God grant me your Spirit . . . .
That I may rest and work in the vision of a new future
Where all are linked by the bonds of humanity,
Not enslaved by the chains of debt.
Extract from “Grant me your spirit,” a World Debt Day prayer by Linda Jones of CAFOD
As debt issues, both in developing countries and in the UK, are often in the news, we frequently cover them in our weekly prayer email. Use the search function to access weekly emails that contain items on debt.
Prayers, Hymns and Songs, and Whole Services
The JDC worship resources page includes the brilliant “Jubilee Worship Guidelines” — everything you need for a service on debt, including an order of service, explanation of theological background, prayers, readings, stories, facts and sermon pointers.
If you want something a little different, JDC Board member Merryn Hellier has written Praying in Public Places. Praying in Public Places invites Christians to walk to local sites such as hospitals or surgeries, schools and banks to reflect on and pray about debt and the impact that it has on people’s access to essential services. A very powerful service — and act of witness … which can apply to both local and global contexts.
Some of the materials on the JDC’s worship resources page originally come from Jubilee USA’s ”Jubilee Congregations Handbook” (2005). This resource offered at the time everything a [US] church needed to engage with the campaign — background information, stories about the impact of debt and debt relief, pages explaining the links between debt and other global issues, worship material (including a Roman Catholic liturgy for debt), Bible studies and more. Its age means that some of its background information is now outdated. But the liturgical material and Bible studies remain very helpful.
The Jubilee Congregations Handbook contains several suggested sermons, as well as theological reflections designed to inspire sermons.
Another invaluable resource is the linked lectionary entitled Development Matters, compiled quarterly by Dr. Elizabeth Perry. This resource takes the main lectionary readings for each week and links them with global-justice issues. It provides reflections, stories, facts and quotes that preachers can use in their sermons.