Peace at all times in all ways
Peacemaking is something that happens among leaders of countries warring over issues, rights and land, right? Certainly this is true, but it is also true that peace is made by many others — even you and me! Conflict arises in our families and communities. Instability threatens our livelihoods. Disasters, sickness, homelessness … they all disturb the peace in our world.
In stark contrast to this conflict and brokenness all around us are the words of the Apostle Paul: May God grant us “peace at all times in all ways.” Peace in our families, in our work, in our worship, in our communities, in our world and in our minds. It is the peace of Christ.
The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws Presbyterians together to support and engage in ministries of peace, both on a grand scale as communities of faith, and on a smaller scale as local congregations and individuals, bearing peace in every place that it is needed.
Providing financial and emotional peace
First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa, found that peace was needed in their community in early April. April 15 is a date that conjures up anything but peace for many in our country. For those who do not speak English well and do not have access to the help they need, the deadline for filing taxes not only generates anxiety, but also fear of being taken advantage of, fear of doing paperwork incorrectly and fear of losing hard-earned money.
According to Brad Braley, the pastor of First Presbyterian, “It had come to our attention that some immigrants in our area, primarily Burmese and Congolese, had been ripped off in the past by tax preparers who offered their services but didn’t speak the language, so the people didn’t always know what they were signing or whether the fees being charged were justified or not.” After learning that there was a local program that provided tax preparers who could speak the native languages of these immigrants, the congregation made the decision to use their retained portion of the Peace & Global Witness Offering to help.
While the congregation did not do the hard work of preparing paperwork for filing, they knew that the simple things they could do would mean a lot. The congregation provided funds for meals for the tax preparers who worked long hours to assist immigrants, and provided their services at no cost. The time and talent of these volunteers provided a much-needed service to marginalized people in their community. By supporting them in this ministry, the congregation joined them in bringing peace — financially and emotionally — to people in need.
Sharing Christ’s peace
The work of bearing Christ’s peace and reconciliation works best when a diversity of approaches is taken. Twenty-five percent of the Offering stays with congregations to do this work while another 25% joins with the gifts of other congregations in your region to support peacemaking at a presbytery or synod level. And 50% supports the work for peace and reconciliation done by the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
As Presbyterians, we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and the model of compassion, kindness and grace for every community and individual in this world. If we all give a little of ourselves to be peacemakers in this world, it adds up to a lot!
Let us pray
God of all languages and cultures, call us back to who you created us to be. Invite us into your ministry of reconciliation; and inspire us to be peacemakers in every part of our lives. Amen.
For more information and resources related to the Peace & Global Witness Offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/peace-global.
This post is based on a regional Minute for Mission which can be found on our website as a script.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text PEACE to 20222 to give $10
- Donate online