Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Praying and worshiping in the spirit of Pentecost on Peace Day

The following Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness calls attention to Sunday, Sept. 21, as the 2014 observance of Peace Day:

Peace Day is quickly approaching (Sunday, Sept. 21) and this year we are praying and worshipping in the spirit of Pentecost. Register your congregation at http://peacedaypray.tumblr.com/join.

The Day of Pentecost showcases the creative nature of the Holy Spirit. In Acts, we see the Spirit coming like tongues of fire as it sweeps through the assembled faithful and blesses them with an ecstatic vision for the future of the church.

“This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2: 16-17).

We live in a time when to dream and be creative is of the utmost importance for the vitality of the church and its mission. The world around us keeps finding new ways to exhibit violence toward all kinds of people, and too often we are playing catch up in trying to figure out how to tangibly manifest God’s peace and healing to those in great need.

It can feel overwhelming when you think of the injustices in Ferguson, the violence in Gaza, the American bombing of Iraq and Syria, our Nigerian sisters still in captivity, and the stories of the Central American migrant children trying to escape violence. But because of the lamentation and hopelessness these events produce, we must carry the light of Christ to the world around us.

Peace Day is the ideal time to share the light of Christ with your community and to discern how to concretely build peace in the world around you. Your local church and wider community need the healing hands of Christ, and while we may act and worship locally, we can also think and act globally.

We encourage you to get creative when planning your Peace Day activities. In the past, groups have had peace fairs, footwashing ceremonies, interfaith prayer gatherings, and have integrated special prayers for peace into their Sunday service, organized 5K runs to raise money for charities, and much more.

What will your church do? What visions and dreams of peace do you have? How does your community need to be healed? How can your church community pray for the world?

Register now to let us know your congregation or community group will participate in Peace Day 2014 at http://peacedaypray.tumblr.com/join. More information about Peace Day and what other congregations are doing can be found at peacedaypray.tumblr.com .

Sept. 21 also is Mission Offering Sunday ( www.brethren.org/offerings/mission ). The Mission Offering supports ongoing international partnerships with brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Haiti, South Sudan, and many other places around the world. Please consider participating in this special offering as part of your Peace Day services.

-- Bryan Hanger is advocacy assistant at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. To receive Action Alerts from the Office of Public Witness go to www.brethren.org/advocacy/actionalerts.html. For more information about the public witness ministries of the Church of the Brethren, contact Nathan Hosler, director, Office of Public Witness, 337 North Carolina Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003; nhosler@brethren.org; 717-333-1649.

Source: 9/16/2014 Newsline

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