Jul 29, 2013

International Day of Prayer for Peace

What do you think could happen if churches everywhere prayed and acted together to nurture lasting peace? . . . among individuals, families, communities and societies? Well, that opportunity is here! And we invite you to join us in this collective effort, now held annually on and around September 21.

In 2004, the World Council of Churches and the United Nations proposed the idea of an International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDPP) every September 21.  Since then, this has become a special day of festive activity in virtually every denomination worldwide.

This celebration runs alongside the Sept. 21 observance of the UN International Day of Peace (IDP).  The UN day calls for cease-fires in armed conflict, commitments to non-violence, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. This year's theme is "Education for Peace."  Creative plans include festivals, concerts, and a global Peace Wave with moments of silence at noon in every time zone. How might you and your congregation take part?

One place to start is to use LPF's peace prayers, which include a bulletin insert for the Day of Prayer for Peace. (This is a revision of the worship resource for the inaugural IDPP in 2004, used all over the world, that was written by LPF leaders.)  More links are offered below to help congregations and groups make Sept. 21 -- and the Sunday before or after -- a meaningful experience for all.


Bulletin insert for the International Day of Prayer for Peace

ELCA webpage with Worship Resources for the International Day of Prayer for Peace, featuring links to the rich spectrum of prayers and worship materials from the World Council of Churches, as well as LPF.  Click here for further LPF Worship Resources

LPF Peace Education Resources include a variety of leaders’ guides for adult and youth forums, a one-page overview for “Encouraging Shalom in the Congregation,” as well as guides to many other resources from LPF and elsewhere.

LPF's "Path of Hope" shares brief descriptions of more than 140 peace and justice events and movements throughout history in which everyday people have been successful in bringing about peace and social change by nonviolent means.

United Nations: International Day of Peace is the official UN site with links to other resources and organizations.

On Earth Peace is an initiative from the Church of the Brethren, offering a variety of resources.