Peace Day 2014

International Day of Prayer for Peace

Peace Day 2014: "Visions & Dreams of Building Peace."

On Earth Peace and campaign co-sponsors invite congregations and community groups to hold community peace prayer events, or special peace prayers during Sunday worship, on Peace Day -- September 21, 2014.

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Ferguson and beyond: On Earth Peace invites prayer and action for justice

On Earth Peace issues an invitation to prayer and action for Ferguson, Mo and beyond following the death of unarmed African American youth Michael Brown at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson.

"As followers of Christ, we seek to live out Jesus’ teachings in potent and Spirit-led ways. We believe that Jesus himself points us toward justice, peace, reconciliation, active nonviolence, and liberation, and we trust that the Holy Spirit accompanies and empowers us to live as Jesus lived. Jesus’ presence continues to help us break down walls that divide—if we can accept His help to do so. May we build the Beloved Community wherever we find ourselves, so that the dignity and well being of all God’s children is cherished and celebrated. Please pray constantly with us for God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven."

You can read the full invitation and call to action here: Ferguson and Beyond 

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Living Well of Bethel Offers Online Litany for Peace

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Living Well of Bethel, a ministry of Bethel United Church of Christ in Cahokia, Illinois, is an online community where you will find a weekly worship experience and a daily prayer among other things. On September 21, 2014 they are producing and posting a multimedia Litany for Peace for Peace Day. Bellow is the litany of peace written by Rev. Libby Feagans-King which you can include in your worship as well. 

Litany of Peace

Let me celebrate this day with affirmation.  God’s love created us with holy purpose and image.  I was intended to be.

God created me, just as I am.

Let me celebrate this day with holy covenant.  God’s passion created us to be in relationship.  God created us differently abled, differently gendered, differently oriented and of different races.  God created us in this way, who are we to critique God’s work.

God designed us to be accepting and in relationship with God and with one another.

God desires us to live in peace and love for one another.  There is no greater purpose than to live with shalom in our world.  I embrace my family and my friends and welcome them with shalom.  I reflect God when I greet my brothers, my sisters, and even my enemies with the open arms of shalom.

God calls us to create peace within our homes, our work places and our world.

I am the creation and the creation is me.  I cannot live without air to breathe, water to drink or the motions of the earth to keep my feet on solid ground.  I should care for the earth as I care for myself.

God calls us to care for the earth, for it is the earth that supplies our needs.

God gave us hands to help, smiles to share and hearts to love one another.  The absence of love is evil.  God moves and creates with love.

God calls us to love one another.  We come together in love, for where love is, evil cannot exist.

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Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren Peace Pole Dedication

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Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren, located outside of Baltimore Maryland, invites all to an International Day of Prayer for Peace and Peace Pole Dedication on Saturday, September 20. The community is invited to bring a prayer for peace to offer and a can of soup to contribute to the Stone Soup.

On Earth Peace, the Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County and the Mennonite Central Committee will offer peacemaking workshops. The day will wrap up with a Stone Soup lunch. 

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A Prayer for Bold Peace by Shelley West

Nisqually May 2014_02

Photograph by Elizabeth Ullery

This prayer for peace is written by Shelley West. Shelley spent the summer of 2014 as a part of the Church of the Brethren Youth Peace Travel Team teaching young and old alike how to be a bold peacemakers. You can find out more about the Peace Travel Team from On Earth Peace

Peace be still and know that I am God.

I have known that You are God, but not through a peace of stillness.

Sometimes peace is loud. Often peace is messy.

But that’s what makes it beautiful.

The conflict in our lives will remain forever still if we leave it in the corner unbothered.

We can pretend to turn a blind eye, to march onward.

Peace be still.

Or, we can choose the challenge. The rewarding challenge.

To know that You are God is to know that You are with us in the storm.

Stirring the waters seems frightening. The thunder roars and the rivers are swift.

But we’ve got peace like a river, especially when the ripples spread and oscillate

And we can look at one another and know that we have survived.

We have thrived in the peace that comes from confronting conflict and working through it.

Pray that we might continue with such a boldness

To be able identify areas in our lives where we can be the ground-shakers,

The confidence in Your plan and us as Your instruments to blow away the dust,

And the reassurance that the peacemakers will be called Your children.

We will be called Your children.

And then, we can be still and know that You are God.

