The World Methodist Council's Youth and Young Adults branch has issued a call for youth and young adults (ages 35 and under) to contribute prayers to an upcoming e-book entitled "weWorship." The theme for the book is "Our Faith and Human Rights." The WMC is looking for prayers of approximately 300-word prayers that express the connection between you or your youth/young adult group to human rights in your context.
To some, it may initially seem confusing to have a worship resource focused on human rights. Human rights may seem to be much more the stuff of social justice educational campaigns or political lobbying, not praise bands or Taize services. Yet combining human rights and worship shows the true Wesleyan spirit of this project. John Wesley understood that concern for social justice and personal piety were not separate things, but intricately linked things in the Christian life. Our worship of God should lead us to serve others, and our service of others should draw us closer to God. Worship of God thus motivates us in our pursuit of justice and gives us strength for the journey. Without a personal and active connection to God, our work for human rights and other forms of social justice devolves into mere politics. Worship is necessary to keep our efforts within their proper transcendent frame. Thus, writing prayers about human rights to use in a worship resource should make complete sense from a Wesleyan perspective.
Not only does this project well-reflect Wesleyan understandings of faith, I hope it will also appeal to young United Methodists (including many of those in the UMC social media/blog world). My sense is that many young United Methodists care deeply about human rights as an important matter of faith. I hope, then, that this call will be of interest to some of this blog's readers, and that it will encourage them to continue to develop a faith that sustains engagement with important justice issues such as human rights.
Prayers can be e-mailed (along with a selfie and a 150-word explanation of who and where you are) to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Entries should be submitted by the end of September.