A call to prayer for people without shelter--in collaboration with Sant'Egidio Community Amsterdam, and Council of Churches Amsterdam! See text:
Dear Pastors, Church leaders:
We prepare for Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, for whom there was no place in the inn. It is a celebration at which we experience the joy of a new promise, of the light, without forgetting that many people have a tough life. We are looking forward to new life just for them.
In the big cities and certainly also in Amsterdam there are more and more people who are homeless and for whom there is no or very poor reception in the winter. Hundreds of men and women live on the streets for very different reasons, from so-called 'self-reliant people' who lost their homes due to setbacks and people who have been living outside for years, to refugees and migrants who have no right to shelter, but also see no opportunities to move elsewhere to go.
There are various private and collective initiatives that try to help people as well as possible, but so far a limited group has been reached. There is a lot of debate in politics and society and a simple solution is not available. This does not mean that we cannot do anything. As Christians of all denominations, we can join hands and pray together. The power of joint prayer can do a lot.
The undersigned therefore invite all churches in Amsterdam to pray for people living on the streets from Christmas until the end of the week of prayer for unity (January 26) in every celebration or church service. This joint effort will not only lead to increasing involvement, but can also produce other fruits of the Holy Spirit that we do not yet know.
With this letter you will find a prayer suggestion in English that you can use. Of course you are free to adjust this prayer or to choose a different formulation.
For consultation or further information you can contact:
Corine van der Loos, Community of Sant’Egidio, email@example.com or
Henk Meulink, chairman of the Amsterdam Council of Churches, Raadvankerkenamsterdam@gmail.com
Henk Meulink, Council of Churches Amsterdam
Colm Dekker, Community of Sant’Egidio, Stadsdiaken Amsterdam
Samuel Lee, The Theologian of The Year --Netherlands (2019-2020),
We pray for all those for whom there is no place in our city,
men and women who have no roof above their heads,
no place to sleep, their few belongings in a bag,
ignored and often scorned by passers-by.
We ask You: let there be light in their lives,
let them meet people who stand by them in search of a better future.