June 20 is World Refugee Day.
The day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
The Viatorian Community is joining with Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS) and several other organizations in recognizing that each refugee is a person of value and worth.
According to LIRS, it is estimated that there are at least 15.4 million refugees in the world today and that more than 7 million have lived in refugee camps for at least 5 years.
The United States resettles refugees in nearly every state in the country. This year, on World Refugee Day, please remember all refugees by praying the following litany.
Leader: As the sun rises at the beginning of each day,
People: Gracious God, let the dawn of hope rise and grow brighter for refugees who flee for their lives.
Leader: As the sun warms the drops of dew from the ground,
People: Gracious God, dry the tears of sorrow and heartbreak from the faces of people created in the image of God.
Leader: As the creatures of the earth sing their songs of praise,
People: Gracious God, let the song of peace and reconciliation swell from the throats of people in every nation.
Leader: As a mother responds with compassion to the cries of her child,
People: Gracious God, hear the cries of refugees and come to their aid.
Leader: As men and women head off to their places of employment,
People: Gracious God, bless those who labor to alleviate of the suffering of refugees.
Leader: As families and friends gather together for meals,
People: Gracious God, provide daily bread for refugees to fill their stomachs and clean water to quench their thirst.
Leader: As children welcome their parents home,
People: Gracious God, let nations open their arms with hospitality for those without a place to call home.
Leader: As foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,
People: Gracious God, may refugees find safe homes where they may rebuild their lives once more.
All: Creator of heaven and earth, as you renew the world each day, look with favor upon refugees who long for a home, and inspire all people to build communities of hope where all are free to dwell in peace and safety.
For more information, please visit www.WorldRefugeeDay2013.org