Sunday, October 6
The Lord’s Day
Minute for Mission: World Communion Sunday/Peacemaking Offering
For many years Colombia has suffered what is perhaps the worst internal displacement crisis in the world. It is estimated that 3.3 million people have been displaced since 2000. Every day, 323 Colombians are driven violently from their homes, and 75 percent of them are women and children.
Members of the Presbyterian Church in Barranquilla, Colombia, held a meeting with 20 such women from the displaced communities of Colombia’s Atlantic coast. Before the gathering, some congregation members were asking why the presbytery put so much emphasis on work for human rights and peace. But that was before they met these women and heard their stories.
The meeting started with singing, and some of the invited women started crying inconsolably. They shared how their children and husbands had been killed by armed groups, the dark forces of death in the country. Upon hearing these testimonies, those who had been insensitive to these realities changed their attitudes and wanted to take action. “This is why peacemaking is so important,” say our partners in Colombia, “to let these experiences be known and make us reflect on how we can help transform these lives and communities.”
The Peacemaking Offering each year supports the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s ministries of peacemaking and justice-seeking locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. For 14 of the past 17 years, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has, through the Peacemaking Offering, welcomed international peacemakers from Colombia to share their stories and proclaim God’s peace in our congregations, mid councils, and educational institutions—peacemakers like Dayro Aranzelez, Diego Higuita, German Zarate-Durier and Vilma Yanez Ogaza.
As we gather this day at a table of welcome and sustenance alongside neighbors near and far, let us remember our Colombian sisters and brothers. Let us pray and act for an abiding peace, one that advocates for the displaced, heals brokenness, reconciles enemies, ends violence, corrects injustice, and transforms lives and systems for God’s good purposes.
The peace of Christ be with you. La paz de Dios esté ustedes.
Let us pray
Help us, O God, to be instruments of your peace. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
In You, Lord, I Have Put My Trust
By the Babylonian Rivers
2 Tim. 1:1–14
Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
PH 321, HB 240
The Church of Christ in Every Age