Young Women's Pilgrimage
We 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The first round of applications will be reviewed after the deadline of Monday, May 15, 2023.
With excitement and gratitude,
Executive Director, WDPIC
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?
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,
- Laurence Gangloff, WDPIC Chairperson
Candles and Seeds of Hope
As we look forward to the World Day of Prayer service on Friday 4th March 2022, we feel excited and blessed at the prospect of sharing our service with the world. The WDP 2022 service has been written by the women of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and many denominations were represented in the writing groups.
The theme of the service is “I know the Plans I have for You” and two significant parts of this service involve the lighting of seven candles, to celebrate hope, and the distribution of seeds, as a sign of hope. With all that the world has been through recently it is an appropriate theme, with promise, and is an invitation to place our trust in God at all times.
The past two years have been challenging and rewarding affecting the way the National Committee and local branches in England, Wales and Northern Ireland usually work. We prayed for perseverance and strength to survive the difficulties, learning all sorts of new skills quickly that enabled us to keep connected. Our world is experiencing a traumatic pandemic. However, the majority of people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have now had two vaccinations and a booster.
Although we are separated physically, we are united spiritually. Our candles and seeds in our service represent hope and this is the best message we can give to our sisters throughout the world. Our God is real and intercedes in the world and in all situations. Come and celebrate with us, your sisters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Friday 4th March 2022.
Chair WDP England, Wales and Northern Ireland
On November 19th 2021, WDPIC, in collaboration with the World Day of Prayer England, Wales and Northern Ireland Committee, hosted a Global Conversation based on the WDP 2022 program and theme, "I Know the Plans I Have For You" (Jeremiah 29:1-14). It was a great opportunity for the writing committee to introduce themselves and their experience developing the program for 2022.
The preparation of the service and related materials began in November 2018. The writing process was long, slow, and quite structured. The program has been thought, talked, and prayed over by about 50 women over a period of more than two years.
The overarching theme of the service is HOPE - very appropriate for this time when the world is coming to terms with the ongoing risks of a pandemic and the looming climate crisis. HOPE is depicted through the lighting of candles, the distribution of seeds and the exchange of message worldwide via social media using #WDPhope. The service also offers us all an opportunity to appreciate more clearly the enormity of God.
All this work will come to fruition on Friday, March 4th 2022 when we gather for prayers and actions around the world.
Watch this conversation below!
Dear sisters and friends of World Day of Prayer,
It's Advent and Christmastime again.
Strangely enough, this year I feel particularly close to the shepherds (Luke 2:8). They kept the flocks of sheep outside the city, in the fields, far from their warm houses and their cozy beds. Their job imposed this distance. I am reminded of the isolation into which our world has been thrown because of the pandemic, and I notice how the places of isolation have reversed. They were alone outside the cities while we are isolated inside our homes.
I imagine the shepherds gathering around a fire to warm themselves by sharing stories and songs. This image comes from the festive evenings around the campfires during my childhood. But today I think of the people who set out to find a safer country than their own. No campfire or warm home awaits them. And I notice how humans, in some places, are no longer able to take care of those who need it most. The shepherds protected the sheep by their presence. Our society is desperately looking for its shepherds, its protectors.
In our context today, I love to hear the words of the angel:
“Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
Luke's Gospel, chapter 2, verses 10-12, in its two-thousand-year-old wisdom reminds us that we can abandon all our fears. For good news is proclaimed for each of us: the birth of a Savior. And much more (verse 14):
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
I hear in these words that an immense gift is given to us personally: the peace of God. It is up to us to receive the peace of God in our hearts. It is up to us to make it grow in our daily life, so that we can bring peace, justice and love into this world.
I wish that God's peace be in your heart, in your home, in your city, in your country and in the world.
Laurence Gangloff, WDPIC Chairperson
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Qué ha mudado desde la pandemia?
En las reuniones por videollamada, de preparación por motivo de la pandemia y los cambios en las situaciones de vida de las integrantes del Comité, hemos considerado importante tener un tiempo para compartir individualmente cómo nos sentimos. Esto nos ha beneficiado para estrechar las relaciones, siendo un tiempo para escucharnos y fortalecernos. Oramos unas por las otras en cada situación de vida difícil, de trabajo o separación de seres queridos por fallecimiento. Buscamos al reunirnos y mantenernos cerca, actuar con empatía y solidaridad por la vida de quienes sufren para dar esperanza en medio de las dificultades y limitaciones.
