US. Mennonite Brethren congregations are invited to observe Peace Sunday Sept. 23, 2018, together with brothers and sisters in the global Anabaptist church family. A packet of worship and resource materials prepared by Mennonite World Conference are available to congregations.
The theme for this year’s Peace Sunday is “A Renewed Peace Church Welcomes the Stranger.” The biblical texts chosen by the MWC Peace Commission are Matthew 25:31-46 and Deuteronomy 10:12-22. The resource materials include prayer requests, suggested songs from the MWC International Songbook, prayers, sermon notes, stories and reflections and activities related to hospitality, immigration and storytelling.
“Throughout the biblical narrative, we encounter a God who reminds his people to show hospitality to others, especially those who are the most vulnerable in society—the widow, orphan and stranger,” says the Peace Commission in explaining their theme choice.
“God reminds his people that they too were once vulnerable—strangers in a distant land, enslaved and oppressed. And yet, through a generous act of hospitality itself, God saves them from these conditions and reminds his people to likewise be hospitable toward others who might be foreigners, vulnerable, enslaved or oppressed. This message is apt in today’s world of rising nationalism, self-interest and self-preservation, all of which fly in the face of God’s reminder to be open to and welcome the stranger,” says the commission.
The MWC 2006 Peace Commission chose the Sunday nearest to the International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations in 1981 as Sept. 21, as a Peace Sunday to be observed by MWC member conferences. If a congregation is unable to celebrate on Sept. 23, they are encouraged to select another Sunday that fits their schedule.
Congregations that observe Peace Sunday are encouraged to contact MWC with their stories, reports and photos. These can be sent to Andrew G. Suderman, Peace Commission secretary at AndrewSuderman@mwc-cmm.org. They will be shared with the global church community.
To download Peace Sunday resources visit the MWC website.