To National/Regional Committee Liaisons:
The Annual Report Form for 2018 has been sent out to all National/Regional Committee Liaisons!
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 2018 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 email us.
As we say goodbye to 2017, we welcome all the exciting opportunities and blessings 2018 will bring.
This past year was filled with hard times, from natural disasters to political and social upheavals. However, light overcomes darkness, and we saw the light in those who came together to help and be present to the ones in need.
Let’s bring this light into 2018! Let’s care for God’s Creation, as the Suriname women call us to. Let’s bring an end to violence against women and girls, as we join the Thursdays in Black campaign!
Together we may shine the light of peace, love and justice for all to see!
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1: 46-47
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus! In these tumultuous times, when our world is divided and struggling, we affirm our hope for peace and joy. Jesus, born to be the Prince of Peace, gives us the strength to care, to love, and to act for justice and peace.
Take this moment to remember the women of the Philippines and keep in mind the women of Suriname. Pray for all the women and girls around the world, that they may have a joyous Christmas. Together we will shine the light of peace and hope.
We wish all of our WDP sisters, friends, and ecumenical partners a very Merry Christmas!
We have compiled all of our decisions and reflections at the International Meeting of the World Day of Prayer held on August 20-27, in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil into one document.
You will find in the Report a brief summary of the workshops focus on the theme and WDP movement, and the Talking Wisdom and Care @ 10 conversations. It includes reports in Portuguese and Spanish and also the complete presentations at the plenary sessions, like the Bible studies and Worship meditations.
You can find it on our International Meeting page or click here.
A shorter version of this compilation will be offered in Spanish and French at a later date.
So, how can you use this resource?
First of all, please, share it with the WDP Committee and members widely. It may be also shared with church leaders and ecumenical partners at your local and national context. It is a resource for all.
Secondly, you can use it to inspire a follow up locally. You may organize workshops or small group conversations based on the topics or the methodology presented here. They can be used towards the preparation for the 2018 WDP Suriname program or throughout the year to follow up on the concerns raised.
Look especially for the Meditation of the Opening Celebration and the Bible Study on Genesis 1 for the 2018 WDP Suriname preparations. And read the Bible Study on Luke 14 and the Situation of Roma People for 2019 WDP Slovenia program.
Thirdly, join us in appreciation of WDP Brazil for their dedication in hosting the Meeting, and all delegates, facilitators, translators, and executive committee members who ecumenically shared leadership to make it happen.
Lastly, use it to prepare your country to participate in the next International Meeting in 2022.
See you there!
Dear WDP sisters, friends & ecumenical partners,
We are fast approaching the end of 2017, and we do have many joys and blessings to count!
Now, encouraged by the Suriname theme, we affirm “All God’s Creation is Very Good!”, and we repeat it in Sranan Tongue - “A heri grontapu di Gado meki bun doro, dóro!” Let’s take this message to our hearts, and move the world with our prayers.
During the Christmas season, my family and I have a special tradition. Do you know about the tradition of passing the light of Bethlehem from one Parish to another? The flame is taken from the candle at the grotto of Bethlehem and is shared all around the world as a sign that the Prince of Peace is shining everywhere. Usually the flame arrives in France during the second week of Advent with the help of the young Scouts. Then we receive the flame, and we keep it until Christmas arrives.
When passing the flame, we remember that Jesus was not born in a comfortable house or hospital, that the political situation was not stable or peaceful, that Bethlehem is still a little town with inhabitants who need our prayers. You too may light a candle and remember in your prayers all the suffering of this world, and welcome the Prince of Peace singing with the angels.
“Praise God in heaven! Peace on Earth to everyone who pleases God.”
(Gospel of Luke 2.14)
Sisters and friends, may we celebrate the baby Jesus born to be the Prince of Peace! May we grow in our faith and became the witnesses of peace and love, in our families, neighborhoods, cities or villages, country, churches, or workplace and “by this shall all men, all women know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13.35)
Thank you for your commitment, your engagement, your help, and your support to World Day of Prayer.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you,
Laurence Gangloff, WDPIC Chairperson
Today, Human Rights Day, marks the final day of the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence campaign but it does not mean our fight is over! We must continuously work beyond the days of these dedicated campaigns and work towards a world free of violence against women and girls. Our WDP sisters from around the world are taking lessons learned from the worship services and applying them to real life situations in order to promote awareness for the betterment of women and children. These following stories were taken from the 2016 & 2017 Journals.
