By Ellen Brandenburg
Peace Day, Sept. 21, is quickly approaching, and On Earth Peace is urging your congregation to participate in building peace in your community by planning special prayers for peace that week, or including peace-focused prayers in Sunday services on Sept. 20. The Church of the Brethren holds the belief that seeking and standing for peace is the duty of followers of Jesus, holding to verses such as Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
On Earth Peace is inviting each congregation to develop a Peace Day prayer focus or event designed around what is going on in our world and in your own communities. Discernment questions for planning events are available at http://peacedaypray.tumblr.com/post/123476541952/catering-peace-day-to-your-congregation . Reports from groups already planning 2015 events can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/OEP.PeaceDay .
We encourage each congregation to develop a prayer service that is an authentic expression of your own calling and concerns related to violence in your community and our world. Potential themes include interfaith understanding, racism, military recruitment, reconciliation across divided communities, exclusion from the church or other institutions, war and occupation, refugees, gun violence, and healing after shootings and homicides. This year, some congregations may choose to focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, violence and peacebuilding in Nigeria, or the Israel/Palestine conflict. Please pick topics close to your members’ or neighbors’ hearts, or issues that God is calling you to lift up.
When your group or congregation has created its own theme and plans, please share them with others in On Earth Peace’s community by posting a paragraph (or more) and a picture to the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/OEP.PeaceDay .
For questions or support in developing Peace Day activities or posting to the group, send an e-mail to peaceday@OnEarthPeace.org .
— Ellen Brandenburg is the 2015 Peace Day organizer for On Earth Peace. Contact her at 240-405-9336.