Monday, 21 March 2011

The story of water deprivation is linked to so many other oppressions

At worship this morning Maike Gorsboth and Christine Housel preached a powerful and moving dialogue sermon, as we marked the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination and world water day.

As we ponder the present day and biblical stories, we cry out with the prophets for justice, and for mercy. The earth and the people are violated. Communities and nations are in conflict. Commerce and power dominate. We seek repentance. We honour the prophets among us. We seek to be and are a part of the solution. We open ourselves to the ways of peace, and we ask God to lead us to become ever-better peacemakers and prophets.
The liturgy also had both poignant and moving moments. Before the prayer of confession a series of people stood up from their places and said phrases like these:

In the country with the world's highest incidence of rape, statistics indicate that a girl born today has only a one in three chance of finishing school, and a one in two chance of being raped.

Those defending justice and human rights often become victims of death threats, assaults, criminalization and murder.

Every year, millions die from poverty – from malnutrition, from the lack of safe water and sanitation, from the lack of medical treatment and health care.
We also fed our prayers on cards in different languages on blue coloured cards through the congregation like a bucket chain to the reader at the front. This way of praying was inspired by one of the arpilleras in our stitching peace exhibition showing a bucket chain. At the end of the service we shared the peace and in the lobby afterwards all shared a drink of water rather than the more traditional post service coffee.

An excellent start to the week.

You can read more about the Ecumenical Water Network's Seven Weeks for Water here. And abotu the World Student Christian Federation's Water Justice campaign here.

And don't forget to read the sermon and the liturgy - where you can also see a picutre of the arpillera.