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The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County Offers Prayers for Peace

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The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County, in Hagerstown, MD, invites all to the fifth annual local observance of Day of Prayer for Peace on September 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm. A representative from each faith tradition in attendance will offer the name of a person who has played a significant role as a peacemaker in their community of faith. The group will then walk to the nearby lake at Rest Haven Cemetery, and peace lanterns will be launched in honor of each peacemaker. The peace lanterns floating on the lake after dusk will be a witness to the enduring work of peace in our community and the world.

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Visions & Dreams of a Living Peace Church Handout

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The Living Peace Church (LPC) call is for every church “to live and teach as Jesus lived and taught,” and bears fruit of the “Visions & Dreams of Building Peace” from many generations. Is your congregation interested in joining the Living Peace Church  pilot program? Use this handout to begin the conversation around how becoming a Living Peace Church would look like for your ministry. What visions and dreams of peace does your congregation have? More information is available by emailing Bill Scheurer at bill@onearthpeace.org.

Click here to download a PDF of the handout

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Peace Day Choir

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Image source: One Day One Choir | Peace One Day

"My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beans on clover leaf and pine; But other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. O hear my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine"

This is My Song, Lloyd Stone

The words of this familiar song rise up in harmony in congregations across the country. How might your congregation or community share a vision of peace in song this September 21 as part of Peace Day? Join in a Choir for Peace! “Whether you want to create an event - short or long, formal or flash mob - or dedicate something you are already singing in - a concert, a celebration or a church service - use your voice in harmony with others to sing out and spread the message of peace.” Peace One Day, an international organization mobilizing for peace, invites you to join in One Day One Choir

Using peace songs as a part of worship is another great way to lift our visions and dream of peace.

This is My Song                                       The New Century Hymnal #591
For The Healing of The Nations               Hymnal: A Worship Book #367
O For a World                                          Chalice Hymnal #683
Peace Pilgrim’s Prayer                            by Shawn Kirchner
St. Teresa’s Prayer                                   by Joseph Helfrich

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A Prayer for Planet Earth by Helen Weaver

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Almighty God, who are mother and father to us all,
Look upon your planet Earth divided;
Help us to know that we are all your children;
That all national belong to one great family;
And all of our religions lead to You.

Multiply our prayers in ever land
Until the whole Earth becomes your congregation,
United in Your love.
Sustain our visions [and dreams] for a peaceful future
And give us the strength to work unceasingly
To make that vision [and dream] real.
Amen.  

Source: Earth Prayers from Around the World, Edited by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon

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Picture Books, sharing visions of peace

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Image credit: Can you Say Peace, by Karen Tatz

If a picture is worth a thousand words a picture book must be worth a million. Share the message of peace with your littlest (and little-at-heart) peacemakers through these colorful books.

Help your young people see visions of building peace!

Old Turtle by Douglass Wood

Old Turtle And The Broken Truth by Douglas Wood

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines

What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz

What other stories of peace will  you share with your young people?

You can find more books for little (and big) peacemakers here.

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Guided Prayer for Peace

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Image by Unify.

Adapted from Church of the Brethren Northern Ohio District, Peace Advocate News - Summer 2014, written by Linda Fry.

In our prayers this day we thank the Lord for our blessings:
(Name specific blessings in the community or invite congregation to name blessings)

Lord, we live in a world in desperate need of your peace and justice, a world in need of your your visions and dream of building peace.  On this Sunday we join with congregations across the world as we pray for:

  • Our Brothers and Sisters in Nigeria who live with violence every day.  We remember especially [insert the name of the girl your congregation is praying for] and the other girls kidnapped by Boko Haram.
  • The people of Gaza, Israel, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Congo, South Sudan, Central American countries, and other places where people are living with violence.
  • People affected by shootings in schools, work places, and random shootings.
  • Women and children facing physical and economic violence every day.
  • All people forced from their homes because of violence.
  • People and nations who see no ways to solve problems without violence.

We remember those in our community who are on our hearts today:

  • The sick; facing surgery; recovering; awaiting tests
  • Those who mourn
  • Those who are alone
  • (Name those in your community needing specific prayers)

Oh Lord, Hear our prayers.  Forgive us when our selfishness, pride or greed makes us contributors to violence in the world through the choices we make.  Open our hearts and our minds to your visions and dream so that we may be part of the peaceful end to conflict rather than part of the problems that make it worse.  Make us instruments of your peace.  Open our eyes to the plight of so many of our brothers and sisters who live with violence.  Open our eyes to see the infinite possibilities living out your love for all people can bring!

Amen.