Peace with Justice

 

Dear Susquehanna Church Family,

I am writing to ask you to consider inviting your church this year to participate in Peace with Justice Sunday, one of the six special offerings of the United Methodist Church. This year the offering will be collected on June 11, 2017, though you are welcome to collect it any time throughout the year.

What makes this particular Sunday so special is that fifty percent of all fund collected are dispersed right here in the Susquehanna Annual Conference in the form of grants for local churches reaching out to their communities to bring justice and peace.

Let me share the story of one of our grant recipients who used money to hire an intern to equip leaders and volunteers to be active within community ministries.  
    One area of great need in most communities is a ministry to those who have been incarcerated, or those trying to re-enter society.  Our student intern has had training and personal experience working in prison ministry as well as other social ministries, especially Human Trafficking.
     During her time here the intern has been able to offer events within the life of our congregation, with groups such as U.M. Women, Worship, Sunday School, Stephen Ministry and other such opportunities to expose our congregation to volunteer opportunities.  She has been diligent in providing information regarding the ministry as well as the opportunity to change the lives of others, one at a time.  Her conversations have also been forthright explaining some of the difficulties of ministry with many folks who have had life-long issues from family abuse, addiction, etc. Our constant reminder because of the intern’s efforts has been that our interaction and commitment to an individual may be the dynamic turning point to begin a new direction in their life. While ministries such as prison mentoring do not usually attract large numbers of volunteers, I believe the intern’s commitment and efforts over the past few months has created a core of men and women who are now committed to train and become mentors.  This is truly a dream come true to a ministry that is much needed.

I would hope that you will partner in special ministries like these. Just imagine what we could do right here in Pennsylvania if only each of your congregants worshipping on PWJ Sunday would give $1.00.


Blessings,

Rev. Michelle Bodle
PWJ Coordinator for the Susquehanna Annual Conference
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CLICK HERE for a PDF version of this letter



“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24
 
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Colossians 3:15
 
What is Peace with Justice?
Peace with Justice is a faithful expression of shalom in the Bible. It calls the church to "strengthen it's capacity to advocate publicly in communities and nations" throughout the world. The Peace with Justice program aims to make shalom visible and active in people's lives and communities by setting people free from bondage. We will celebrate peace with Justice when all people have access to adequate jobs, housing, education, food, healthcare, income support, and clean water. We will further celebrate when structures and systems that reflect economic exploitation, war, political oppression, and cultural domination no longer exist.
 
Peace with Justice Sunday:
- One of the six church-wide Special Sundays with Offering
- Celebrated the first Sunday after Pentecost or the best Sunday for each congregation
- Free materials (bulletin insert/envelopes and posters) are available in English, Spanish
and Korean from United Methodist Communications at 1-888-862-3242
- Fifty percent of the offering remains in the annual conference to fund peace and justice ministries.  The other half is used by the general church to provide free offering materials, funds grants, produce resources and provide trainings.

2017 United Methodist Caretakers of God's Creation Conference - April 28, 2017
 

Congratulations to the 2016 Flying Dove Award Recipients
 
Congregation with the largest donation to the 2015 PWJ special offering - Carlisle UMC, Harrisburg District
Pictured: Joanne Reynolds, John Seaton, Rev. Mira Hewlett, Rev. James Van Zandt, Charles Reynolds, and Bishop Jeremiah J. Park.
 
 
Individual or group going above and beyond in their work for peace with justice in their community
- Christine Johnson, First UMC, Williamsport District
Pictured: Rev. Michelle Bodle, Christine Johnson, First UMC, Williamsport District - recipient, and Bishop Jeremiah J. Park.
 
 

Flying Dove Award Application

 
Peace with Justice Program Grants 
- Application available in PDF
- $1,000 one time grants available
- Priority given to United Methodist ministries
Peace with Justice Grants help to change lives - Calvary United Methodist Church Ministries
                                                                                          - Freedom House Women's Center
 
 
Teaching Aids:
Pentecost Reflection - Filled with the Spirit
Social Principle resources for confirmation classes
Trinity Sunday Reflection - Building Relationships
Working for Justice and Lasting Peace in Israel and Palestine - books by the General Board on Church and Society
         are available on loan to churches who are interested. Contact Michelle Bodle, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information
 
Becoming a Covenant Congregations:
 

 


GBCS 2014 Legislative Priorities for Peace with Justice
- Diplomacy over War with Iran
The US and other nations have made significant progress in diplomatic negation with Iran concerning the country's nuclear program. Nonetheless, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would place additional sanctions on Iran. Such legislation would undermine diplomatic negotiations and could lead to war. We will oppose new sanctions legislation on Iran that would push back on the peace process.
 
- Overcome Global Poverty, Hunger, and Conflict
Our advocacy will focus on prioritizing US foreign assistance to address poverty, hunger, and conflict with a special concern for Africa, the Middle East, and Haiti. Legislation has been introduced that would address the millions of children around the world who do not attend school, help provide electricity for Africa's poor, and remove barriers that humanitarian aid and peace building groups face when working in conflict zones. Advocacy will support multilateral initiatives that promote just and sustainable development goals.
 
For more information please contact Mark Harrison at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Interested in working in the areas of Peace and Justice?  We are currently seeking to put together a Peace with Justice Committee with representatives, lay and clergy, from throughout the Susquehanna Conference.  Requirements would include a commitment to working for peace and justice issues at the local church level as well as throughout the conference and larger church, including meeting at least 4 times a year as a committee.  Times, locations, and details are still being worked on...but if you are interested in participating or would like more information, please let me know!
 
Let us know what you are doing!
Are you engaging in Peace with Justice work in your local church or community? Let us know about it! 

We can also provide training on grass roots community organizing through the Shalom program.
Please contact Michelle Bodle - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for more information.
 

Responsibilities of PWJ coordinator for Annual Conference:
1. Encourage understanding of the biblical and theological foundations of Peace with Justice work.
2. Promote and equip Peace with Justice discussion, ministry, and advocacy training throughout the Annual Conference. 
3. Promote and administer the annual Peace with Justice Special Sunday offering.
4. Serve as Annual Conference liaison with GBCS.
5. Serve on the Annual Conference equivalent of Conference Board of Church and Society.
6. Work with ecumenical, interfaith, and grassroots coalitions to promote peace with justice work.
7. Engage in other Peace with Justice work as necessary within your own Annual Conference.
 

Please direct any questions or comments to:
Pastor Michelle R. Bodle, Peace with Justice Coordinator
910 East Pine St
Philipsburg, PA 16866
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