Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) blogs

Swords into plowshares

Subscribe to this blog feed icon

About this blog

Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

Recent posts



See all PC(USA) Blogs

PC(USA) Home

Posts with tag: presbyterian disaster assistance

November 13, 2015

A prayer for Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad

God of mercy, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance,
in the midst of unfolding violence and the aftermath of terror and loss, 
we seek the grounding power of your love and compassion.
In these days of fearful danger and division, we need to believe somehow that your kindom of peace in which all nations and tribes and languages dwell together in peace is still a possibility.
Give us hope and courage that we may not yield our humanity to fear.., even in these endless days of dwelling in the valley of the shadow of death.

We pray for neighbors ...

Read more

December 24, 2013

UN Security Council acts to double UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan

The United Nations News Centre reports:

The Security Council today authorized almost doubling the United Nations peacekeeping force in strife-torn South Sudan to nearly 14,000 in the face of a rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis that has left hundreds of civilians dead and tens of thousands of others driven from their homes.

As requested by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Council unanimously approved a temporary increase in the strength of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to up to 12,500 military and 1,323 police from a current combined strength of some 7,000, through the transfer ...

Read more

December 9, 2013

Responding in the Philippines

by Esther Lee

On November 20, 2013, Presbyterian World Mission sponsored a Webinar discussing updates on the current situation in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. The purpose of the webinar was to learn how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is responding to the people of the Philippines affected by the typhoon and how U.S. Presbyterians can faithfully and effectively be involved in the recovery.

Panelists included:

Read more

June 16, 2013

A prayer for World Refugee Day

June 20 is World Refugee Day. Learn how Presbyterian Disaster Assistance works with refugees.


Here's a prayer:

God of the journey,
We remember that Mary and Joseph
Had to flee to Egypt,
Taking Jesus to safety,
Leaving home behind.
We pray for sisters and brothers
Around your world
Who are forced to leave their homes.
We pray for brothers and sisters who are
Driven from home by natural disasters.
We pray for sisters and brothers who are
Driven from home by unnatural acts of violence and persecution.
We pray for brothers who are
Driven from home because of ...

Read more

June 20, 2012

#WorldRefugeeDay Tweetathon: Wednesday, June 20th

@presbyun is participating. Will you

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provides aid to refugees and displaced persons on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

On Wednesday, June 20th from 9 am to 9 pm EST, Blue Key supporters are taking over Twitter once again to support refugees!

We want to encourage as many people as possible to take action on World Refugee Day — June 20th — to raise awareness for refugees.

The main ways anyone can get involved include:

Read more

June 18, 2012

Choices- World Refugee Day - 20 June 2012

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message on World Refugee Day

More than 42 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes and communities.  More than a million fled their countries in the last eighteen months alone due to a wave of conflicts, in Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.  These numbers represent far more than statistics; they are individuals and families whose lives have been upended, whose communities have been destroyed, and whose future remains uncertain.

World Refugee Day is a moment to remember all those affected, and a time to intensify our support.

Four ...

Read more

December 24, 2011

PC(USA) responds to typhoon in the Philippines

In the aftermath of the typhoon that struck the Philippines, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is responding with One Great Hour of Sharing and designated funds in cooperation with our ecumenical partner ACT Alliance, and our mission partner the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP). Some NCCP churches are being used for as emergency shelter sites. The National Council of Churches of the Philippines is also a member of ACT Alliance. ACT members are already carrying out damage and needs assessments and helping to meet the most urgent needs.

PDA funds will help to meet the immediate need for food ...

Read more

August 24, 2011

A new hymn to support relief efforts in the Horn of Africa

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn that to support the churches’ famine relief efforts in the Horn of Africa. O God, You Love the Needy includes references in it to the lectionary texts for Sunday, August 28.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs provides information concerning the situation in the Horn of Africa.

Hold the people living in the Horn of Africa in prayer.

Support the humanitarian response by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Read more

August 18, 2011

WCC general secretary calls for urgent action in the Horn of Africa

The following release came from the general secretary of the World Council of Churches of which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a member.  The World Council of Churches requests donations go to ACT Alliance, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partner.  Another way to give is through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

In comments to staff of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 18 August, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed alarm at the “blocking and hindering of the food supply in famine-struck Somalia, with the effect that more and more people are dying. This interference with humanitarian ...

