19 September 2013

Churches call for peace, prayer and advocacy in the week ahead

UK Churches will promote peace and justice next week, beginning with Peacemaking Sunday on 22 September and continuing with an observance of the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel from 22-28 September. 

The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church have worked together to produce resources and materials for this year's Peacemaking Sunday on the theme: 'The things that make for peace' (Luke 19:42). The current situation in Syria will be a vital focus of prayer and advocacy, as will the Israel Palestine conflict, which will also be reflected upon in the week that follows.

Dr Daleep Mukarji, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, said: "When we contemplate the violence that has devastated Syria or indeed other parts of our globe, peace can appear to be an unachievable goal.  But we take heart from our faith in the peace comes from God, revealed to us in the life and example of Christ who was himself no stranger to violence, enmity and suspicion.  Peacemaking Sunday and International Peace Day offers an opportunity not to take action on one day but to reflect on the contribution that we each might make every day to further the cause of peace wherever we are."

Peacemaking Sunday is the Sunday that falls closest to the United Nations International day of Peace, which is on 21 September 2013. Resources  prepared by the Joint Public Issues Team include suggested song choices, biblical reflections, prayers of confession and intercession and visual resources. Photographs with accompanying text are also available. 

The World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel has been initiated by the World Council of Churches' Palestine Israel Forum (PIEF). The theme for this year's week of prayer is 'Jerusalem, the city of justice and peace' corresponding to the vision of the Kairos Document issued by Palestinian Christian leaders in 2009. Individuals and congregations observing the World Week for Peace 2013 will call people of faith to pray with churches living under occupation. A special prayer from Jerusalem and other resources have been prepared for the week.

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