The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC), which includes the WDP committee in Canada, commissioned Judith Snowdon to compose a hymn to commemorate its 100th Anniversary and to reflect the anniversary theme “The Joy of Justice.”
WDPIC requested permission to share the song "In a World Full of Sorrows" as it speaks to what WDP is – “to bring comfort and nurture through action and prayer to a world full of sorrows.” Judith Snowdon, past-president of WICC, gave her blessing to WDPIC. She and WICC would be very glad to have the song used by World Day of Prayer International, and any other country with an interest, for WDP related programs. Please acknowledge the proper copyright information (see below).
Below is a sing-a-long video, originally posted on the WICC site, and the music sheet graciously shared by The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.
©Music and Words by Judith Snowdon
We have a new poster! It showcases 99 years of World Day of Prayer history.
From 1927 to 2026, the poster displays the themes and writer countries which have motivated our prayers and actions.
Hanging this poster on your wall to promote WDP is a great way to start traveling around the world. The poster is an educational tool to talk about the issues that we have raised awareness and advocated for over generations. It also demonstrates where in the world women are leading this ecumenical movement.
Besides that, this year we incorporated expressions of WDP within the seven regions in which we are organized: Africa, Asia, Caribbean and North America, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Pacific. You can invite the children and youth to match the photos with the theme and the region. Have fun!
There are two ways that you can order the poster. You can order a printed copy from the WDPIC office or you can order the art design and have it printed yourself. The poster size is 20 x 30 inches.
For more information or to place an order contact: email@example.com
The prices are:
1 to 10 posters = $ 6.50 each poster plus shipping;
11 to 99 posters = $ 5.50 each poster plus shipping;
over 100 posters = $ 4.50 each poster plus shipping;
Digital Art Design = $100
WDP Slovenia preparatory meeting in Costa Rica. PC: Rebeca Cascante-Gómez
El Día Mundial de Oración es una celebración que nos da la oportunidad de conectarnos de manera concreta con mujeres del mundo. Es una conexión espiritual, novedosa, creativa que rompe fronteras y permite conocer un país y su realidad, pero creo que principalmente cada año, él nos conecta con la esperanza.
Hoy donde el mundo aparentemente está más conectado en medio de tantas redes y tecnologías y en donde la mayoría de la población tiene acceso para conocer otras realidades, se vive la contradicción de la desconexión. Estudios han confirmado que entre “más se está conectado” menos “conectados estamos, con nosotras mismas, los demás y la naturaleza.
Desafortunadamente a esa desconexión, se agrega el hecho de que en los países de nuestra región las posturas políticas, las crisis económicas y los fundamentalismos también están separando y dividiendo a la sociedad. Estamos enfrentando la intolerancia e irrespeto a quien piensa o es diferente y como consecuencia genera una pérdida de relaciones entre los seres humanos, el individuo, la sociedad, las iglesias y la familia. El Día Mundial de Oración es como una semilla de esperanza pertinente a la conexión y acción en medio de estas realidades que están tomando fuerza.
Cuan apropiados son los temas que Surinam y Eslovenia nos plantean. “Toda la creación de Dios es muy buena” (Surinam) y “Vengan que todo está preparado” (Eslovenia). Miles de mujeres durante el 2018 y para el 2019 estamos siendo retadas a que volvamos la mirada a la creación, a la diversidad y a todo lo bueno que Dios creo. Salgamos a la realidad que nos rodea y está ahí en nuestros patios y lugar donde vivimos. Valoremos y respetemos la diferencia de la humanidad que enriquece la vida. Cuidémonos mutuamente afirmando nuestras diferencias como parte de esa creación. Animémonos a entrar en contacto directo con toda la creación que es muy buena, disfrutémosla y cuidémosla para brindarla saludable a las futuras generaciones.
Desconectémonos de lo que nos distancia y conectémonos unos con los otros y otras. Dejemos de discriminar a quien es diferente y piensa diferente, invitémosles a nuestra mesa. Abramos nuestra mente, nuestra casa, nuestra mesa a aquellos que están más vulnerabilizados como la gente migrante. Escuchemos sus historias en vivo. Abrasémonos.
Juntas como movimiento del Día Mundial de Oración y más allá de las fronteras humanas construyamos conexiones que lleven esperanza.
- Rebeca Cascante Gómez, CIDMO Representante Regional de Latinoamérica
The year of 2017 mobilized churches and ecumenical movements for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. World Day of Prayer in Croatia took time to look into the past and connect the history of women in the Reformation with today’s women in WDP. We created an ecumenical project called "From the Reformation to the Reformation of the Heart." The central event was a three-day conference held in a small picturesque village of Fužine, Croatia, on May 18-20, 2018.
