This Sunday has been designated by the United Church of Christ as JUST PEACE SUNDAY. It traditionally falls on the Sunday closest to the United Nations’ International Day of Peace which is September 21st. Because of the urgent need for humanity to take action to protect our environment, the focus for both special days is on justice and peace for the earth. The theme of the International Day of Peace is “Climate Action for Peace”.
The UCC’s theme is “The Earth Shall Mourn” looking to the prophet’s words in Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28. As so often true with prophecy, this text is a warning about what can happen if people do not wake up and change their ways. And as is also true with prophecy, there is hope that if we do repent and turn things around, it’s not too late.
The symbol that you will see on your bulletin cover is that of a dove, a familiar symbol for peace. If you look closely at this dove, you will see that its blue/green/white body is actually made up of a section of the earth as seen from space. Peace on earth. Peace for the earth!
In worship we will be joined by Debbie Wanninkhof who led our Peace Month activities with children last September. She will bring a musical message, not only our children, but the whole congregation.
You will also receive information about practical ways you, as people of faith, individually and as a church community, can tend to God’s creation. “This inevitably entails putting love into action for every living creature and for every economically or racially marginalized community that suffers from environmental harm.” Brooks Berndt, Minister for Environmental Justice, UCC.
I look forward to Sunday with you when we will focus on one of the UCC’s Three Great Loves—Love Of Creation.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candy Thomas
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