Devotional Subject: Peace

Devotional Subject: Peace

We Shall Not Be Moved

Vicki Kemper

If someone told you how to be more effective in your work for a more just and peaceful world, would you do it?


When Peace Came to Church

Vicki Kemper

Have you ever heard 100 people gasp in unison?


Peace Cranes fly to Orlando

After the June nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead and another 50 injured, the colorful symbols of peace made their way to First Congregational Church of Winter Park UCC in Winter Park, Fla., located just a few miles from where the tragedy took place. 


Just Peace Sunday

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The Thirtieth General Synod called on the congregations of the United Church of Christ to mark the Sunday preceding September 21 (which the United Nation recognizes as the “International Day of Prayer for Peace”) as Just Peace Sunday.

Observe Just Peace Sunday on September 18, 2016

Just Peacemaking expresses our commitment to engage practices to resolve conflict at every level - in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, and in our world - without violence whenever possible; when it is not possible, to then restrain, contain and reduce violence; and finally to work actively to bring it to a swift, sustainable, and just conclusion.

A Just Peace is grounded in God's activity in creation; in the reconciling activity of Jesus Christ; in the presence of the Holy Spirit; in the community of reconciliation; and in hope. Shalom is the vision that pulls all creation toward a time when weapons are swept off the earth and all creatures lie down together without fear; where all have their own fig tree and dwell secure from want. As Christians, we offer this conviction to the world: Peace is possible.

Observe Just Peace Sunday! Here are some resources to use in your congregation:

Worship Resources

Worship Ways - Liturgy for Just Peace Sunday
Download this special UCC "Worship Ways" liturgy for Just Peace Sunday - God is our Balm, A Service for Just Peace Sunday, was written by the Rev. Dr. Sheila Guillaume, Pastor of Union Congregational UCC in West Palm Beach, FL. And the Rev. Amber Henry Neuroth, Pastor of Hope UCC in Alexandria, VA.  Poetry contributed by Ken Sehested, editor/author of the online journal, prayer&politiks and fomer co-pastor of the Circle of Mercy Congregation affiliated with the UCC. 

Sermon Seeds - Lament as Hope
Download this special "Sermon Seeds" or exegesis of Jeremiah 8:19-9:1 and Psalm 79. As we pray and reflect on Just Peace Sunday, how can we find hope in a time of lament?

Other Worship Resources:

Download: DOC | PDF

Just Peace Litany
By Rev. Dr. Sheila Guillaume

One: On this Sunday, we celebrate the United Church of Christ's Just Peace commitment of local congregations

All: who are grounded in hope for our world, and proclaim that 'peace is possible' when rooted in Justice for all.

Sing: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

One: In this moment, let us rejoice on behalf of our being open and affirming to the belief that God, who is creator of all that is,

All: has created us equally in an abiding and everlasting love.

Sing: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

One: As the Body of Christ, we praise you, God, for creating us with a diversity of cultures, racial compositions, genders, languages, nationalities, theological perspectives, and socio-economic levels,

All: help us so that we can better understand the call for humanity to become as one, by joining our spirits together with the Spirit of God.

Sing: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

One: Trusting in your faithfulness, we humbly seek your guidance to have a stronger living relationship with you,

All: being the light which shines amongst your kingdom here on earth as instruments of your peace, now and forevermore.

Sing: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Prayers of the People
By Rev. Alice Harper-Jones

Merciful, loving and all powerful God we come into your presence with hearts of thanksgiving and praise as we unite for world justice and peace.

We pray for peace among people of various cultural traditions that are different from our own.
LORD HEAR OUR PRAYERS

We pray for peace and justice within our communities, our individual nations and throughout the world.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS

We pray for the youth around the world. That they will come together to positively enrich their lives, their communities and their countries.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS

We pray for global economic and political solutions to situations that will bring peace and justice to all of God’s people, created in God’s image.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS

We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus and for His sake.

Amen.

Art Work for Just Peace Sunday

Facebook Cover Photo: Facebook/Instagram Graphic: Twitter Graphic:

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Craft Activity for Youth and Children

Praying hands and dove craftObserve UCC Just Peace Sunday, church-wide, by making a craft with your church youth and children. These Hands-in-Prayer cards can be draped throughout your building in celebration of Just Peace Sunday and in observance of the International Peace Day (September 21). It will be a vivid witness to your congregation's commitment to peace. Download the craft instructions.

Consider sending pictures, or the actual cards, to your state and national leaders as an act of advocacy. And please send us the pictures so that we can share them with UCC congregations across the country! Post them on Twitter and tag @JustPeaceUCC or email uccjustpeace@gmail.com.
 
This peace craft was created by Tirsana Paudel, a student at Bryn Mawr College. Tirsana is committed to peacemaking and uses her artistic gifts to raise awareness about the need for peace with justice.

Study Resources

Download the Just Peace Handbook
In 2015, the 30th General Synod held in Cleveland, OH marked the UCC’s 30th anniversary as a Just Peace Church and called for a renewal of the UCC’s Just Peace witness. This booklet is intended to accompany this resolution and be a resource for all levels and areas of the church for further work and witness, especially to local congregations declaring or recommitting themselves as “Just Peace Churches.” This resource includes a summary of the historical and theological uniqueness of the Just Peace vision; the biblical and theological grounding for Just Peace values; and recommended steps for how to become a Just Peace Church. (Download.)

Take Action

Sign up for a Media Violence Fast - Join OC.Inc in a fast from media violence from September 15-21, 2016

  1. Take the pledge by signing up online, and search for events in your area.
  2. Use these resources.
  3. Share the fast with others.

Stay tuned for updates after you sign up -- a kit for organizers and participants is coming soon!

Join the Peace Day Challenge with the U.S. Institute of Peace!
The U.S. Institute of Peace, our nation’s independent federal institution dedicated to peacebuilding (which was established in 1984 in part thanks to UCC efforts), has created the Peace Day Challenge to raise awareness of International Peace Day. USIP aims to raise the visibility of this day, to frame peace as an attainable alternative to the violence we see daily in the news, and to encourage individuals and communities across the U.S. and beyond to take an action for peace, to share it at #PeaceDayChallenge, and then to sustain it beyond the day. Learn more, and get involved at www.peacedaychallenge.org! Because Peace is Action, and it starts with You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Peace the World Cannot Give

No generation in history has put so much thought, energy and money into keeping itself safe and secure, but still we are not at peace.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Nonviolent resistance emerged as the technique of the movement, while love stood as the regulating idea. In other words, Christ furnished the spirit and motivation, while Ghandi furnished the method.


"That they may all be one" – The Motto of the United Church of Christ

A rabbi told me that a town with two Jews would need three synagogues: The one I go to; The one you go to; and one neither one of us would be caught dead in. Christians are much the same. But Jesus' prophetic words assure us that someday, God's people will ALL be one – within and across faith groups.