Peace With Justice Sunday is May 18

April 17, 2008

On May 18 United Methodist churches will celebrate "Peace with Justice Sunday" by receiving a special offering. The offering enables the denomination's voice in advocating for peace and justice at home and around the world.

 

Peace with Justice Sunday gifts empower compassionate people to advocate for human rights, buy fair-trade products, care for the environment, demonstrate for important causes, eradicate poverty, feed the hungry, mediate conflict, provide health care, seek affordable housing, and model nonviolence. The Special Sunday offering funds global outreach through the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) and annual conference-related Peace with Justice ministries that transform lives.

 

It reminds us to be who we say we are.

Joyce Georgief, Peace with Justice Coordinator for the California-Pacific Conference, says she is "fired up" about the United Methodist Special Sunday.

 

"It reminds us to be who we say we are," she said. "We say we love kindness, seek justice, and walk humbly with our God. Peace with Justice Sunday gives flesh to the Micah 6:8 mandate, and for me, it means recommitting myself to walking the talk."

 

Peace with Justice Sunday is a way people can give from a place of faith, according to Adrienne Fong, Peace with Justice Coordinator, California-Nevada Conference.

 

"I know there are many times people give to non-faith organizations that do human rights, peace, and environmental justice work, but if they knew they could give from within the church," she emphasized, "I think they would. It makes me really proud to be United Methodist because we address so many issues through the Special Sunday offerings, especially Peace with Justice."

 

First Sunday after Pentecost

Peace with Justice Sunday, one of the six United Methodist Special Sundays with offering, is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost. The Peace with Justice Sunday offering supports programs that advocate for peace and justice at home and around the world. The day witnesses to God's demand for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world. Half of the Peace with Justice offering goes to the GBCS for grants to special programs.

 

The other half remains with annual conferences for Peace with Justice ministries. Every annual conference has a Peace with Justice coordinator, and a committee headed by that coordinator determines how the conference money will be used.

 

Six Ways to promote Peace with Justice Sunday

Six ways to celebrate and promote Peace with Justice Sunday:

 

1. Plant a community peace garden and harvest food that can be donated to a local food bank or shelter.

2. Contact Habitat for Humanity and encourage members of your church to participate in a "Faith Build."

3. Create a peace mini-camp for school-age children in your congregation. Provide training in peaceful conflict resolution and anti-bullying.

4. Establish a Bible study at a local prison. Ask Sunday school classes to provide volunteers to lead weekly studies and discussions.

5. Plan a congregational peace rally. Invite Sunday school classes in all age groups to make signs about peace and justice issues close to their hearts; post the signs throughout the church.

6. Dedicate a church service to peace and justice issues. Use hymns such as "We Shall Overcome" and "Let There Be Peace on Earth" to punctuate the importance of world peace. Ask children to share prayers for peace that they have written.

 

For information about ministries supported by the Peace with Justice Sunday offering, contact Peace with Justice Program, General Board of Church and Society, 100 Maryland Ave. N.E., Washington, DC 20002-5614; www.umc-gbcs.org/grants; (202) 488-5600.

 

Information and applications for Peace with Justice grants are available online at www.umc-gbcs.org/grants.

 

About Special Sundays

Six times throughout the year, United Methodist congregations celebrate churchwide Special Sundays with offerings. Your support is critical to the survival of these important ministries and for sharing God's gifts around the world.

 

Churchwide Special Sundays with offerings enable United Methodists like you to offer refuge in times of disaster, promote peace and justice, provide scholarships and student loans, reach out to the community, teach skills to encourage self-sufficiency, and share the love of Jesus Christ with God's people everywhere.

 

Your support is critical to the survival of these important ministries and for sharing God's gifts around the world.

 

* Human Relations Day (Jan. 20, 2008)

* One Great Hour of Sharing (March 2, 2008)

* Native American Ministries Sunday (April 6, 2008)

* Peace with Justice Sunday (May 18, 2008)

* World Communion Sunday (Oct. 5, 2008)

* United Methodist Student Day (Nov. 30, 2008)

 

Do you have questions about a specific Special Sunday? Click the following link: www.umcgiving.org. Free resources to help promote Special Sundays in your congregation are available at that website.

 

GBCS Peace with Justice Resources

* Peace with Justice Resources

* Special Sundays Media Kit