Read more

July 27, 2011

Numbers and the Horn of Africa

Reports from UN the Horn of Africa estimate that 10,000,000 people are experiencing a severe food crisis.

That's more people than live in New York City (not including urban area). 

That's more people than live in Wyoming, Washington D.C., Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine combined. 

Here are some ideas of how to respond: 

10 Ways You Can Help

Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


Learn more

Read more

July 22, 2011

PC(USA) responds to crisis in Horn of Africa

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has provided $100,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing funds to help meet the immediate and basic humanitarian needs of people affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa.  PDA is responding to this crisis as a member of ACT Alliance.  Fellow ACT Alliance members with programs in Somalia are planning to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to newly displaced people in Mogadishu, drought affected people in Gedo region, refugees in Dadaab camp in Kenya and host communities in both countries.

ACT members are already in the process of distributing 262 ...

Read more

July 21, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Some 10 million people in the Horn of Africa face a severe food crisis and could starve following a prolonged drought. "In some areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda, drought conditions are the worst in 60 years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an update."

On July 20, the United Nations "declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia owing to the worst drought in decades, and appealed for urgent resources to assist millions of people in desperate need of help."

The crisis has resulted in a significant increase in the number ...

Read more

March 22, 2011

On a rainy day . . .

. . . in New York town, I thought a lot about water. Recognizing the destructive power of water, I made a gift to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to care for those in Japan affected by the tsunami. Recognizing our dependence...

Read more

March 11, 2011

Prayers for the people of Japan and the Pacific Rim

Please pray for the people of Japan and the entire Pacific Rim following today's devastating earthquake and tsunami. For those wishing to give toward relief efforts, watch for the response from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Read more

November 5, 2010

UN humanitarian agency: Pakistan flooding victims still in urgent need of support

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that Pakistan flooding victims still in urgent need of support. And Presbyterian Disaster Assistance continues to respond to the needs of flood-affected families in Pakistan. In cooperation with Church World...

Read more

August 20, 2010

'Coming home' five years after Katrina struck

NBC special on August 29Watch a preview For many Americans, August 29 marks an anniversary that has scarred both bodies and souls. That was the day, five years ago, when Hurricane Katrina made a direct assault on New Orleans, Mississippi...

Read more

August 16, 2010

Pakistan floods

Floods have devastated Pakistan. As of August 15, some 1,500 people have been killed. Up to 20 million have lost their homes. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance's disaster relief fundUse a bulletin insert from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Pray: Gracious God,...

Read more

July 20, 2010

A prayer for Haiti

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us. Open our eyes that we may see you in the people that we meet and in the creation that you have made. Open our ears that we may hear you in...

Read more

June 4, 2010

A prayer in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill

God of creation and redemption, we pray for your healing powers upon your earth. As we have failed to be good stewards of creation, save your seas from the pollution of the oil spill. Protect the animals and marshlands from...

Read more

May 7, 2010

Presbyterians in Nashville respond to flood

Presbyterian News Service has posted a story about folks in Nashville beginning the clean-up from the recent flooding. Here's the most recent update from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on the flooding in Tennessee.

Read more

May 6, 2010

Update from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: Tornadoes and torrential rains affected several southern states the weekend of May 1, 2010. Nearly 20 inches of rain in a two day period caused severe flooding and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes...

Read more

February 28, 2010

Pray for the people of Chile

From the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): On Saturday, February 27, 2010, an earthquake measuring 8.8 occurred off the coast of Chile in the Maule region approximately 115 kilometers north of the country's second largest city, Concepción. Early reports are that there...

Read more

February 9, 2010

Support debt cancellation for Haiti

Many advocacy and relief groups note that dealing with Haiti's international debt will play a key role in that country's recovery from the earthquake. Several groups have initiated campaigns to cancel the debt. The United States Treasury and the G7...

Read more

February 2, 2010

Help Haiti

Want to help Haiti? Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance . But also encourage Treasury Secretary Geithner to cancel Haiti’s debt and ensure that future aid is in the form of grants not loans. Sign a petition by the ONE Campaign.

