The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it (Psalm 24:1) Aren’t two sparrows sold only for a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29)
 
The sparrow builds a nest of twigs, finds seeds in the hedgerow, water in the ponds, and a mate to help rear a family. The Lord God cares for the tiniest of birds. God cares for all of creation.
 
The Amazon forests are burning, the arctic ice is melting, the rains have failed in Zambia, reservoirs are empty, land is parched, or flooded by torrential rain, air in China is polluted, sea levels are rising, power supplies and crops are failing.
 
People are hungry, children are thirsty, women are struggling to survive, families are seeking shelter.
 
Later this month, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet in New York with world leaders from finance, business and civil society for a Climate Action Summit. He hopes they will come with concrete, realistic plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
 
A 16 year old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, has travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the Summit. She has journeyed by sail-boat, in order to highlight the need to care for the environment and reduce our carbon emissions.
 
Let us pray for Greta and all those who take action to save our earth from careless destruction.
 
Please also pray for the many nations that are in political turmoil at this time, thinking particularly of the United Kingdom as the date for leaving Europe draws closer, and Hong Kong, where street protests continue to result in violent clashes, and extra People’s Liberation Army troops are being brought in from China to strengthen their garrison. Pray for peace in Jerusalem and for the work of the Methodist Liaison Office there. Pray for the leaders in your own nation, that they may ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God’ (Micah 6:8)
 
Pray for each of the nine Areas of our World Federation and their officers as they encourage Methodist and Uniting Church women to ‘know Christ and to make Him known’ and engage with issues of gender justice, health and reducing poverty. Pray especially for the women of North America Area and the Southern and East Africa Area as they prepare for their Area Seminars.
 
Give thanks for a successful and productive meeting in Gothenburg last month, when World and Area Officers met with local Swedish and Norwegian women to plan for our 14th World Assembly.
 
Creator God, we offer our work and our lives to you for your blessing. May our love for Jesus Christ be reflected in our love for others. May your Holy Spirit inspire us to care for the earth and its people. Amen.