World Refugee Day 20/06

World Refugee Day, declared by the United Nations to be marked on June 20, is a call for communities around the world to work toward peace and security for all, remembering especially the millions of people who are displaced or forcibility uprooted from their homes.

They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds

Mexican proverb

Resources for World Refugee Day:

Immigrant Prayer Card Handout  from Global Ministries, USA

A dream of dignity
For all humanity
It is a dream so bold;
“Can’t happen” we’ve been told;
But we can strive
To keep alive
This hope for human harmony

Click here for lyrics and music.

Tune: Darwall

Thanks to George’s generosity, all of the lyrics published on his website are free of any copyright restrictions and limitations and thus are all available for your use. Read more about George Stuart here.

Verse 3:

Christ is not seen in pageantry,
Nor seen in dazzling raiment;
Christ comes to us as refugee,
As outcast and as vagrant.

Tune: Dominus Regit Me

Click here for lyrics and music.

Thanks to George’s generosity, all of the lyrics published on his website are free of any copyright restrictions and limitations and thus are all available for your use. Read more about George Stuart here.

We celebrate, Creator God this diverse world you have created—
its lands and its peoples.
We give thanks for your gift of trust in us
to preserve, conserve, and take care of it
and offer all the hospitality you have already given us.

We lift up your co-workers serving in areas of need.
We are thankful for their critical presence.
We ask that you accompany them as they accompany others.

Merciful God,
we pray your strong and loving presence
to console those who mourn,
to protect those who are fleeing for their lives,
to shelter those who fear deportation or the demolition of their homes,
to feed those who are hungry and freedom for those who hunger for justice.

Liberating God,
help us to break down the dividing walls of hostility
that separate us from each other and You.
Bless us as we seek to follow the Way of Jesus
by resisting the oppressive tactics of empire,
by refusing to hate or hurt
by showing love and proclaiming
Your good news of liberation for all.

Embolden us in such a time as this
to do justice, seek kindness, and walk
humbly with You. Amen.

This prayer was delivered at New York Metro Association, United Church of Christ, Spring Gathering 2017. It was inspired by Allie Perry’s prayer. The entire prayer is posted here on the Global Ministries website.

We pray for the countries and regions that have hosted refugees. Knowing that refugee camps can be overcrowded, we pray for the continued safety of the camps and offer our thanks to those who work toward providing the basics of shelter, food, health care, and education.

Gracious and loving God,

Hear our prayers.

(Candle is lit at first station.)

We pray for refugees who have held onto hope while facing death. And we pray for the millions of refuges around the world who have fled their homes in search of basic human needs. We give thanks for their strong faith and pray that they will find the security and stability we all seek.

Gracious and loving God,

come, hear our prayers.

(Candle is lit at second station.)

Sung Response   (consider using this chorus or a chorus that is more familiar to the gathered congregation. A verse of a hymn might be chosen.)

Hear my/our prayer oh Lord…

We pray for the Internally Displaced People of Syria and all of the civilians that feel trapped in a war-torn country. We especially pray for the vulnerable among them.

Gracious and loving God,

come, hear our prayers.

(Candle is lit at third station.)

We pray that all sides who are actively involved in fighting can find paths that lead to a peaceable solution. May their hearts be opened to the suffering of those they fight against.

Gracious and loving God,

come, hear our prayers.

(Candle is lit at fourth station.)

Sung Response (repeat chorus)

We pray for the countless humanitarian workers who provide shelter, care, medical aid, and support to those affected by this long war. We give thanks for the work of our partners and the work of local churches that continue to support human rights for everyone through their various contributions.

Gracious and loving God,

come, hear our prayers.

(Candle is lit at fifth station.)

Sung Response (repeat chorus)

This prayer may be downloaded as a Word document on the United Church of Canada website.  Click here.  It is part of a complete World Refugee Day Prayer Service

by Alydia Smith and Khwaka Kukubo which uses the Exodus story of the Israelite refugees to highlight the sufferings of today’s refugees.

Lectionary Selection: Luke 9:51 – 62

Adapted for use relating to any country or people.

Prayers for _______________:


Loving God, thank you for your welcoming embrace.

Your acceptance of our imperfection is ever an example for us to strive for.

Forgive us when we fall short – when we are quick to reject and quick to condemn.

Inspire us to spread your love even when it is not reciprocated.

Protecting God, watch over the people of _______________.

Shelter it from those that would inflict harm, and let it continue to be a country of peace.

Nurturing God, be with the faith communities of ____________________ .

Lend your wisdom to their leaders.

May each group be strengthened as a tool for your work that it is working to become.

Healing God, give us the compassion and the resources to care for our brothers and sisters in difficulty.

Help each individual to find the solutions and the peace that they are seeking.

Help us all to learn from each other, to respect each other, and to realize what is truly important.

Let your priorities be our own.

We pray in the name of the migrant who loved us all more than we can comprehend,
Amen.

Click here for worship items using inclusive language, including a Call to Worship, gathering prayer, prayers of the people and ideas for sermons. These Church World Service materials, focusing on Luke 7:36-8:3, are free to use.

Where is Love? (lyrics)

A song by Joe Ramsay and Peter Woods written for GC41 2012.
This song is posted on the website of the United Church of Canada. Click here.

World Refugee Day Prayer Service

This service may be downloaded as a Word document on the United Church of Canada website.  Click here.  It uses the Exodus story of the Israelite refugees to highlight the sufferings of today’s refugees.

Compassionate One,
our society has failed you.
You were a refugee, seeking safety and freedom,
and we did not welcome you….
Click here for the full text of the Prayer for Asylum-Seekers.