Tuesday, July 29, 2008

International Day of Prayer for Peace UPDATER 7/28/2008

News from On Earth Peace's campaign to support the International Day of Prayer for Peace

Friends and organizing partners, sisters and brothers,

Greetings in the name of Christ and in God's peace and grace! 

We've got great news to share!

As of today, sixty-one (63!) congregations and community groups have committed through On Earth Peace to participate in the International Day of Prayer for Peace. This means sixty-three communities where people are committed to having new conversations about the violence that affects their neighborhoods, and committed to praying about what they can do about it.  Please visit our website to see if your group or congregation is listed there as a 2008 participant -- and if not, maybe it's time to register & get started!

Also, you will notice that our home page has a new feature!  Pastor Larry O'Neill of the Skippack Church of the Brethren (Collegeville, PA) has created a 3-minute video that explains what the International Day of Prayer for Peace is all about, and tells of his church's plans for this year.  Later today, we'll be adding a news clip about the 2007 IDOPP event planned by the Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, Harrisburg, PA.

In last week's networking calls, passion and energy ran high, as people shared about what they're experiencing (underemployment, drugs, gangs, homicide, domestic abuse, impacts of the war), and the power and vision God is giving for a new and different life. Through their organizing, people involved in IDOPP are finding a way to channel their vision for a world with less violence and more shalom. Through IDOPP, people are finding a way to express their concerns through positive action.

In one call, one man shared about how organizing around the International Day of Prayer for Peace in 2007 led them to new connections outside their congregation-- relationships which they are building on to go further this year, laying plans for a more ongoing efforts to reduce violence!
        Another woman shared how she is planning to reach out to her local ministerial group to find new organizing partners, tapping a swell of local concern about how the church can help people feel and see God's vision and concern, despite the evident brokenness and hurt in the world and their community.

We are pleased to already have participating groups from the ELCA (Lutheran), Catholic, Quaker, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Methodist, and Church of the Brethren.  We have a two groups based in retirement communities, and a medical practice, also!  There are groups signed up from coast-to-coast in the United States, in Ireland, and in Nigeria.  We'd love to include you or your group in that number --- Join us!

In the following paragraphs, we describe "Three-Part Plan" we're suggesting for this year's organizers.

We are inviting participating congregations and community groups to think in terms of of three phases:

Before Sept 21; Sept 21 (day of); and After Sept 21.

BEFORE: Build NEW or DEEPER relationships with people in your community.  Find out about, or build a stronger shared sense of the violence that affects your neighborhood (unemployment? drug abuse? racism? domestic violence?  militarization of youth?  war?).
ON SEPT 21: Hold a public prayer event including these new friends & partners, focusing on the kinds of violence you uncovered in your information-gathering, asking God for assistance, help, inspiration.
AFTER: Building on these new relationships, keep a magnifying glass on one or more of the forms of violence you identified.  Help catalyze continued efforts to address them.

We have many resources on the website to help you work at these steps, and we are on call via e-mail or phone to address any of your questions or help flesh out your ideas.

Let us know what's happening where you are!

Blessings, Peace & Grace to you.
Michael Colvin & Matt Guynn
On Earth Peace's International Day of Prayer for Peace Organizing Staff

mattguynn @earthlink.net

Web: www.onearthpeace.org/prayforpeace
Campaign phone: 530.844.3838


You are receiving this message as a part of the "Peace Witness Action List," a program of On Earth Peace.  This list is to alert you of creative nonviolent action throughout the United States and beyond, with the intention of inspiring Spirit-filled creative action in your community.  Find this and previous posts online at www.nonviolencenews.blogspot.com.

On Earth Peace is an agency rooted in the Church of the Brethren, helping people faithfully discern "the things that make for peace" (Luke 19).

You can support this and other peace and reconciliation ministries of On Earth Peace with your credit card!  Go to http://www.brethren.org/oepa/support/index.html and click on the blue "Donate Now" button to make a secure donation to On Earth Peace through Network for Good, our partner in making online giving easy for you.  Thank you!

If you would like to receive these alerts or end your subscription, kindly send an e-mail message to mattguynn@earthlink.net.

On the web: www.onearthpeace.org; Tel (410) 635-8704; On Earth Peace, PO Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776-0188.