United Church of Christ

Just Peace Sunday

2018 Just Peace Sunday

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 16, 2018: Wisdom Cries Out!

Just Peace is not a destination, but a path requiring awareness and constant vigilance to resolve existing and developing conflict in ourselves, our families, our communities, our institutions, and our world. This path requires non-violence when possible and even when impossible to engage in love and restraint. Just Peace envisions a renewed, vibrant, diverse, and sustainable world free of violence.  

Just Peace is grounded in God's activity in creation; God’s covenant patience and provision in the wilderness; in the reconciling activity of Jesus Christ; in the presence of the Holy Spirit; and in the community of reconciliation. Shalom is the vision that pulls all creation toward a time when weapons are made into ploughs and all creatures lie down together without fear; where all have their own vine, 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 Just Peace Sunday litany - “Wisdom Cries Out!” The liturgy was written by Rev. Amber Neuroth, Pastor of Hope United Church of Christ in Alexandria, VA

Sermon Seeds: Wisdom Cries Out! - Download this "Sermon Seeds" for Just Peace Sunday inspired by Proverbs 1:20-33 written by Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey Guillaume, pastor of Union Congregational United Church of Christ in West Palm Beach, FL. Let us join the Spirit in crying out for a more just and human immigration policy and a more peaceful world! Download this special "Sermon Seeds."

Other Worship Resources - Download a Litany for Families Separated at Border by Rev. Tracy Howe Whispelway 

Reflection: A Just Peace Call to Address Root Causes of Immigration - Read a reflection by Rev. Michael Neuroth, our UCC International Policy Advocate, exploring the connection between our call to work for peace with justice and our advocacy for just immigration policies.

Art Work for Just Peace Sunday

Facebook Cover Photo: Facebook Graphic: Twitter Graphic:

2018 Just Peace sunday Facebook cover

2018 Just Peace Sunday Graphic 2018 Just Peace Sunday Twitter

Craft Activity for Youth and Children

Observe UCC Just Peace Sunday, church-wide, by giving your children a biblical look at Just Peace and making a craft with your church youth and children. These butterflies 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.

Butterfly Peace Craft

To the Monarch butterfly, the cycle of migration is a natural and unavoidable part of life. At the end of a Canadian summer, the butterflies fly south across North America for the warmer climates of Mexico. Because of their ability to travel freely across borders, immigration activists have adopted the Monarch butterfly as an important symbol in their fight against strict immigration laws in the United States.

In addition to migration, countless legends from around the world describe butterflies as symbols of hope, peace, transformation, endurance, and life.

  • Watch the instructions via this video.
  • While your children are crafting consider inviting them to sing along with music about peacemaking.
  • 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.

The Butterfly 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.)

Find additional resources here.

Take Action

In June, the United Church of Christ National Leadership issued a pastoral letter condemning the separation of families and criminalization of those seeking refuge from violence. As a denomination, we have spoken unequivocally current Administration actions that erode the foundations of the immigration system and international law that upholds access to asylum for those fleeing danger and violence. 

As a Just Peace Church, we call on policy makers to address the root causes of violence and injustice in neighboring countries while also affirming our call as Christians to welcome the stranger, and care for our neighbors. To turn our backs as a nation on people suffering from violence and failed U.S. policy, which has contributed to economic inequality and political instability, is abhorrent and undermines our values

Just Peace Sunday is a time when we put our values into action, by highlighting intersections between issues such as migration and peace. Act today to call on policy makers to end immoral immigration practices and instead work to bring families together through compassionate immigration policy that makes our communities and our world safer.

Learn more about the UCC’s work on Immigration

More information:

 

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