Las rutinas en la vida de las mujeres y su disposición de tiempo se han recargado para algunas por trabajo a distancia dentro del hogar y atención a la educación de hijas e hijos y otras horas de estudio a distancia también. Las medidas y cuidados de otras personas dentro del hogar o familia también fueron delegadas y hacia las mujeres.
Estamos en oración
Oramos por las familias, por personas contagiadas de COVID19, por quienes perdieron a un ser querido. Ha sido duro y dramático enfrentar la muerte de seres queridos por la manera en que se realizan los traslados y entierros de los cuerpos. Hemos conversado y reflexionado sobre el temor frente a la naturalización de las muertes a causa de COVID19 y la fragilidad en retirar la sensibilidad y empatía por las pérdidas cercanas.
Observamos como situación traumática las diferentes formas de cómo se asume la pandemia en cada hogar. En medio de las restricciones, se ha enfrentado con tanta dificultad las enfermedades por la falta de acceso a la salud y servicios colapsados para atender a pacientes regulares. Estas emociones encontradas las hemos compartido, recordando que la fe en Jesús es la que nos fortalece para continuar, siendo solidarias, manifestando empatía para con las hermanas y compañeras de DMO. De cierta manera es una guerra vivida de diferente forma, nos levantamos, oramos por las y los enfermos, nos mantenemos pendientes del curso de la enfermedad y del proceso de salud de amigas y familiares.
Estando en casa durante la preparación y reuniones, nuestros familiares se interesaron en participar en la celebración, y de seguir conociendo sobre los países, así como se involucraron apoyando los equipos para realizar las reuniones en las plataformas digitales.
Conocer para transformar
Agradecemos que, durante este año difícil, pudimos mantener comunicación por mensajes (WhatsApp), llamadas, y reuniones en zoom; de esta forma nos vimos fortaleciéndonos unas a las otras. Es un agradecimiento a Dios por la vida y la salud, y por encontrar junto a las amigas y hermanas maneras de accionar para continuar el ministerio del DMO.
Agradecidas de tener la oportunidad de realizar la celebración y orar por Vanuatu, así como afirmar nuestro compromiso en trabajar por los derechos de las mujeres, la juventud y las niñas y niños. Conocer la realidad del país Vanuatu nos permite seguir sensibilizándonos y desafiándonos al compromiso con el Reino de Dios.
Aprendimos y recordamos a través del trasfondo del país de Vanuatu a “valorar el trabajo que hacen las mujeres y la alegría con la que lo hacen.” Nos sentimos animadas al leer sobre ellas, siendo protagonistas del desarrollo de su país de su nación. Nos sentimos conmovidas e inspiradas al reconocer que las mujeres son valientes. De esta forma deseamos transmitirlo de manera similar a las mujeres en Guatemala lo que aprendimos de las mujeres hermanas de Vanuatu.
Para algunas mujeres jóvenes que participaron por primera vez en la celebración por medio de Facebook, les impactó las situaciones de vida de las mujeres de Vanuatu; pues aunque su gobierno les otorga derechos y ocupan una parte importante de la economía, no gozan aún de los beneficios en salud, y educación. Nos sentimos identificadas por el contexto de educación de las mujeres y las niñas, nos lamentamos por la falta de acceso gratuito a la educación, al igual que en el área rural de Guatemala el acceso a la educación es muy difícil. Estamos interesadas en continuar conociendo la situación de las mujeres en otras partes del mundo y orar y accionar para que la situación desfavorable para las mujeres cambie.
En el área norte de Guatemala en Cobán, en donde si pudimos reunirnos de manera presencial, fue un motivo mlaboración y equipo, al preparar la comida que compartimos.
Leímos la Biblia en clave feminista
Tomamos como un desafío presentar la liturgia de la celebración para que sea novedoso y práctico para las diferentes denominaciones, y que se pueda renovar y contextualizar de acuerdo con la situación de cada congregación o grupo. En Cobán, leímos el pasaje bíblico en clave feminista, resumimos el contenido, y adaptamos las alabanzas. Es muy positivo tener la oportunidad de adaptar el material y utilizar todos los recursos de manera flexible.
