The Next Special Sunday: Peace With Justice Sunday, June 7

April 21, 2009

Peace with Justice Sunday, one of the six United Methodist churchwide Special Sundays, witnesses to God's demand for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world.

 

Established by the 1988 General Conference, the denomination's highest policy-making body, Peace with Justice Sunday supports programs that advocate peace and justice at home and around the world. It will be observed on June 7 this year.

 

Because half of the Special Sunday offerings collected by an annual conference is retained to fund local peace with justice programs, a local impact can be made. In addition, half of the offering is remitted to the General Board of Church and Society to help fund U.S. and global work in social action, public-policy education and advocacy.

 

This spring the board approved 28 grants totaling $52,805.

 

It brings many people to tears when they see how these people live.

One recipient of a Peace with Justice grant is a solar oven project in the Dakotas Conference that is helping improve life in Haiti. Drinking dirty water and cooking over open fires because there is no other choice is a justice issue. By building and taking solar ovens to Haiti, missionary Rick Jost and other United Methodists help poor families pasteurize drinking water and cook healthy meals in a safe environment.

 

"Motivation for what we do is the crushing poverty in Haiti," Jost said. "It brings many people to tears when they see how these people live."

 

Other grants went to ministries geographically dispersed - from the Philippines to Mozambique, and from Iowa to Jerusalem. Recipients comprise diverse ministries, such as to empower women, provide immigrant legal services in Iowa, do justice and peace work in Jerusalem, train election observers in Mozambique, do conflict management and mediation, and implement a water justice project.

 

The 1980 General Conference created a churchwide Peace with Justice program assigned to the General Board of Church and Society. The 1988 General Conference established Peace with Justice Sunday as the first Sunday after Pentecost to give churches a single, more convenient date for the offering and a name that clearly identifies the ministries it supports.

 

Peace with Justice Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. If a local church needs to celebrate Peace with Justice Sunday on a different date, however, that is acceptable.

 

This offering allows The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs: 

  • The Ohio-based Faith Communities Uniting for Peace encourages Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs "to live from a vision of peace rooted in faith."
  • In Liberia, in partnership with other religious and humanitarian groups, The United Methodist Church provides a place for former child soldiers to live, recreational activities to address war trauma, and basic necessities such as fresh drinking water and medical treatment.

Each ministry that relies on support from the individual offerings contributes collaboratively to the promotion of the six churchwide Special Sundays.

 

Every annual conference has a Peace with Justice Coordinator. (In the California-Nevada Annual Conference, the Peace with Justice Coordinator is Mary Liebke.) Many conferences give grants to local churches and other United Methodist programs that promote peace with justice, while others use the money for training in conflict resolution or other education initiatives within the conference.

 

In 2008, $290,469 was given to the Peace with Justice Sunday offering. In 2007, $301,357 was given and in 2006, $306,905.

 

You may donate online to Peace with Justice Sunday - or any other Special Sunday - by going to donate.gcfa.org. (You may also click on the following link to donate now to Peace with Justice Sunday.)

 

You may give to any Special Sunday at any time during the year.


 

Peace with Justice Sunday Support Materials

Click on the following link to download support materials to help educate your congregation about Peace with Justice Sunday (Resources) and/or to link to an online store where you may order additional free printed resources.

 

Free promotional resources available through the online store include: 

  • Talking to your congregation about Special Sundays

  • Facts and figures about Peace with Justice Sunday

Downloadable resources also include:

  • 2009 Peace with Justice Sunday Bulletin Insert (color, PDF format, double layout)

  • 2009 Peace with Justice Sunday Bulletin Insert (black & white, PDF format, double layout)

  • Facts and Worship Resources (PDF)

  • 2009 Peace with Justice Sunday poster (color, PDF format)

You also may order by calling toll free 1.888.346.3862.

 

To get involved with Peace with Justice ministries, contact Peace with Justice Coordinator Mary Liebke.

 

Together, let us work for a faithful and loving world for all and bring hope for our future. Please support Peace with Justice Sunday.

 

(Read related story, "About Special Sundays," here.)