invite us to be your guests.
You lavishly offer us your hospitality
and lovingly welcome us into your family,
You invite us to share in the abundance of your kingdom.

Read more: http://foodgrainsbank.ca/product/god-we-are-aliens-and-sojourners-in-this-world/

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is responding to support refugees:

• The Foodgrains Bank’s Famine Appeal is currently responding to the needs of people who have fled conflict and/or drought conditions in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia.
• The Government of Canada is matching donations from individual Canadians to our Famine Appeal until June 30 through its Famine Relief Fund.
• In Syria, we are providing emergency food baskets to people that can’t live in their own homes anymore due to violence (Internally Displaced People).
• In Lebanon, we are providing vouchers redeemable for food at local grocery stores for Syrian refugees struggling to survive far from home.
• In Democratic Republic of Congo, we are providing emergency food for severely malnourished young children from families displaced by conflict.

Related resources:
Welcoming the Stranger: A full worship package to plan a service for World Refugee Day;
• Forced to Flee: a simulation activity for youth/young adults on conflict and migration;
• What is Food Assistance? Animate video explaining the 5W’s on providing emergency food.
• Use your voice on social media: use the #WithRefugees hashtag on your Twitter or Facebook account (and feel free to mention @Foodgrains) and sign a petition to show our government that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees. Learn more.