Este año fue un desafío realizar la celebración por medios digitales porque no todas las personas tienen acceso a internet o no cuentan con la facilidad tecnológica de participar. Así que innovamos con los videos que realizamos para orar en la semana previa al 5 de marzo; sentimos fortaleza y unidad al saber que orábamos en conjunto a través de un video; nos admiramos en conocer las experiencias de la fe en Dios y que a pesar de las dificultades ellas lograron comunicar y compartir sus vivencias para la celebración.
La reflexión del tema con distintos grupos de mujeres y en diferentes momentos brindó miradas amplias y nuevas perspectivas sobre el texto bíblico. Una reflexión que se realizó en comunidad fue que este texto se ha usado para separar y designar a personas creyentes en Dios de las que no, dividiendo en quienes construyen en la roca de las que construyen en la arena. Repensar qué es la roca y la propuesta nueva que nos presentaron las mujeres de Vanuatu fue muy revelador: la roca es vivir creyendo en las enseñanzas de Jesús y conocer el amor de Dios para nuestras vidas, y la arena son todas aquellas inconsistencias o incoherencias que nos llevan a ser vulnerables a la violencia. Creer que es normal recibir la violencia y aceptarla en los espacios familiares y sociales limitan el vivir con alegría y bienestar a muchas personas. En nuestro contexto sobre la violencia que se está sufriendo hacia las mujeres no solo escuchar que la otra sufre sino hacer algo, como llamar a la policía o interesándose en la vida particular de las mujeres es muy importante.
El estudio nos llevó a reflexionar sobre considerar bien nuestras acciones para no decidir de manera insensata sin meditar en las consecuencias; prestar mucha atención y cuidado con los juicios que emitimos, o con la percepción que tengo sobre la otra persona. Es retador comprender qué significa vivir el reino de Dios aquí y ahora, especialmente ahora en el encierro. El reto es escuchar y hacer la palabra de Dios mostrando su amor, practicando la fe, buscando maneras de accionar, apoyar a familiares que han perdido a seres queridos y manifestar de nuevas formas el “estar presentes”.
No fue posible realizar celebraciones con las niñas y niños de manera presencial, se compartió el material con personas que trabajan con niñas y niños en congregaciones de iglesias evangélicas. En los lugares que realizaron de manera presencial la celebración, se decidió limitar la participación de niñas y niños por la propia seguridad de ellas y ellos. La convocatoria para esta celebración y participación de las mujeres fue un desafío por el limitado aforo de personas permitido en los lugares.
Como comité ha sido un logro haber podido reunirnos como equipo para planificar, preparar y celebrar el DMO en Guatemala, con tantas limitaciones. Contar con espacios virtuales y físicos para celebrar nos anima al observar lo que se logró. Fue motivante participar con otras mujeres a nivel regional, fue una manera palpable de compartir con esta red internacional, así como la oportunidad que tuvimos de planificar escuchando y compartiendo ideas de cómo celebrar DMO.
- Bianka Johanna Elizabeth Paz Carrera, DMO Guatemala
WDP Acting for Climate Justice
In collaboration with the WDP Scottish Committee, WDPIC held a Global Conversation on WDP acting for Climate Justice. Over 60 women from all over the world attended the conversation to learn about climate change, and how we can make a difference as the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is happening in Glasglow (Oct 31- Nov 12).
In Gaelic, Glasgow’s name means “The Dear Green Place”. The city, the largest in Scotland, is thought to have been founded in 550 A.D. by the patron saint of the city, St. Mungo, also known as St. Kentigern, is the host of the COP26.
Mary Welsh started her presentation using the American Museum of Natural History definition of climate change: “Climate change refers to the long-term changes in global temperatures and other characteristics of the atmosphere. Climate has changed throughout Earth’s long history, but this time it is different. Human activity is causing worldwide temperatures to rise higher than at any time we know of in the past”. Starting from the ancient Greeks and Romans to today, she recalled the 2019 UN Nations Climate goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius as the socially, economically, politically and scientifically safe limit to global warming to be reached by the end of this century.” In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that “Climate Change is widespread, rapid and intensifying.”
