Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sunday's Minute for Mission - Season of Peace

May the Lord bless the people with peace! (Ps. 29:11)

2015 International Peacemakers
2015 International Peacemakers
Philadelphia Presbytery has hosted International Peacemakers for two consecutive years, and the impact of these visits has been profound. In 2014 the peacemaker was James Ninrew from the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. Last year the peacemaker was Rami Al Maqdasi from Iraq. These two countries, though continents apart, have both suffered the burdens of war. Each has experienced mass displacements of people from their region, and some of those who have sought refuge have found it in the Philadelphia area. Members of Ivyland Presbyterian Church, impacted by these two peacemakers’ visits, decided it was time for their church to do something. Pastor Sarah Weisiger writes, “In large part due to our having reflected on this issue when Rami and James were with us, our session stepped up. When an immediate need arose, we called a meeting, and the session voted unanimously to help sponsor a refugee family.” Even the local ministerial association, having heard from our two peacemakers, started talking about refugee resettlement. “We ended up with six congregations stepping up to help the refugees. It has been darn awesome.”

A Season of Peace begins today and continues until October 2, World Communion Sunday, when the Peace & Global Witness Offering is received. During this time, individuals and congregations are encouraged to focus on peacemaking and to “step up” as peacemakers. Resources available include daily reflections, “Peace Cards” for children, a five-session adult Bible study, and a five-session lesson plan for children.

Carl Horton, Coordinator for Mission, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program

Let us pray

O God, in this Season of Peace for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), may we step up as peacemakers, building communities of peace, reconciliation, and nonviolence and demonstrating the better way of peace in all that we do. Amen.

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