Peace Sunday 2016

There’s always more to do—another committee to serve on, another book to read, another project to complete. Jesus calls us to follow Him on an active, vigorous journey. 

But what if in the midst of our activity, we miss a critical part of following Jesus? What if our eagerness to serve, we neglect the things that give us the strength we need for the journey? 

In the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus very much engaged in the world, healing and teaching. One can imagine the intensity of His days as the crowds began to build. Jesus had enough work to keep Him busy from morning until night—and beyond.

But Jesus knew what was needed to sustain His work. 

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1 35-39)

Jesus shows us the importance of this quiet, still time with God is paramount when the journey is the most challenging and the demands are most numerous. 

On this Peace Sunday, we invite you to explore the nourishment and necessity of the time spent with God. Our kinetic, deadline-driven world can make us believe that time spent on things that don’t appear to be “productive” is wasted. 

Don’t believe it!  Our peacemaking, our justice-seeking, our communities of faith will flourish when we carve out these quiet, still times alone with God. Jesus knew what was needed for His Kingdom work. AS we follow His path to places of great need to relationship with those who cry out for peace, we also must follow His path to Holy time, time alone with God.

“Be Still and Know that I am God!”, writes the Psalmist.  We hope these materials will help you and your church toward that stillness and that recognition. 

These materials are a collaboration of the Peace and Justice Support Network and members of the Mennonite Spiritual Directors Network: June Mears Driedger, Marlene Kropf, Laura Lehman, Sandy Wegner.

Peace Sunday is observed on the Sunday closest to the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21. The Peace and Justice Support Network creates worship materials that congregations may use on this or any Sunday throughout the year. Peace Sunday is an annual opportunity to acknowledge and respond to the violence that continues to be our culture’s all-too-frequent response to conflict.​​

In 2016, Peace Sunday is celebrated on Sunday, September 18. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Please feel free use these materials in their entirety or as individual elements on Peace Sunday 2016, or any other time.