The Greater Milwaukee Synod and the Diocese of Meru, Tanzania have pledged to hold one another in prayer and to set aside the second Sunday after Easter as Partnership Sunday. On April 22, 2012, during the Easter season, you are encouraged to set aside a time of prayer and reflection for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the diocese of Meru. One of the key elements of global partnership is shared worship and mutual prayer. On my return from Meru a couple of years ago I shared these thoughts:
“Let me assure you that our relationship is a two-way street. There is an unmistakable richness to the church in Tanzania which can help us rediscover again and again what God is calling us to be – people rooted in scripture, people centered in prayer, people who experience Jesus at work in daily life, people called to serve others.”
If you have also traveled to the Meru Diocese, you know that they have much to teach us about the power of prayer. Whether you include a prayer petition in the intercessory prayers or you use this opportunity to highlight a partnership, be aware that the people of the Diocese of Meru will be including us in prayer as their worship on Sunday, April 22.
The Meru Partnership Committee of this synod has worship resource suggestions for your use on this Sunday. If you would like to have a speaker for your adult forum, please contact Sue Johnson, chairperson of the Meru Partnership Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition to prayers for the diocese, we’d also encourage each congregation to receive a special offering for the Meru Diocese on April 22. There are so many opportunities for ministry, so many people eager to share the Gospel, so much we can do to further the work of the diocese. And we have recently learned that the long rains anticipated for this time of year have not arrived, resulting in the maize and coffee being unable to mature, and instead dying. This will lead to another hunger crisis in the diocese.
As we walk with the poor in our local community throughout Lent, let us broaden our perspective to all those who celebrate the risen Christ. Join us in a Day of Prayer for our partners in the Meru Diocese, Sunday, April 22, 2012.
Grace and peace to you!
Bishop Jeff Barrow and Sue Johnson