Thursday, May 30, 2013

30/5/13 - English

Lord God, last week we watched as Israel further segmented West Bank land with a new road closure between Ramallah and Jericho, not only frustrating Palestinian travel between two important West Bank cities, but also isolating four villages that lay along that road. Lord, we also continue to witness widespread acts of settler violence against Palestinians, especially in the Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah areas. Lord, please do not allow these radical settlers to continue uprooting trees, attacking villages, or beating Palestinian individuals; may they be brought to justice! God, we are grateful for signs of hope like the Palestinian activists’ demolition of part of the wall separating the two Palestinian villages of Al-Eizariya and Abu Dis, yet the wall remains. Lord, from all these things and from the entire Occupation that sustains them, please bring us deliverance. Lord, in your mercy...

Lord, as US Secretary of State John Kerry has been attempting to revive negotiations between Palestine and Israel, we find ourselves horrified by the blatant anti-peace policies Israel is implementing. God, we cannot help but be astounded that instead of removing four illegal settlement outposts, Israel authorized them last week, and meanwhile three more East Jerusalem homes were demolished in At-Tur, directly affecting several Palestinian families. God, may the international community rise up and call Israel to account for these crimes! May the state not be allowed to persist in speaking peace while enacting violence on the Palestinian people. Lord, in your mercy...

God, here at Sabeel, we give thanks for the launch of Yasmine Perni’s film “The Stones Cry Out: The Story of the Palestinian Christians”, and for the three well-attended film-showings in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem last week. We also offer up heart-felt gratitude for the work of long-time friends of Sabeel Kathy Bergen and Doug Dicks; we praise you for their commitment to justice and peace-making in the Middle East. Lord, in your mercy...

God, as we pray about violence and responses to violence here in Israel and Palestine, we pray also for the victim’s of nature’s violence in Oklahoma City. We grieve alongside the Oklahoma communities who were hit by a deadly tornado on Monday. With a death toll of 24 that is expected to rise, including many children, we pray for rapid crisis relief responses and ask that you would comfort each shocked and grieving family. Lord, in your mercy...


Finally, we pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the peoples of Malawi and Zambia. Lord, in your mercy...

30/5/13 - Français

Seigneur Dieu, nous continuons à nous affliger de la violence de la guerre de Syrie, en pensant en particulier à ceux qui ont fui la violence : les réfugiés, au nombre d’environ un million et demi, qui connaissent aujourd’hui des conditions de vie extrêmement difficiles, chômage et pauvreté – tous éprouvés par les traumatismes de la guerre et la perte d’êtres chers. Nous déplorons en particulier la situation de nombreux réfugiés palestiniens qui vivaient en Syrie, qui sont désormais devenus une nouvelle fois des réfugiés. Beaucoup ont afflué dans des camps déjà surpeuplés des pays voisins, avec des lieux de vie affreusement exigus et dans de très mauvais états de santé. Ô Dieu, daigne accompagner ces frères et ces sœurs qui sont des nôtres, les protéger et subvenir à leurs besoins, et susciter des dirigeants qui prennent sérieusement en charge les besoins de cette population oubliée. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Ici en Palestine, nous te présentons les refus persistants de visas, les mesures de sécurité dans les aéroports, les demandes de permis, les murs et les points de contrôle. Récemment Israël s’est mis à exiger de certains touristes internationaux l’obtention de permis militaires pour visiter de lieux sous autorité palestinienne – contrôlant en fait pour le supprimer le flux normal des visiteurs en Cisjordanie, qu’il s’agisse de tourisme ou de militantisme politique. Seigneur, nous te prions pour que les Palestiniens aient la liberté de contrôler lers propres frontières. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Nous te remercions pour l’Assemblée Générale de l’Église d’Écosse, pour son adoption à une majorité écrasante du rapport intitulé “L’héritage d’Abraham ? Un rapport sur la Terre Promise.”Nous te prions pour que cette décision serve d’appel à se ressaisir à d’autres confessions chrétiennes et leur donne le courage de dire la vérité à ceux qui détiennent le pouvoir. Nous te prions pour que d’autres Églises étudient ce document, qu’elles prennent sérieusement en considération la théologie qui y est présentée et se remettent en question pour témoigner de la même fidélité au message de la Bible. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Seigneur, nous te remercions et demandons encore ta bénédiction pour le travail de Sabeel. À l’approche de l’été, nous te présentons en particulier les préparatifs du Festival Mondial des Jeunes Adultes “Remuer les montagnes” du 1er au 6 juillet. Seigneur daigne inspirer aux jeunes adultes de faire de grands rêves et les inciter à travailler dur. Nous te prions aussi pour les nombreux visiteurs internationaux qui rendront visite à Sabeel, pour les prochains groupes de Chemin de Croix Contemporain, et pour les programmes de Sabeel Nazareth cette semaine. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Nous te prions enfin en union avec le Conseil Œcuménique des Églises pour les populations du Botswana et du Zimbabwe. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