In 2016, WDP Malaysia reflected on the theme “Receive children, Receive me” and thought about the refugee children in their country being denied their rights to an education. They affirmed in their service “that all children should be received equally, regardless of their sex or status, and education is very important for the future of refugee children.”
Similarly, Bulgaria highlighted the difficulties Roma children experience in their country as opposed to other children. Their main concern is to “make education accessible to them so they may have a better future.”
In Latin America this year, Argentina “vowed to work towards defending the rights of women and, above all, to combat gender [based] violence,” and Cuba renewed leadership with young woman engaging in the coordination of WDP and with this they will be able to more actively “promote campaigns for NO violence against children, and will use art to reach out to families in vulnerable situations.”
Panama used the 2017 theme of “Am I Being Unfair to You?” as an opportunity to bring awareness to the injustices faced by many woman. They created a game to show the inequality of wealth distributed and how the minority usually suffers the most. They used chairs to represent possessions and gave “the man” most of the chairs while those without chairs had to stand. It really impacted their service and it shows us how we must work together to fight establishments like this that oppress women and young girls.
As we celebrate this Advent season, we must remember all of the things Jesus has taught us through these WDP worship services. We must listen to Jesus’ words and help each other, not just one day, but every single day until the end of gender based violence.
Members of the National Committee in Australia took a stand at their Biennial Conference, in Brisbaine, to raise awareness on domestic violence. They learned about the Thursday in Black Campaign, reported by the members who attended the WDPIC International Meeting in Brazil. Some of the delegates have spent a life time working with women and children affected by domestic violence. “With crossed arms, symbolizing 'no to domestic violence', we have been challenged, to bring about change in all communities, through prayerful action," informed Vicki Marney, WDPIC Pacific Regional Representative and member of the Queensland Committee.
In the Cook Islands, Henrica Marona, WDPIC Pacific Regional Representative, joins all in prayers to end violence of women and girls: “Let us all be strengthened by our theme "All God's Creation is Good." As Jesus said, "Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and you will find."
Nora Carmi, the World Day of Prayer International Committee Regional Representative from Palestine in the Middle East, gives voice to the fight for the elimination of violence against women and girls during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
My name is Nora Carmi. I am a Palestinian from Jerusalem who has worked for over 40 years as a community builder seeking to help and empower society through informing women about their rights and making sure that all conventions, pertaining to women, are not only signed but implemented in full. We can not claim gender equality unless laws protecting women and empowering them are enforced and all forms of violence and discrimination against women in Palestine, the Middle East, and the whole world ends in all aspects of their lives.
From November 25th - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 1th – World Aids Days, and to December 10th – Human Rights Day as declared by the United Nations, communities and faith based organizations will be engaged in the campaign known as 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The 2017 theme is “Together We Can End Gender Based Violence in Education!”
We are extending the call to action from the Women’s Concerns Ministry of the National Council of Churches, which leads World Day of Prayer in India, to promote awareness that the education of women and girls are at risk because of gender based violence.
“As a mother, every morning I take the biggest leap of faith when I wave to my child as she leaves for school. The fear that lurks in my heart is: Will anyone touch the body of my child? Will anyone bully her in school? Will she face corporal punishment for not being able to answer? Our roads are not even safe enough to send our daughters and children walking to school,” shared a concerned mother from one of the Women’s Fellowship of Member Churches of the National Council of Churches during the World Day of Prayer event in Delhi while reflecting on the 2016 WDP theme “Receive Children, Receive Me.”
Similar concerns were presented in other countries, like Nigeria where prayer is lifted up in the midst of “poverty and increasing child abuse or trafficking, and the devastating activities of fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram, who kidnapped girls from school in 2014.” Or, Sierra Leone, who vowed to "lobby for children who are rejected, neglected, and often looked over due to disabilities, by promoting their educational rights and also foster children and victims of trafficking.”
At the WDP International Meeting, participants of the group conversation ‘Reaching out to Children’ recognized that around the world children are been trafficked, working to put food on the table, or raising themselves when they lose their parents to war or HIV/Aids.
