G.I.F.T. 1-10-16 Refugee Sunday

 Growing In Faith Together  
January 10, 2016

Today’s Assigned Texts for the Baptism of Jesus 
Isaiah 43:1-7, Psalm 29, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
We recall and celebrate our adoption as daughters and sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised presence of God.

Special texts for Refugee Sunday:
Leviticus 19:33-34; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 10:40-42

Gathered by Grace: 
Today, for the first time since World War II, there are more than 50 million refugees in the world. Immigration enforcement policies have forcibly separated families, and refugees flee war and violence in Syria in overwhelming numbers. Lutheran’s show their calling of welcome by praying for the protection of those forced to flee, embracing those who have made it safely to our country, and celebrating how our new neighbors have brought of hope and renewal to our communities.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* What are you hearing in the news about what is happening in Syria and the Middle East right now?
* Think of the history of your family. Was anyone born in another country? Your parents? Grandparents? 
* What’s your own experience being “on the move”? What’s the hardest part of getting to know a new place? Who made you feel welcome? When did you feel like you belonged in the new place? How can your experience of being welcomed help you welcome others?

Daily Bible Readings:
These readings are related to the assigned Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday.  Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.
Sunday Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Thursday Psalm 36:5-9
Monday Psalm 106:1-3 Friday Psalm 27
Tuesday 1 John 5:18-20 Saturday Psalm 56:13
Wednesday Luke 11:33-36 Sunday John 2:1-11

NEXT SUNDAY: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

Prayers for this Week

For the Week: Grant me strength to keep my heart open.

Throughout the Day: I am a child of God.

A Blessing to Share: You are loved and chosen by God.

For mealtime say responsively: O Lord, give strength to your people: give us the blessings of peace.

Epiphany Mealtime Prayer:
Christ our light, shine upon us.  
Refresh us by this meal 
to reflect your love to others. Amen.

For further reflection  

Devotional Practice: 
The Baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of his public ministry. He went about proclaiming the good news of peace and doing the good works of justice and healing. You too have a ministry that springs from your baptism. Over this week reflect on the ways you have helped bring peace, justice, fairness, and healing to others. What can you do for refugees around the world?

Ritual for the Epiphany Season: 
Place a bowl of water in the center of your meal table. Take a few moments each day – perhaps at a meal, or the beginning or ending of the day - to remember your baptism.  Dip a finger in the water and sign the mark of the cross on your forehead.  Say these words:  “Remember and be thankful – you are a baptized child of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.”

Scattered to serve:  
Make a lasting impact in the lives of those seeking safety. Join other members of the ELCA who are deeply engaged in refugee ministries through volunteering, advocating, and offering financial support. Go to http://lirs.org/act/ for ideas.

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245