23/5/13 - English

Lord God, last week we watched as Israel further segmented West Bank land with a new road closure between Ramallah and Jericho, not only frustrating Palestinian travel between two important West Bank cities, but also isolating four villages that lay along that road. Lord, we also continue to witness widespread acts of settler violence against Palestinians, especially in the Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah areas. Lord, please do not allow these radical settlers to continue uprooting trees, attacking villages, or beating Palestinian individuals; may they be brought to justice! God, we are grateful for signs of hope like the Palestinian activists’ demolition of part of the wall separating the two Palestinian villages of Al-Eizariya and Abu Dis, yet the wall remains. Lord, from all these things and from the entire Occupation that sustains them, please bring us deliverance. Lord, in your mercy...

Lord, as US Secretary of State John Kerry has been attempting to revive negotiations between Palestine and Israel, we find ourselves horrified by the blatant anti-peace policies Israel is implementing. God, we cannot help but be astounded that instead of removing four illegal settlement outposts, Israel authorized them last week, and meanwhile three more East Jerusalem homes were demolished in At-Tur, directly affecting several Palestinian families. God, may the international community rise up and call Israel to account for these crimes! May the state not be allowed to persist in speaking peace while enacting violence on the Palestinian people. Lord, in your mercy...

God, here at Sabeel, we give thanks for the launch of Yasmine Perni’s film “The Stones Cry Out: The Story of the Palestinian Christians”, and for the three well-attended film-showings in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem last week. We also offer up heart-felt gratitude for the work of long-time friends of Sabeel Kathy Bergen and Doug Dicks; we praise you for their commitment to justice and peace-making in the Middle East. Lord, in your mercy...

God, as we pray about violence and responses to violence here in Israel and Palestine, we pray also for the victim’s of nature’s violence in Oklahoma City. We grieve alongside the Oklahoma communities who were hit by a deadly tornado on Monday. With a death toll of 24 that is expected to rise, including many children, we pray for rapid crisis relief responses and ask that you would comfort each shocked and grieving family. Lord, in your mercy...


Finally, we pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the peoples of Malawi and Zambia. Lord, in your mercy...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

16/5/13 - English

God of love and justice, as we commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (May 15) this week, our hearts break with the grief of 65 years of different forms of injustice and suffering in Palestine. Though our hearts break, please do not let our hope die. Keep our courage and resilience strong, and renew within the Palestinian people the will and the hope for strategic peaceful resistance to on-going abuses. Lord, we cry out that the Nakba must never happen again, but also that the continuing Nakba of Palestinian dispossession and suffering must end! We pray for all Palestinians at home and abroad, especially refugees driven from their homes in 1948, many of whom still long to return to their rightful homes. How long, O Lord, will this continue? Lord, in your mercy…

Lord, as we remember these things, give us the grace and courage to tell our stories in truth and love. We thank you for the beautiful new documentary film “The Stones Cry Out,” which tells the story of Palestinian Christians in an insightful and peace-building way. We pray for the film-launch to be hosted by Sabeel this Friday, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Notre Dame Auditorium in Jerusalem, and for the subsequent discussion with His Beatitude Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah and film director Yasmine Perni. We also thank you for this past Monday’s film-launch in Nazareth and for Wednesday’s Interfaith Study Day in Bir Zeit. We pray also for a vibrant Sabeel Nazareth Youth meeting this Thursday as they discuss faith and resurrection. Lord, in your mercy…

