Churches offer resources for Peacemaking Sunday - September 20

Church leaders are being encouraged to mark The InternationalDay of Peace on Peacemaking Sunday using worship resources providedby The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Methodist Church and theUnited Reformed Church.

The three Churches have put together prayers, hymns, readings andimages in order to help people think about peace. (To download thepack clickhere.)

The union of prayer and hope, known as Peacemaking Sunday, willtake place the day before the United Nations International Day ofPeace on September 21.

The International Day of Peace calls for a global ceasefire andoffers communities the opportunity to commemorate and strengthenthe ideals of peace.

Revd David Gamble, President of the Methodist Conference, said: "Ithink the name 'Peacemaking Sunday' is very significant. Peacedoesn't just happen, it has to be made and we all have to work forit. Therefore, a Sunday to remind us that this is the case and aSunday when we consciously place ourselves alongside otherscommitted to peace can only be a good thing. But while a specialSunday can be helpful, peace will only come if we are committed toit every day of the year; in our prayers, in our relationships, inour communities and in our world."

The three denominations have called upon churches to hold peaceservices and to pray for those in areas of violence such as Iraq,Sudan, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine. Peace workers and victimsof religious attacks in Pakistan will also be held in prayer.

Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union ofGreat Britain, said: "The appalling death toll in Iraq andespecially Afghanistan bring issues of peace into sharp focus thisyear. Peacemaking Sunday gives us a great opportunity to reflectand pray on our calling to follow in the footsteps of the Prince ofPeace. The Joint Public Issues Team has produced some excellentresources to help us as we mark Peacemaking Sunday and I hope thatevery church will make use of them."

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Methodist Church and theUnited Reformed Church have spoken out against a replacement of theTrident nuclear deterrent arguing that now is the time to startworking towards a world without nuclear weapons. American PresidentBarak Obama supported the views held by the churches on nuclearweapons in Prague in April, stating that America was committed toseeking "the peace and security of a world without nuclearweapons".

Andrew Jack, Convener of the United Reformed Church PeaceFellowship, said: "We welcome this initiative in highlightingPeacemaking Sunday. Peacemaking should be the vocation of allChristians - indeed it should be at the core of all Christianactivity. That was Jesus' clear command to all who followhim."