Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Our Congregation
as Peacemaker

dove of peace

Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Nelson Mandela are among twenty Nobel Peace Laureates who have sponsored an appeal for a decade-long emphasis on peacemaking. The Appeal calls for beginning the new millennium with intensive efforts "at every level of society . . . to teach the practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in our daily lives in order to reduce violence and build a new culture of nonviolence."

This Nobel Appeal has been endorsed by 31 ELCA synods, the ELCA divisions for Church in Society, Global Mission, and Higher Education; the Commission for Women; Women of the ELCA; and the 1999 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In late 1998, the United Nations voted to designate the years 2001-2010 the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence." More than 74 million people have signed a pledge of nonviolence since then. These developments offer a unique opportunity for Christians to strengthen our peacemaking, a role Jesus calls "blessed."

The spiral of war in the Middle East is a reminder of the need for youth, women's, and other church groups to teach creative ways of confronting conflict in our families, schools, communities, and among nations. Here are a few ways that church groups and members can become more effective "instruments of peace" in our troubled world:



    . . .the Decade for Peace in your church or group; plan programs and activities like a table during coffee hour for folks to discuss and sign the appeal and pledge of nonviolence...


    . . . peacemaking and young people using the Family Pledge of Nonviolence and other activities from LPF's Youth and Peacemaking packet, or from books like Free the Children.


    . . .the meaning of nonviolence using Martin Luther King's sermon "Loving Your Enemies," an LPF group activity, or Walter Wink's book The Powers That Be (see LPF's resource list).



. . .  the tragedy of September 11 making use of biblical resources, artico ten weeks in your church, or in an LPF weekend workshop  


  . . . a global mission project involved in reconciliation using stories, slides, worship resources


  . . . Revitalize a sister congregation relationship with peace and justice themes.



. . .  Plan a peace worship service for a Sunday and for youth and women's events; LPF's Peace Worship Resources manual offers dozens of services, hymns, prayers, and sermons.


 . . . Arrange a biblical reflection using For the Peace of the Whole World by the ELCA Commission for Women; Lowell Erdahl's bible study, Peace; or an LPF peace sermon.



. . .  Set up an advocacy table during coffee hour to discuss peace issues and write letters; use resources from LPF, Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, Bread for the World.


 . . . Provide conflict resolution training for your church council and other committees and groups in the congregation.
  . . . Organize a mediation clinic as a service to the community.


  . . . Offer education about and services for victims of family violence using resources from the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence and other sources.




. . .  Discuss a film or video such as A Force More Powerful, Where There Is Hatred, Romero, New Faces of Courage.


 . . . examine violence in the media using Center for Media Literacy videos
  . . . use art, theatre, song, and poetry to express peace and educate others.


  . . . Examine the stories of inspiring peace and justice heroes like Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, Oscar Romero, King, Bonhoeffer, Day, Gandhi; use LPF's "Path of Hope" youth display.

Top Ten List
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