Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Our Student Group As Peacemaker
Lutheran Peace Fellowship

dove of peace


Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and Nelson Mandela are among twenty Nobel Peace Laureates who in the late 1990's, initiated an appeal for a "Decade of Nonviolence" with special concern "for the children of the world." The Appeal called for beginning the new millennium with a decade-long effort "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 was endorsed by 30 ELCA synods, the ELCA divisions for Church in Society, Global Mission, and Higher Education; the Commission for Women; Women of the ELCA; Church Council and 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." The year 2000 was named the "Year for a Culture of Peace." These developments offered a unique opportunity for Christians to strengthen their peacemaking, a role Jesus calls "blessed."

Indeed, the Nobel Appeal urged fresh thinking and activity among youth, women's, and other church groups to teach creative ways of confronting conflict in our families, schools, communities, and among nations. While the decade has ended, the process continues and there is a long way to go. Here are a few ways that church groups and members can become more effective "instruments of peace" in our troubled world:

DISCUSS. . . the Nobel Peace Laureates Appeal (link) in your congregation and group; plan programs and activities like a table during coffee hour for members to discuss the appeal and how to keep the ball rolling ...

. . . peacemaking and young people using the Family Pledge of Nonviolence and 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," the manual "From Violence to Wholeness," or book The Powers That Be (see Activity and Discussion Guides).

EXPLORE . . . a global mission project involved in reconciliation using stories, slides, worship resources . . . Revitalize a sister congregation relationship with peace and justice themes.

. . . the peace implications of Bishop Anderson's Initiativesor the ELCA Peace Statement.

. . . Nonviolent Peace Teams as hopeful alternatives for responding to regional conflicts; use LPF's website and the ELCA video, New Faces of Courage (available from LPF).

WORSHIP . . . 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; oran LPF peace sermon.

ACT . . . . . . . Set up an advocacy table during coffee hour to discuss peace issues and write letters; use resources from LPF, ELCA Advocacy, 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.

ENRICH . . . Discuss a video such as Where There Is Hatred, Romero, Weapons of the Spirit, New Faces of Courage . . . use art, theatre, song and poetry to express peace and educate others.

. . . Use events in the news to explore issues of violence and conflict and encourage faithful responses. . . Examine violence in the media using Center for Media Literacy videos.

. . . Explore 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.

See more at: Decade for Peace Resources

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