Peace Day Events Are Planned by Church of the Brethren and Other Groups

Photo courtesy of Lacey Community Church
A peace banner hangs at Lacey Community Church for Peace Day 2014. The church in Lacey, Washs., is reaffirming a commitment to plant seeds, affirm values, dream dreams, and practice peace. Throughout the month of September a reflection series on conflict resolution and nonviolent communication helped put peacemaking into a daily context. Pastor Howard made paper-cut banners for the sanctuary, a visual affirmation of the congregation’s commitment to seeking peace.

Church of the Brethren congregations and other groups in many different communities are planning worship services, witnesses, prayer vigils, and even theater performances to celebrate the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sunday, Sept. 21.

Sept. 21 was set aside as a day for Christians to pray for peace by the World Council of Churches, in connection with an International Day of Peace instituted by the United Nations. A Peace Day campaign by On Earth Peace helps connect the Church of the Brethren and others to the annual event, offers resources, and collects an online listing of events and groups that are participating. Find out more at .

Here are just a few of the Peace Day events in the works:

— Gettysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a performance of “Peace, Pies, and Prophets” by Ted Swartz’s theater company Ted and Co., on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. The show is called “I’d Like to Buy an Enemy” and the evening will be interspersed with a pie auction benefiting Christian Peacemaker Teams and Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. Said an announcement in the Southern Pennsylvania District newsletter, “You will be entertained by a hilarious and poignant satire that explores peace, justice, and the American way–starring Ted Swartz and Tim Ruebke. This thought-provoking show allows us to laugh at ourselves, while engaging us to think about how to work for peace and justice worldwide.” Admission is free, with opportunities for free will offerings. Contact the Gettysburg church at 717-334-5066.

— The Witness Commission of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., is sponsoring a Peace Pole Walk at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Sept. 21. In addition, the congregation is connecting the Peace Day event with an opportunity to give to the EYN Compassion Fund to aid the Nigerian Brethren during a time of violence and suffering. The church newsletter announced that its Fall Quarterly Offering will support Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, with information provided in the Sept. 21 bulletin. The offering was brought by the Witness Commission and supported by the Stewards Commission and the church board.

— Peace Day at Monroeville Church of the Brethren in Western Pennsylvania District will include a special worship focus on peace at 11 a.m. To close the service, the congregation will dedicate a new Peace Pole, and share a potluck.

— Union Center Church of the Brethren near Nappanee, Ind., and other Indiana congregations will take part in an ecumenical and community observance outdoors near the church, beginning at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21. The event will be built around the text Matthew 25:31-40 in honor of the alternative service of the late Carlyle Frederick, a conscientious objector who was part of the Starvation Experiment during World War II. Contact .

— Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren hosts “Unity in the Community” on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 5-8 p.m., an interfaith celebration on the theme, “Sharing Water, Sharing Air, Sharing the Earth in Peace.” The community is invited to share prayers for peace, to share a dish at the fellowship supper following the service, and to contribute non-perishable items for the food pantries at ACTS and Northern Virginia Family Service (SERVE).

— At Bridgewater (Va.) College, Peace Day will be observed at 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, according to an announcement from Shenandoah District. The event on the campus mall will focus on the theme, “Visions and Dreams of Building Peace.” A peace vigil, a program, and prayers, will begin on Dinkel Avenue and conclude at the Peace Pole at the Alexander Mack Library. The Carter Center is the alternate location in case of rain. Find a bulletin insert at .

— At Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Peace Day will be observed with an environmental walk across campus on Sunday, Sept. 21. The International Peace Day Excursion begins a week of environmental and social justice events at the college. The walk will leave from the college’s Brossman Commons Terrace at 1:45 p.m. led by David Bowne, associate professor of biology. Subsequent events during the week will focus on social justice, the environment, and poverty.

— “Meet us on Independence Mall, Philadelphia, for International Peace Day observance, Saturday, September 20!” said an invitation from Heeding God’s Call. The initiative against gun violence in America’s cities is joining in the Peace Day Philly observance, an “Interfaith Service to End Gun Violence,” at the People’s Plaza, Liberty Bell Center, starting at 3 p.m. The service will mourn the lives lost to gun violence, call for action to make the city safer, and will include a “Memorial to the Lost” t-shirt display. “Stand with us. Sing and pray with us for a swift end to the carnage of gun violence in this city and throughout our nation,” said the invitation. See .

For more information about Peace Day 2014, go to .

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