Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. and other Mennonite organizations are offering new worship resources to congregations that are observing Peace Sunday on Sept. 22 or are planning to offer teaching on peace this year.
Peace Sunday, which is held on the Sunday closest to the United Nations’ International Day of Peace (Sept. 21), is an annual opportunity to acknowledge and respond to the violence that continues to frequently mark how the U.S. responds to conflict.
“To practice the ways of peace while living in the world’s most highly militarized superpower requires a spiritual transformation,” said Titus Peachey, peace education coordinator for MCC U.S. “These Peace Sunday materials provide congregations with a good opportunity to focus on the transformation that God longs to bring to our world so that we will all learn the rhythms and the ways of peace.”
Peace Sunday resources are designed to help congregations discern what it means to join in God’s mission of peace through Christ, rather than conforming to the violent patterns in our communities and world. The materials focus on Romans 12, directed by verse 2, “Do not be conformed to this world ...”
The downloadable resources include prayers, sermon seeds, children’s stories, song suggestions, litanies and advocacy ideas.
Mennonite Church USA celebrates Peace Sunday. Jason Boone, who heads the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Mission Network, collaborated with Peachey and others in MCC U.S. to produce the resources.
“The Peace Sunday materials reflect contributions from a number of Mennonite Church USA congregations and partners,” said Boone. “We need the strength of community to live out the radical call of ‘Do not conform.’ Together, we can follow Jesus’ path of peace.”
Peace Sunday resources for U.S. churches are available online at mcc.org/fearnot. MCC Canada will release more Peace Sunday resources in late August for Canadian churches that celebrate Peace Sunday in November, near Canada's Remembrance Day. Churches in Canada and the U.S. may find both sets of resources to be helpful.
Mennonite Central Committee: Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