Peace at all times in all ways
Peacemaking is something that happens among leaders of countries warring over issues, rights and land. 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. Even our safest places can be permeated by examples of violence and brokenness.
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 communities, in our world and in our minds. That peace is the peace of Christ.
The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws Presbyterians together and provides education and exposure to those doing active peacemaking, here in our neighborhoods, and in places all over the world. It aims to form peacemakers who advocate for Christ’s peace everywhere.
Raising up peacemakers
Knowing that we are never too young to begin learning about how to be peacemakers in the world, the Justice and Peace Team of Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church in Baltimore saw the chance to raise up peacemakers right in their own backyard. Immediately behind the church building is Thomas Jefferson Elementary/Middle School, and with the support of the school’s leadership and teachers, the congregation was able to engage students as they thought about anti-violence and what that might look like in Baltimore.
The church worked with teachers of several middle school classes to ask their students to draw posters that would convey the message of peace during one of the city’s quarterly “Cease Fire” weekends — regular times of the year when a concentrated effort is given to reduce violence in Baltimore.
The congregation then sent three members to judge the posters and to thank them for their effort. Using their retained portion of the Peace & Global Witness Offering, the congregation provided “Cease Fire” T-shirts to the poster contest winners, lauding their works of art for the important messages they conveyed to the school and community at large.
Teaching, sharing and empowering peacemaking and reconciliation works best when a diversity of approaches is taken. Congregations retain 25% to use for peacemaking purposes. Another 25% joins with the gifts of others in your presbytery and synod to support similar work regionally. And 50% supports the work for peace done by Presbyterians everywhere, including the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
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.
Let us pray
God of peace and healing, 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