"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." — Matthew 28:19
This Sunday, we celebrate Peace with Justice Sunday. Our gifts today go toward doing God's just work in the world, following in the path of Jesus, being disciples and making disciples.
Disciples of Jesus Christ do not just talk about God's kingdom; they live as citizens of God's kingdom. Disciples work to bring about peace, or shalom, the wholeness of living as people reconciled to God, God's world and each other. This wholeness, this peace, is not possible without doing the work of justice in the world.
Our Peace with Justice giving has activated disciples locally and across the globe to seek justice and promote peace. Some of the supported projects include helping people monitor for fair elections in Africa, improving refugee resettlement, assisting immigrants with renewing and applying for documents, ministering to victims of violent crime, working toward decriminalizing people with mental illness, helping to bridge Palestinian-Israeli relations, increasing voter turnout in underrepresented areas, and working toward self-development in the Philippines.
When we give on Peace with Justice Sunday, it is a response to our call as the church to reach out. But, it is more than that. It is a response to our call to go and make disciples. On Peace with Justice Sunday, we are supporting those who are going out to where the people are — those people facing injustice, inequality or violence.
God, we pray for peace this day. We pray for those living in the midst of violence and oppression, and for those without a voice. Grant us courage that we would also live in ways that promote justice and peace by our words, our actions and our gifts. Amen.
From Discipleship Resources: First Sunday After Pentecost/Trinity Sunday – Peace with Justice Sunday (Special Offering) God of love and peace, you created the vast universe! Through Christ your Son, you redeemed the world from human disobedience. Open our eyes to see the reflection of your image in each person. By your Spirit, inspire us to contribute to the flourishing of people, creatures, and the environment that you made to be very good indeed. Use these gifts and offerings to support our church's mission of hope and assistance for people in our wider community. We pray through our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. (Genesis 1:1- 2:4)
We will be celebrating Peace with Justice Sunday on June 11 this year. Peace with Justice Sunday is one of the six Special Sundays of The United Methodist Church when we take up a churchwide offering. Peace with Justice Sunday supports local and global work to advocate for peace and justice in the world.
Several of the ministries receiving Peace with Justice Grants are working with immigrants and refugees. Many of these people have left their countries because of systematic injustice, racial inequality and economic disparity. Some are migrant workers from places where they are unable to make a living wage. Some are in danger due to corruption in government and police enforcement.
The aim in supporting these projects is to assist the individuals and families affected by social and economic injustices, while also providing education, training and advocacy to make an impact on the system. When we do this important work, we are demonstrating the love and message of Christ and promoting true peace.