Amidst difficulties, we are so grateful for the work of international friends dedicated to building a movement of solidarity and advocacy for the Palestinian people. We thank you for those working to raise awareness of the events of the Nakba, for people like the well-respected Stephen Hawking who stand against injustice only to face retaliation in the form of accusations and pressure, and for people contributing to the momentum of the work for justice everywhere. Lord, in your mercy…

On a global scale, we see all kinds of injustice still prevailing around the world. News filters in from abroad of the factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,127 people and injured many more. God may we not shield our eyes from this horrific tragedy caused by poor working conditions and the exploitative use of cheap labor. In a globalized world, keep us mindful of our own potential complicity in these crimes. Please bring comfort to grieving families, healing to traumatized victims, and radical change to this corrupt system. Lord, in your mercy…


Finally, we pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Lord, in your mercy…

Thursday, May 9, 2013

9/5/13 - English

God, we come to you this week with both our joy and pain, with both thanksgiving and cries for healing on our lips. Among our joys, Lord, is the Church of Scotland’s recently-issued theological report challenging the exclusiveness of many interpretations of the Bible and expressing that neither the Jews nor any other people possess exclusive, God-given rights to the land. While the report still awaits the review and approval of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, we thank you for the faithful Biblical interpretation of this initiative, which is an encouragement and example for other church bodies around the world. Lord, we hope for the acceptance of the report. We give thanks also for increasing recognition of the state of Palestine by political bodies, companies, and institutions around the world. This week, we are happy that Google has officially changed the terminology on their website and pray for continued recognition by other groups in ways such as these. Lord, in your mercy...

God, the pain of this week is also great as we see injustice and racism persist in both institutional and personal forms. We cry out against the unjust laws that fall along racial lines, such as those against the Bedouin citizens of Israel. We grieve the Israeli government’s approval on Monday of a draft law of a plan for the Negev that will cause the displacement and forced eviction of nearly 40,000 Bedouins, grabbing very large stretches of their land. Lord, please bring people together to resist this injustice; prevent this theft of the Bedouins’ land and the destruction of their way of life. Lord, in your mercy...
We pray also concerning the recent Israeli attacks on Syria, mourning the use of violence and praying against any aggression that might spread the Syrian civil war into the rest of the region. We continue to pray for all the victims of violence in Syria and for an end to the war. Lord, in your mercy...

Here at Sabeel, we pray for this Friday’s meeting for the Clergy and their wives as they enjoy an ecumenical Easter gathering. Lord, we also thank you for the new documentary “The Stones Cry Out” which tells the story of Palestinian Christians. Please bless the upcoming film-launch to be held on the evening of Friday, May 17, with a good turnout and fruitful discussion. Lord, in your mercy...


Finally, we pray alongside the World Council of Churches in solidarity with the peoples of Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. Lord, in your mercy...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2/5/13 - English

Lord, we come to you with joy in our hearts as we have the opportunity to celebrate Orthodox Easter this week with all Christians in the West Bank and Israel and around the world. Again, we hear the words proclaimed, “al-Mesih qam; hakkan qam!” (the Lord is risen; He is risen indeed). And yet, while we rejoice in this glorious event, we are sadly reminded again of those who cannot come to their holy places because of travel restrictions, “security” measures, and unissued permits. We pray that one day this holy city of Jerusalem will be open to all who wish to come and worship, Muslims, Christians and Jews. Lord, in your mercy…

