Jan 6, 2005 (updated Jan
-by Janet Plenert
Winnipeg, Man.— A display in the Mennohoff museum in Shipshewana,
Indiana says “Where there is muck and mud, Mennonites are sure to
During this past 2004 festive season, the world paused and turned to
TVs, radios and newspapers as the photos of mud and destruction in Asia
were unveiled. The outpouring of aid from nations is commendable, but
will never set right or restore the lives of the thousands lost. Working
with the millions directly affected is a task that will carry on for many
As Christians we live in this world even though we are not of this world.
As Mennonites we have a history of generosity and helping. This is a time
to again follow the muck and mud with a generous outpouring of love, prayers
and tangible aid and action. Your contributions to our own relief and
service agency, Mennonite Central Committee, are gratefully acknowledged
as a powerful way in which the church responds to human need.
As a community of congregations in Canada, there are additional ways
we can respond right here at home. Mennonite Church Canada urges you as
congregations to respond proactively to this disaster, motivating and
involving your entire congregation. Some suggestions of practical action
are as follows:
- Have special prayer times in the congregation and encourage families
to do the same.
- Reach into your local community to Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Malay,
or other groups who may be more closely affected by the tsunami. Ask
them how they are affected, how it feels to be so far away, listen to
their stories, tell them that you care and that your church will pray
- Host a special congregational meal and invite a particularly affected
group from the community to come and share and tell their stories. Pray
together. See http://www.ccc-cce.ca/english/faith/guidelines.htm
for counsel on interfaith prayer.
- Together with a cluster of area congregations, host a special inter-religious
prayer meeting to lift up the victims and those affected by this disaster.
- Pray especially for Mennonite churches in India, Indonesia, Thailand
and other affected countries. See Mennonite World Conference news releases
Remember these churches especially on Mennonite World Fellowship Sunday,
- Commit to continue praying personally and corporately for the next
here to download a fitting song, originally written for 9/11 by
Arlyn Friesen Epp
- Click here for a
prayer on the web site of Canadian Mennonite (click on "Prayer
for Victims" when you get there).
- Jump to a corporate prayer for worship settings
As congregations, we can make a difference. Mennonite Church Canada
Witness will be carrying on with its work of building congregations that
will offer support to local people long after the relief efforts diminish.
We encourage your support for the immediate needs, and invite your continuing
support over the long term.
We can do together what we cannot do alone.
Corporate Prayer for Worship
Prayer for a tsunami shaken world
Creating, sustaining, redeeming God, our world has been shaken.
The mountains shook in the heart of the sea, and
while we believe that God’s city stands secure,
many are dead, suffering, and insecure. (Psalm 46)
We wonder why?
Whose fault is this?
Whose will is this?
We believe that you created a good and real world,
Our earth, filled with magma,
Covered by tectonic plates that support life,
Most of the time.
With all creation, we long for the day when “creation itself will
be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom
of the children of God.(Romans 8:21)
While we wait,
We commit ourselves to live in reality and deal with it responsibly.
To listen to the voices of death and suffering,
to reflect on you and your will, your kingdom,
to align with your longings for redemption and do our part
as children of your Kingdom, your city, which stands secure.
We pray for the spiritual and physical needs of survivors.
Help them find and cling to signs of hope.
We pray for those who are assisting them.
Give them the strength, the wisdom and compassion they need.
We pray for miracles of survival, re-connection and recovery.
We pray for the Mennonites and other Christians in Indonesia
Who will be witnessing to your compassion and love,
Even while they are targets of oppression.
Give them an extra measure of your grace.
And we pray for ourselves. Give us open hearts and minds,
So that we may hear and learn
what you are saying to us and teaching us through this tragic event.
Thy Kingdom come.
Submitted by Elsie Rempel
Jan 7, 2004