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CoNGO E-Newsletter August 2014

Use this link to read the CoNGO E-Newsletter August 2014

An OSMTH Prayer for Peace in all the world

Almighty God, the Creator of all, we, of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, remind ourselves daily that the Psalmist of old bids us to “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM AND THE PROSPERITY OF ALL PEOPLE”

With broken hearts, bruised bodies and wounded souls, we come before you praying for peace to reign in the hearts and minds of all people.

Remembering, that we are Born of God, Redeemed by Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Help all nations and peoples to put away the crimes of war, the battles of bitterness and cruelty one person to another.

Help us to see all people as the great family of God; in a fellowship of peace with love one for another in the dignity of your created form.

Lord Jesus, you died in the midst of crisis on Calvary’s Hill. You were laid in the Sepulchre of Jerusalem and rose above it all to free us from sin and death.

Let us now as Children of God, Sons of Abraham, People of Faith be dead unto the sin of warfare and alive in a new life of peace and unity.

This prayer we offer through Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace and the author of our salvation.

And to that we say Amen, Amen and Amen.

A Palestinian Litany from Jerusalem

By Bishop Munib Younan

Almighty and eternal God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we glorify and praise you. You are our only refuge in this troubled world.
We glorify and praise you, our God.

Merciful God, in the birth of your Son Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem you became one of us, sharing and understanding our humanity, our suffering and problems.
We glorify and praise you, our God.

We thank you that you took refuge to Egypt, identifying yourself with all who are refugees and victims of the political power.
We thank you, our God.

We thank you that you grew up in Nazareth and ministered to the people in Galilee, and spread your kingdom in a new way.
We thank you, our God.

We thank you that you were crucified in Jerusalem, identifying yourself with every person who suffers and lives under occupation and injustice. On the cross you carried the sin and the suffering of all human beings and reconciled us with you and with our fellow human beings.
We thank you, our God.

Our Heavenly Father, we come before you with all the troubles and pains we are experiencing here in the Middle East:
Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for all the victims of the injustices and violence in present situation. We pray also for those who are responsible for injustices and all forms of violence.
Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for our laborers who cannot enter to their places of work. We pray for our youth who are loosing their hope for the future.
Lord, have mercy on us.

We pray for our mothers who are fed up with bloodshed, killing and the use of arms. We pray for the bereaved families, who lost their dear ones. We pray for the quick recovery of the injured. We especially pray for the those who have to live with permanent disability.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Savior, our eyes look to you, our only help in these troubled times:
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray, that you open the eyes of the world and of Israelis and Palestinians for justice and reconciliation. Help us all to see that the security and freedom of the one people is depending on the security and freedom of the other.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for the politicians, that they may realize that the security and peace we all long for will not come by the use of arms and force, but by having justice done so that the two peoples can reconcile and together work out an equitable coexistence for the future.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you have called us to be your followers. Give us your love for our fellow human beings. Free us, and our children, from hatred, bitterness, and the denying of the rights of others; and fill us with love, truth, justice, so that we can recognize and respect the dignity and the rights of one another.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you have shown us that forgiveness is not forgetting ones rights but asserting them. We know that forgiving is to see Christ in our enemies, and to love them as our neighbors. Help us Palestinians to see you in the Israelis, and help the Israelis to see you in us. Lead us all to affirm and respect that our humanity is a gift from you, as we are all created in your image, and give us courage to mutually recognize each other’s human, religious, civil and political rights.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Holy Spirit , giver of life and new beginnings, help us to faithfully respond to God’s call to be ministers of reconciliation.
Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Help us to find ways of encouraging people to open their hearts and confess their part in the past injustices and find ways to build a just and secure future for our children. Give us wisdom and courage in this difficult task. When the pressures of the situation make us despair, come with your Holy Spirit and renew our strength and hope.
Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Sustain with your power those, who in the midst of all difficulties quietly are building the culture of reconciliation, justice and peace. They may not be many right now, but we remember that the work for God’s kingdom among us, started with only a handful faithful and committed people.
Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Come, Healing Spirit , and change us and open ways for us to change others. Remove all injustice and fill our land with just peace. Remove all hatred and fill us all with true love.
Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Remove all insecurity and bring in real security. Remove all occupation and bring in freedom for all.
Come, Holy Spirit, renew us all.

Merciful God, accept our prayer and yearning. You are the only strength we have. No one can take the power of prayer away from us. In the name of Jesus – our Liberator and Redeemer – we pray.
Amen

OSMTH expresses its concerns...

