Call to Worship
Leader: Creator of all, we gather today thankful that you have welcomed us.
All: We give thanks that through our hardest times, God has heard our cry.
Leader: Just as God has accompanied us on our journey, we are called to walk alongside those who have been mistreated, persecuted and outcast.
All: Together as a faith community, we are called to be a space of love and safe refuge for all people.
Leader: Let us work together with refugees and immigrants from many different lands to welcome them in, and let us pray that the crisis in Syria might soon end, so displaced people can someday return to their homeland.
All: As we wait for You to answer these prayers, we re-commit ourselves to be a welcoming congregation lifting up immigrants and refugees in our midst and preparing ourselves to advocate with them by our side. Amen
For the people of Syria For the United Nations, our own nation, and the fellowship of nations For refugees, and those in harm’s way For peacemakers, relief workers, and policy makers For the voices of peoples of faith, that we may have courage, grace, integrity and the strength to listen and to speak.
Prayers of the People
Oh God, our creator and liberator, we pray for all those who face the trials and tribulations of exclusion. We lift up all those who have been made outcast in our world; for those impoverished by inequality, for those who find themselves in the cold from homelessness, for those who are treated differently because of their skin color or religious background. Today we say a special prayer for all the refugees in the world who have faced violence and persecution. Now many of them face discrimination upon arriving to the safety of this land. Strengthen our faith to be accepting to all and fortify our witness to advocate for just and humane policies that expand the path of welcome for refugees to join our communities. In the same way, we pray for all those who face sickness and disease, in our congregation and throughout our community, may Your blessing comfort them and may Your healing power touch them. In the Spirit of love and compassion we pray. Amen.
A Hymn to support Afghan Refugees
God, How Can We Comprehend?
A hymn for use by churches who want to support the relief efforts for the Afghan refugees.
ABERYSTWYTH 188.8.131.52 D "Watchman, Tell Us of the Night" PH# 20 "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" UMH# 479 "Savior, When in Dust to You" LBW #91
God, how can we comprehend— though we've seen them times before--
Lines of people without end fleeing danger, want, and war?
They seek safety anywhere, hoping for a welcome hand!
Can we know the pain they bear? Help us, Lord, to understand!
You put music in their souls; now they struggle to survive.
You gave each one gifts and goals; now they flee to stay alive.
God of outcasts, may we see how you value everyone,
For each homeless refugee is your daughter or your son.
Lord, your loving knows no bounds; you have conquered death for all.
May we hear beyond our towns to our distant neighbors' call.
Spirit, may our love increase; may we reach to all your earth,
Till your whole world lives in peace; till we see each person's worth.
Biblical Reference: Luke 15:1, Matthew 25:31-46, John 3:16; Colossians 1:20; John 14:26-27.
Text: Copyright (c) by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 1999, rev. ed. 2001. All rights reserved.
Copied from "Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship" by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, Geneva Press. 2001.
Permission is given for free use by the author for any congregation supporting the relief efforts for refugees.