Watch this video for more information!
In Romans 1:16, Paul proclaims, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel,” and goes on to explain why. This confidence is echoed when he writes to Timothy, “Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or of me His prisoner” (I Timothy 1:8).
Christians are coming under increasing pressure from ideologies such as Islam, Buddhism, Hindu nationalism and secular humanism. In Suffering Church Action Week (SCAW), we have an opportunity to stand with our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever they are facing and wherever they may be. We can each declare, with Paul and fellow-Christians through the ages and across the world, “I am not ashamed.”
On this website, there is a range of resources to help you, your prayer group and your church participate in Suffering Church Action Week. We suggest 29 October – 5 November but, If you prefer, these resources can be used at another time more suitable to your church’s calendar.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL RESOURCE
The I Am Not Ashamed daily devotional resource has been specially designed for SCAW. It includes daily readings and prayers based on the theme for the week, “I Am Not Ashamed”. For each of the eight days you will find a reading, a comment and a suggested prayer.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE PICTURE
Change your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile picture to the Not Ashamed logo, then fast from social media to spend time praying for Christians facing persecution. When you change your profile picture, let your followers know why and explain the reason for your fast.
ORDER YOUR INSPIRATION RESOURCE PACK - AVAILABLE NOW
Getting resources for Suffering Church Action Week couldn’t be easier. Just order our free I Am Not Ashamed Inspiration Resource Pack, and we’ll provide you with everything you need to get started.
The Inspiration Pack includes (one of each):
- A copy of Barnabas Aid magazine
- An eight-day devotional booklet to help you pray through the week
- Large (A3) 'I am not ashamed' poster
- A money box that could be used for individuals at home or a small group meeting
- Prayer Guide for Barnabas Fund International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Saturday 4 November
- A sample Gift Aid envelope for donations from UK tax-payers
- Praying for the Persecuted Church 2017 booklet
- New 2017 Prayer bookmark
- SCAW wristband
Standing against persecution - BY THE "OIL OF HIS GRACE"
“The Lord inspired me through your materials to write a song entitled “Oil of His Grace”… I have long wondered how Christians can stand against such severe persecution, but now I understand that without God’s grace it would be impossible.”
With these words, Christian songwriter Patricia Blaylock Jennings from Maryland, USA, told Barnabas hows she had come to write “Oil of His Grace”, hoping that it would bring comfort to persecuted Christians and help other Christians become more aware of the plight of their suffering brothers and sisters. You are welcome to use this song in your Suffering Church Sunday service, your home group or your own devotions.
Barnabas Aid is not the holder of the copyright, but has been granted the right to use “Oil of His Grace” in raising awareness of the persecuted Church. Churches may reproduce the score and/or lyrics to facilitate the song’s use by their congregations, but may not otherwise copy, distribute or exhibit it. No third party may copy, distribute or exhibit “Oil of His Grace” outside this remit without the express permission of the copyright holder. For further information, contact your local Barnabas office.
BARNABAS FUND INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Saturday 4 November 2017
Barnabas Fund supporters and project partners from across the globe will come together for 24 hours to pray for brothers and sisters who face discrimination and persecution because of their stand for the Gospel.
In this prayer guide are hourly suggestions meant to aid and inspire your prayers. There is more information on the suggested countries to pray for in Barnabas Fund’s Praying for the Persecuted Church 2017 booklet
Can you join with us in praying for our suffering brothers and sisters, asking the Lord to strengthen them and help them to be faithful to Him in the face of persecution?
You can use our resources for your own prayer on the day, or maybe your church could set up a special event.
It’s time to get creative. Print out and decorate your very own “I Am Not Ashamed” wristband with your favourite colours and craft materials. Once it is finished, wear your unique “I Am Not Ashamed” wristband to show your support for Christians who are not allowed to show their faith openly, or who are treated unfairly or even attacked just because they love Jesus.
Making a wristband is a great craft idea for you to do at home or with your Sunday School group or youth group. All you need is a print-out of the wristband outlines; some colouring pencils, pens, crayons or paints; scissors; and; glue or sticky tape. Maybe you have some glitter or other small decorations you could stick on it too.
There are different wristbands to choose from on the page - choose the one you like best; your friends can choose theirs too. Cut it out and put it round your wrist to see if it fits. It needs to be loose enough to slide it on and off, but not too loose or it will keep falling off. If it is too long, cut it shorter. To make a stronger wristband you could try printing the wristband out on card instead of paper, or you could stick your paper wristband to card. Then decorate it on both sides, join the ends together with glue or tape, and put it on.
Alternatively, you can order ready-made silicone “I Am Not Ashamed” wristbands for you, your friends or your group for free.
Perpetua's Diary - A Musical for the Persecuted Church
Why a musical on Christian martyrdom?
Because musicals attract the public, entertain, and draw people into narratives.
Because we have stories to tell about Christian faith, courage and endurance.
Because the killing of Christians is increasing in our world and we need to understand how high the price can be for many of our fellow believers.
Perpetua's Diary is based upon the true narrative of six Christians who were killed by the Roman state in 203AD. One of them, an educated 22-year-old married Roman woman named Perpetua, wrote a prison diary before she was killed and that document has been treasured by the church ever since. It is the astonishing historic voice of an astonishingly courageous woman from the early church and a story of faith under attack, of ruthless oppression defied, of spiritual visions of the future life, of baptism and the Lord's Supper under prison conditions and of triumph over brutality.
This resource is being offered as a gift to churches and Christian theatre companies who wish to raise awareness of the ever-recurring reality of persecution and martyrdom. In our time over 7000 Christians a year are being killed because they will not renounce Christ. Long ago other sisters and brothers faced the same choices. We need to honour them, to draw strength from their witness, and to present their narratives widely.
"Perpetua's Diary" keeps close to the original narrative, features the famous Carthaginian theologian Tertullian as the narrator, and contains twenty-one original songs and five dream/dance sequences. The music has been set for a keyboard for use in smaller settings but has provision for full orchestration. Although written for community or professional theatres it could be adapted for presentation in churches, indeed a large church could be an ideal setting.
The writer and composers are resident in New Zealand and the writer, the Rev Dr Don Battley, is available for consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This script and score are offered pro bono to Christian churches and Christian theatre groups as a vehicle for Christian ministry.
Professional groups wishing to use these resources should contact Don Battley at email@example.com to arrange royalties.
Script © Don Battley 2017
Song "Praise to God Creator of the Heavens" © Eleanor Battley 1978
Music © Rosie Hamilton 2017
Arrangements © Kari Fedde 2017
Tell us what you think!
Please let us know what you think about this year’s resources: what was useful, what could be improved and if there is anything you would like to see included in the future.
Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org