Women from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia had the opportunity to meet for this conference and reflect on the Reformation and WDP through lectures and workshops. We brought together 45 participants from 12 denominations, and from 12 other civil society organizations.
From the time of pen-writing to Twitter and Instagram what can we learn from the woman of the past? The Reformation reformulated the role of women in the family, church, and society. Women gradually became involved in social life and founded societies and movements. Education gained new meaning after the first girls' schools were opened. Women were able to study the Scriptures! They soon led prayer-meetings, taught children, and even preached. They were active in the community, they helped the poor and the marginalized, and they managed large households and cultivated organic agricultural products.
At the conference, we used theatre to portray two special characters, Katharina von Bora, Luther's wife, and Argul von Grumbach, the first woman writer at the time of the Reformation. Their committed and dedicated lives were a role model for women of that time, and still are a bright example to this day. By reading the Bible they were empowered by the Word of God and changed the image of women in a world dominated by men. They were not just wives and mothers. They have changed the world by changing themselves.
It took extraordinary courage to stand for something, stand against the current status to follow the ideals, which was often overwhelmed by persecution. But what women have achieved is to know that their opinions were valued, and that as human beings they were just as valuable as men.
Likewise, the history of the World Day of Prayer begins with Protestant women around 1887, who at one point felt this reformation in the heart and stepped forward with their idea of helping by leading prayers and learning about the situation of women around the world. As stated in the WDP motto - informed prayer, prayerful action. Today, the movement mobilizes millions of participants, but it started in one heart!
And here I see a parallel between women of the reformation and WDP women. Today's women are courageous, smart and beautiful, and are willing to step up and respond to the call to fight, to strive, and to live authentic Christianity in the 21st century.
Let your heart shine! Let it spark you to do whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4,8). Above all, love and live with God everyday regardless of the circumstances.
With such a reformation of the heart, we can do great things and contribute to the expansion of World Day of Prayer in the world!
– Senka Sestak Peterlin, WDPIC Reg Rep of Europe
The 21th century has brought a new way of communication: the connected world through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and any other social media network. How can our movement find its place in this world and especially how can the “old” generation evolve with the “young” generation and its new way of communication?
Most of the committees in Europe still use the post, or human resources to distribute the materials for the celebration or workshops but some committees have started to use social media networks to communicate, inform and stay in touch. It’s not always easy to take this step, especially, when you have two different generations in a committee, the one that is used to paper & mailing and the other using social media. It’s not always easy to explain how or why social media networks can be a good opportunity to connect more people with WDP but it important to incorporate these tools into our methodology.
Yes, the world is running faster and faster and sometimes we feel as though we are out of the loop, but only using old means of communication is not always a good solution.
Thinking of our last International Meeting in Brazil, WDPIC did a great job with the Facebook page of the International Executive Committee. Updated information is a great way to connect the whole world with WDP.
The best for WDP is to have a mixture of different means of communication: the old ones and the new ones. It is not always easy but it may be the key to engaging young women. I really encourage the different committees in Europe to find which method of communication works best and to incorporate old and new methods when sharing WDP news!
- Emmanuelle Bauer, WDPIC Regional Rep. of Europe
Greetings from Canada!
This year, we at the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada celebrated 100 years of growing God’s kingdom in prayer, unity, and social justice!
In 1918, Bessie McMurphy invited representatives from the Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Boards to come together at the first meeting of what is presently known as the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC).
In 1920, the first national interdenominational Women's Day of Prayer in Canada was held in Lindsay, Ontario. Later, in 1926, women in Canada and the United States joined together to distribute prayer services for an international day of prayer. One hundred years later, the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada is still home to a beautiful assortment of unique passionate women of all ages, backgrounds, and denominations, all united in our quest to restore hope to women touched by injustice.
Our celebration took place at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 23rd, 2018. Over ninety people including former members, past presidents, friends, family, and other members of the WDP community came to celebrate with us. We were honoured to have Rosângela Oliveira, World Day of Prayer International Committee Executive Director, come and speak to us and extend her congratulations.
Also speaking at our celebration were three grant recipients: Beloved Women, an outreach project focused on women refugees from Syria in the Greater Toronto Area; the Student Christian Movement, supporting Cahoots, an innovative annual festival of faith, social justice, and do-it-yourself (DIY) activities; and the Cadence Leadership Resource, a leadership development program for Indigenous women. These were only 3 of the 21 grants that WICC was able to support through WDP funds!