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated “Climate change is happening now and to all of us. No country or community is immune. And, as is always the case, the poor and vulnerable are the first to suffer and the worst hit.” Margaret Roy introduced Guterres’ concept to point out “the impacts of climate change, which will not be borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations. Consequently, there has been a growing focus on climate justice, which looks at the climate crisis through a human rights lens and on the belief that by working together we can create a better future for present and future generations.” Then, she explained “when COP26 comes to Glasgow, one of the main subjects will be lowering the temperature by looking at our carbon footprint. Governments will be looking at new agreements. Whilst this is important there are other issues for which we need to take responsibility.”
What is our responsibility? What can we do about climate change and climate justice? Then, Denise, a girl from Scotland called us to act as blessed and beloved people of God:
People of the world, your children are calling to you.
World Day of Prayer over the years has listened to the stories of climate change in several countries. We have prayed and supported those affected by natural disasters, forced migration and hunger. During the Global Conversation on WDP acting for Climate Justice, WDP leaders lift up their commitments. For Cornelia Trommer-Klimpke (Germany), we simply need to take the first step, while for Laurence Gangloff (France), we will do it with prayers of hope, and for Bianka Paz (Guatemala) it means to continue the struggle for justice. From changes in lifestyle to advocacy, the participants presented a list of concrete actions for climate justice. Here is a summary of the breakout group conversation registered in the chat.
- Rosângela Oliveira, WDPIC Executive Director
God’s love has not changed
We are very grateful to our God during a pandemic that brought much uncertainty and affliction to our country. But we also had the opportunity to show our love to those people, who needed to be comforted by the fact that God's love has not changed. He has not abandoned us. God is still generous. He wants to be with us in these moments of our life. He has poured out many blessings and has arranged them all for our good (Romans 8). Although things have been difficult, we know that these challenges and sufferings have a purpose for our lives and have helped us to grow more.
There were many things to pray for: asking our God to take control of all our actions; motivating the group to pray but also to act in the midst of so many difficulties. We prayed with the people who were affected by anxiety and fear over the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our Lord, who up to now has taken care of us, protected us to be able to comfort and continue loving and praying always.
The celebration gave us a call for reflection in terms of making decisions and facing challenges (Matthew 7:24-27). The words of Jesus challenge us so that our life goes well and does not end in disaster. The call is to build on the rock who is Jesus and to listen; listen carefully to his words and put them into practice. The message invites us to decide to live by what the Lord says in his word, to love, forgive, cry with those who mourn, be simple and clean of heart, work for peace and justice. This way we will have a safe and welcoming home for everyone. A house built on the rock, which is Jesus Christ.
Our role in the community
We have a high percentage of unemployed youth who have not been able to enter the labor market due to the economic crisis in our country. This problem has increased due to the pandemic.
Like the voices of Vanuatu women, the women of our country are also affected by the same problems, perhaps more or less. There are women who, due to their poverty conditions, cannot and have not been able to acquire basic education. They leave their homes in rural areas and travel to the big cities, seeking solutions and many times the situation becomes worse. Many end up working in degrading manners to support themselves and the family they left in their hometowns.
Our help to women in these unfavorable conditions would be to collaborate with them, guide them and connect them with organizations that protect women and provide alternatives so that they can train and acquire the necessary tools to be able to perform an honest job that dignifies them.
As in Vanuatu, malnutrition is an alarming health problem in Panama. A large number of children under the age of five suffer the physical consequences of poor diet, they suffer from stunting and frequent infections. In other words, children are hungry and often get sick. They don't eat foods that can keep their bodies and brains growing strong. Poverty makes the most disadvantaged children face the greatest risk of all forms of malnutrition.
To the children in these situations, the help that the women of the WDP would give is to pray for our God to take control of this situation and to support with financial resources the foundations that protect and help these children. Pray and take action.
Communication is key
We were in total quarantine throughout 2020 and it was difficult for us to meet but thank God we maintained communication through calls to coordinate everything related to the program. The Worship Service was carried out and the attendance of 35 people was achieved in accordance with what was established with the restrictions of the health authorities allowed in the temples and parishes with the required capacity. It was possible to simultaneously transmit the worship in a virtual way for those sisters and invited people who could not participate personally. The service was a great blessing specifically because of its theme.
It was a different year in every way. Less face-to-face participation, but today we want to get up and build our houses, our nations and the entire world on the word of Jesus, who is our firm foundation. That must be the fundamental principle of our message today and forever. May the Lord make us wise builders for eternity.
