The World YMCA and the World YMCA have observed their World Week of Prayer since 1904. This year, in the week of 7th to 13th November the theme was “Beauty from Brokenness”, as seen in a beautiful but fragile jar of clay.
The text inspiring the theme was written by the Apostle Paul, who writes in 2 Corinthians 4, 7-9 that “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this surpassing power is from God, and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed”.
These verses ring true for our global YMCA and YWCA Movements too. We have not been crushed by the COVID pandemic, but we are emerging from it with new vigour and enthusiasm, working for our communities with a renewed commitment.
A booklet was published for the Week of Prayer which included a guide for daily Bible reading for the whole of the year.
The YMCA/YWCA Week of Prayer concluded with an online worship event held on 12th November 2021 which was attended by YMCA and YWCA members from around the world.
Joy Eva Bohol from the World Council of Churches gave an address which reflected on the on-going climate emergency and underscored the sufferings of indigenous people like those who lost their ancestral land in the Amazon and other places, and the Pacific Islanders who face ever rising sea levels. She pointed to the COP 26 climate conference running at the very same time in Glasgow, expressing the hope that world leaders would take the necessary decisions to combat climate change and to reduce carbon emissions. She stressed that as Christians we have the spirit of Christ living in us, and have the power to overcome our own shortcomings. As a faith based organization, she said, we have a prophetic call to be alert to and to work against the inequalities and injustices of the world.
Young YMCA and YWCA people from around the world took part in the worship, which heard hymns written by Jon Owens (USA) and Phil Gray and Graham Kendrick (UK).
The online worship can be viewed here: