Dear sisters and WDP friends,
Soon, we will sing joyfully with all the community “The day thou gavest, Lord is ended…” Finally the day has come after this long preparation! For most of the National Committees and local groups, the preparatory work started one year ago, but for our Suriname sisters, the writing process began in 2014.
Together, WDP Suriname and the WDP International Committee developed the collaborative conversation to have the worship service resources prepared. Now, you are also part of this collaborative conversation as your community engages with the theme “All God’s Creation is very good.”
During one of the preparatory days attended by Laurence, a lady told her “this is the happiest service! Thank you to God, to the Suriname sisters, and to the ones who started the process.” So for sure, the 3rd stanza will reflect what we are doing around the globe!
“As o'er each continent and island
the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor dies the strain of praise away.”
In the letter from WDP Suriname you will learn of their committees latest actions. They informed their government about the World Day of Prayer but also the major climate issues raised by the celebration. Prayer into action! Thank you, sisters, for showing us the way.
We hope you will also take time to play the environmental game with children and learn, through simple practical examples, how to care for God’s creation.
Now, let us celebrate, share our joy and get involved. We are part of God’s creation, and remember that “All God’s Creation is very good!”
God Bless you, God bless your service!
Laurence Gangloff, Chairperson
Rosângela Oliveira, Executive Director
Click here to download the Spanish & French versions of the letter:
The World Day of Prayer 2018 is soon to be celebrated around the world on Friday the 2nd of March.
Suriname as the theme country is very excited and also humbled to be the center of all your prayers.
We enjoy and thank you all for your interest in our country, culture, music, artwork and the service. It was very beautiful to see and hear about all of your preparations for the different services. The Suriname committee is very proud and enthusiastic as well, and we have also brought this celebration to the attention of our government.
However, along with the enthusiasm to celebrate we must also reflect on the fact that we have to take better care of our environment and of God’s creation. God prepared and created a world for us that was very good. Unfortunately we did not appreciate what we got as a gift, and treated it very poorly. Today we, and also the whole creation, suffer from the damages that we have brought to it mostly because of our greed and strive for comfort and/or convenience.
The earth where we have to live in is suffering. Our rivers, oceans and air are polluted, the ozone layer is damaged, and many countries suffer from terrible disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and so on. Even the animals in the rivers and seas get wrapped up in our plastic waste. Beautiful creatures go extinct because we do not care enough to stop hunting them. Many children are born with disabilities because of the pollution in the rivers and the air. In the various visits we brought to the government we also expressed our concern for our environment.
Today and every other day, we the women of the Suriname World Day of Prayer committee want and will take a stand to plead for God’s creation.
We will confess our shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive us and to help us be better care takers of His very good creation.
“All God’s creation is very good”
WDP Suriname Chairperson
As we immerse ourselves in the program developed by WDP Suriname for the 2018 celebration, we are reminded why the theme “All God’s Creation is Very Good” is so important and relevant to our daily lives.
The Earth, God’s beautiful creation, is our home. However, we have heard and experienced situations that show that our home is in desperate need of love and care. It is not only because of human made environmental disasters, irresponsible developments, uncontrollable wildfires, river contaminations, deforestation or the endangerment of species but also, for the lifestyle, xenophobia, environmental racism or gender based violence, that we join our Surinamese sisters and “confess that we have not done enough to advocate for God’s creation and be caretakers of our neighbours.”
“Environmental Justice is as much about people as it is about issues like pollution and climate change,” affirmed Catherine Akale* at the WDP International Meeting.
We need to be aware and take action!
The story of creation (Genesis 1-2:4) is the main Bible text for this program. During the WDP International Meeting, theologian Silvia Silva* offered us resources to listen to the wisdom of the story. The text “dates back to the exile in Babylon. [In which] behind such beautiful poetry, there are the exiled people, people who have been deported, uprooted far away from their land, their people, their culture and their religion. In a context where the god of the Empire justifies slavery, it was important to recover and state that: “our God is the creator of everything,” and that same God transforms chaos of oppression in a beautiful household that human beings may inhabit.
The wisdom that runs through the text is hope. Hope proclaimed, affirmed, and experienced amid pain, the denial of life, and chaos. The beginning of creation is not evil or sin; creation is good. All beings created by God are good. Let us think and feel for a brief moment the prophetic and transforming strength in this statement: “And God saw that it was good.”
Like our brothers and sisters in exile in Babylon, we also affirm the goodness of creation amid evil, environmental destruction, and social injustice. We affirm its goodness as a word of hope; “goodness that we need to recover through our prophetic and transforming action.”
We invite you to reflect on the environmental justice issues that affect your community. What can you do to keep God’s creation good?
*Click here for the full text.