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 for those doing active peacemaking here in our neighborhoods, and all over the world. It aims to form peacemakers who advocate for Christ’s peace everywhere.
Exploring peaceful coexistence
In their own community, the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury, New Jersey, joined with several other nearby faith communities to promote a program called MOSAIC (Mobilizing Our Students for Action to build Interfaith Community). The application-based program accepts several local students from a broad spectrum of faith traditions and spends a year helping discover what peaceful coexistence with other traditions looks like. At monthly gatherings, the MOSAIC group spends time visiting the houses of worship of faith traditions ranging from Greek Orthodox to Hindu, and engages in community service events.
Together, the youth learn how to listen and seek understanding of communities that are so different from their own, finding similarities in their traditions and respecting the beautiful differences. The Presbyterian teens who have participated over the years have been able to bring what they learn to the congregation, too, enhancing the interfaith collaboration in order to better serve the world. The MOSAIC students each asked their own communities to support the work of combatting hunger — a cause that transcends the differences between faith traditions — and together they raised over $6,000.
Inspired by the life-changing experiences the teens have had, and blessed by the life lessons they have brought back to the congregation, the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury has committed their retained portion of the Peace & Global Witness Offering to support MOSAIC and its work of raising peacemakers among the diversity of their community in which they live.
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 all people, 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