World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Stand Up Against Poverty prayer service

Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland, 17 September 2010

17 September 2010

Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland, 17 September 2010

Gong

Words of Welcome

Song: Word of Justice (Em tua graça n. 51)

Word of justice alleluia
Come to dwell here maranatha

Word of mercy alleluia
Live among us maranatha

Reader: We serve a God who “is faithful and just”

All: Whose “love stands firm forever”

R: God “secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. . . He stands at the right hand of the needy one. . . He lifts up the humble and fills the hungry with good things.”

All: Praise be to God! God’s love stands firm forever!

R: But this is not only God’s work, it is also ours.

Throughout history, God calls his people to share in his work of justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Word of freedom alleluia
Save your people maranatha

Word of healing alleluia                       
Heal our sorrow maranatha

Litany of confession

R: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good;  and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. The voice of the Lord cries to the city” (Micah 6: 7-8).

Lord God, we thank you that you call us to share in your work.

All: We thank you – but all too often we have refused to hear your call, and have pursued the ways of selfishness.

R: “The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy, and mistreat the alien, denying them justice. I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land . . . but I found none” (Ez. 22:29-30)

Lord, we recognize ourselves in these words, and know that we do not deserve to stand before you. For “if you . . . kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?”

All: But with you is mercy. Have mercy on us, and forgive us our sin.

Word of comfort alleluia
Bring us hope now maranatha             

Word of gladness alleluia
fill our hearts now maranatha

Bible reading: Amos 5: 6, 10-15

Seek the Lord and live….

Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!

They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

Therefore, because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain,

you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them;

you have planted pleasant vineyards,  but you shall not drink their wine.

For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins—

you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.

Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil,  that you may live;

and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,  just as you have said.

Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate;

Act of commitment: Stand up and stand firm against poverty

Song: Stand firm (Em tua graça n. 64)

Oh my sisters, stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do
.
Oh, my brothers, stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do.

All you children, stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do.

All you elders, stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do.
Let the hungry folk stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do.

Let the peacemakers stand very firm
Stand, O stand firm; Stand, O stand firm;
Stand, O stand firm and see what the Lord can do.
 

Reader: Could I ask you all to please “Stand Up Against Poverty” and recite the following pledge with me.

All: “We are standing now with millions of people around the world on this historic day, to show our commitment to the fight against extreme poverty and inequality. We only have six years left to the 2015 deadline to realize the Millennium Development Goals. Today, we Stand Up together to say to our leaders: Act now to achieve and exceed the Millennium Development Goals, which include:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8.  Develop a global partnership for development

As global citizens, as members of the Ecumenical Mouvement, we commit ourselves to do whatever we can with whatever we have to achieve these goals”.

Prayer (Christian Conference of Asia)

R: Give us, O Lord, churches that will be more courageous than cautious;
that will not merely "comfort the afflicted" but "afflict the comfortable";
that will not only love the world but also demand justice;
that will not remain silent when people are calling for a voice;
that will not pass by on the other side when wounded humanity is waiting to be healed;
that will not only call us to worship but also send us out to witness;
that will follow Christ even when the way points to a Cross.
To this end we offer ourselves in the name of him who loved us and gave himself for us.

Lord’s Prayer (each in our own language) 

Blessing

Gong

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