Peace & Global Witness
The Season of Peace is a time of reflection
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ushers in the annual Season of Peace on Sunday, the start of a four-week time of reflection for congregations and others who want to deepen their pursuit of peace.
The theme of the season, which runs from Sept. 4 to World Communion Sunday on Oct. 2, is from Isaiah 55:12, “You shall go out with joy and be led forth in peace.”
The need for the season is reflected in several national and global events that have occurred in the past year, according to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. They include the war in Ukraine, the escalation of gun violence and mass shooting events and continued racialized violence and racial division, all during a time when people are grappling with more frequent natural disasters and the ongoing Covid pandemic.
“More than ever, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) needs to be a beacon of peace to the world and a witness to the ways of Christ, the Prince of Peace, in our communities,” said the Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. “We need to ‘go out in joy and be led forth in peace.’ The Season of Peace is a time for Presbyterians to reflect on their identity and consider anew what they can do to promote peace in their communities, our nation and the world.”
Congregations, families, small groups and individuals are encouraged to observe the season by signing up for or downloading daily Path of Peace reflections or other materials from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
“This year’s Path of Peace reflections return to a written format, after last year’s reflections were a combination of video and written content,” said Simon Doong, Associate for Peacemaking. “Many thanks to Anne Russ for serving as editor of the 2022 Path of Peace reflections and to the outstanding team of contributors she assembled.”
Each week of the reflections focuses on a different peace topic: climate change (Sept. 4-10); non-violence (Sept. 11-17); the intersection between race and poverty (Sept. 18-24), and immigration and migration (Sept. 24-Oct.2).
“Congregations interested in any of these areas will find the reflections useful and inspiring,” Doong said. “For those who may not always consider any of the four peacemaking issues per se, the reflections will offer insights that demonstrate the intersectionality between these issues and peacemaking.”
Another way to observe the season is through Peace Cards that focus on peacemaking in six categories: personal, family, church, community, environment and the world. The 92-card set (available here) includes a question to reflect on, a prayer and a recommended action for each card.
“They are an excellent way to build on some themes and insights from the Path of Peace reflections,” Doong said. “We hope that individuals, congregations and families use them.”
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The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws Presbyterians together and provides exposure to active peacemakers as well as education and resources to empower congregations and individuals to become peacemakers, themselves. These collective efforts support resources in dealing with conflict, provide nurturing reconciliation, and stand in support of our global siblings, because the peace of Christ belongs to people everywhere.