<![CDATA[World Day of Prayer International - Latest News]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2023 18:55:58 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Fund For Tomorrow Honoree: Paquita Roberts]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2023 20:02:55 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/fund-for-tomorrow-honoree-paquita-roberts​Honored by Chaplain's Council of Montclair Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Paquita H. Roberts was a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a sister, an aunt, a friend, but most of all a Child of God. 

March 2, 1938 was a cold winter night when Clifton and Corine Rhue Hudson welcomed their first beautiful, vibrant, and healthy baby girl into their family. She was named Paquita Geraldine.  
Paquita gave her life to Christ as a young teenager and never looked back. She was a woman of God who shone her light everywhere she went. She lived her life believing that we are all charged with spreading the Gospel to others.  

Her faith never wavered, it only became stronger as an adult with her untiring service and commitment to her church, her family, her friends and her community. A Prayer Warrior. A woman who prayed for all without ceasing.  

Matthew 5:16 reads, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Some people you just love the moment you meet them and Paquita was that person, the epitome of a true, Christian godly woman, a beacon of light!  

This anointed servant leader of God was the Chaplain and Chairperson for the Chaplain’s Council of Montclair Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. As a Chaplain, Paquita ensured that the chapter’s members and community were provided with prayer, inspirational support, and assistance with strenuous life occurrences. She initiated Montclair Alumnae Chapter, celebrating the World Day of Prayer Annually, with Christian women around the globe as a chapter initiative.  

Paquita believed that your light shines by loving people and sharing and spreading the light and love of God to others. She would explain to her three children, that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket but a lamp is meant to be placed to give light to everything and to everyone around it.  

Paquita passed away on July 9, 2022 and her light became brighter in the legacy she left behind.  
If Paquita H. Roberts was here on earth, she would say, “You are the light of the world; so go ahead and don’t be afraid to SHINE!” 

<![CDATA[Young Women's Pilgrimage]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2023 15:25:13 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/young-womens-pilgrimageWe are excited to announce the very first Young Women's Pilgrimage for our World Day of Prayer movement! This journey is open to women ages 21-35 who are engaged with, and passionate about World Day of Prayer.

We will be accepting applications for a limited number of participants. The pilgrimage will include 14 participants from around the world, representing each of our 7 regions. The journey will be co-led by the WDP Palestine Committee and our WDPIC Executive Director, Katie Reimer.

To apply, email us for the application form at admin@worlddayofprayer.net. The first round of applications will be reviewed after the deadline of Monday, May 15, 2023.

With excitement and gratitude,
Katie Reimer
Executive Director, WDPIC

<![CDATA[The Soul Felt Its Worth]]>Thu, 22 Dec 2022 16:19:34 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/the-soul-felt-its-worth
Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining, 
it is the night of the dear Savior's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 
'til he appeared and the soul felt its worth.” 

Minuit Chrétien (O Holy Night), Lyrics by Placide Cappeau, Paraphrased by John S. Dwight 

O Holy Night has been my favorite Christmas carol for as long as I can remember. And yet, it was only this year that I noticed the line “the soul felt its worth.” What a powerful thought! The soul feels its worth when gazing upon the baby Jesus. The soul feels its worth when realizing that God chose to become vulnerable and small so that we could come close to God. The soul feels its worth when recognizing that God will do anything to help us see how profoundly loved we are. 
I think it is significant that God chose to come through Mary, who describes herself as lowly. Low in status and importance. In Mary’s famous song and prayer, the Magnificat, she exclaims: 
“My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, 
and my spirit rejoices in you, my savior. 
For you have looked with favor 
upon your lowly servant, 
and from this day forward 
all generations will call me blessed. 
For you, the almighty, have done great things for me, 
and holy is your name. 
Your mercy reaches from age to age 
for those who fear you. 
You have shown strength with your arm;  
you have scattered the proud in their conceit; 
You have deposed the mighty from their thrones  
and raised the lowly to high places. 
You have filled the hungry with good things,  
while you have sent the rich away empty.”  

