170 Communities Pray for Ceasefire
Around the World
Over 170 congregations and community groups in 15 countries and 26 U.S. states partnered with On Earth Peace to organize prayer events for the week surrounding September 21, 2012. Campaign participants represented more than 15 denominations or traditions (see list in sidebar). These groups joined thousands around the world marking Peace Day, September 21, recognized each year as the World Council of Churches' International Day of Prayer for Peace and the United Nations' International Day of Peace.
This is On Earth Peace's sixth annual campaign, inviting congregations and community groups to participate in the International Day of Prayer for Peace.
|Living Peace Syracuse University|
Photo Credit: Humanities Perpetual Peace Project
On Earth Peace's 2012 theme for Peace Day was "Praying for Ceasefire." The locally identified focus of specific events included many faces of violence: gun violence, bullying, domestic violence, war, and hatred based on religious belief, among others. Many local event plans can be found on the campaign website (here). On Earth Peace's 2012 campaign for Peace Day was co-sponsored by the United Church of Christ's Office of Justice & Witness Ministries and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA), and is in association with the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
"It may seem like a minor thing to pray for peace one day a year, but this one day is a small opening for God's subversive dreams of peace and wholeness. God can enter through the doorway that we provide with these events surrounding September 21. This day can be a time to yearn to become strong partisans of peace and advocates of reconciliation. The Christian tradition often implicitly or explicitly blesses war and violence, and too often falls short of interrupting the hardening of hearts that leads to divisiveness and hurt. Peace Day can be an entry point and a starting place for any community to move away from violence and towards just peace."
--Campaign Coordinator, Matt Guynn
Stories from Peace Day 2012
The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County, Pennsylvania, planned a gathering including participants from 14 different religious traditions, including Sufi, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha'i, Roman Catholic and a number of Christian Protestant denominations, on the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Last week marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the U.S. Civil War. The commemoration of that event provided a backdrop for prayer and discussion around present-day violence in local communities and the world. Local coverage of the event can be found here.
IMPHAL, MANIPUR, INDIA:
|Imphal, Manipur, India |
Photo Credit: Leban
The All Manipur Christian Organisation, organizers of a September 21 event in Imphal, Manipur, India, wrote, "We need peace in Manipur, and seek the support and prayers of friends around the world. We will continue to pray and work for peace in Manipur and in conflict areas across the world, where peace is most needed."
AUBURN, INDIANA:Three congregations in Auburn, Indiana, sent out groups into the community to pray for each house, business, church and person they encountered. News coverage can be found here
.As event reports roll in, they are gradually being added to the campaign website. Visit the Peace Day site for recent reports from Brazil (an interfaith gathering), Spain (a prayer service and public worship focused on ending war), and the USA (Syrian-American hip hop artist Omar Offendum performing at Pennsylvania State University).
Many shared advance plans for Peace Day. They can be read here
If you participated in a Peace Day celebration, please share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Peace Travel Team
Applications for 2013 Available
Applications for the 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team are now available. The Youth Peace Travel Team is a ministry of On Earth Peace, Outdoor Ministry Association, and Church of the Brethren, Inc. The members of the Youth Peace Travel Team travel to Brethren camps throughout the United States. The goal of the team's work is to talk with other young people about the Christian message and the Brethren tradition of peacemaking.
Up to four young adults (ages 19-23) will be selected for the team. Please apply through Ministry Summer Service by submitting the application found here by January 11, 2013.
2012 Youth Peace Travel Team
Photo Credit: Marie Benner-Rhoades
Committed to stopping violence and building reconciliation, On Earth Peace is an agency rooted in the Church of the Brethren. On Earth Peace extends this 300-year faith legacy by equipping new generations of Christian peacemakers and partnering with grassroots groups to build peace and justice.
Your donation makes it possible for On Earth Peace to partner with communities to stop violence and build reconciliation.
Peace Day Participating Groups included:
Church of the Brethren
Breakthru Church International
Christian Council of Nigeria (Methodist)
Church of Christ
Disciples of Christ
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Eastern Orthodox Christian
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
EYN - Church of the Brethren in Nigeria
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Seventh Day Adventist
United Church of Christ
United Church of Canada