Making the commitment to peacemaking
- declares that becoming a part of God’s peace-giving is a mission priority;
- challenges growth of the group in its peacemaking journey;
- establishes a framework for planning and implementing peacemaking in every aspect of ministry
- invites Presbyterians to work for peace in their own lives, families, communities and international arena;
- provides a means for evaluating peacemaking efforts; and
- encourages contact and cooperation with other congregations, communities and individuals in other denominations and faiths involved in peacemaking.
Making the Commitment to Peacemaking is important and a period of study and reflection may prove helpful in making this decision. Different groups will need to design a study reflection process appropriate to their needs, and may include:
prayer/study— A study designed and led by member of the group or leadership from the presbytery or mid-council could involve studying:
- Biblical passages proclaiming God’s peace-giving and God’s call to peacemaking;
- The Commitment to Peacemaking;
- Peacemaking the Believers’ Calling;
- Past, present and ongoing peacemaking activities of the group; and
- Congregations that have made the Commitment.
decide — This could involve voting or establishing consensus or whatever method is appropriate.
plan — Once the Commitment has been made, planning the next steps in implementing the Commitment could be done in ways appropriate to the congregation or group.
inform — The presbytery committee with peacemaking responsibilities and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Newsletters, social media, travel study seminars, conferences and additional resources are available to assist to Get Active, Make a Difference, Connect to Your Passion! Presbyterians Transforming the World!
What is the commitment to peacemaking?
The Commitment to Peacemaking is a tool to help Presbyterians engage individually and collectively in peacemaking ministries and was introduced to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1983. Since then more than 4,300 congregations and other groups have affirmed the Commitment and used it to shape faithful and creative ministries of peace and justice.
Who makes and affirms the commitment to peacemaking?
Sessions, Mid-Councils, Presbyterian Women and youth groups, colleges, seminaries, and peacemaking communities that include peacemaking as part of their life and mission. Groups will often reaffirm their Commitment to Peacemaking to celebrate and renew their peacemaking ministries. The session is the appropriate body to affirm the Commitment to Peacemaking in the case of a congregation (Book of Order, G-10.0102c). Other emerging peacemaking communities will need to think through their procedures to determine if a board, council or the entire group is the appropriate body to adopt the Commitment.
When making a commitment, does it mean having to do something in all eight areas of the commitment to peacemaking at one time?
No, the Commitment provides opportunities to choose areas of emphasis that can vary at different time as different needs and opportunities for ministry arise. Making the Commitment can help congregations and peacemaking communities understand that peacemaking is not a peripheral issue but a central declaration of the gospel and essential to the life of the group. The Commitment provides an invitation to grow in peacemaking as a multigenerational journey in transforming of cultures of violence into communities of peace.
How might a session or an emerging peacemaking community decide to make the commitment to peacemaking?
A session or peacemaking community may adapt the Commitment in any way it believes will more accurately reflect its peacemaking ministries, provided the revisions are consistent with Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling. In considering any adaptations, it may prove helpful to remember that peacemaking is done in a variety of arenas: self, family, congregation, community, the global neighborhood, and the environment. It includes concern for racial and economic justice and human rights in the U.S. as well as internationally.
Download the commitment here.