Read more

January 15, 2010

Call for A Comprehensive Response to the Catastrophe in Haiti

This advocacy opportunity comes from the Presbyterian Washington Office. Call on the Obama administration to respond to the earthquake in Haiti in a comprehensive way.Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Haiti. We urge the U.S. government and...

Read more

January 15, 2010

Haiti: Give, Act, Pray

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance offers bulletin inserts on how we can give, act, and pray to aid our sisters and brothers in Haiti whose lives have been disrupted and devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. Bulletin insert with images [pdf] Bulletin...

Read more

January 14, 2010

Presbyterians and Haiti

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has created an index page on Haiti. The page includes a giving opportunity, worship resources and links to information about Presbyterians and Haiti.

Read more

January 14, 2010

A hymn for Haiti

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a hymn reflecting on the earthquake in Haiti: In Haiti There is Anguish [pdf] The hymn concludes with a call to respond: "And may we see, in others’ pain, the cross we’re called to bear;...

Read more

January 13, 2010

Quick takes on Haiti

Here are some links to information and action opportunities concerning the earthquake in Haiti: Pray. Give to disaster relief. Make Gifts of the Heart hygiene kits. A hymn for Haiti. Additional information from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Regarding PC(USA) mission personnel...

Read more

January 13, 2010

Presbyterian response to Haiti

Give to the response to our sisters and brothers in need in Haiti. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is responding to the recent earthquake in Haiti through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and its partners. PDA will provide updates on the earthquake...

Read more

January 13, 2010

Pray for Haiti

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has posted a prayer for the people and nation of Haiti as they struggle to recover from the earthquake. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow notes, "Sometimes in the face of tragedy and feelings of helplessness,...

Read more

January 13, 2010


Pray for the people of Haiti in the aftermath of yesterday's earthquake. Pray for the world as the nations and peoples respond. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or other organization that will provide aid to those affected by the earthquake.

Read more

January 8, 2010

Cold Weather Care

Recognizing the freezing and subzero temperatures that have gripped the United States, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) provides ideas for ways that congregations can provide care to our sisters and brothers who are vulnerable to the cold. PDA is encouraging Presbyterian...

Read more

December 8, 2009

Advent devotion - December 8, 2009

Scripture: Psalm 33 “Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:21–22) Sometimes I question God. How did God,...

Read more

November 7, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting

As our prayers continue for all impacted by and affected by the shooting at Fort Hood: the senior Presbyterian military chaplain has addressed the event and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has responded.

Read more

September 30, 2009

Respond to Ondoy

Financial gifts to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will help our sisters and brothers in the Philippines whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm “Ketsana,” also known as “Ondoy,” This storm swept across metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon on...

Read more

June 4, 2009

Update - Sri Lanka

The people of Sri Lanka remain in need of prayer as they seek justice and work to rebuild. The UN Security Council will hear a briefing from the Secretary-General on June 5. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance continues to participate in the...

Read more

March 25, 2009

Pray for peace

This week, Spiritual Nurture for Peacemakers includes a prayer for the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering that supports Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People; a prayer for the people of Gaza; and a prayer...

Read more

December 30, 2008

For the People of Gaza

The United Nations reports that 320 people have died in Gaza since Saturday, December 27. In that same time period, the BBC cites Israeli sources indicating that 110 rockets have been fired into Israel resulting in the deaths of 2...

Read more

October 2, 2008

The Peacemaking Offering and the Presbyterian Hurricane Response

As congregations celebrate World Communion Sunday and receive the Peacemaking Offering, we are mindful of those in our communities who are in need of God’s healing and reconciling peace. Likewise, we are mindful of those who we may never see,...

Read more

August 14, 2008

Relief Efforts in Georgia

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is supporting humanitarian relief efforts to help refugees and those internally displaced by fighting in Georgia. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the conflict has displaced around 100,000 people, with some having fled to...

Read more

May 11, 2008

More on Myanmar

The few images from Myanmar are heartbreaking. The magnitude of the suffering is staggering. The actions of the military junta are mindboggling. The world seeks to respond but many rightly wonder if aid will make it to the people most...

Read more