VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/12/06)-The Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), today invited American Baptists to pray with others around the world on September 21st during the International Day of Prayer for Peace; a joint effort across denominations sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) of which ABCUSA is a partner. "Please join with me to pray for peace in our world." said Medley.
ABC's Director of Cooperative Christianity and Ecumenical Formation, Rothang Chhangte, said "In the Gospel of John, the last words of Jesus to his disciples, before his death, were that of peace: 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you' (John 14:27). In a time of heightened anxiety and fear in our world, there is no greater message we can bring to the world than these words of peace from the gospel and, by our non-anxious presence, to be Christ's witnesses through our words and actions."
The day coincides with the United Nations' International Day of Peace and grew out of a 2004 conversation with WCC General Secretary, Dr. Samuel Kobia, and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
Medley's invitation was, "...a call to pray for peace. For peace among the nations as war and violence continue to threaten the innocent. For peace in our country as issues such as immigration, national security, and a polarized political atmosphere continue to divide us. For peace in our denomination as we endeavor to move ahead with spreading God's redemptive love throughout the land. For peace in our churches when we see financial deficits but also hear God's call to renewed mission. And for peace in ourselves as we wrestle with God's desire for our lives and our own hardness of heart.
"September 21st is an opportunity for American Baptists to pray together, as a denomination, for the peace of God to descend on us, to bind us together as a Christian family, to enliven us, to enlighten us, and to make us whole. I invite you to join your brothers and sisters in prayer wherever you are and raise your voices to God for such peace."
More information on the International Day of Prayer for Peace can be found in the Cooperative Christianity section of the ABCUSA website (http://www.abc-usa.org/unity/default.aspx/). You can also find information on the World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence website (http://overcomingviolence.org/en/about-the-dov/international-day-of-pra yer-for-peace.html).
Andrew C. Jayne American Baptist Churches, USA Mission Resource Development http://www.abc-usa.org/
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