Luke 1:46-53 (The Inclusive Bible) 
Mary felt her worth when being asked to bring God into the world in the form of Jesus. And even more than that, Mary recognized that God choosing a woman from the social margins had significance for all of us. Every single one of us is worthy in the eyes of God. We are not worthy in the eyes of God because of our social status, wealth or power. We are not worthy because of our talents or our wisdom or our achievements. We are worthy simply because we are God’s beloved creation. We are worthy simply because God loves us. 
After choosing to come into the world through the “lowly” Mary, God invites the “lowly” shepherds to be the first eyewitnesses of the newborn baby. It’s a striking choice. It wasn’t the religious leaders or the political leaders who received the first invitation. It was the shepherds. The shepherds - who stood on the bottom rung of the social ladder of the time. The shepherds - who were considered second-class citizens - detestable and worthless and untrustworthy. 
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see this event that God has made known to us.” They hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Once they saw this, they reported what they had been told concerning the child. All who heard about it were astonished at the report given by the shepherds.Luke 2:15-18 (The Inclusive Bible)
The shepherds felt their worth at being honored with the first invitation to behold the Christ child. They hurried to gaze upon the baby lying in the manger. That gazing upon Jesus was a form of prayer. And that gazing upon Jesus changed them forever. Emmanuel! God is with us! After being profoundly moved by gazing upon the God who came close, the shepherds went and spread the good news to everyone they knew. And all were astonished. Perhaps astonished because God had come in the form of a baby. Or perhaps astonished because they were hearing the news from the “lowly” shepherds. 
My prayer for each of us this Christmas is that our gazing upon the nativity scene would be a prayer that changes us forever. That as we gaze, we would see that God longs for us to feel our worth. That as we gaze, we would recognize we are deeply loved by God. And that as we gaze, our souls would feel their worth. 
​By Katie Reimer, Executive Director, WDPIC 
<![CDATA[A Messiah is Born]]>Mon, 19 Dec 2022 18:16:17 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/a-messiah-is-born
Madonna and Child in Lily Field, by Patricia Brintle (patriciabrintle.com), Used by permission
It is a great joy to share my first Christmas message with you.  

We are still dealing with the difficulties of a post COVID era. Businesses are struggling to regain what was lost. People are dealing with the loss of their loved ones. We are all still adjusting to the new normal. Despite all of this, as Christians, we believe that hope is not lost. The Prophet Isaiah declared:  

For to us a child is born, 
to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

The prophecy was fulfilled when the Messiah was born in the little town of Bethlehem. The angels announced it to the shepherds and a bright shining star led the three wise men to visit and give their gifts.  

Today we join in celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but a critical question remains for us to answer: What does the birth of Christ mean to us as Christians in these trying times?  

I dare say that the birth of Christ gives us hope that God has come and will solve the problems that are impossible for us. The birth of Christ assures us that God will give us liberation from all forms of oppression - mental, physical, emotional or psychological. All we need to do is to surrender to God’s wise counsel. As we open our hearts to receive Christ, we can sing with the angels in Luke 2:14:  

Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. 
I wish you all a joyous Christmas and a very prosperous 2023. Join me in singing one of my favorite carols, as we come together to adore Jesus the Christ: 
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant 
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem 
O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels 
O come, let us adore Him 
O come, let us adore Him 
O come, let us adore Him 
Christ the Lord 
By Joyce Larko Steiner, WDPIC Chairperson
<![CDATA[My Prayer of Thanksgiving]]>Wed, 06 Jul 2022 18:23:48 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/my-prayer-of-thanksgivingI will extol the Lord at all times; 
    His praise will always be on my lips. 
I will glory in the Lord; 
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 
Glorify the Lord with me; 
    let us exalt His Name together. (Psalm 34:1-3) Picture
The Psalmist sums up my praise and thanksgiving to the Lord at what has happened in my life. 

On June 16, 2022, history was made as I became the first African Woman to be elected as the Chairperson for the World Day of Prayer International Committee after about 100 years of the existence of the movement. The WDP Africa Region went agog in their respective countries to celebrate this feat and it continues to this day.   

I want to reflect a bit on the journey to this position which has not always been smooth, but has always been fulfilling. In 1994, I joined the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) as the Youth Programme Coordinator and I had the opportunity to work with the Youth Desks of both the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and World Council of Churches (WCC), thus introducing me into the ecumenical movement. I was so sure that I wanted to do this work, so I put in all my effort, even though there were so many hurdles. God held my hand at each stage to jump over the hurdles, leading to growth.  

The World Day of Prayer Ghana Committee is hosted by the Women and Gender Programme of the CCG, so in 2001 when I became the Programme Coordinator of the unit, I was highly involved in the movement and became the Liaison Officer. I attended my first International Meeting in Swanick 2003, and I marveled at the commitment of women to prayer and prayerful actions all over the World. At the 2007 Toronto meeting, I was more convinced that I had a role to play in this movement but I still felt the time was not ripe yet. At the 2012 New York meeting, I was nominated to be a Regional Representative for Africa. I won the election, together with Henriette from Cameroon. At our first Executive Committee meeting in New York, I said that the time had come for Africa to tell the world that we are capable. And indeed, in the Brazil 2017 meeting, we showcased the achievements of Africa and our mandate was renewed to serve a second term through 2022. 