OSMTH expresses its concerns for the civilian populations over the current war in Gaza and Israel and all those in the Middle East.

(The first of a series of OSMTH statements of concern for different parts of the world)

Geneva, July 31, 2014. OSMTH wishes to express its solidarity with all the civilian people from both sides who are suffering from the current situation. OSMTH is deeply saddened by the continued escalation of military operations in Gaza, the physical devastation, the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties, including whole families, as well as the increasing number of rockets striking the Israeli territory and people. OSMTH does not think that collective punishment of civilian populations, and especially children, will achieve gain for either party involved in the conflict. As each day passes, more innocent civilians are being killed. We call for an immediate ceasefire by both sides.

There seems to be no definitive military solution to this almost 50-years-long conflict. All parties must accept that lasting peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.

The human needs in Gaza are immense. We hear the cry of doctors and nurses overwhelmed by the flow of casualties. Today’s news reports suggest that more than 1400 Palestinians have been killed. Civilian displacement has also risen sharply. UNRWA is presently providing shelter to over 200,000 people.

The current war is a result of decades of political failure. An end to the violence must be followed by genuine dialogue and renewed negotiations addressing the root causes of this conflict. A durable peace will only be achieved by seeking together common paths towards reconciliation and peace, and through a genuine commitment to creating the basis for future generations of Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace in mutually recognized countries.

With all these sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians risk being filled with new hatreds. The war is once again feeding anger and violent extremism, with consequences in the whole region and even worldwide.

Therefore, OSMTH urges both sides to take a step aside and consider the right to forgiveness. Fathers and mothers have been killed in the past. Now, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters from both sides are being killed, persecuted or displaced . Only the right to forgiveness will help our grandsons and granddaughters live in peace with mutual respect of each other.

OSMTH fully supports the efforts of the United Nations and other committed international organisations, governments, religious organisations, and other civil society organisations wishing to help establish a durable and just peace for all in the Middle East

ICRD Templar Update

This article is very much worth the read. The ICRD (International Center for Religion & Diplomacy) is truly one of our most valued and internationally recognized cooperative NGO’s with OSMTH on the world scene. Both Chev. Dr. Johnston, President of ICRD, and The Rev. Chev. Canon Brian Cox, Senior Vice President of ICRD, are exceptional world leaders in faith based diplomacy. In fact, Canon Cox delivered a number of key presentations at the recent GPUSA annual C&I. It was also he that asked OSMTH to host the Copenhagen-Syrian Conference hosted by GP Denmark about 70 days ago which was attend by many to include Princess Elizabeth, Ennio Senese, Duke Alexander zu Mecklenburg, Tom Curtis (GPUSA), Lars Karstensen (GP Denmark) plus a number of Knights and Dames from Denmark.

Read the update

The Gift of American Power

May 14, 2014 | 0801 GMT
Stratfor (via Grand Master Pat Rea)
By Robert D. Kaplan

Despite the East-West territorial clash over the buffer state of Ukraine, despite the sanguinary battles for patches of ground across the swath of the Middle East -- in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq -- and despite the zero-sum territorial conflicts throughout maritime East Asia, the myth persists of a world benignly ruled by multilateral institutions and agreements, by international financial markets that have all escaped geopolitics, and by the geography on which it is based. Such thinking obviously contains a large measure of truth, but taken too far it creates the dangerous illusion of inexorable progress that is willfully blind to dangers ahead. While geography tells many stories, often contradictory, and can be overcome by human agency -- especially in the form of brave and moral leadership -- a belief in the inevitability of progress is dangerously deterministic. It was such deterministic optimism that made the civilized world less prepared for the two world wars in the 20th century.

As long as the world is ruled by imperfect men and women -- some of whom will be evil, some of whom will be naive and some of whom will be competent yet unable to avoid disputes with other competent leaders whose self-interests and national interests are simply different -- conflict will dominate international relations. And as long as human beings live on this earth they will have disputes over territory that, no matter how bleak or water-starved or lacking in other resources, constitutes holy ground fundamental to their group identity.