For more information on grant recipients, their stories, or to apply for a WICC WDP grant from anywhere (ANYWHERE!) around the world, head to https://wicc.org/grant-programs/. We were able to fund $80,000 worth of grants this year! What a way to celebrate 100 years!
Check us out on Facebook to learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/WICCanada/
- Lauren Wilks, Regional Rep. Caribbean & North America
The World Day of Prayer (WDP) movement is not a new concept in the Caribbean, especially not to the beautiful island of Barbados. From my time spent within WDP I believe we are ready for a new injection of blood, sweat and prayers into the movement in Barbados and the Caribbean.
With the opportunity to learn from the rest of the World Day of Prayer communities who gathered in Brazil in 2017, and being selected and elected to the Executive Committee, I am beginning to understand the reasons for the blood (of Jesus), the sweat (of the women and families who need assistance), and the prayers (of every living believer in Christ).
1 Kings 8:44-45 states:
If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause. (NRSV)
This is my prayer for the future for WDP in the Caribbean:
Gracious and Compassionate God, every Christ lover shall hear the cries of the World Day of Prayer, and make the hearts of the countries being prayed for their own; WDP would be expanded to include all of the nations of the Caribbean; the WDP movement will cause movement in governments of countries who do not recognise women’s rights; WDP will be celebrated in every Christian denomination; WDP would be celebrated every month of the year in some recognisable way so that the first Friday in March would naturally mobilize a national celebration.
Dear God of Justice, we your people are out in a constant battle against the enemy, and we are thankful that you promised never to leave us or forsake us. The enemy shows up in poverty, in pain, in sickness, in brokenness and even in prosperity and gain. As we live and move and have our being in you, we pray these seven promises over our lives:
You will be with us,
you will protect us,
you will be our strength,
you will answer our prayers,
you will provide for us,
you will give us peace
and you will always love us.
Father, we worship you and praise you and thank you for being our God, our Savior and our Friend. We pray these things in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen!
- Rev. Ruth V.E. Phillips, Regional Rep. of Caribbean & North America
Ripples of WDP 2018
From June 13th - 17th women church leaders participated in the Certificate Course of Ecumenical Formation for Gender Justice. The course was organized by Women’s Concerns Ministry of National Council of Churches in India in partnership with Women’s Fellowship of Church of South India and Australian Church Women Inc. Together we sang the song above as we blessed a tree in our vicinity and mother Earth. We danced and celebrated life by affirming ‘All God’s Creation is Very Good.’
World Day Prayer (WDP) 2018 had rippling effects throughout India. Not only did women church leaders commemorate WDP, and come to learn about Suriname, they also renewed their commitment to reflect their faith in action. An eco-pilgrimage was organized in a Visthar campus, a secular civil society organization committed to social justice and peace.
During the eco-pilgrimage we visited different eco-sanctuaries including an abandoned well, which we blessed together. The well is a symbol of life in Indian traditions as water sustains life. Indian women play a crucial role in daily water management. They suffer the most when wells dry up and rivers get polluted. They are forced to walk longer distances to find water and face gender based violence on unsafe roads. Visiting the well in Visthar helped us renew our spirituality to share the unheard stories of the indigenous, rural and urban women who make an effort to heal the wounds of mother Earth, like the rural women of the Himalayan region who spearheaded the Chipko Andolan, a nonviolent social and ecological movement aimed at protecting trees slated for government-backed logging. The Hindi word chipko means “to hug” or “to cling to” and reflects the demonstrators’ primary tactic of embracing the trees to impede the loggers.
Participants of the Certificate Course for Gender Justice included 33 women leaders, man pastors, and missionaries. Men were also involved because, as pastors and missionaries, they need to be empowered to build inclusive communities that can end gender based violence. We also wanted to create awareness among them about how prayer movements like WDP can be used to promote gender justice.
This course provided a scope not only to explore strategies and discover methods to deal with the pandemic of gender based violence in India, but also explore the nexus between ecological devastation and violence against women and children. While environmental degradation affects women most, rural and indigenous women who are aware about conserving nature and environmental issues, have been able to make a significant difference to the environment in tangible ways. They are inspiring examples in water conservation, waste management, energy efficiency at home and family planning. Women environmental activists have also proven to change the status of women, particularly in rural communities, creating empowerment opportunities beyond the environmental benefits.