I remember when I answered the call to present myself to serve the Movement as the Chairperson from 2022 – 2027. It was at an Executive Committee meeting in Ossining, New York, in 2018, and I felt a burden lifted off me. And today, the call is answered. 

“What can I offer the movement?” is one question that I have asked myself in the last few days. I have prayed about it. I have so many things on my heart and mind but I will focus on 2 major priorities. 

My first priority is to build a strong movement, with a focus on sustaining the World Day of Prayer into another hundred years. I will be very intentional with young women’s involvement at all levels, from the National to the Regional to the International. This can be done when young women identify with the WDP Guiding Principles, buy into them, and commit to them. We could have virtual sessions with young women, and provide the space and enabling environment for them to operate. Young women have so much to offer, and I will support them.  

My second priority is to explore innovative ways of getting all national committees to contribute their widow’s mite to the movement. This will allow us to build a strong financial foundation for the movement as we strive to build on the work and ministry of our predecessors. 

At this moment, I humbly request all members of this movement to support me, as together we can make a difference. I hear the assurance of God to me in the book of the prophet Isaiah:  

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, 
    whose right hand I have grasped 
to subdue nations before him 
    and to strip kings of their robes, 
to open doors before him— 
    and the gates shall not be closed: 
I will go before you 
    and level the mountains;I will break in pieces the doors of bronze 
    and cut through the bars of iron; 
I will give you the treasures of darkness 
    and riches hidden in secret places, 
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, 
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 
For the sake of my servant Jacob 
    and Israel my chosen, 
I call you by your name; 
    I give you a title, though you do not know me. 
I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isaiah: 45:1-5) 
Surely, if God chooses you, He will prepare the way for you. Just seek His face and listen to His direction. 
- Joyce Larko Steiner, WDPIC Chairperson
<![CDATA[From Glory to Glory]]>Mon, 09 May 2022 20:31:13 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/from-glory-to-glory
Magnolia Tree at New York Botanical Gardens, April 2022, Photograph by Katie Reimer, Used by permission
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

My first week as the Executive Director for World Day of Prayer International Committee has been full of excitement, apprehension, new learnings, and discoveries. I am astounded by the richness of this prayer movement. The vibrant history. The powerful guiding principles. The creative liturgy. I have been profoundly moved by the many ways I see the Spirit working within and through the World Day of Prayer. 
I have been listening closely during my first week with you. I have been listening to you - to your stories, your dreams, and your fears. I have been listening to our predecessors - to their vision, their wisdom and their legacy. I have been listening to the world - to her cries, her longings, and her openings. And I have been listening to how the Spirit is blowing in our midst. I have been listening closely. And I plan to keep listening. 
In the passage from 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul is alluding to the way Moses’ face would shine after speaking with God (Exodus 34:29). It was clear to everyone around Moses that the skin of his face was glowing with the glory of God. As Moses listened to God, he was changed. In the same way, Paul assures us that we, too, will be changed. We will be changed by lingering in God’s presence, by listening to the Spirit. We, too, will be transformed from “glory to glory.” 
And so, I am lingering in God’s presence, and I am listening to the Spirit. As I have been listening to you, I have seen in your voices the face of God. I have already found myself transformed as I’ve started to hear some of your deepest yearnings for this already powerful World Day of Prayer movement. Your yearnings are now my yearnings. I smile as I write this, thinking of the journey ahead, when we will move from “glory to glory,” our faces shining from the knowledge of God. 
The only thing that is required of us is an openness to the movement of the Spirit. I have been humming a sung prayer that I co-wrote a few years ago with Jorge Lockward. In it, I hear the Spirit’s invitation to me, to you, and to the whole World Day of Prayer movement. 
-​ Katie Reimer,
​Incoming WDPIC Executive Director

Here We Are 

Here we are, 
here we are, 
to be changed.  
Here we are, 
here we are, 
to become.  
Shape us, 
transform us 
​in your Word. 
Words & Music: Katie Reimer & Jorge Lockward © 2018 Katie Reimer and Jorge Lockward
<![CDATA[Welcome the new WDPIC Executive Director]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2022 21:18:23 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/welcome-the-new-wdpic-executive-directorPictureKatie Reimer, Incoming WDPIC Executive Director
For years, World Day of Prayer has gathered women, young people, children and communities around the world under its unique appeal of being united in prayer and actions of solidarity for peace and justice. It may be a local group worshipping together or a national wide educational campaign on a particular issue. With the strength rooted in a spirituality of listening, the first Friday of March brings to light this circle of prayer to visibility!

