ELCA members called to prayer for the people of Syria

9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America (ELCA) are called to pray Sept. 7 for the people of Syria, the
Middle East and throughout the world. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) --
one of the ELCA’s six full communion partners -- offered prayer petitions
supported by the ELCA and other Christian denominations.
     The prayer is for the protection of people “affected by the fighting
in Syria” and for “all who are working for peace: international leaders,
politicians, religious leaders and ordinary citizens” and that “all of us
be strengthened by the hope of a future built on love and justice for
     “In the midst of the complexities, volatility, uncertainties and
tragedies in Syria and the surrounding region, let us join together in
praying for peace,” said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop.
     “We can have deep differences about the responsible way forward,”
said Hanson. “Our religious convictions may be different. The public
debate is intense and so much is at stake. What better time to pray? God
has entrusted us with just one creation. We are all created in God's
image for relationships that reflect God's desire for harmony, dignity
and peace with justice. Let our prayers be cries of lament. Let us listen
for God's word of promise. Let the diverse languages and petitions of our
prayers reflect the beauty of diversity in the midst of our one God given
humanity. Yes, may we humbly confess our sinfulness and gratefully
receive God's gift of mercy and strength to be about God's work of peace
and reconciliation.”
     Earlier in the week, Hanson sent letters to the U.S. president and
Congress urging for more diplomatic efforts over pursuing military action
in response to reports of the use of chemical weapons against the people
of Syria.
     ELCA members and congregations, through this church’s Washington
Office, are invited to write to Congress and to the president to “vote
against an authorization to take military action against Syria” and to
ask the president “not to take such action.” ELCA members are also
committed to keeping decision-makers in prayer, asking that “God will
continue to give them wisdom as they discern the best path to avoid
atrocities while pursuing peace.”
     To learn more the ELCA's advocacy efforts, visit
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United
States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations
across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church
of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God
through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the
world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church
reformer, Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper, Manager of Public Relations
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
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Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com


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