PRAYER FOR EUROPE (Psalm 72:4; Proverbs 31:9; Matthew 5:9; Matthew 22) by Liz Searles
God of all nations and races, times and places, we come to you with open ears and open hearts. We call on you at a time of displacement and brokenness.
We ask for your holy wisdom and healing as we lift up all peoples, races and nations, but especially those now in Europe and the Middle East—from Iceland to Egypt, Kosovo to Kiev, Ireland to Iran, and every person around and in between—Ukrainians, Syrians, Iraqis, Khurds, Palestinians, Roma people known as “gypsies,” Armenians, migrants, refugees—the millions who are at this moment displaced, stigmatized, marginalized, or made unwelcome.
We witness the horrors of wars and divisions. We are afraid. We call on your perfect and eternal love to cast out fear, calm hearts, unclench fists, and wipe away every tear.
Calm with your peace hearts willful, impulsive, angry, fearful, or desiring revenge. Infuse with compassion hearts of stone—soften and open them to love alone. Encourage the desperate with your hope. Harbor those who must navigate troubled seas. Soothe traumatized children. Give rest to dreamers disturbed by hideous images of hatred. Embrace and make your presence known to those who feel abandoned to terror, death, loss, displacement, or exploitation. Shelter under your wings the refugees, the orphans, widows and widowers, those maimed in body, mind or spirit. Reunite families lost to each other.
Be their pillar of light. Guide those who flee and those who wander. Feed the hungry, refresh the numb and exhausted.
Help all your peoples as we seek to turn swords into plowshares, dismantle walls to build safe harbors of welcome, and replace weapons of destruction with the bread and salt and wine of inclusion and hospitality.
You challenge us to invite the stranger, feed the hungry, and expand your table of welcome to embrace the entire world. Your kingdom come, O God. Continue to challenge us to do your kingdom work.
All this we ask in the name of the man acquainted with grief, the Prince of Peace, our salvation and our comfort, Jesus Christ.
Read Burkhard Paetzold’s letter “Receiving Refugees.”
Read about the “Mediterranean Hope” initiative, concerning the refugee crisis, of the Synod of the Waldensian-Methodist Church in Italy
World Mission staff encounter Middle East refugees at Budapest train station
First-hand account tells of desperate departures, harrowing journeys and weary travelers
Refugee situation in Europe—Resources:
• St. Columba's Scottish Church
English worship service in Budapest, Hungary
Thousands of Syrian refugees stranded in Budapest
PC(USA) offers prayer of support for families and aid worke
Related: Europe’s refugee crisis stirs consciences, but responses vary
The Reformed Church in Hungary calls for solidarity in Sub-Carpathia, Ukraine
Hungarian Reformed Church Aid Crisis Response Plan
Newsletter of the RCH (Reformed Church in Hungary) - 15 September 2014
Annual Report, 2013 — CRISIS IN UKRAINE—Nobody Knows What's Coming
July 2013 Tiny Moldova exists between East and West, between past and future
Under strong EU pressure, in May 2013 Moldova's parliament deputies passed a law on equal opportunity for women and men. Much to the dismay of evangelicals, this law includes passages supporting the rights of sexual minorities….Scrunched in between Romania in the West and the Ukrainian-Russian monolith in the East, Moldova is profoundly in-between. The country and its churches are also squeezed in between an East European past and a likely West European future.
The Europe Area, as defined here, reaches from Iceland to Siberia. In the last seven years, the nations of the Europe Area have been drawn together by a common need to build a new regional and national identity to replace the one they lost when the old division of East and West, as defined by the Iron Curtain, ceased to exist.
The new European identity has its own new divisions, to be sure; there are the rich nations of the north and west and the poor ones in the south and east. There are the nations of the (mostly nominally) Christian West and the nations that identify themselves in one way or another as Muslim. Inside the nominally Christian part of Europe, there are the nations that use the Latin alphabet and those that use a Cyrillic script, a division that coincides roughly with ancient boundaries between the old Russian Empire and its Slavic allies on the Cyrillic side and the old Hohenzollern and Hapsburg empires on the Latin side. Finally there are the nations that are members of NATO, the nations that want to join and probably will, the nations that want to join but won't be allowed and Russia and Belarus, which are quite unhappy about the likelihood that NATO will expand in their direction.
The churches in each part of Europe also face their own special challenges: In central and eastern Europe, the church is re-establishing congregations, seminaries and diaconal ministries of all kinds as it recovers from decades of oppression. In southern Europe the church is offering a faithful evangelical witness at the same time it is seeking to demonstrate to its Muslim neighbors that it approaches them as a respectful friend and not as an enemy. In northern and western Europe the church is trying to model for their entire societies how it is possible to integrate immigrants and refugees from the poorer nations to Europe's south and east. All over the region the churches and individual Christians are working to embody Christ's imperative for peacemaking.
All countries in this area are listed below. Countries with Web pages giving Presbyterian-specific information are highlighted. For other countries, there is currently no PC(USA) involvement in this country or the Web pages have not yet been prepared. The PC(USA) also participates in or relates to work in other countries through ecumenical relationships. See an interactive map of Europe and find countries in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serves.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Scotland — See United Kingdom
Regional liaisons (mission co-workers):
Doug Baker, regional liaison for Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Burkhard Paetzold, regional liaison for Central and Eastern Europe
Ellen Smith, regional liaison for Eastern Europe