I have had the blessing of serving this international circle of prayer since 2012, when I was welcomed as executive director. I am deeply grateful for the blessings, learning, and growth that this community has given me. Now it is time to continue widening the circle and welcome the new executive director of World Day of Prayer International Committee. I am delighted to have the chance of sharing leadership with Katie Reimer until my term concludes on August 1st.

What has brought Katie Reimer to WDP is her own spiritual practice of “cultivating embodied practices and rituals in community.” For her, “worship and prayer connect us to God most profoundly when we connect deeply to ourselves, our neighbors, and all of creation.” Katie is “deeply moved by WDP’s central commitment to the power of women’s voices and incarnate experiences of God” and recognizes that WDP “has faithfully connected women committed to the way of Jesus across boundaries, creating an expansive ecology that nourishes abundant life. The vision of Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action speaks to the way of Jesus, who prayed from an intimate awareness of the struggles of the world, while also acting from a place of profound connection to the Divine.” (Extracted from Katie’s cover letter)

Katie recently completed her Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in New York with a concentration in Inter-religious Engagement; after a Bachelor and Master education in piano performance. She is the founder, artistic & executive director of Mimesis Ensemble where she performs and records music from the 20th and 21st centuries. She has acted as artist in residence, song composer, life stream meditation guide, devotional video designer, song leader and choir conductor, worship writer and leader, and preacher in churches in New York City and across the United States, also at women and church national and international conferences.

Katie is prepared to listen, lead, and join this community of Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action. Let’s take our tambourines and with dancing and singing praise God like the prophet Myriam and the women, as God is journeying ahead of us (Exodus 15:20). Amen!

Rosangela S. Oliveira,
Outgoing WDPIC Executive Director

<![CDATA[“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep…”]]>Mon, 11 Apr 2022 21:27:36 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/daughters-of-jerusalem-do-not-weep
​During Lent, I often reflect on the words that Jesus said: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children (Luke 23: 28).”

I imagine Jesus, catching his breath after being relieved from the weight of the cross by Simon of Cyrene. Jesus was wounded and certainly weakened after all the tortures inflicted on him. Jesus, who in a single breath, said to the ones following him, including a couple of women: “For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (verses 29-31)

Women, do not weep for me, but rather for yourselves!

These words echo the news of the moment: wars covered in the media, injustices ignored by the international press, ecological disasters, terrible cries of distress, or even more deafening the silence from those who no longer have the strength to call out for help or cry… Yes, I like to imagine that when Jesus said those words, he wanted to offer comfort… just as he did in the garden of the tomb, on Sunday morning, when Mary of Magdala went to the tomb to discover that his body was no longer there (John 20:11-18).

Why are you crying?

Mary thought a gardener was speaking to her, but a simple call of her first name "Mary!" was enough to make her open the eyes and discover that the Risen Jesus was standing before her. I like to reread this passage from John, in chapter 20. A great tenderness emanates from the text. Mary is the first woman to discover Jesus is alive. For her, who has known tears, there is a future to hope for -- “I know the plans I have for you”. And for those among us who are sad or overwhelmed, a cry invites us to get back on the road.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Mary's cry of joy replaced her cries of pain and lamentation. I even imagine tears of joy flowing down her face, where a few hours before there were tears of pain. Suffering is not that hard to imagine, it is so prevalent right now. But on this Easter morning, sisters and brothers, believe that Jesus is here, very present and that He will be able to say to us "I have heard about your faith" and while waiting for this beautiful moment, let us shout joyfully with our Christian sisters from Jerusalem "He is risen, He is risen indeed!”

Receive my warmest regards and all my gratitude,
Laurence Gangloff
WDPIC Chairperson
<![CDATA[My Faith Journey in World Day of Prayer]]>Mon, 28 Feb 2022 16:12:17 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/my-faith-journey-in-world-day-of-prayerPicture
What does the World Day of Prayer (WDP) mean to me? World Day of Prayer has been part of my faith journey, since my grandmother used to take me with her on Friday to be part of the World Day of Prayer service. At that time, I did not know what was exactly going on, but I remember that as children we had to behave, and we were involved in the service. I never thought that my role would be extended to be committed to translating the materials into Arabic since 1990. At that time, the worship service was also known as the “Ecumenical day”.  

