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John 15: 13-15 says: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made know to you.”
We are increasingly turning to friendship as a practice in order to build communities of disciples of Jesus Christ across barriers of ethnicity, race, and religion. Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross has made such friendships possible. Our Journeying into Friendships network arises out of this vision and is becoming a global community with local chapters. We began in 2019 with virtual meetings leading up to a face-to-face consultation in Montréal. This year we are focusing on the city of Chicago and recently came together for a virtual consultation. We hope and pray that we can come together face to face in 2021 at Trinity Christian College in Chicago. With this initiative in mind, please pray:
- Give thanks with us for an inspiring and encouraging virtual consultation that matched global and local stories of diaspora ministry around our four focus areas of international students, refugees, Christian-Muslim dialogue and immigrant/migrant ministry. We also appreciated a plenary speech by Dr. Sam George of the Lausanne Committee on diaspora.
- Pray for the work of our local ministry partners in Chicago and the work of network development over the next year as we prepare to gather face to face (if permitted) in June 2021. We look forward to celebrating new stories of friendship.
- Pray for diaspora work going on in many cities with ties to our network including Toronto, Grand Rapids, Berlin, Montréal, Chicago, Cairo, Vancouver, Sioux Center, and Seattle.
- We are thankful for the collaboration in our Journeying into Friendships network with the Reformed Church in America. Please pray for continued partnership in the gospel around diaspora initiatives.
- We are increasingly seeing the importance of reconciliation and dialogue in our work. Pray for opportunities for dialogue and Christian loving witness in the communities where we are working.