Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
31 January 2016 - 06 February 2016
Give thanks for:
- The rich and varied heritage of the churches, large and small, in these Nordic countries.
- Ecumenical and spiritual renewal movements that bring new intensity and depth to the Christian faith.
- A witness for justice and peace that may become a strong example to the rest of the world.
- The example of giving towards the development of other peoples.
- Snow and skiing, woods and mountains, lakes and fiords.
- The white nights of summer and the bare winter light.
- Efforts to overcome violence, racial/ethnic discrimination, and the abuse of children and women.
- Equal rights and self-determination of the indigenous peoples.
- Refugees and migrants who seek a better life in these countries.
- Those churches trying to find new vitality, so they can be faithful witnesses to the Gospel.
your wisdom is beyond our understanding.
We praise you for your greatness,
imprinted in the earth and the sea and the sky.
Through the web of creation you have given us a share in the gift of life.
You have breathed the breath of life into us earthly beings,
show us how to carry your image while in this threatened creation.
May your love and care for the creation be ours.
Give us the will and the strength to turn and to fight on the side of life.
With faith in you, and together with the whole creation,
we gather together before you – in thankfulness for the gift of life,
and in prayer for the wounded earth.
(World Environment Day 2007. This is an English translation of a resource pamphlet published by the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations in April 2007.)
We share a common earth.
We share the common joy of living,
of the grieving and of the pain.
We share the wonder of the sowing
and the harvest of our common soil.
We share the common bread in our homes.
We share the feast of the wine.
We share our common faith in Christ, our Saviour.
But we still cannot share the common table in our churches.
Why, God, why?
God of unity, let the table of reconciliation
become the true table of unity for the sake of your kingdom.
(Per Harling, Uppsala, Sweden. WPCU 1997, p.27)