Just Peace Sunday 2022
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.
In 2022, Just Peace Sunday is Sept. 18
“Breaking Through: The Disruptive Power of Just Peace”
The theme for Just Peace Sunday 2022 is “Breaking Through: The Disruptive Power of Just Peace.”
Ephesians 2:14-22 “For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us”
(Lectionary) Luke 16:1-13 “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and money.”
In 2022, we find ourselves a people in need of a breakthrough. As a global community, we remain mired in a pandemic and face continued challenges of a climate crisis, systemic racism, economic disparity, and threats to our human rights and democracy. A prolonged war in Ukraine has killed thousands and sparked new Cold War thinking and renewed militarism. Gun violence has devastated communities across the U.S. and a hoped-for “new normal” of greater peace with justice seems elusive.
Our world today remains in need of a breakthrough:
- A breakthrough of commitment to end the climate crisis and reverse the ecological devastation that threatens our planet and life itself.
- A breakthrough of political will to end the crisis of gun violence in our communities.
- A breakthrough of justice to reverse years of systemic racism and economic disparity that diminishes the livelihoods of many.
- A breakthrough of peace to end the war in Ukraine, and all wars.
As people of faith, we believe that “Peace is Possible” and that hope can and will emerge in surprising places if we look for it, and struggle toward it. This Just Peace Sunday, we invite you to look for places where hope is emerging, where peace is breaking through in our world. We invite you to bring that hope to places where it is needed, and be open to finding it in unexpected places.
Together, let us reflect on the disruptive power of Just Peace as we work and pray for a breakthrough!
Rev. Michael Neuroth
Observe Just Peace Sunday! Here are some resources to use in your congregation:
- Welcome video by Rev. John Dorhauer
- Sermon Spark “Breaking Through” by Rev. Dr. Sheila Harvey
- Bible Study with Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause
- Litany for Just Peace 2022 by Rev. Amber Neuroth
- Prayer for Just Peace Rev. Dr. Damayanthi Niles
- If We Just Talk of Thoughts and Prayers by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
- “Like a Tree Planted by the Water” by Deborah L. Patterson (Permissions given for use)
- Song “I am for Peace” by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
- General Synod Worship Videos also were based on Psalm 1. Any videos and music can be used, but please cite permission information.
Let peace break through! As a way of engagement this year, considering taking a flower to a part of your community in need of Just Peace. This could be at your school, local political office, workplace, local gun shop, police department, hospital – anywhere. Where is a breakthrough of peace needed? Take a photo of yourself holding a flower or delivering it to someone, and post on social media with the hashtag #JustPeaceBreakthrough
Art for Just Peace Sunday
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.)
What is Just Peace?
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!