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

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

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

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

Peacemaking Sunday is the Sunday that falls closest to the UnitedNations International day of Peace, which is on 21 September 2013.Resources  prepared by the Joint Public Issues Team includesuggested song choices, biblical reflections, prayers of confessionand intercession and visual resources. Photographs withaccompanying text are also available. 

The World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel has been initiated bythe World Council of Churches' Palestine Israel Forum (PIEF). The theme for this year's weekof prayer is 'Jerusalem, the city of justice and peace'corresponding to the vision of the Kairos Document issued by Palestinian Christian leaders in2009. Individuals and congregations observing the World Week forPeace 2013 will call people of faith to pray with churches livingunder occupation. A special prayer from Jerusalem and other resources have been prepared for the week.