Mayor Inez Proverbs, WDP Panama
Global Conversations with WDPIC
One year after the first Global Conversation, organized by World Day of Prayer International Committee, we are back again to share our experiences and learnings with the 2021 WDP Vanuatu program. We want to nurture global relationships, practical learning about WDP and strengthen our journey in the way of peace and justice.
Almost 60 WDP leaders representing the seven regions of the world attended the online conversation on May 28, 2021. In more than 10 small groups, we talked about how it felt to celebrate during the pandemic and the reasons for our prayers.
For Maral Haidostian, Lebanon, the conversation was a time of friendship and encouragement, while Sylvia Marowa, Zimbabwe, was thankful to God for preserving us all during the pandemic. Margarita Casco, Paraguay, reflected on the painting from Juliette Pita, where she sees God as the mother caring for the child during the turmoil caused by the pandemic. Pauline Bryan, Jamaica, shared about the prayers for the sisters of Vanuatu, as their experiences resonated with the women in her home country.
The Conversation ended with an intercessory prayer led by Nora Carmi, Palestine. In the spirit of WDP's practice of informed prayer and prayerful action, she contextualized the continuous oppression of the Palestinian people. As a person who knows suffering but does not lose hope, Nora concluded the invitation to prayer affirming the hope that is built on the strong foundation of our faith. To which, Áine Pedersen, Slovenia, responded with gratitude for the witness and support with prayers.
The video below is a brief insight into the conversation on May 28th and what we hope to achieve with this series. WDPIC will continue to host Global Conversations throughout the year to keep the WDP network connected, engaged and informed. Watch our video and share it with your network!
- Rosângela Oliveira
Executive Director, WDPIC
“May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy.” (Psalm 67:3,4)
World Day of Prayer Croatia’s preparation for the celebration on the First Friday of March took place under special circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As mentioned by Kata Lenđel, “Having faced the challenges of isolation and recent earthquakes which severely hit parts of Croatia, experiencing isolation and the impossibility of meeting one another, as well as constant fear of new quakes, the National Committee of WDP Croatia initiated online gatherings.”
Given the unusual situation, WDP Croatia sensed a genuine need for mutual prayer and used the benefits of virtual meetings and social media to come together. At the beginning of 2021 they started a cycle of online prayers which they called “Together in Prayer”. Brigita Hengl says “we focused our prayers on gratitude, repentance, faith, supplication, and trust. Together we meditated, sang, and recited the Lord's Prayer. We tried to find comfort and peace, strength, and inspiration for continued action, daily challenges, and successful preparation for the prayer with women in Vanuatu. We felt especially close to them as we are also exposed to natural disasters, like the earthquake that-ravaged parts of Croatia in December 2020. In addition to the spiritual message, we recognized the importance of developing social and geo-political strategies to build a healthy and just world for all.”
On February 24, they held an online Bible study on the theme Build on a Strong Foundation, Matthew 7: 23-27, led by theologian and philosopher Juliana Mladenovska Tesija. This online event was attended by participants from Croatia and neighboring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Serbia. Finally in March, their worship service was held virtually over Zoom. Despite the special situation experienced this year, they felt enriched with new experiences and opportunities provided by the digital world, including the use of the hashtag #vanuatuwdp2021 on WDP Croatia’s Facebook page to promote prayers.
Sanja Sabljak highlighted a moment during preparatory meetings where one WDP sister shared her thoughts: “I was consumed by true fright and excitement facing the task of preparing a prayer that will be pronounced and supported by my fellow sisters from WDP. It looked like a good opportunity to share with them my most intimate beliefs and contemplations about God, my favourite Bible passages and hymns. This experience enabled me to test what can be shared about God's greatness, thanksgiving, penitence, faith, requests and confidence among sisters. I liked what I learned, and it encouraged me profoundly. It meant that I have matured in my faith. In my church, women don't often have an opportunity to lead common prayer which is the reason why this event was even more intense and beautiful. Sharing one's faith in common prayer was for me a moment of immense joy and intimacy in spirit with sisters. I am thankful for being given the opportunity to not only participate, but also organize and create the prayer meeting.”
One great component of getting women to pray together within the World Day of Prayer celebration is to unite them in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Encouraged by such joy and peace given to us by the Lord through these online prayer meetings, WDP Croatia commits to continuing “Together in Prayer” into the next year.
Text adapted from reflections by WDP Croatia members: Kata Lenđel, Brigita Hengl and Sanja Sabljak