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Peace Discernment


An Invitation to Explore the Five Affirmations for Presbytery Discussion and Vote

The Peace Discernment Process 2010-2016

As the Peace Discernment Process continues, presbyteries are now invited to review and act upon each of the five affirmations that were approved by the 221st General Assembly (2014).

“Peace Discernment” is the shorthand phrase for “discerning new directions in Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) peacemaking” used since the 219th General Assembly (2010). That Assembly combined elements from 7 overtures and authorized the Peacemaking Program and the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) to develop resources for discernment groups in congregations and presbyteries, and then for an advisory process to test the prayerful thinking of those groups with the larger church. That led to the five affirmations approved for distribution in 2014.

The core of this effort is to respond to what God is calling the church to do in response to terrorism, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also to the continuing threat of nuclear and other indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.

Key Resources

Risking Peace in A violent world

Risking Peace in a Violent World is the full report made by the Peace Discernment Steering Team to the 221st General Assembly in 2014.   You can also download the (PDF)

Summaries of the full report

3 summaries of the full report have been developed, each featuring single paragraphs on each of the five sections of the background rationale received by the Assembly. They are designed for use in the following settings:

for presbyteries (PDF)

for colleges and universities (PDF)

for seminaries (PDF)

The Stated Clerk’s letter to presbyteries regarding peace discernment

In December 2014, PC(USA) Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons issued this letter to the presbyteries regarding the peace discernment process and the Five Affirmations.  Read the letter.

Online Form for presbytery response

Once presbyteries have met regarding the Five Affirmations, they may record their advisory votes and reflections using the Presbytery Response Form. These forms will be tabulated and analyzed by the Peace Discernment Steering Team.

Additional Materials from the Peace Discernment Process

Congregational Study Materials for peace discernment

These congregational study materials, entitled Encountering the Gospel of Peace Anew,”  were developed by the Peace Discernment Steering Team and distributed after the 220th General Assembly (2012) to summarize the actions of the 219th General Assembly ((2010)

Leader’s guide for peace discernment

This leader’s guide was developed by the Peace Discernment Steering Team to help facilitate groups in the peace discernment process.