Connections created by technology can promote peace, unity
November 3, 2017
After World War II, denominational leaders felt called to promote unity. In 1943, they established World Community Day, a day set aside for ecumenical study and prayer. Many denominations were doing their own justice and peace work, but leadership determined that one day of joint study would strengthen unity among them.
The 2017 World Community Day theme is “Kindling New Fires for Peace,” with an invitation to prayerfully approach the day openly, willing to leave what is comfortable to become more inclusive communities. The focus for the day is technology and how it supports community.
The concept of community has changed in ways denominational leaders could not have imagined in 1943. Technology has moved what was then an abstraction for most, to a reality today for many. Neighbors live next door and on the other side of the world. Social media connects us to a virtual community that is immediately present, no matter geographic location. At this writing, as I sit in my office in Louisville, Kentucky, I will meet, via technology, with colleagues who are together in Slovenia. One is from Canada, the other from the Philippines. My absence from a board meeting will not keep me from participating face-to-face.
The reality of the global village draws faith-based communities together. Technology provides the means for national and international ecumenical and interfaith boundaries to be easily traversed. The love of God’s people and creation is the passport, the visa, required. Community is limited only by human unwillingness to cross the boundary, to leave what is comfortable and to become more inclusive.
In the 1934 book Toward the Future, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says, “The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.” Much of what de Chardin predicted, and more, has been harnessed. In a progressively more destabilized world, this news is both good and bad. In these times, as in all times, people of faith must turn to one another. World Community Day calls us to harness the energies of love.
Susan Jackson Dowd, Executive Director, Presbyterian Women
Today’s Focus: World Community Day
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God of community, blow the embers of your Pentecost fire and ignite in your people the love that creates neighbors across languages, borders, boundaries and miles. May that love bring your justice and your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.