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International Responses to COVID-19

Our Denominations and Their Partners
Provide Aid and Assistance

Community health educators demonstrate handwashing techniques at an agriculture cooperative in Cambodia as part of the response to COVID-19.
Credit: ACT Alliance/LWF

The following links provide information about the needs and work being done in various parts of the world.  We already will be helping a bit through our Joy Box contributions.  Those contributions are divided equally among the development and relief funds of our three denominations.  If you would like to do more, there are also directions on some of these webpages explaining how individuals may make donations.

Canadian Lutheran World Relief

As COVID-19 reaches every corner of the globe, ELCIC’s partner Canadian Lutheran World Relief and their global partners are responding to make sure some of the world’s most vulnerable are not forgotten during this crisis.

At this link, you can read about the work being done in Southeast Asia, Jordan, Ethiopia, Jerusalem, and refugee camps.  https://www.clwr.org/covid-19

Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada

This link provides a list of stories and information that have been published since April 2020.  When donating to a specific Mission and Service Fund appeal, 85% goes to that appeal and 15% goes to the Emergency Response Fund.  The Emergency Response Fund allows the Church to respond to new needs immediately without waiting for donations.  So by early April, the United Church had contributed $20,000 to the ACT Alliance’s Rapid Response Fund for its Global COVID-19 Appeal.  https://www.united-church.ca/social-action/act-now/covid-19-global-response

In this link, there is information about the work being done in Zimbabwe, The Philippines, and Palestine.  It also includes a link to the Moderator’s letter to global partners.  https://www.united-church.ca/news/covid-19-finding-tangible-ways-supporting-each-other

Primate’s World Development and Relief Fund

The Government of Canada provided the Primate’s World Development and Relief Fund with a $1.98 million grant to continue its work with the All Mothers and Children Count programme in Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Burundi.  The funding will assist as the PWDRF’s partners work to ensure physical distancing, access to clean water, soap and disinfectant, acquisition of PPE, and the dissemination of reliable health information.  Read more here.

In April, the PWDRF announced that it would be allocating $200,000 to respond to COVID-19 around the world and in Canada.  This link provides more information:  https://pwrdf.org/pwrdf-directs-200000-to-covid-19/

Staff from the Diocese of Masasi in Tanzania are able to screen families for fever with newly acquired fast read thermometers. Photo from PWDRF’s website.

A Prayer in These Critical Times

Merciful God in this Holy week
when our world is in turmoil,
faced with an unseen foe
where thousands fall by the wayside
when there seems to be no end in sight
with mounting infection, more deaths, no cure.
Where can we turn to, but to you, our God
who had been our help in ages past,
our refuge, our comfort, and our strength?
And we hear you say:
“If my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray,
seek my face and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven
forgive their sins and heal their land.”
We confess that we have taken so many things for granted:
in our human relationships
in the interaction of nations
in our relationship with the rest of creation.
We have not done what you required:
to do justice, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with you.
We implore your mercy and loving kindness;
turn your eyes once more toward us
that in your compassion
there may be healing
and restoration to wholeness.
There are those more unfortunate than us,
with no resources on their own.
May a cup of water given in Jesus’ name
and a bread broken to be shared,
become channels of your grace
to our neighbours
and to a world in dire need.
May your blessing and protection be with those
on the frontlines who have chosen to serve,
putting their lives at risk
so that others may live.
Restore us, O God, that we may be restored.
Heal us, that we may be healed from Covid-19 and its devastating effects.
In the name of Jesus, who by his wounds we are healed,
and who overcame death. Amen.

—Written by Bishop Reuel Marigza, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, a United Church Mission & Service partner. Bishop Marigza previously served as General Secretary of The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, with whom the United Church shares in mutual recognition of ministry. Bishop Marigza also served as a member of the United Church’s Partners Council.  https://www.united-church.ca/prayers/prayer-these-critical-times

A Prayer During Times of COVID

In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
When we aren’t sure, God,
help us be calm;
when information comes
from all sides, correct and not,
help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”

For the doctors, we pray,
for the nurses, we pray,
for the technicians and the janitors and the
aides and the caregivers, we pray,
for the researchers and theorists,
the epidemiologists and investigators,
for those who are sick,
and those who are grieving, we pray,
for all who are affected,
all around the world…
we pray
for safety,
for health,
for wholeness.

May we feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
clothe the naked and house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone,
and may we do all that we can to heal
the sick—
in spite of the epidemic,
in spite of the fear.

Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.

In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
we pray.

May it be so.

—A prayer during times of COVID-19 by the Right Rev. Richard Bott, originally posted on Facebook.  https://www.united-church.ca/prayers/prayer-during-times-covid-19

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