On Earth Peace has announced a theme and a new name for its campaign encouraging churches and communities to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. This is the sixth year that On Earth Peace has held its campaign.
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Peace Day is the new name for the campaign, centered this year on the theme, “Praying for Ceasefire.” On Earth Peace is inviting community groups and church congregations to organize events on or near Sept. 21. It is seeking 200 faith and community groups around the world to plan public events that include prayer, cultural sharing, music, and art to help communities talk and pray together.
In addition, “this year On Earth Peace is inviting communities to imagine something beyond the usual prayer vigil observance and to declare or pray for a 24-hour ceasefire based on the unique struggles and challenges of your community,” said a release.
“What could a real ceasefire look like where you are? What ceasefire do you pray for?” the announcement asked. “It could mean not one incident of domestic violence. An end to bullying. No more shootings. A time to pray for restored relationships or new relationships to be formed across walls that divide. A time to declare that all the wars are over and to call for our young men and women to come home. A pause to seek, asking God for vision for a new path. Who do you need to bring together to pray in a new and powerful way to challenge violence?”
In its release about the International Day of Prayer for Peace, the World Council of Churches (WCC) highlighted the theme adopted by On Earth Peace, quoting staff member Matt Guynn: “For some people, praying for ceasefire will mean praying for a break in armed conflict. For others, a ceasefire will mean ending conflict in their community, workplace, church, or family.”
The WCC noted that last year, prayers for peace lifted up on Sept. 21 “circled the globe from Cuba to Fiji, Indonesia, Rwanda, Germany, and Canada.” Observance of a day for Christians to pray for peace began in 2004 as part of the ecumenical Decade to Overcome Violence (DoV) after an agreement between the heads of the WCC and the United Nations.
For more about Peace Day to go http://prayingforceasefire.tumblr.com .