A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works that these, because I am going to the Father." – John 14:12, NRSV
Thomas Jefferson has been attributed with saying, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Next Sunday we will observe one of United Methodism's six churchwide Special Sundays. On Peace with Justice Sunday, we will share a special offering to support initiatives that break the silence and advocate for shalom, or peace and wholeness, in the world around us.
People cry for shalom, when many face the reality that there is not enough food on the table and violence occurs in the streets, and maybe even in our homes. We need shalom, when human trafficking enslaves children and women. We need shalom, when housing is difficult to obtain and many find themselves without basic shelter. We need shalom, when terrorism exists across the globe. We need shalom, when tension based on the color of one's skin continues.
When seeking shalom, we do not merely seek an absence of conflict; sometimes, it may mean the opposite. It may mean taking on poverty, hunger, housing issues, human trafficking or child labor in order to bring about a peace that cannot exist without justice. Our Peace with Justice Sunday offering goes toward initiatives that seek to address injustice and bring peace to our communities and world. Your generous gifts on this special day fund vital annual conference and General Board of Church and Society ministries.
God of Peace, increase our awareness of the broken places in the world. Give us courage and generosity to be change agents and support advocacy against the injustices that threaten the wholeness that is shalom, the peace you desire for all creatures in your great creation. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Day of Pentecost - Faithful God, you graciously fulfill your promises in life-giving ways. Your Holy Spirit provides hope to young people who envision a future of peace. You grant older adults the gift of wisdom to contribute to the joy of the world. Empower people of all ages to share their faith and tangible gifts so that more people will know salvation. We dedicate ourselves anew to the life of discipleship you give us in the name of our risen Lord. Amen. (Acts 2:1-21, Joel 2:28-32)
Today the world urgently needs United Methodists to take seriously our call to be peacemakers. While violent attacks are happening worldwide, we face the tumultuous turn of political tides domestically. Angry voices dominate the landscape and seek to divide rather than unite. Amid the noise, God calls us to hear the voices of those who have no voice and to do great things on behalf of the poor, to break the chains of injustice, to feed the hungry and to love our enemies and neighbors.
On Sunday, May 22, we will observe one of our six Special Sundays with offering. On Peace with Justice Sunday, our United Methodist Church will put our collective efforts toward effecting peaceful change through local and global initiatives that promote peace and justice. Our generous gifts will support annual conference initiatives as well as General Board of Church and Society ministries globally that promote peace and justice.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with each of us reaching out with God's love.