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Peace doves paint from Tegucigalpa

A Sowing of Peace

For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

-Zechariah 8: 12


The Peacemaking Program has partnered with colleagues in World Mission and our global partners to create this series of resources that focuses peacemakers’ attention on places of conflict, war and unrest around the world.  These materials are designed to help Presbyterians better understand and respond to the contexts of conflict that span the globe today, some of which occupy the media’s spotlight, others that barely seem to get noticed.  All are places where the costs of war and armed conflict are borne by civilians, primarily women, children and the elderly; where churches, civil society organizations and non-governmental agencies seek to bring healing, repair and an end to violence; where there often exists a back-story of historical harms, nationalism, sectarianism, and past conflicts concluded without genuine peace, reconciliation and justice for all.  For each of these contexts, we lament.  In each of these contexts, we grieve the ugly circumstances:  the unraveling of civil society, the inhumanity and incalculable harms done, the atrocities and crimes of war.  About each of these contexts we pray for the cessation of violence, the wisdom of leadership, the effectiveness of diplomacy, the repair of infrastructure, the restoration of relationships, the return of those displaced and the healing of the nations.

This series is a work in progress, adding countries and contexts over time.  Each set of resources is online and downloadable, composed of both original materials and links to an assortment of pre-existing, curated items.  Included in each set are:

  • historical and contextual information to help Presbyterians better understand the root causes and contributing factors to situations of conflict;
  • cultural education and experiential learning to better appreciate the traditions, customs and peoples of the region;
  • spiritual resources for community prayer and worship and for personal devotion around the particular concerns, places and people in the region;
  • tools for action and advocacy on the issues being uplifted by our partners in the region; and
  • a variety of age-appropriate and intergenerational materials and opportunities.

In the passage cited from Zechariah, from which we draw the theme for this series, the voice of the prophet assures the houses of Judah and Israel that there will be safety and wellbeing for the remnant following a period of desolation.  Things will change.  There will no longer be enmity, fear and destruction.  Instead, there will be “a sowing of peace,” an emergence of new life and a rebuilding of destroyed institutions.  Violent skies will clear, giving way, instead, to life-giving dew.  The storms will pass and people will again “speak truth to one another” and “render judgements that are true and make for peace.”  They will no longer “devise evil in their hearts against one another” or “love false oaths.”  They will be restored, made whole and abide in peace.  It is our hope that Presbyterians will use these resources for worship, education and action to deepen our commitments to peacemaking, strengthen our opposition to war and sow seeds of life, hope and peace upon the hardened soils of war, conflict and violence around the world.

Countries & Contexts in the “A Sowing of Peace” Series