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“The one who calls you is faithful.” —1 Thess. 5:24

Sunday, January 4

The Lord’s Day

Minute for Mission: University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Gilo G. Agwa teaching Anuak children in Stillwater, Minnesota, in the summer of 2013 Courtesy of Gilo G. Agwa

 

Gilo G. Agwa teaching Anuak children in Stillwater, Minnesota, in the summer of 2013

 

Courtesy of Gilo G. Agwa

 

Among the international students at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, one from Ethiopia saw significant seeds of ministry take root in 2014. Gilo Agwa was granted asylum status in 2012 and welcomed his family to the United States in 2014. That year, Gilo completed his MDiv while continuing his leadership ministry among diaspora Anuaks in the United States. Gilo has a particular concern for the spiritual and holistic nurture of immigrant and refugee families.

A grant from the Presbyterian Mission Agency funded a ministry that Gilo initiated to support the church among the Anuak community in Minnesota. “Change always seems to have some side effects,” Gilo says, “especially when not managed in the right way. Immigrants and refugee communities, when moving from their countries of origin and through the transitional years, encounter culture shock and language barriers. These and other challenges change their expectations. Nothing is what they imagined or planned. The host country provides opportunity, but there is benefit only when the hosting, immigrant, and refugee communities understand one another.”

Gilo oversaw the creation of materials and ministry programming to equip the church to support children and families. “The ministry addresses language barriers between the kids and their parents, and improves marriages. It also builds relationships between immigrants and refugees and their neighbors.”

This new ministry enters its second year in 2015, with the hope that it will continue to build faith, family, and community in a new country.

Beth McCaw, pastor to students, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Let us pray

Lord God, bless all refugee and immigrant children, their families, and their host communities. Strengthen all those who reach out in your name, so that children may find their future and hope in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Jer. 31:7–14
“Here in This Place” /
“Gather Us In”
GTG 401

Ps. 147:12–20
“God of the Ages, Whose
Almighty Hand”
GTG 331, HB 515, PH 262

Eph. 1:3–14
“Lord, You Have Come to the
Lakeshore” / “Tú has venido
a la orilla”
GTG 721, PH 377

John 1:(1–9) 10–18
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
GTG 127, HB 163, PH 31-–32

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 20; 150
First Reading Deuteronomy 33:1-5
Second Reading 1 John 2:12-17
Gospel Reading John 6:41-47
Evening Psalms 93; 97

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