Love. God’s wondrous blessing and greatest gift. God’s love for us is liberating, it gives us the courage to do Her work in Her broken and imperfect and marvelous creation. God’s love for us is humbling, we can never be worthy of it. God’s Love is comforting, it is unconditional.
Love. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God gave us love even before creating the world “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”
On the first Monday of each month, a dedicated group of peace seekers gathers at the War Memorial in New Haven, CT to remember and to mourn the dead in the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each month we add a stone to a growing cairn. One of our members placed a sprig of sage he collected on a recent witness at Standing Rock.
“This is my church,” wrote one person at the end of the PPF Activist Council Fall Meeting at Stony Point Center this past weekend where close to 50 Peace-seekers gathered. Another person posted on Facebook: “These are my people, yes they are."
The 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was one of the most positive church experiences I’ve had in a long time. There were moments of disappointment and frustration, as always, but I sit several days after closing worship with a sense of hope and deep gratitude for the people and the work of the PC(USA). I also sit ready to get back to work (after a brief rest, which I hope you all are taking as well), because we as PPF have a special role after this GA that could have just changed the way our denomination engages with peace and nonviolence.
Rick Ufford-Chase, PPF Co-Moderator, preached this sermon at Church of the Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on February 14, 2016. This sermon weaves together many issues and themes that are important to PPF (including many issues that will come up at the General Assembly in June 2016) and calls us to resist the temptations of Empire and instead commit ourselves over and over again to peacemaking, just as Jesus did in the wilderness.
Happy New Year! What a year 2015 was. It would be easy to reflect on the past year and think it was a year of new and big changes for PPF--and it was, with a transition in staff and volunteer leadership and our change in structure, among many other changes. But even amid these changes, 2015 was also a year of deepening our foundational commitments to peacemaking and nonviolence--work that we will continue in this new year and for many years to come.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about peacemaking and peacemakers. For me, it comes down to three pretty simple concepts. All lives matter equally – the victim and the perpetrator, the peacemaker and the warmonger – all lives matter equally. Human rights are human rights for all – rich and poor, friend and antagonist - human rights are human rights for all. Peacemakers refuse to be enemies even with those who call peacemakers their enemies.