Churches offer resources for Peacemaking Sunday - 19 September 2010

Churches are being encouraged to mark the United Nations'International Day of Peace on 19 September - Peacemaking Sunday -using ecumenical worship resources provided by the Baptist Union ofGreat Britain, The Methodist Church and the United ReformedChurch.

The United Nations' International Day of Peace is celebrated on 21September and provides an opportunity for individuals, communitiesand nations to focus on peace and peacemaking in the world andwithin their own lives.

The three denominations have compiled a selection of art, prayers,a sermon guide, meditation and a commissioned hymn designed to helpcongregations focus on peace this coming Sunday - 19 September. Todownload the resources, visit here.

Mrs Val Morrison, moderator of the General Assembly of the UnitedReformed Church, says: "Peacemaking is a Christian vocation -something not to be taken lightly, but rather to be at the centreof our thinking, actions and prayers throughout the year.Peacemaking Sunday and the United Nations' Day of Peace highlightour need to pray for peace in the many areas of conflict across theglobe, but also, in our own lives and relationships."

Mrs Morrison adds: "I commend these resources to all churchesacross the three denominations and hope the churches across the UKwill make good use of them."

The denominations are encouraging churches to hold peace services,or incorporate a symbolic act of peace, within their service thisSunday. Areas of conflict, including the Middle East, Iraq andAfghanistan, will be a natural focus for these services.

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, general secretary for the MethodistChurch, said: "Peace making involves building relationships in ourcommunities. Peacemaking Sunday gives us the opportunity to reflectagain on the challenge of how we might respond to Jesus' call to bepeacemakers in our own context. Our prayers are with thenegotiators of the peace talks between Israel and Palestinecurrently being brokered in America."

The Revd Graham Sparkes, head of faith and unity, Baptist Union ofGreat Britain, concludes: "Too often people of faith use theirreligion to promote fear, hatred and violence. These resources area call to churches to affirm our fundamental commitment to seekpeace in all our relationships, not least with those of differentfaiths. We urgently need to create a culture of peace that deepensunderstanding and mutual respect."