Monthly Archives: June 2013

Get in the swim

CongoSwim FLYER 8.5 x 11 JPEGHelp address sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sign up now to participate in CongoSwim on August 25. Organized by the Congo Team of the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in California, CongoSwim provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in terms of sexual violence against women and girls. August 25 is an Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls.

CongoSwim participants are encouraged to raise funds for Congolese grassroots groups receiving grants from Global Fund for Women and Friends of the Congo. A portion of the funds raised will also benefit the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative, to prevent children from drowning in the US.

Swimming is not the only way to participate. I am going to pray and walk on August 25 to support this effort. When you donate, you could do so in my name.

Learn more and register now.

See you along the Trail.


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Purple flowers, Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church 1

photo (43)


In varied hues,
purple flowers greeted worshipers to
Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church
this morning.

Manhattan, New York
30 June 2013

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Purple flowers, Morningside Gardens 2

photo (42) (600x800)


A purple flower stands guard
as the garden receives
its morning drink.

Shire near the Hudson
29 June 2013

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Grieve well

I grieve for my friend’s death.
I grieve for my friend’s family and friends and all who mourn this day.
I give thanks for my friend’s life and work and witness.
I give thanks for the love we shared.
I give thanks for the love we share this day and always will.
I give thanks that God is Lord of heaven and earth;
and I cannot keep from singing.
So even at the grave I make my song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
May God comfort and sustain all who grieve.
Grieve well. Grieve well. And peace may come.
See you along the Trail.

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A prayer for South Sudan

An earlier post focused on participating in a National Day of Prayer with the people of South Sudan in response to the violence that has plagued their country since independence and that continues to tear at the fabric of society and the people. Here’s a prayer that I wrote for that day:

God of grace, God of justice, God of peace,
you create us to live together,
to honor and respect one another.
Hear us as we pray for South Sudan.

With our sisters and brothers,
we give thanks as they celebrate their independence.

With our brothers and sisters,
we pray for your presence and guidance
as they seek to live together.

Comfort all who mourn the death or injury of loved ones.
Keep safe the Reverend Idris Joshua Idris Nalos and Pastor Trainee David Gayin and all who are detained and their families.
Speed the day when they will be released.

Protect the women who are targets of sexual violence
the children and the most vulnerable.

Grant all your children
the grace to see each other as sisters and brothers
and the courage to turn from violence and  break cycles of vengeance.

Renew within the leaders of South Sudan
the vision for a just and peaceful country
that leads to the wisdom to govern wisely.

Provide the leaders and peoples of South Sudan with
strength to work for justice for all;
passion to seek reconciliation and peace;
and all that is needed for the living of these days.

God of grace, God of justice, God of peace,
you create us to live together,
to honor and respect one another.
Bless South Sudan and her people,
we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

See you along the Trail.

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National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation in South Sudan

Please join the people of South Sudan in prayer for reconciliation in their country.

A National Day of Prayer for Reconciliation in South Sudan will take place on Monday, July 8, 2013, the eve of the anniversary of the country’s independence. Since achieving independence, South Sudan has continued to know conflict: conflict on the border regions with Sudan, conflict between the peoples of South Sudan.

In response to the violence, comes this call for prayer and a plan for the people of the country to pray together. The theme will be lamentation, leading to repentance and personal conversion/transformation. From July 1-7, there will be prayers with different groups (e.g. government, organised forces, women, youth, etc).

On Friday, July 5 the Muslims will take up the prayer in their mosques, and on Sunday, July 7 the Christians will take it up in their churches.

On Monday, July 8, a national time of prayer will be held in the Juba Stadium, and prayer will also take place in each State capital.

The initiative grows out of an awareness of the need for reconciliation in the Republic of South Sudan. H. E. Vice President Riek Machar raised this concern and H. E. President Salva Kiir appointed a Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation.
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of Sudan chairs the committee with Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Roman Catholic Churchas Vice-chair. The Committee includes a number of other Christian and Muslim religious leaders, a representative of each state, and representatives from civil society.

Learn about Presbyterians at work with our sisters and brothers in South Sudan.

Join the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum.

Pray between now and July 8.

Pray on July 8.

Pray after July 8.

May God lead the people of South Sudan to justice, peace, and reconciliation.

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Current Events, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Nelson Mandela International Day for freedom, justice and democracy

mandelaThis year it seems more important than ever to observe Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July. Make your plans now!

Started by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and promoted by the United Nations among others, this year marks the fourth celebration of Mandela Day. The day is about individuals around the globe giving 67 minutes of their time to make a change in their community and thus, the world. Mandela Day seeks to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately, it seeks to empower communities everywhere. The theme for this year’s observance is Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.

Why 67 minutes? First, remember that you can always give more than 67 minutes. Second, the idea is to make every day a Mandela day by doing some good for others. But again, why 67 minutes? The Mandela Foundation suggests that number because:

Mr Mandela spent more than 67 years serving his community, his country and the world. The number is symbolic of how people can start to do the same – one small step at a time – and so become part of a continuous, global movement for good.

Looking for something to do? Here are some activities already planned for the day. Find 67 ways to mark the day from the Mandela Foundation. Share what you do – post a comment here or use your own social media tools. Use your imagination!

I will post when I know what I will do. Until then, here are a few resources:

Make your plans now. I look forward to observing this day with you.

See you along the Trail.

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A prayer for Nelson Mandela

Great Spirit of all,
We give you thanks
for the life and witness
of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,
who has touched our hearts and souls
in countless ways.
Speak your peace
and shower your grace
upon him and his family.
May all be assured
of your steadfast love
enfolding him
as his journey continues with you.
Let us wait with him
with faith, hope and love.

The Rev. Janice Stamper
Morris Forks, KY

Posted with her permission
and with gratitude for Janice’s
willingness to share her words.


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A call to prayer for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, child of God, lies  ill in a South African hospital. The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions has issued a call to prayer for Nelson Mandela.

In the words of the Council, Nelson Mandela:

helped a generation of young people find a voice for justice. He believed in the humanity of the other to the extent of engaging his own captors in conversations. He transformed an armed movement into a peaceful victory. He successfully established a process of forgiveness and reconciliation instead of revenge.

In our own fashion, each of us may pray.

As for me: I give thanks for Nelson Mandela; for his life and courage and grace and vision and witness. I pray for his comfort and strength. I pray for his family and friends who gather with him at this time. I pray for those who care for him. I pray for people who supported Mandela during the struggle for justice in South Africa and for people who draw inspiration from him to sustain ongoing efforts for justice around the world. I pray for South Africa. Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika. God bless Nelson Mandela.

See you along the Trail.

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Purple flowers, Morningside Gardens 1

Purple Flowers Morningside Gardens 1 September 2012 (1024x683)


From behind a fence,
purple flowers brighten the
Morningside Gardens community.

Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York
1 September 2012

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