11 – 17 February 2018

Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland

Give thanks for: The high standard of living and the availability of high-quality education and health care that are enjoyed by the people in these prosperous countries. Long centuries of Christian tradition and witness, especially for those Christians committed to serving others. The work of the World Council of Churches and other church organizations, the YMCA and YWCA, all with offices in Geneva. The many ecumenical and international agencies based in Geneva and Vienna, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the agencies of the United Nations. The history of welcoming refugees. The gifts of foreigners who bring the richness of their cultures. The glorious beauty of the alps. Those who are struggling to curtail the output of greenhouse gases to ease global warming, which is melting the glaciers in the Alps.
Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland

At the traditional Escalade race, Geneva 2016.

11 – 17 February 2018

Intercessions

We are thankful for:

  • the quality of life that many in these countries enjoy and their commitment to provide for those in the world who are in need
  • the organizations located here that seek to increase ecumenical and interfaith understanding and work together for the common good of all people and creation
  • political and economic transparency in these countries
  • those who reach out to migrants and counter attitudes and practices that oppose them.

We pray for:

  • environmental practices that preserve the natural environment, especially the Alps’ melting glaciers
  • the work for justice, reconciliation and peace pursued by the people and organizations here, seeking to shape globalization so that it benefits all
  • religious freedom, also for those from non-Christian traditions
  • overcoming the fear of, and welcoming the embrace of, those who are outsiders to the countries’ historic, ethnic traditions.

Prayers

Praising the Lord (after Psalm 103:1)

‘Praise the Lord, O my soul,
All my inmost being, praise his holy name!’

Longing and curiosity,
passion and love,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Power and strength
boldness and excitement,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Freedom and desire,
joy and happiness,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Disappointment and anger
annoyance and resentment,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Sorrow and anxiety,
doubt and worry,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Stress and resilience,
failure and shame,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

Carefulness and patience,
hope and trustfulness,
all my inmost being, praise the Lord.

(Karl Veitschegger (Austria))

Affirmation of faith

Hear! The Lord your God is One,
the creative origin of all that is,
the Alpha and Omega of my life,
the source of my resources.

Jesus Christ is the One’s messenger
to us humans, who get by as best we can.
In the midst of contradictions, conflicts and absurdity
he offers us the light of reconciliation
with ourselves, with others, and with God.

The One’s Spirit is my guide
through the immense complexity of this world.
The Spirit opens up to each one the treasures of his gifts.
The One’s Spirit lives in what I am now offering
and is my foundation on what endures
Beyond all that is transitory.

(Pasteur Vincent Schmid, Genève)

Prayer for illumination

O Lord, heavenly Father,
in whom is the fullness of light and wisdom,
enlighten our minds by your Holy Spirit,
and give us grace to receive your Word
with reverence and humility,
without which no person can understand your truth,
for the sake of Jesus Christ
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be all glory.

(John Calvin)

A Prayer for Austria

Lord,
we thank you for this land in which we live,
its mountains, its valleys,
its meadows, its gardens,
its forests, its lakes.
May no blindness destroy the work of your hands.

Lord,
may the houses that we build,
our towns and cities,
be places of hope and peace.
May no hardness of heart close our doors in the face of people in need.

Lord,
may our workplaces be places where we trust one another,
where people and their work count for something.
May no discouragement hold us back from responsibly shaping the future.

Lord,
may the streets of our land be ways that bring people to meet one another.
May no fears or prejudices separate us from those near and far.

Lord,
may the churches of our land be holy places,
where we hear your Word,
call one another by name,
and your name is hallowed.

Lord,
watch over our land,
and bless its inhabitants.
Amen.  

(A prayer of the Austrian Community of Monastic Orders, together with other church bodies, to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the international treaty at the end of the Second World War.)
(www.kamillianer.at/archiv/geb_oest.htm)

Song