SYNOD OF THE COVENANT
August 8, 2019
We mourn the tragic loss of life, injury, and hatred. We mourn the rise in violence and mass shootings, in particular the 250th mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 2019. We mourn the abuse of weapons of war and destruction in our cities and escalating violence in our communities. We pray for healing and wholeness for the victims and their families. We urge our members, congregations, and councils to serve in unity to help restore our broken world and demonstrate solidarity, compassion, and genuine love.
WE MOURN with deep sorrow the loss of life.
WE MOURN with disbelief the violence, the hatred, the inhumanity.
WE MOURN the violence, the hostility, the bigotry.
WE MOURN the intolerance, the prejudice, the indifference.
WE MOURN the injustice, the darkness, the emptiness.
WE MOURN because life is precious, invaluable, irreplaceable.
WE MOURN because life is a divine gift, a divine grace, a divine blessing.
WE MOURN because humanity is so fragile, so unique, so dear.
WE MOURN the escalation in gun-violence, the upsurge in mass-shootings, the rise in homicide, fratricide, and suicide. The deliberate and premeditated murder and extermination of life, and the intentional infliction of harm and injury, pain and suffering, on innocent victims, our families, our neighbors, and our communities.
WE MOURN the growing insanity of mass-shootings, and the senseless hatred of family, neighbors, and strangers, and the unjustifiable use of force and violence. The deplorable failure to deal with anger and the catastrophic inability to see humanity in us and in them. The insanity of disrupting the peace and the disastrous violation of life.
WE MOURN the gun-violence and mass-shootings, including the 250th mass shooting in 2019, the death of nine and injury of 29 in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 2019. We mourn the use of weapons of war in our streets and destruction in our cities and violence in our communities. We mourn the unjustifiable escalation of violence anywhere and everywhere.
WE MOURN wars and endless military interventions around the world. We mourn training US and other nationals to kill and slaughter human beings; the manufacturing of weapons and machineries to exterminate innocent people of all ages, ethnicities, and cultures. We mourn funding and gloating over military campaigns.
WE PRAY and SERVE for healing and wholeness for the victims and their families. We urge people of faith, congregations, and councils to serve in unity to help restore our broken world and demonstrate solidarity, compassion, and genuine love.
SYNOD OF THE COVENANT: A JUST-PEACE CHURCH
“We, the Synod of the Covenant, in partnership with our presbyteries, congregations, the General Assembly, and other faith communions, are called and sent by God to be a living, active, and inclusive witness to the love of Christ.”
Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call — Approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010)
Resolution on Violence, Religion, and Terrorism — Approved by the 216th General Assembly (2004)
|“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28|
|In March, the Synod of the Covenant, the judicatory body of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) approved a covenant partnership with Samaritas, naming Samaritas as the official refugee resettlement agency of the PCUSA in Michigan for the next five years. This is the first official partnership between Samaritas and the PCUSA, and it will be the first time that the Synod of the Covenant has established a covenant agreement with a body outside of the PCUSA. We chose Samaritas because they are one of Michigan’s largest refugee resettlement organizations.|
|Now in its 85th year, Samaritas also serves foster children, seniors, persons with disabilities and homeless families. Click here to learn more about Samaritas. We are excited by the possibilities that this partnership holds for serving more people in need.
Our new partnership with Samaritas affords all of us with the opportunity to “welcome the stranger” in ways that resonate far beyond our individual congregations. New Americans often arrive to this country with little or nothing but the clothes on their back. Our church families can help them assimilate, settle in and thrive so they become productive members of our communities.
|Four important ways you and your congregation can make an impact:
• Host a Drive: household supplies – anything from appliances and furniture, to dishes, utensils and bedding. Educational tools such as notebooks, pens and pencils as well as tablets and PCs can help with job readiness and training.
• Volunteer: Immediate volunteer needs are in-home English language tutors and in-home and / or community based English conversation groups.
• Attend an Event: There are many exciting events planned with New Americans that can help introduce your congregations to the people that Samaritas serves and this exciting mission opportunity.
June 20th is World Refugee Day and to celebrate, Samaritas is hosting a soccer tournament and picnic in Dearborn, Michigan with its refugee families and members of the Oakland County Football Club. Also, in Lansing, there is a refugee art show at the Tabooli Gallery. Opening night is Monday, June 17th from 6-7 pm.
|Samaritas also is looking for families in Metro Detroit to host refugees for 2-8 weeks, until the families can secure long-term housing. Watch how temporary housing efforts have made a positive impact in the life of a New American we serve.|
|For more information on how you can help provide temporary housing for New Americans, please contact Samaritas New Americans Program Manager, Mihaela Mitrofan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (248) 663-8125.
For more information about any of the information or events listed above, please visit www.samaritas.org.
We are excited about this partnership and welcome your ideas for collaboration and support, in addition to the ones featured in this email.
Through Christ, all things are possible!
In Common Mission,
Raafat L. Zaki
Executive – Synod of the Covenant
Chief Advancement Officer – Samaritas