“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See your king comes to you, righteous and victorious.” (Zechariah 9:9)
Dear World Day of Prayer sisters and friends,
The prophecy of Zechariah has been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. During the advent season we are reminded of Zechariah’s words, and we prepare our hearts for the return of the king as a little baby in a crib. We believe and hope that this prophecy will take place in our life for a better, just, and peaceful world.
On March 4th 2016, our WDP Cuba sisters invited us to celebrate Jesus’ words as “Receive children – Receive me.” The deepest sense of Christianity - to follow on the footsteps of Jesus - means to live in solidarity with those who are the most vulnerable in our societies.
Right from the beginning of his life -- born in a stable, homeless, forced to flee with his parents to Egypt, Jesus was with the vulnerable as he himself became vulnerable. Through his own vulnerability, Jesus was able to have compassion for all the lost and marginalized. Thereby teaching us about the humanity God has created us for.
As we look forward to our 2017 program, prepared by WDP Philippines, we are invited to celebrate and meditate on Jesus’ words through the theme - “Am I being unfair to you?” We will learn about justice and love in the image of God.
I am very grateful for this WDP movement that gives us, especially women and girls, an ecumenical space to listen to each other, to learn from and to pray with one another so that we can move together to informed prayer and prayerful action.
At the end of this year I’d like to express our heartfelt thanks to our staff, WDP Committees, ecumenical partners and church women’s organizations who have shared the year with us.
We also extend our special thanks to all of you who work as volunteers at the grassroots level promoting WDP in your countries. We treasure your commitment, your faithfulness, and your hope for the future growth of WDP. As we say in our network ‘our movement is global because it is local everywhere.’
May God fill our hearts with love and compassion! I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas!
This video was made by the WDP Cuba Committee to showcase the celebration as it was held in La Habana, Cuba on March 4, 2016.
The video contains clips of the service, which was held at the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of La Habana, where WDP was celebrated in Cuba for the first time in 1930. Many people participated and were proud to be part of such a inspiring service, especially the women of WDP Cuba. They felt incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to organize this service and share a little bit of Cuba with others around the world.
The video also contains interviews from:
Ormara Nolla Cao, WDP Cuba Committee Chairperson
Rosangela Oliveira, WDPIC Executive Director
Joel Ortega Dopico, Council of Churches of Cuba Chairperson
*This video is in Spanish*
After 60 years of being present in the country, women from Zimbabwe are getting ready to be the writer country for the celebrations in the year of 2020. From September 8-9, a Strengthening National Committee Meeting was held with almost 30 people in Harare. They came from different parts of the country and from different denominations. WDPIC executive director Rosângela Oliveira and WDPIC Africa Regional representative Joyce Steiner with the support of WDP Zimbabwe led the meeting.
The writing of the worship service and resource material is an ecumenical and collective process. Each participant of the workshop was a potential member of the writing working groups. And each member of the extended community in the country is a supporter of the process through their prayers and wisdom.
The workshop goal was to build an understanding of what will entail to develop and write WDP worship service and resource material for the annual celebration under the theme “Rise! Take your Mat and Walk”. Together we revised the Guidelines for a Writer Country to provide an overview of the complete writing process, components of the worship service and resource material package, timeline and the skills needed to work on this intense and voluntary process. WDPIC will be back in Zimbabwe in 2017 to launch the writing process with the Writer Country Workshop.
Before leaving the country, there was an opportunity to attend the WDP Zimbabwe General Meeting, Sunday service at the Salvation Army, and listen to the Tuesday rehearsal of the Great Harare Women’s Choir at a United Methodist Church. There are several choirs in the country involved in WDP celebrations. It is one of the highlights of WDP in Zimbabwe.
The World Day of Prayer International Committee Chairperson, Corinna Harbig, attended the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee Meeting in Trondheim, Norway from June 22-28, 2016. The Central Committee serves as the chief governing body of the WCC until the next assembly, and is responsible for carrying out the policies adopted by the Assembly.
