Several of our Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends churches (Christ-centered Quakers) decided to participate together in a Valentine’s Day “Peace Sabbath.” It has been fun to hear a few of the many ways you were able to bear witness to Christ’s love in your local communities.
The organizing group has put together a few resources that you may want to use or adapt for your setting/activities. Feel free to use these if or however you choose.
Here is a suggested format for the day, including preparation prior to February 14. (Dates listed are for 2008)
Blessings & Joy!
Colin Saxton, NWYM General Superintendent
Suggested Peace Sabbath Activities
A. Distribute queries to be read in worship on Sunday, Feb 10. Encourage people to individually and corporately reflect on these during the days leading up to the Peace Sabbath (Feb. 14).
B. Encourage all NWYM churches to open their meetinghouses to Friends and other members of the community as a place to pray for peace.
1. Encourage churches to make available prayer teams to meet with interested individuals. Friends with the gift of prayer for healing may wish to be available, as well.
2. Consider sponsoring Prayer Walks around your community or meetinghouse.
C. Encourage Friends that are able to take the day off from work/school/etc. to do so in order to focus on the Peace Sabbath.
D. Hold a worship service focusing on Christian peace/peacemaking at some point in the day. Resources will be provided for worship planning for those churches that might like to use them.
E. Consider having a speaker during the worship service or for a class/workshop/seminar following worship.
1. Teaching resources available here include:
2. A list of available speakers and topic will be provided.
3. Resources for action will also be provided…encouraging people to actively engage in the ministry of reconciliation as a response to the Peace Sabbath.
a. These resources will include personal and group activities that are practical and focused on partnering in the work of Christ’s Kingdom.
b. These resources will include both local and global activities. We will especially encourage churches to consider unnoticed opportunities to resolve conflicts, address needs and build peace and justice in their local area.
4. Make a special invitation to other Christians in the area, as a way to draw together the Body of Christ.
F. Conclude the day with a community meal.
1. Host a gathering that invites in other people from the community.
2. Focus especially on people who are other-wise left out, on groups who are in conflict with each other (as a way to bring them together), on those who may consider us their enemy.
3. The intent is simply to give a unilateral gift of love—expecting nothing in return.
G. Post Peace Sabbath—encourage local churches to follow-up on “suggested peacemaking activities”.