This movement of ‘Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action’ provides Indian churches and women’s fellowships in churches the opportunity to promote the ‘Thursdays in Black Campaign’ to create a ‘World Free of Rape and Sexual Abuse’. Women and girls are at high risk of getting raped in India and many children face sexual abuse including boys. World Day of Prayer is helping equip church leaders and communities with the awareness to promote gender justice in India.
- Moumita Biswas, WDPIC Asia Regional Rep.
From its founding in 1918, the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) has been responding to injustice. Next weekend, on June 23rd, the WICC will be celebrating its 100th anniversary under the theme The Joy of Justice!
In 1918, most, but not all, Canadian women gained the right to vote, but women were excluded from holding public office until 1929 when they were finally considered persons under Canadian law. Women of the Church were often similarly restricted in leadership except in their missionary societies.
Inter-Board Committee of the Women’s Missionary Societies
Bessie McMurchy invited representatives of five women’s missionary boards—Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian—to meet together to “promote the spread Christ’s kingdom by united prayer, united action, and a stronger voice in national questions.”
This committee was the first national ecumenical organization in our country. Its first national interdenominational women’s day of prayer was held in Lindsay, Ontario on January 9, 1920. A suggested worship outline was prepared by a small committee and printed. By 1922, the committee and its American counterpart were preparing national prayer services under a common theme, sowing the seeds of an international day of prayer.
The committee changed its name a few times as more denominations joined their movement but settled on the “Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada” in 1946. The name reflects an expansion beyond missionary societies. Today, our council includes representatives from ten denominations.
Vision and Mission
From our roots in mission, WICC formed a vision: restoring hope to women touched by injustice. We fulfil that vison by empowering Christians to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action. Our vision and mission are rooted in the value we find in faith, justice, prayer, solidarity, and respect.
Our World Day of Prayer grant program is our response to injustices in Canada, Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
Just like the people of Suriname, Sri Lanka has been blessed with natural beauty and resources. Unfortunately, there are people who do not care for the environment and are irresponsible in the way they relate to God’s blessings upon this land. Although the Sri Lankan Government has tried to create policies and make our people aware of the crisis we are facing, implementations of these policies have been quite a challenge. There is a need for infra-structure change and educational campaigns. By raising awareness of how important it is to protect God’s creation, the World Day or Prayer Suriname service challenged our people, especially Christians, to not only pray but act as well.
To give an example, Sri Lankans usually use plastic lunch papers to packet our rice meals. These plastic papers take around 100 years to disintegrate. At a National Asian Women’s Conference service the speaker, Bishop Dhilloraj Canagasabey, challenged us to take care of our environment beginning in our homes. He pointed out how we were destroying our environment by the use of this plastic paper. When I analysed this, I realised that in my household alone, I was using at least 10 lunch sheets a day, which worked out to 40 in just a week. Multiply this by thirty – 1,200 in a month, which ultimately ends up in at least 14,400/- a year!
Having realized how irresponsible my family and I have been, we switched to using reusable lunch boxes for carrying our food, saving so much paper from ruining our immediate environment. I shared my experience with the ladies present at the service, and they felt challenged like I was. We, as individuals can make a difference to our environment. The change begins with us! The super powers, spending millions of dollars to sit and discuss how our planet can be saved, need to be called upon to take this matter seriously. Discussion alone is not the solution, action is required.
At the WDP service, we distributed little cards with a picture of the sea turtle. We asked each one present to make a commitment on how they could positively contribute to preserving the environment. Instead of having them drop these commitment cards in the offering bag, we requested them to keep it (maybe in their Bibles) to be reminded of the commitment they made. Each one of us has a responsible contribution to make this a better place not only for us but for the future generations as well. It has to begin with us, and World Day of Prayer Sri Lanka has taken the initiative to make a difference.
Whilst we are not alone, garbage disposal is a big problem in Sri Lanka. An educational door-to-door campaign by the name ‘No Kunu’ (No Garbage), organized by Sumi Moonesinghe, has been launched in the country and has already reached a few cities. A video clip for the campaign is also available on Youtube. Click here to watch the video:
The World Day of Prayer motto ‘Informed prayer - Prayerful action’ keeps us on the vision of our prayer responsibility and positive action towards our world. Let’s continue educating ourselves, and people from all parts of the world, to make every effort to protect our environment, as every little rain drop helps make the mighty ocean!
Thank you WDP Suriname for bringing this matter to the forefront!
- Vino Schubert, WDPIC Asia Regional Rep.