Besides the WCC’s usual focus on topics such as finances, nominations, public statements, and reports, much attention was given to the theme “Pilgrimage: Discerning Landscapes Together.” The Plenary discussed the “Pilgrimage for justice and peace” in four topics: Unity, the Middle East, Religion and violence, and Child Rights.
According to Corinna Harbig, “the central committee heard moving testimonies and alerting numbers from all regions of the world concerning unjust life conditions. Women and children, people with disabilities, indigenous and ageing people are the most vulnerable to climate change, war, violence and abuse, persecution, human trafficking, and poverty. But, encouraging was also the testimonies of churches and faith based organizations who are engaged in actions for justice and peace.”
The women’s meeting was a special moment for the WDPIC chairperson. Some of the issues discussed have been on WDP's agenda as they are lifted up each year by a different focus country in the worship service. Still, they continue to appeal to us for prayer and actions:
Corinna interviewed a few leaders at the WCC Central Committee Meeting with a simple and meaningful question: “What has inspired you the most in this experience?” Please, listen to their inspirational responses below:
Dr. Fulata Lusungu Moyo
Programme Executive for Women in Church and Society at the World Council of Churches
Prof. Dimitra Koukoura
Member of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ms. Necta Rocas Montes
General Secretary of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)
Rev. Martina Viktorie Kopecka
Member of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church
Ms. Ingrid Mortensen Bjornstad
Steward at the WCC
Member of the Church of Norway
Along with visiting Slovenia this month, we have also traveled to Brazil for the WDP Assembly Meeting!
This month the WDP Brazil Assembly elected new members for leadership. These women will carry out, with the support of previous leaders, the hospitality of the World Day of Prayer International Committee Meeting in 2017.
Also present were leaders from WDP Paraguay, and a song leader from Argentina. Blessings for the new leaders! Looking forward to 2017 in Brazil!
Photos by WDPIC
Work on World Day of Prayer 2019 Slovenia has already begun! This month we traveled to Slovenia for the preparatory workshop in which groups of women work together to bring you the worship service material. Below is a clip from the WDP Committee President of Slovenia, Tanja Povšnar, where she talks about the experience:
I am Tanja Povšnar, the president of WDP Slovenia. This year, in April 2016, we started the preparations for the WDP worship service in 2019. The theme is “Come – everything is ready.”
The content is from Luke's gospel in which he talks about the master inviting others to his feast. Following this theme we are focusing on strengthening communities, how to build a community, and who is invited into this community.
The preparation of the worship service is a privilege but also a responsibility. We are glad that the whole world will soon know about our little country and pray for Slovenia.
To National/Regional Committee Members:
The Annual Report Form for 2016 has been sent out to all National/Regional Committees!
The Annual Report intends to capture the lively presence of this worldwide ecumenical movement of Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.
Each country's response helps us to weave the wisdom and enthusiasm that the annual celebration has generated in each part of the world. Your response is also the source of reflection for the Journal. Just as important, it will help keep our database updated to best facilitate communication with the Committee.
When writing the Report, try to include information based on the multiple worship celebrations and activities in your country. Highlight diversity, dedication, and creativity. Please, be thoughtful and faithful to how WDP inspires and transforms lives in your country.
If you have pictures of the celebration, email them to us in a jpeg file or similar. Please, do not send us pictures on word documents as the photo quality is drastically diminished. Choose about 5 pictures with a high resolution in different situations, such as the participation of youth or children, the altar table, symbols, drama/dancing/group exercises, portraits, readers group, etc. We hope to include one photo in the Journal! Others can be posted on the WDPIC Facebook page or our website.
Please submit the report by May 1st. Reports received after June 30th 2016 may not be included in the Journal, but they will be a relevant source of information for us.
If you have not received the report please download the file here:
It's never too early to start preparing for the next World Day of Prayer!
The Philippines WDP Committee has prepared the worship service materials for the celebrations in 2017. WDPIC has made this material available for the National/Regional Committee liaisons in English, Spanish, and French.
Each National/Regional Committee will translate (if necessary) or publish the worship services and make it available for the local communities in their respective country. Please contact your National Committee for the resources.
If you are a National/Regional Committee liaison and you have not received the materials yet please let us know and we will send them to you!
In the materials packet you should find: