The Peace with Justice Program aims to make shalom visible and active in people's lives and communities. The General Conference assigned the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) to implement the program and called the church to "strengthen its capacity to act as a public policy advocate" in communities and nations throughout the world.
The Old Testament speaks of God's sovereignty in terms of covenant, more particularly the "covenant of peace" with Israel, which binds that people of God's shalom (Isaiah 54:10; Ezekiel 37:20). In the covenant of shalom, there is no contradiction between justice and peace or between peace and security or between love and justice (Jeremiah 29:7). In Isaiah's prophecy, when "the spirit is poured upon us from on high," we will know that these laws of God are one and indivisible: "Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places" (Isaiah 32:16-18, NRSV).
Peace with Justice Sunday offerings from 2019 supported a spring trip for Emporia University and Washburn University campus ministries.Read about it here.
Examples of what Peace with Justice Sunday offerings from 2015 supported in the Great Plains Conference
Two scholarships to attend the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. with the theme of Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration & Systems of Exploitation. (See image at right.)
Support for United Methodist Kairos Response and the Great Plains Holy Land Task Force
The Holy Land Task Force of the Great Plains Conference was created in accordance with the resolution “Christians in the Holy Land” which was approved at our annual conference session in June 2015.
United Methodist Kairos Response is answering the urgent call from Palestinian Christians for effective action to end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just peace in the Holy Land.
Support for the Micah Corps internship
Micah Corps is a Great Plains Conference summer internship for young adults which encourages them to grow in their spiritual walk with God while linking their faith with social justice action. (See image above.)
Collaboration with the Mercy and Justice Team of the Great Plains Conference in hosting Ellin Jimmerson with her immigration justice documentary “The Second Cooler.”
Continued support for the GreenFaith Fellowship of the Rev. Bonnie McCord. GreenFaith's mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Its work is based on beliefs shared by the world’s great religions: protecting the earth is a religious value, and environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.
Three scholarships for representatives from our conference to attend the Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska in November. The focus was to advance the work of reconciliation and peace by affirming the community of Abrahamic faiths and working in partnership with Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religious traditions.
Spring trip of students from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, to attend a seminar at The General Board of Church and Society in Washington D.C.
Examples of what Peace with Justice Sunday offerings from 2014 supported in the Great Plains Conference:
Two scholarships for the Conference “Walking with Palestinian Christians” organized by the General Board of Global Ministries. (See image below.) Read more.
A clergy member of the Great Plains Conference becomes a GreenFaith Fellow. Read more.
The spring break service/learning trip of students from United Methodist Campus Ministry at Emporia State University, Kansas. (See image at left.) Read more.
Examples of nationally and internationally awarded grants (distributed through the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS):
Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe, Brussels, Belgium (Central Conference). The Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe is fully run by young people. Its goal is to foster understanding and tolerance among young people, especially focused on the different backgrounds that influence European identity.
National Farm Worker Ministry Youth and Young Adults Network, Raleigh, North Carolina (Southeastern Jurisdiction). National Farm Worker Ministry is a faith-based organization. The Youth and Young Adults Network was created to support a nationwide coalition of young people supporting farm worker-led efforts for self-determination to improve living and working conditions. The network is building a self-sustaining national structure by developing organizing and leadership skills for justice activism.
Fossil Free UMC, Seattle, Washington (Western Jurisdiction). Fossil Free UMC is a collaborative project between the Pacific Northwest Conference; Caretakers of God’s Creation, a ministry of the General Board of Global Ministries; and GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental organization. In 2014, the Pacific Northwest Conference voted overwhelmingly to study fossil-fuel divestment. In response, the conference is providing staff time for curriculum development and outreach. Caretakers and GreenFaith are providing additional funding for outreach and strategy development beyond the Pacific Northwest.
Peace advocates pray, study and act for God’s shalom in our homes, communities and the world.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the field. It is the smallest of all the seeds but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
The Mustard Seed gives concrete ideas for prayer, study and action
Voices to the Capitol includes a meditation, current legislation about peace/non-violence and hunger and contact information for national decision makers.
Both are published four to six times per year and is sent via email. See below for past issues.
Christ calls us to help create God’s beloved community, a community with abundant life for everybody. If you are interested in signing up for either one of these or both, please contact the peace with justice coordinator.
Peace with Justice coordinator
Peace with justice coordinators are assigned by every conference and act as primary coordinator of Peace with Justice resources, interpretation and advocacy. The coordinator links the local churches in the annual conference with the General Board of Church and Society Peace with Justice Ministries Program. Peace with justice coordinators meet annually for spiritual growth, empowerment and program resourcing.
The current Peace with justice coordinator for the Great Plains Conference is Andrea Paret, a laywoman from St. Paul UMC in South Sioux City, Nebraska.