Shining a Light on Local Peace Building (en Español)
As Friends, we state in our Faith and Practice, “We believe the precepts of Christ our Lord and the whole spirit of His Gospel call us to live at peace with all people.” All people can seem a daunting task. That is why this year we hope to narrow our focus and bring us back to our local surroundings.
Have you recently explored how your meeting is rooted in your local community or neighborhood? Do you know the current needs and opportunities for peace and justice that your meeting could address? Every community is unique and has a plethora of areas to engage – from local government to education, from business to health, from technology to the environment, from culture to religion. We hope through this focus that you will take time to seriously evaluate, develop awareness, and find new ways to be a peace-building meeting in your local area.
As a way of organizing the month, we suggest:
- January 5: Turning on the Light: Our Peace-Building Meeting
- January 12: Street Lights: Voices from Our Community
- January 19: The Spotlight: Our Community’s Needs
- January 26: Illuminate: How We Shine the Light
Each meeting is encouraged to host at least one event each week during January that focuses on our 2014 Peace Month theme of LAMP (Locally Aware Meeting for Peace). This could be a Sunday school class, a sermon, a youth group discussion or a special event such as movie viewing and discussion or inviting a guest speaker. Materials for leaders and pastors are below, and a hard copy of the Leaders Handbook arrived at each local meeting in November. We again composed a Daily Reader, this year with stories and devotional thoughts on local peace-building for each day of January, written by Friends from NWYM. Download the Daily Reader 2014 online version or the Daily Reader 2014 printable version.
During Peace Month, it is our hope that our meetings will:
- Educate in the manner of Friends (and Biblically) what local peace-building looks like.
- Raise awareness for peace-building (current initiatives and needed ones) in our community.
- Inspire people to take action, to move forward and to do something positive no matter how small the step.
- Connect, network, and introduce individuals, organization and corporations in our communities who are already doing good things in the area of peace-building to help create a greater community impact.
- Identify ways to disarm violence and injustice in all of its forms in our communities.
Will you join us in preparing for another great Peace Month in January of 2014? It is time now to start talking to your leaders, committees, and your local community. We pray January will only be the beginning or continuation of the great work God is doing in your locale to bring God’s peace to all people.
Grace and peace,
The Peace Education Subcommittee