A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace
August 31, 2011
Peacemaking is the human response to God’s gift of peace. In an increasingly violent and unjust world, we as Christians are called to understand and address the root causes of violence and injustice by building a culture of peace and nonviolence for all
Since 1988, the Peacemaking Program has brought 261 International Peacemakers from 63 countries who made about 1,700 individual visits to presbyteries, synods, colleges and presbyteries. International Peacemakers are leaders who are engaged in peacemaking in their own areas of the world. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program invites leaders from our partner churches around the world to share their experiences as peacemakers in their own contexts.
This year the International Peacemaker program, made possible by your generous gifts to the Peacemaking Offering, is hosting 12 International Peacemakers (from Bangladesh, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia, Sudan and Syria) who will make about 60 visits around the U.S. from September 23 through October 17, 2011. According to Research Services’ Presbyterian Panel, 160,000 Presbyterians heard an International Peacemaker speak last year.
On October 2, 2011, churches across the nation will celebrate World Communion Sunday. On this first Sunday of October, congregations across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will receive the 2011 Peacemaking Offering. This offering, one of four special offerings of the denomination, supports peacemaking ministries across the church and is crucial to the ongoing work of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
Today our nation is embroiled in two lengthy wars, our economy is faltering in part to support our military “might,” and our society is increasingly – and too often violently - divided by a growing economic divide. However, as Christians, we are reminded that “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for* those who make peace” (James 3:18).
Through your gifts to the Peacemaking Offering, congregations receive training and resources to address conflict, International Peacemakers bear witness to how they live out their faith in the midst of challenge and violence, children and young people learn how they can make a difference in building peace, and people across the church benefit from resources that teach peacemaking as part of our Christian discipleship. The world is in need of people who will live out the call of Christ to be peacemakers. Join other Presbyterians in making a difference. Please do your part to support the Peacemaking Offering.