Bishops of the Diocese of North Carolina Offer Prayers for Afghanistan and Encourage Action to Support Refugees
“Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.” - Jeremiah 31:15-17
Rachal’s grief during an ancient time of terror and captivity is not a unique grief. This poignant passage points to an all-too-familiar failure of humanity to find ways to live in peace and with justice. Today, mothers, fathers and families are weeping for their children who will come home no more. In the wake of the despicable acts of terrorism at and near the Kabul airport, we share the profound grief for the families of civilians and soldiers who were murdered yesterday. Some died trying to escape terror in their own homeland. Others died far from their own homelands, having answered a call to defend, protect and promote the well-being of the most vulnerable.
As we weep with those who weep, let each of us, to the best of our abilities, grounded in prayer and guided by biblical principles, dedicate time, energy and treasure to welcome those who are fleeing violence in their own homelands. Efforts are gearing up all over North Carolina, including communities in our own diocese, to welcome the latest wave of refugees--those from Afghanistan. Episcopal Migration Ministries is part of a national network of agencies that includes Lutheran agencies, Catholic agencies and others, in a partnership with the U.S. government’s refugee resettlement process. While the actual logistics of welcoming these families and individuals is being worked out, donations are being accepted and will be put to good use. We encourage you to stay informed through https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/neighborswelcome/
Prayers for this Time
Into your hands, almighty God, we commend the victims of the terrorist attack in Kabul. For you are the source of infinite goodness, wisdom, and power. We pray you will continue to work in those who have departed this life the merciful purpose of your divine and loving will. We pray this through our loving savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved the spirit of faith and courage, that they may have strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness, and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. And this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead: We give thee thanks for all thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence; and give us such a lively sense of thy righteous will, that the work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Tags: Refugee Ministries