Prayer and Action for International Peace Day
Post Prayers for Peace in the discussion section of the Faith Explorations Community on United Methodist Women’s Online Community.
Sept. 21 is International Peace Day, an annual commemoration adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2001. The United Nations called for “a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.” The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has also declared 2001-2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World..
Since 2001 International Peace Day has become a rallying point for long-term peace. The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the ecumenical community in the United States will host an ecumenical gathering at the United Nations Sept. 21 as part of the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence. Representatives from Pakistan, Lebanon, Brazil and South Africa will be present.
Here’s what you can do:
- Take time to Reflect. Make the day a time to honor Jesus' weeping over Jerusalem, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!” How can the day be a time to honor that quest and search above all others in our lives? Spend time in reflection and prayer, to consider what makes for peace personally; in our families; in our communities; in our nation and our world? Journal about what we need to do to be at peace at all of these levels. Share your reflections with others on United Methodist Women’s Online Community, www.umwonline.org.
- Pray for Peace. Join thousands around the world who are participating in spiritual observations for peace and nonviolence Sept. 21. Lift up personal and collective prayers, host a prayer vigil in your church or community. Continue the United Methodist Women initiative: Prayers for Peace. Post your prayers to the discussion section of the Faith Explorations Community on United Methodist Women’s Online Community, www.umwonline.org.
- Sing for Peace. Use music to promote peace building by learning the peace hymns from the 2007, spiritual growth study, God's Mission, God's Song (#M3001/$10.95), by Joyce D. Sohl. Sing the hymns at peace vigils and utilize them to undergird your advocacy for peace. To order contact Mission Resource Center at 1-800-305-9857
Read and Act. Read the Women’s Division April 2007 recommendation on Peace in the Middle East, which includes suggestions for action.
The National Council of Churches is calling us to organize local candlelight vigils, teach-ins and prayer services as part of an “Interfaith Fast to End the War in Iraq” Oct. 8, 2007. For information go to www.interfaithfast.org. Invite public officials to the events. Commemorate International Peace Day by beginning to plan for that now.
- Send postcards to Congress. Some peacemakers have begun an initiative to flood Congress with postcards Sept. 21 reminding them of the U.N. International Day of Peace and calling on representatives to take action for peace now. Have a postcard decorating party and involve children in this activity as well.
- For information go to: