Ufp promotes the September Peace Days: UN International Peace Day September 21, and closely linked churches’ Peacemaking Sunday September 23. Both observances offer opportunity for special events for information, reflection and action on peace themes. The UN aims its day to be one of peace – urging a ‘Global Ceasefire’ in all conflict zones – and for peace, calling public bodies and civil society to hold events to “commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace within and among all nations”, and publicise UN endeavours for peace-building, peace-keeping, development and emergency aid. UfP’s Erskine Childers Lecture on Building Momentum for Peace by Jan Pronk, (Sept. 10 : details rear page) is a key London pre-event; other events will be on/around Sept. 21-23 (contact London office 0207-377-2111; Edinburgh office 0131-446-9545 for Scotland events).
Peacekeeping Sunday Sept.23 gives opportunity for local churches to reflect on peace, justice, reconciliation and the UN, within a regular Sunday service with appropriate hymns, Bible readings, prayers and sermon, and/or an ecumenical peace service with other churches. This special Sunday reminds congregations that peacemaking and helping to heal a broken world are core Christian responsibilities. UfP also recommends INTER-FAITH PEACE EVENTS, where locally possible, as a powerful witness to ‘world faiths for global harmony’ at a time when, sadly, many conflicts are fuelled by religious divisions and intolerance. Major world religions proclaim the sacredness of life and the divine purpose for harmony in creation and humanity: events with different faith participants giving readings from sacred Scriptures, statements, meditation etc. affirm these values.
UfP hopes many members will get involved in September Peace Days events, where possible arranging/co-organising local activities. Please contact London or Edinburgh offices for resources. (For resources for faith-based events, send at least £5 (‘Peace Services’) to Rev. B. Cooper, 144/1 Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh EH9 2AN. Donations welcome!)