Lord, we grieve the ruling made last Wednesday by the Israeli civil court that made it legal for the separation wall to divide the Cremisan Valley from Beit Jala. For 7 years, petitions have been filed to try to save this land but the ruling will annex to Israel, without the people, farmland of 58 Palestinian families. The wall will now separate the Cremisan convent from 75% of their land, surrounding the convent on 3 sides. The nuns run a primary school for needy Palestinian children and the monks operate the only winery made with Palestinian grapes. Both will be adversely affected. This is the last green space accessible to the people of Bethlehem and Beit Jala. Our hearts are broken by the loss of this important land. How can we keep our hopes alive for a peace that will be just when our land is continually taken away? Lord, we pray that when Pope Francis meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres this week he will raise this issue. We pray that this decision will be rethought and justice will prevail. Lord, in your mercy…

Lord, we pray for Syria. We have watched while the fighting has escalated into a violent civil war. We pray for the refugees whose lives have been uprooted, and for those who have lost loved ones, and who daily suffer from the violence initiated by both sides. With the overall breakdown of law and order, we pray for the safety of those who are victims of the increasing number of kidnappings for ransom, among these Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim who were abducted last week. We hear rumors of the use of non-conventional weapons and we remember Iraq, and we pray that this will not flare into an outright war in the whole region. Lord, in your mercy…

Finally, we pray with the World Council of Churches for the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Lord, in your mercy...



2/5/13 - Français

Seigneur, nous venons vers toi le cœur joyeux parce que nous avons la possibilité de célébrer cette semaine la Pâque orthodoxe avec tous les chrétiens de Cisjordanie, d’Israël et du monde entier. Une nouvelle fois nous entendons proclamer ces paroles : “al-Mesih quam ; hakkan qam !” (le Seigneur est ressuscité, il est vraiment resuscité). Et pourtant, tandis que nous fêtons ce glorieux évènement, on rappelle de nouveau tristement à nos pensées ceux qui ne peuvent pas se rendre à leurs lieux saints en raison des limites aux déplacements, des mesures de “sécurité” et des permis non obtenus. Nous te prions pour qu’un jour cette ville sainte de Jérusalem soit ouverte à tous ceux qui veulent venir y prier, musulmans, chrétiens et juifs. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Seigneur, nous sommes affligés du jugement rendu mercredi dernier par le tribunal civil israélien qui a rendu légal le mur de séparation qui va couper la vallée de Cremisan de Beit Jala. Pendant 7 années, des pétitions ont été faites pour tenter de sauver cette terre, mais le jugement va annexer à Israël, sans la population, les terres agricoles de 58 familles palestiniennes. Le mur qui va entourer le monastère de Cremisan sur trois côtés le séparera de 75% de ses terres. Les religieuses dirigent une école primaire pour les enfants palestiniens dans le besoin et les moines exploitent la seule entreprise vinicole utilisant du raisin palestinien. Ils seront tous pénalisés. Il s’agit du dernier espace vert accessible aux gens de Bethléem et de Beit Jala. Nous avons le cœur brisé par la perte de cette terre importante. Comment pouvons-nous conserver l’espoir d’une paix juste alors que notre terre est spoliée de façon continue ? Seigneur, nous te prions pour que le pape François soulève ce problème lorsqu’il va rencontrer le président Shimon Peres cette semaine. Nous te prions pour que ce jugement soit remis en question afin que la justice prévale. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Seigneur, nous te prions pour la Syrie. Nous avons vu les combats s’intensifier pour devenir une guerre civile violente. Nous te prions pour les réfugiés dont les vies ont été arrachées à leurs foyers, et pour ceux qui ont perdu des êtres chers et qui souffrent tous les jours de la violence exercée des deux côtés. Avec l’effondrement complet du droit et de l’ordre, nous te prions pour la sécurité de ceux qui sont victimes du nombre croissant d’enlèvements pour obtenir une rançon, et parmi eux l’archevêque grec-orthodoxe Paul Yazigi et l’archevêque syriaque-orthodoxe Yohanna Ibrahim qui ont été enlevés la semaine dernière. Nous entendons des rumeurs d’emploi d’armes non-conventionnelles, nous nous souvenons de l’Irak et nous te prions pour que cela ne se transforme pas en une guerre générale dans toute la région. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.

Nous te prions enfin, en union avec le Conseil Œcuménique des Églises pour les populations de l’Érithrée et de l’Éthiopie. Seigneur, dans ta miséricorde, entends notre prière.