Peace in 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, like schools, malls, churches and playgrounds, 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, providing education and exposure to 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.
Peace as an action
When the congregation of First Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia, learned that one of their neighbors was facing deportation, they found an opportunity to work for justice and peace just outside their church doors. Knowing the complex array of issues that can make achieving justice in such a case difficult, they paired with a local organization for help.
Using the retained portion of their Peace & Global Witness Offering, the congregation supported the Congregation Action Network. This network of faith communities seeks to show love, compassion and hospitality in the face of hate and discrimination. A primary focus for them is deportation defense, using all available venues and options to keep immigrants in their communities from being sent out of the country.
Through social and legal advocacy, community organizing, fundraising, family support and even accompaniment to check-ins with immigration officials, immigrants who would otherwise be facing deportation are given a chance to navigate through the legal pathways to permanent residency. By holding “Defend Your Rights” training, providing hospitality and shelter to those at risk of deportation, and advising congregations who support immigrants and advocate for immigrant rights in their communities, programs like the Congregation Action Network are bearing peace to the marginalized people coming to this country to find a new home.
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 refuge 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
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