CPT is pleased to partner with the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA in the development of its annual Peace Sunday materials. While Peace Sunday is typically observed on the Sunday preceding the United Nations’ International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21, these materials can be used any Sunday!
We hope you and your faith community find them a helpful resource in encouraging your community to embolden its peace witness!
Support from the global church for such a time as this in the United States
By Milena Rincon, Program Director, based in Colombia
As the program director at CPT, I coordinate with our teams around the globe: in Palestine, Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and North America. In the last year, we’ve seen more and more requests from all over the United States for support and trainings in conflict transformation, peacemaking, and justice work. We in the wider Mennonite Church and the wider world see you. We hear you asking, “What can we do in this moment? How do we show support and love for people of color, and immigrants in our churches and communities? How do we transform the conflicts in our own communities?”
This Peace Sunday, I extend support and solidarity from my home in Colombia and from Christian Peacemaker Teams around the world as you work to discern your calling for such a time as this. We are with you.
One place we find inspiration for following a challenging call from God in contentious times is the book of Esther. Her husband, the king, had been convinced that Esther and all the Jewish people were barbaric and untrustworthy, that they were bringing crime to the land and destroying others’ way of life. Mordecai, Esther’s adopted father, asked her to change her husband’s mind. She was afraid because the king was known to be an egotistical, fickle and violent man. But Mordecai implored her not to be silent and to take action: “You may have come into your position for such a time as this,” he said. Esther prayed and fasted, gathered her courage, and took action to ensure that the Jewish people were allowed the same rights as everyone in her husband’s empire.
Together this Peace Sunday, let us listen for God’s call to us for such a time as this. Who in our communities are being treated as the Jewish people in Esther’s time? How can we be church together in a way that ensures we each have an equal voice and equal rights? How can our churches be places of refuge from the world that divides us and sees some among us as enemies of the state, enemies of morality, enemies of its own citizens? Let’s explore together our options for taking concrete action. Perhaps it’s time to institute that weekly dinner supported by donations and free to any in the community that we’ve been talking about. Maybe it’s time to look into becoming a sanctuary congregation, to send a member or two on a delegation with CPT, to host an event with CPT or Mennonite Mission Network.
Let us pray together. Let us worship together. Let us discern together how to respond to Christ’s calling at such a time as this.