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Peace & Justice
Sunday, October 7th, is Domestic Violence Awareness Sunday. This week, this month, and every day, may we lift up the stories of all those, past and present, who have been silenced far too long, praying that they may empower us to live into the gospel message of hope. Featured is a prayer from Presbyterian Women Executive Director Susan Jackson Dowd.
Many churches preach about poverty and hunger a few times a year, but Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee lives out its ministries with the poor 365 days a year.
In the fall of 2016, the Rev. Dwayne Black, pastor of The Sanctuary Church, found himself behind bars more than once for feeding the homeless on Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Beach. His arrest gleaned international attention. In his defense, Black says he “follows the red letters in Scripture.”
On the eve of the International Day of Peace, nine peacemakers from around the world arrived in the U.S. to begin their three-week visit to presbyteries, congregations, universities, men’s and women’s groups, theological institutions and other groups across the country. On Wednesday morning, they gathered at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national offices in Louisville to participate in a chapel commissioning service. After two days of orientation, each will travel separately across the country to share their peacemaking vision and experiences with their American audiences as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program’s International Peacemakers program.
Princeton Abaraoha was a carefree 13-year-old boy when he was snatched by soldiers and taken to a military training camp. Two weeks later, he was carrying a gun as a soldier in Nigeria’s civil war.
Racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, sent shockwaves of fear and grief across the United States on an August weekend last year.
“I’m just the pastor. This congregation rocks!” Such is the outlook of Kirk Perucca, pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church. This small, ethnically diverse congregation located south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, has been a Presbyterian Hunger Program Certified Hunger Action Congregation since 2017, but has been advocating hunger, fairness and justice issues for most of its 110-year-plus existence.
Faith is not just personal; it’s political. Our leaders pass laws about how we treat one another, laws about money and finances, laws about how our resources are allocated and more. The Bible addresses these issues as well in Scriptures like the Ten Commandments, the parable of the sheep and the goats, Sabbath rules and Jesus’ advice to the rich young ruler to sell his possessions and give to the poor. To say the Bible and Jesus are not political is to deny their influence and relevance to our lives in the 21st century.
This Labor Day marks the 10-year anniversary of “A Social Creed for the 21st Century,” an ecumenical message of hope adopted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. The creed’s foundation lies in the Christian bases of faith, hope and love and offers a vision of society that “shares more and consumes less, seeks compassion over suspicion and equality over domination, and finds security in joined hands rather than massed arms.”
A veteran of more than 3,000 concerts and 12 full-length CDs of mostly original music, songwriter, guitarist, speaker, and writer David LaMotte will present a concert on Wednesday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Springdale Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.