Hundreds of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth gathered together virtually for the historic Missioning Prayer Service for SCNs Philomina Hembrom and Vinaya Chalil, Pioneers of the Kenya Mission, held today on Feb. 14, 2021.

Sangeeta: Welcome and Purpose for Gathering

Song: “O daughters of Catherine Simple and free, Pioneer Women we are called to be for the Love of Christ urges us on….(will sing it three times with music, Kelly and Michelle) 

Reading: Acts 13:1-4

Adeline: “The Church in Antioch had a number of Prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon, also known as Niger; Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. One day while they were worshiping God and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them along. So, the two of them being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God ….

Reflection

Jacky: The people in that room in Antioch were together for a particular reason. Though different in gifts and temperament, they found themselves agreeing on a common purpose: they were united by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, enthralled in the worship of God, and intensely focused on mission. In that moment, the Spirit called for two from their midst to be sent out, and the church responded with immediate obedience. The synergy between the call of the Spirit and the prayerful response of the church resulted in a supernatural dynamic spread of the Gospel that continues to this day.

We have the joy of using our gifts as members of Christ’s church to continue his ministry in the world today. Now, we gather to bless and Mission our Sisters Philomina Hembrom and Vinaya Chalil for the Kenya Mission to serve the needs of the Church in the Malindi Diocese. Doing so we continue the missionary tradition of the early church.

The early church demonstrated a commitment to upholding those whom they sent out, even when separated by time and distance. Essentially, through Spirit empowered prayer the church said to the missionaries, “We are with you.” We believe that the missioning we celebrate today will strengthen the bonds we will maintain with the faith filled communities to which they are going; the prayers we offer are an expression of the ties that bind us together in the larger body of Christ.

Sangeeta: We now ask for Philo and Vinaya to stand and for the Sisters in Botswana to arrange themselves in a semi-circle around them. 

Philo: “Philo and Vinaya, as you enter Kenya, remember that it is a Holy Ground and that the people are Holy and beloved by God. God is there present, even before you arrive. You are pioneers to a new mission. We believe that God has called you, chosen you and appointed you the bearers of good news, to go forth and bear fruit. And so, let us pray….” 

Prayer 

Amrita: “Gracious and eternal God, we give you thanks and praise with great joy, gratitude and love in our hearts. Throughout the ages, you have been faithful to your covenant people. In every time and place, you have chosen servants from among your people for a mission. You guided them to point the way for others, and to help others see the Good News in their lives and in the world. We are grateful for these ancestors in the faith, who followed your call despite their fear and misgivings, for they placed their trust in you alone.

We pray this morning/afternoon/evening, O faithful God, for Sisters Vinaya Chalil and Philomina Hembrom, whom you have called to be missionaries to your people in Kenya.”

Presentation of the Bible (Mary and Nalini present Bibles to Philo & Vinaya with Mary Elizabeth’s words “With this Bible….)

Mary Elizabeth: Philo and Vinaya, we ask that God bless you with the endurance of Euodia and Syntyche of Philippi, who were coworkers of Paul. As Paul wrote, these women struggled together with him in the ministry of the Gospel. May you, like Priscilla of Cenchrae, strengthen the church and explain the Way of Jesus Christ accurately. With this Bible, we call you to proclaim the good news to the people of Kenya. 

Presentation of the Light (Bibiana and Sunila present Lit Candles to Philo and Vinaya)

Adeline: Philo and Vinaya, may you, like Elizabeth, be filled with the Holy Spirit and perceive God’s presence when it is right in front of you. May you, like Mary of Nazareth, know just how much God has blessed you. May you know that you have been called to serve God’s people. With this candle we bless you with light; may you be filled with Christ’s light, dispel the darkness and share the light of Christ with the people of Kenya. 

Anointing with Oil (Ann anoints P and V with oil on their forehead)

Sangeeta: Philo and Vinaya, May you have the strength of Esther, who was willing to speak truth to power and the strength of Deborah who led the people of Israel as prophet and judge. May you know that it was for just such a time as this that you have been called to serve God’s people. May God’s wisdom give you direction and courage as you serve God’s people. As we anoint you with oil, we pray that you may be strengthened and filled with Holy Spirit. May your path be safe and sacred.

Concluding prayers:

Philo, Aisha, and Lisa: God our Mother and Father, as Philo and Vinaya journey to Kenya they do so as disciples of Jesus; Bless them and help them to be a blessing to others. 

Premila and Sarita: Grant our Sisters your wisdom and courage as they boldly commit themselves for this new mission.

Mercy and Angela: May others experience Jesus in their midst by the manner in which they live and minister and may they always and everywhere model the life of Christ with authenticity and great zeal.

Carlette, Kerry and Bev: Give them eyes to see the path of service you desire them to take and bless them with ears to hear the cry of the people.

Nancy and Community: May they experience the joy of spreading the Good News and the support of community living.

Botswana sisters: As Jesus modeled service by washing the feet of the disciples, may you embody the attitude of servant leadership in all you do and say.

CLT: 

Jackulin: May you be a light and guardian for those in the mission to which God called you. 

Adeline: May God grant you perseverance, patience and God’s own abiding presence. 

Sangeeta: On behalf of the entire Congregation, we now mission you for loving service of God’s people in Jesus’ name. Amen

Concluding Song:I Send You Out” by John Angotti 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAVx9kvWsnM

Verse 1 

I baptize you in the name of the Father, I baptize you in the name of the Son. 

I baptize you with the Holy Spirit. 

Go out and spread Good News! 

Chorus 

I send you out on a mission of love, I send you out on a mission of love. I send you out on a mission of love, and know that I am with you always until the end of the world. 

Verse 2 

Well, it’s time for us to become people with spirit. It’s time for us to become people of love. It’s time for us to know that Jesus Christ is risen, forgives our sins and brings us new life! 

Chorus 

I send you out on a mission of love, I send you out on a mission of love. I send you out on a mission of love, and know that I am with you always until the end of the world. Copyright © 2000 World Library Publications, All rights reserved. Used by permission.