A “Season of Peace” is Here!
“The Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
The Scripture theme for this year’s PC(USA) Peace & Global Witness Offering reminds us that we all need help and support, especially when we are asked to help others and bear witness to their humanity. The 2017 Season of Peace begins Sunday, September 3 and culminates on World Communion Sunday, October 1, 2017. These four weeks are an opportunity to reflect on peace, its meaning to us and our neighbors locally, nationally, and internationally. As the Presbyterian Mission Agency says, “For generations, and to the ends of the earth, Presbyterians have borne witness to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
The themes of this four-week journey are “Embracing Peace” and “A Persistent Dream of Peace.” You will find inserts in your Sunday bulletins reflecting these themes. We all are called to be faithful witnesses to Christ and to answer His call to be peacemakers. Each in our own way is called to give our time, our spirit, our resources to create a world in which we are united in peace as God’s people.
In addition to the peace work we do as individuals and as a church, we can contribute to the annual Peace & Global Witness Offering. The Offering was created to support the work of peace at all levels of the church. Our NYAPC congregation will retain 25% of the Offering for its peace and justice work. National Capital Presbytery will receive 25% of the Offering for its Peacemaking grants to churches in the Presbytery. PC(USA) receives 50% of the Offering for its Peacemaking Program that develops resources, events, and programs responding to Christ’s call for peacemakers.
In past years, The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church has hosted PC(USA) International Peacemakers, including Elders from the Presbyterian Churches in Baghdad and Basrah, Iraq. In 2016 we were privileged to host Rev. Rami al-Maqdasi from Iraq, born in Basrah, ordained in Syria, and now a pastor at First United Presbyterian Church in Dunkirk, NY. Rev. Al-Maqdasi reminded us of the suffering of displaced refugees in Iraq and Syria, in Afghanistan and North Africa. We are called to help those suffering in our own country as well—those fleeing flood waters, immigrants, the homeless, the hungry. Your support of the 2017 Peace & Global Witness Offering will contribute to helping those in need and creating peace.
On, October 1, 2017, World Communion Sunday, Rev. Héctor Méndez, Pastor Emeritus, First Presbyterian-Reformed Church of Havana, will be with us to preach and lead discussions. It is appropriate that on this Sunday Rev. Méndez will be with us as we formally collect the Peace & Global Witness Offering. Between now and October 1, in addition to bulletin inserts, you will find brochures and offering envelopes in racks and pews of the sanctuary. You also may donate online at the NYAPC web site. The Peace & Justice Committee asks that you prayerfully consider what you might give to promote Christ’s peace in the world and the neighborhood around us. May the Spirit be with us all as we move to help others.
Rev. Alice Rose Tewell Marilyn J. Seiber
Associate Pastor Chair, Peace & Justice Committee