This situation will be aggravated by the world population increasing from 7 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, according to the latest U.N. projections. Most of this increase will occur in the poorest and least stable countries -- those already prone to war. Geography is about to become more precious than ever. Meanwhile, communications technology will make geopolitics increasingly claustrophobic, as events in one part of the world can affect those in another as never before. Interlocking, catalytic conflict rooted in geography is about to define the 21st century. To wit, Europe lacks the will to enforce meaningful sanctions against Russia because it is too dependent on Russia's webwork of natural gas pipelines -- a fact of geography if ever there was one. This leads to a perception of weakness on the part of the West that can only encourage the Chinese to be even more provocative in pressing territorial claims in the South and East China seas. The Japanese, who contest territory in the East China Sea with China, have specifically warned of the danger that the Western response to Crimea poses to them.

Meanwhile, the collapse of distance wrought by advances in military technology has brought China and India into a strategic competition that has no precedent in their collective histories: Indian space satellites spy on Chinese airfields; Chinese fighter jets have the capability to incorporate India into their arc of operations; Indian missiles can target Chinese cities and Chinese warships are present in the Indian Ocean. The world has shrunk, in other words, even as vast and poverty-wracked cities expand, and group identity -- whether tribal in Africa, sectarian in the Middle East or ethnic and nationalistic in East Asia -- has been dangerously reconstructed by the Internet and other technologies into the most exclusivist, inflexible forms.

But what about all those new global and regional institutions and organizations, to say nothing about the growth and opportunity that has come from financial markets? Aren't they the other, more positive half of reality? They are. But then the question arises: Why have they been able to come into being in the first place? What ultimately undergirds them? The answer is one that many members of the global political and financial aristocracy do not want to hear: raw American power.

Because the American economy is the world's largest, and because the American people have over the course of the decades agreed to employ that prosperity in service to an immense military armature across the globe, stability, such as it exists, and a new and unprecedented global civilization have been able to emerge. Take away that raw American power -- which is first and foremost a geopolitical phenomenon -- and the escape from geopolitics that many proclaim suddenly evaporates.

It is the various U.S. Navy fleets and numbered air forces that are the ultimate guarantor of stability in the key theaters of the globe. The U.S. Seventh Fleet, because it can easily defeat any rival, keeps the peace of East Asia. The spectacular Asian economic boom that commenced in the late Cold War decades is simply impossible to even imagine without the security provided by the U.S. military. Take away the Seventh Fleet and the chances of China and Japan going to war increase dramatically, roiling financial markets in the process. It is the Seventh Fleet that still stands in the way of China being able to Finlandize South Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Wide stretches of the Middle East may be in chaos or semi-chaos, but it is U.S. air and sea power that helps prevent a Persian Gulf war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and provides ultimately for the security of Israel and Jordan. As for Europe, without U.S. military power Russia is more dominant than the European Union on the Continent, and the independence of the Baltic states, Poland and Romania is crushed or dramatically diluted. Geography certainly matters, and Europe's freedom survives best because of the geographical breadth of the U.S. military.

The United States is not a traditional empire because it has no colonies, but its military -- and the diplomatic power that accompanies it -- is deployed in an imperial-like fashion worldwide. The U.S. Navy calls itself a global force for good. That claim would pass the most stringent editorial fact-checking process. Without that very naked American ambition, which allows the Navy and the Air Force to patrol the global commons, the world is reduced to the sum of its parts: a Japan and China, and a China and India, dangerously at odds and on the brink of war; a Middle East in far wider war and chaos; a Europe neutralized and emasculated by Russian Revanchism; and an Africa in even greater disarray. It is not that regional powers cannot act rationally on their own; it is only that without a global hegemon of sorts, local balance-of-power interactions become more fraught with risk and are, therefore, more dangerous.

The 1914 scenario that many proclaim for both Europe and East Asia would become much more than journalistic hype absent American military preponderance. The spread of democracy that many celebrate would be impossible to imagine without the American military's global footprint since, if you project your power, your values will often follow behind you.

It is true that the early 21st century is different from the 20th and 19th centuries. It is different not so much because of a change in human nature, or because of postmodern technology, or because of the disappearance of geopolitics. To the contrary, it is different because the United States, with all of its limitations and all of its mistakes, remains geopolitically dominant.

Great powers are rarely appreciated in their own time, for the benevolent order they spread goes unacknowledged by those who benefit most from what they provide. Global -- and the system of legal norms that arises from it -- survives to a significant extent because the American military remains robust and widely deployed. And that, in turn, is not a situation that is necessarily permanent, or one that can ever be taken for granted.

