Proclaiming a Peace that Transcends the Barriers of Time and Space
“So he came and proclaimed peace to those who were far off and peace to those who were near.”
The letter to the Ephesians tells us that Jesus came to proclaim a peace that is universal. While the earthly ministry of Jesus was in a specific age and place, the peace he shared is limited by neither time nor geography.
As followers of Christ, our call to work for peace begins in our own neighborhoods and extends to the ends of the earth. It is a demanding call, but it is one that Presbyterians at all levels of the church are seeking to follow.
In South Sudan & Uganda
Giving to the Peace & Global Witness Offering is one way we can be faithful to Christ’s call to pursue peace at home and around the world. Our gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering will support peace efforts in South Sudan. Interethnic fighting has pushed thousands of South Sudanese people into refugee camps across the border in Uganda. RECONCILE International (Resource Centre for Civil Leadership) is one of those organizations striving for peace. RECONCILE has been working among South Sudanese ethnic groups for years and is continuing its peace-building work among rival groups inside the camps. Though violence forced RECONCILE to suspend operations at its headquarters in Yei, South Sudan, its staff members determined that they could not give up the work of peace. The future of the country is too fragile, and Christ’s call is too clear. These committed followers of Christ could not abandon their call, and Peace & Global Witness gifts are helping them as well as us be faithful to Christ’s summons.
From Syria to Philadelphia
In suburban Philadelphia, an international peacemaker’s visit to Ivyland Presbyterian Church inspired the congregation to get to work on behalf of refugees. The congregation heard a firsthand account of a refugee’s experience in Syria from that peacemaker. That story inspired Ivyland to eagerly and passionately respond to an opportunity to help a refugee family from Syria resettle in their community. International peacemakers are able visit congregations and mid councils thanks to our gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering. Because of a peacemaker’s visit to Ivyland, a family reeling from violence and displacement found welcome and a new home.
In San Francisco
In San Francisco, a Presbyterian elder wondered how he might help address the suffering caused by the largest refugee crisis since World War II. As chair of the mission committee at Old First Presbyterian Church, he approached his congregation about lending help to a local agency working for refugee resettlement. The membership gladly responded, but this elder knew that more could be done. He asked San Francisco Presbytery for help, and it offered to match congregational gifts for refugee resettlement up to $10,000 (up to $2,000 per congregation). The match was reached and more than $20,000 was given to refugee resettlement in the Bay Area. The matching funds came from the presbytery’s portion of the Peace & Global Witness Offering. Generous giving to the offering leveraged even more generous giving to the work for peace.
Proclaiming Peace To Those Who Are Far Off And Nearby
At home and abroad, gifts to the Peace & Global Witness Offering are helping to end suffering and violence in Christ’s name. Twenty-five percent of this offering remains with our congregation to build up peace in our community. Another 25 percent expands our witness throughout the region supporting ministries of peace and reconciliation in Presbyterian mid councils. Fifty percent supports the global witness to Christ’s peace through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the reconciliation work of Presbyterian World Mission. Please give generously.
We pray for courage and wisdom to proclaim Christ’s peace in our neighborhood and around the world. Give us strong voices and generous hearts that we may stand with the Prince of Peace against violence and injustice. Help us join hands with Christ to work for a world of peace and plenty. Amen.
For more information or resources related to the Peace & Global Witness Offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/peace-global.
This post is based on the Proclaiming Peace minute for mission script which can be found on our website as a script and as a video.
Please give generously to the Peace & Global Witness Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text PEACE to 20222 to give $10