From The Episcopal Church, Office of Public Affairs, Tuesday, August 12, 2014:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has urged Episcopalians to observe Sunday, August 17, as a day of prayer for those in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East living in fear of their lives, livelihoods, and ways of living and believing.
Her call for prayer is in response to violence in Iraq that has included the slaying of Christians, Yazidis, and other Iraqi religious minorities; the destruction and looting of churches, homes, and places of business; and the displacement of thousands under the threat of death.
“Pray that all God’s children might live in hope of the world of peace for which we were created,” she said.
The following collect, which may be used as part of the Prayers of the People or elsewhere in the liturgy, appears on page 815 of the Book of Common Prayer:
in whose perfect kingdom
no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness,
no strength known but the strength of love:
So mightily spread abroad your Spirit,
That all peoples may be gathered
under the banner of the Prince of Peace,
as children of one Father;
to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Questions about how best to support the Christian community of Iraq may be directed to the Rev. Canon Robert Edmunds, Middle East Partnership Officer for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.