Prayer from OSMTH for the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria

New York, United States of America and Geneva, Switzerland, May 11 2014

Chev. Venerable Ron Matthewman, Vicar General of OSMTH., led OSMTH’s 21 member Grand Priories in a prayer for the kidnapping victims and their families.

Eternal Lord God, Creator and Redeemer of all, we pray to you with heavy hearts for all people whose lives are affected by acts of terrorism, war, crime and disaster. Especially we pray for the girls of Nigeria stolen from their school and homes by enemies of our humanity. We pray for their quick and safe release; for their families, friends and people of the world caught up in this attack which touches all of us.

We pray for those who performed these violent terrorist attacks, that their hearts and minds of stone may become hearts of love and concern.

Lord God, we pray for ourselves sorely affected in heart and mind by the Inhumanity of others.

Help us all to live together in peace and love one for another.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer whose will it is that we should live in peace and harmony with each other. Amen.

OSMTH works with and through other Chivalric Orders, the senior leadership of different nations, and with other Non-Governmental Organizations [NGO] in order to provide humanitarian aid and other involvement in resolution of serious humanitarian needs or conflict.

Statement from OSMTH on the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria.

New York, United States of America and Geneva, Switzerland, May 9 2014

Brigadier General Patrick Rea, the Grand Master of OSMTH, speaking on behalf of OSMTH’s 23 member nations expressed our deepest concern that the kidnapped children be returned to their parents unharmed. Col Dr Marcel de Picciotto, Grand Commander of OSMTH and chief of Mission at the United Nations in Geneva, indicated that “as Christians, and as human beings with a devotion to Peace and understanding and bridge building, we deeply sympathize with the deep grief and worry that the parents of these children feel and we will remain actively engaged in this resolution of this issue through our ongoing dialogue with the United Nations, the leaders of Nations, Interfaith organizations and other NGOs.”

OSMTH works with and through other Chivalric Orders, the senior leadership of different nations, and with other Non-Governmental Organizations [NGO] in order to provide humanitarian aid and other involvement in resolution of serious humanitarian needs or conflict.

Yes, He Has Risen!!

Chaplain-General, The Rt. Rev. Munib A. Younan, Bishop from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land provides a wonderful Easter Message. For members of OSMTH and all peoples interested in Peace and progress in the Middle East this message is just exceptional.

Our prayers are with you and all the Sons of Abraham as we join together in the Risen Christ for peace and justice in the Middle East and world.

Read the Easter Message.

President Josipovic received a delegation of the Templar Order

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11 April 2014, Zagreb, Croatia - Croatian President Ivo Josipovic received a delegation of dignitaries of the Templar order OSMTH who participate in Zagreb at the international meeting of the Grand Council of the Order of the Main, and brought together senior representatives of the Order from more than 20 countries worldwide.

In an interview with representatives of the Order of the President met with the rich history of the Order and the forms of their functioning in the world today. They informed the President about their efforts and commitment to international peace and humanitarian activities of the Order, and the promotion of intercultural and inter-religious ties as well as human rights.

Grand Master of the Order, General Patrick Rea said the Croatian contribution in spreading understanding and cooperation among nations, which is the primary objective of the Order. Josipovic stressed the importance of building bridges of peace between peoples and cultures and wished them success in their future work.

Link to article

Office of the President / photographer:Tomislav Bušljeta

 

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OSMTH’s raison d’etre is expressed through the Brussels Declaration: “Aiding humanity on the pilgrimage through life.”
Vision and Commitment
  • Christian Ethos, Spirituality and Chivalric Values.
  • Domestic Charity and International Humanitarian Aid
  • Human Rights and the respect for Human Diversity
  • Interfaith Dialogue and Bridge-Building
  • Provide humanitarian aid to Christians and all peoples in need around the world, through physical, financial, and moral support.
  • Continue programmes that aid Christians around the world, especially in the Holy Land.
  • Promote a dialogue based on the principles of peace and justice amongst and between the faiths of the Sons of Abraham and the other great religions of the world, to establish better understanding and greater tolerance.
  • Mitigate human suffering by actively participating in activities associated with disaster relief, humanitarian aid, human rights, peace building and sustainable development, and the respect of human diversity.
  • Facilitate, mediate and advocate conflict-prevention and resolution by providing subject matter experts and supporting organizations in the fields of religious and international diplomacy.
"Non nobis, Domine, non nobis,
sed nomini Tuo da gloriam..."
 
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