The World Day of Prayer is indeed an ecumenical day still. It is an experience of crossing borders together with other churches, and be enriched together. I believe this day challenges us to recognize that we cannot understand our faith away from the other, discovering the blessings received as we pray together. As Christians in the Middle East praying together is an urgent need for presence, role and impact.

The World Day of Prayer challenges us to cross borders with other countries, no matter where they are. Discovering how God is at work even in the farthest countries. World Day of Prayer is a solidarity chain where we are connected as the body of Christ.  

The World Day of Prayer is a day where we hear the voices of women. As they tell their stories of struggle from their perspective, we look at their insights in explaining the Bible and raising issues of injustice.  

The World Day of Prayer teaches us the deeper meaning of prayer. It is a time when we pray for others even when we are used to praying for ourselves. Even when we are in pain, we are challenged to pray for others' pain. To pray for countries that our political agendas are not aligned with. This day helps us to see beyond what we hear on the news and to see the people of God as our brothers and sisters no matter where they are. We meet on the level of God’s call that all may have an abundant life.  

I believe that during the distancing that COVID-19 created in the world, the WDP is a shaping experience against distancing, an experience of belonging to the Body of Christ in the world.  

We come together as the WDP to envision how we can be in mission today. How we can be the church for today that believes that prayer changes reality and together we can have a better tomorrow, hopefully with justice for all. “What does the Lord require” of us today is a key question that every service pauses on us.  

The World Day of Prayer is a day of hope, trusting that our prayers in action will change the World. 

By Rev. Najla Kassab, WDP Lebanon
(Reflection presented at the WDP Middle East Regional Meeting on 1/26/2022) 
<![CDATA[#WDPHope]]>Mon, 07 Feb 2022 15:00:00 GMThttp://worlddayofprayer.net/latest-news/wdphopePicture
On the first Friday of March 2022, communities across the world will come together to launch the celebration of the World Day of Prayer prepared by the women of England, Wales and Northern Ireland!     

The 2022 theme,I Know the Plans I Have for You, is an invitation to have faith in God even when we don’t see or imagine hope, because surely God has a plan for each of us, plans filled with hope and promise. 

Like 2021, we expect that WDP celebrations will be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as each country, region, town, and village are still dealing with the health crisis. We are grateful for the vaccines available and watch with concern for the communities that still do not have access to them 

This is a time to be reminded of at least two of the WDP Guiding Principles. WDP services are an invitation to receive prayer and to be responsible and creative in organizing it according to the current pandemic context we live in. All of us have something to give and to receive. Through the WDP offering, women share their resources with women and children around the world. Be creative and supportive!   

What have we learned over the last two years that can be used for the 2022 WDP celebrations?  

  1. Have a conversation about #WDPHope with close friends, at home, or over the phone. You may discover how to pray with simplicity like during the beginning of the WDP movement. 
  2. Stay safe and in places where physical gatherings are allowed, adjust the activities to follow the local health protocols. 
  3. Connect online and worship together! WDP National Committees are offering alternatives to local groups to celebrate. We invite you to connect with the people you met before during WDP activities, or search your committee’s website for more information, and find out how to get the materials to celebrate in a creative way. Make it simple! Focus on what links us together as #WDPUnitedInPrayer.  
  4. Celebrate WDP at home with your family! Perhaps it will be an opportunity for your family to discover why you are so committed to this prayer movement.  
  5. The offering is usually given during the worship service. You are invited to connect with the WDP committee in your country to learn how you can send your offering that will allow WDP to continue its commitment to support the communities in need. The WDP offering is a sign of our “Prayerful Action.”  

Tell us your #WDPHope! Email it or tag @WDPIC on Facebook and @worlddayofprayerinternational on Instagram! Share you experience so that the world may discover the commitment WDP women have in the healing of their communities. 

Also, remember that on June 16-18, 2022, WDP National Committees will gather for a unique experience: the very first virtual World Day of Prayer International Committee Meeting, for “New Heart, New Mind, Called to Hope!” Be on the lookout for more information. 

Together with our England, Wales, Northern Ireland sisters we light the candle and pray: 

God, our Mother and our Father, 
we light a candle of hope 
to celebrate with all your people 
as we watch and wait for your plans and promises to be fulfilled. 
- Laurence Gangloff, WDPIC Chairperson