The events we recall at Passiontide and Easter evoke a mixture of emotions: fear and confusion, hopelessness and despair, turning to anticipation, awe, praise and thanksgiving. Current events in our world may produce in us some similar emotions.
As we weep for those lives lost in the air crash of the Ethiopian Airlines including several United Nations personnel, we weep too for citizens of New Zealand who grieve over the violence done to their country in the city of Christchurch. As we weep for those whose land has been devastated by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, we weep too for those facing political turmoil in countries in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. We pray for God to bring comfort and hope to these situations and healing of body, mind and spirit to those suffering illness, bereavement and loss.
Jesus Christ, our friend and saviour, we bring before you the concerns of our world and the longings of our hearts. Transform our despair into hope and our grief into faithful trust. Comfort your people who struggle daily for food and shelter, justice and peace. Forgive us when we are tempted to turn away from those in need. Prompt us by your own generosity to share what you have given to us. Dispel our fears and cause us to give thanks to you, for your gracious, unconditional love poured out upon us. Amen
Give thanks for the World Executive meeting and the East Asia Area seminar held in Hong Kong last month; for the sharing of ideas and news; for times of fellowship in prayer and worship; for speakers bringing inspiration and information. We give thanks that every Area was represented at the World Executive meeting and that eight East Asia Unit leaders attended the Weaving Together Programme prior to the Seminar.
Give thanks that Dr Brenda Smith and others represented the Federation at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York in March and that we were able to be in touch with them from across the world in Hong Kong.
Give thanks for United Methodist Women who celebrate 150 years of service and continue to turn Faith, Hope and Love into action on behalf of Women, Children and Youth around the world.
Please pray for the Latin America Area Seminar meeting in Sao Paolo Brazil in April, that all may journey safely and receive God’s blessing as they share fellowship and learn together.
Pray too for the British Unit weekend to be held the first weekend of April, giving thanks that Revd Dr Val Ogden (recently returned to the UK from Fiji) is to be their keynote speaker and Louise Wilson (Britain and Ireland Area President) will lead a Bible study.
All praise and thanks to our faithful God.