Churches to Sponsor Vigils for International Day of Prayer for Peace

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 16, 2007

The Brethren Witness/Washington Office and On Earth Peace are calling on congregations to organize prayer events as part of the World Council of Churches’ International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. The Brethren Witness/Washington Office is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board. On Earth Peace is an agency rooted in the Church of the Brethren, empowering people to discern the things that make for peace.

Sept. 21, 2007, marks the fourth observance of the WCC-sponsored International Day of Prayer for Peace, which joins the 25-year commitment by the United Nations to an International Day of Peace. Churches are invited to plan prayer meetings, vigils, or other events that focus on concerns about violence in their own communities and around the world, and that lift up God’s promise of shalom and healing for all people.

On Earth Peace and the Brethren Witness/Washington Office have jointly announced a goal of at least 40 vigils or public prayer meetings sponsored by Church of the Brethren congregations. It is hoped that at least half of those events will be cosponsored with ecumenical or interfaith partners, inviting fellow Christian denominations and movements to join with this effort for prayer and peacemaking.

The organizers hope that people of faith from many religions and spiritual traditions will take this day as a catalyst to plan and carry out public prayer for peace. In sponsoring public prayer events, faith communities will have the opportunity to talk together about violence and conflicts at every level, in families and neighborhoods and cities, as well as in their own houses of worship. Participants are invited to ask God for vision and insight about how to address violence, laying the groundwork for faithful engagement and collaboration to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

“The idea of linking the world in prayer is awesome, whether it is a moment at noon praying, ‘May Peace Prevail,’ or a 24-hour vigil. It’s truly exhilarating!” said Lois Clark, Decade to Overcome Violence organizer for the Northern Indiana District of the Church of the Brethren.

To join this effort or to receive more information on organizing a vigil or public prayer meeting on Sept. 21, contact Mimi Copp, Church of the Brethren organizer for the International Day of Prayer for Peace, at 260-479-5087 or miminski@gmail.com.

Find the WCC International Day of Prayer for Peace website at http://overcomingviolence.org/en/about-dov/international-day-of-prayer-for-peace.html. Contact On Earth Peace at P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776-0188; 410-635-8704; mattguynn@earthlink.net; http://www.onearthpeace.org/. Contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office at 337 N. Carolina Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003; 800-785-3246; pjones_gb@brethren.org; www.brethren.org/genbd/WitnessWashOffice.html.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Mimi Copp contributed this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.