Ms. Moumita Biswas, Executive Secretary of Women’s Concerns Ministry of the National Council of Churches in India and WDPIC Asia Regional Representative, points out “We need to address gender norms at all levels and across multiple settings to prevent gender based violence in schools and the society at large. Violence towards girls and children begins in their own home. Only publicizing child protection polices in school cannot end violence towards children. Therefore we need to have a multi-dimensional, holistic approach to end gender based violence in education.”
We invite you to build upon these stories and campaigns and advocate for an end to all forms of gender-based violence in education. We should not have to live in fear when our children do something as simple as go to school. We must speak up and together bring awareness to this issue.
Let’s affirm with the 2018 WDP Suriname theme that "All God’s Creation is Good” thus girls and women should live free of violence.
Buscando sabedoria para cuidar da criação de Deus
Seeking wisdom to care for God’s creation in Portuguese, written on the conference hall banner, set the context of the International Committee Meeting of World Day of Prayer, held in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil from August 20-27, 2017. The theme was an invitation to collectively commit our prayer and action towards environment care, which is the focus of the 2018 WDP program written by the Suriname committee.
We had an intense and participatory program. It was collaboratively led by delegates, guests, and the executive committee members. We were 188 participants representing 81 countries. We came together to continue building the WDP movement and make decisions about the international leadership and programs for the next term.
WDP Brazil as hosting country welcomed the participants and gave us a sense of the three frontier states (Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina) with a cultural presentation by a group of young dancers and musicians from Paraguay.
The opening celebration was based on the Suriname worship service with the theme “All God’s creation is very good!” Silvia Regina Lima e Silva introduced the Bible Study based on Genesis 1:2.1-4 during the meditation moment and concluded the study on the next day. The hermeneutic perspective that crossed the reflection was hope. The hope proclaimed, affirmed, and experienced in the midst of pain, the denial of life, and in the midst of chaos.
Sarah de Roure gave a presentation on the environmental context and communities in Brazil, telling the stories of the indigenous women in the Amazon and the indiscriminate exploitation of the rain forest through predatory economic practices such as mining, large-scale logging, water and soil contamination by livestock and soybean plantations.
The WDP program is grounded in the Bible, and that always makes the Bible study sessions a key moment in our formation process. Besides Silvia Silva, there were two other theologians guiding the Bible Study. Dora Arce Valentin chose the text of Proverbs 31:10-31 to challenge WDP women to see the potential that this movement can represent globally and locally when wisdom inspires transformation.
Ulrike Bechmann led the Bible study on Luke 14:15-24 introducing the theme of the 2019 program written by WDP Slovenia: “Come – Everything is Ready.” There is a moment of justice - when the poor is empowered to come to the table and the rich to be changed. The slave is an enabler of the transformation and we can ask ourselves, how can WDP be an enabler?
There were two set of workshops. One day the focus was on the theme of the meeting, and the next day was focused on ways to renew and strengthen the WDP movement. Also, twelve small thematic groups were previously formed on a variety of topics to allow for meaningful conversations that would impact WDP action and response in the communities.
A community building session invited the participants to share and pray together. A choir was formed by the participants who sang new songs with the help of the song leaders. Plus, we celebrated the meeting of women from the reformation and WDP women, telling the story of women’s leadership in the past and today. A prayer room where any participant could spend some quite time praying and meditating was set and available at all times.
On Thursday, we wore black in solidarity with the Thursday in Black campaign to say no to rape and violence. It was powerful! We will bring that awareness to our WDP committee and community.
On the last day, the outgoing and newly elected executive members met to pass along information about their region and to encourage the new leadership. The working group on themes and writer countries revised all the submissions received, and based on the areas of concern of the worldwide movement, the urges of our time, the basic structure and capacity of the national committees, the geographic balance, and with prayers, they selected the next five themes and writer countries. The delegates of the selected countries met with the new chairperson and executive director to have a brief overview of the writing process and timeline.
The closing worship service is the moment of entrusting the new leadership with their responsibility and prayers for guidance. The offering collected was dedicated to the Fund for Tomorrow, which enables young women and national committees with limited resources to be part of the international meeting. The committees in Greece, Lebanon, Palestine, Sweden, and Uruguay gave their offering in honor of a leader in their country. To read their stories visit our Honored Women's page.