Dear Friends in Christ,


On the cusp of Holy Week, we find ourselves turning to our sisters and brothers in Syria.  I just returned Tuesday from visiting our ministry partners in Lebanon and Syria with a delegation from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance led by Laurie Kraus.  Our partners there urgently need our prayers and advocacy.


This week, the people of Syria have experienced renewed harm from the alleged used of chemical weapons in the province of Idlib and the US airstrikes on military bases. As the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) affirmed, “We place our faith, hope, and trust in God alone. We renounce violence as a means to further selfish national interests, to procure wealth, or to dominate others. We will practice boldly the things that make for peace and look for the day when ‘they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore’”


In this season of Lent, as we anticipate the suffering, death and coming resurrection of our Savior, we remember too that suffering and death continue today, especially in Syria.


God of hope and peace, we pray for your healing of our world. We mourn for the children, women and men who have been killed by today’s swords and spears. We give thanks for those who seek to heal rather than harm. We pray for peace that seems so far away, yet that through you, we know is possible. We pray that the communities of nations will practice wisdom and restraint in this vulnerable and broken part of your creation. May we be part of a resurrection to life and peace in Syria and embrace a future where no one will learn war anymore. Amen.


Please join me praying for God’s children in Syria and consider further advocacy in their names.



Jan Edmiston, Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly 



Co-Moderator Jan Edmiston with Syrian refugee schoolchildren last week. Photo by Laurie Kraus.


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