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Give Us A Sign: Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)

Jesus spoke these words to his troubled friends on the night before he died. The troubles of our times can appear overwhelming. In our daily news we are bombarded with stories of war, terrorism, civil unrest and violence. The world is crying out for the gift of peace that Christ offers. Churches and Christian organisations with changeable street signs are asked to display messages of peace through the month of May*.

GIVE US A SIGN

The Give Us A Sign project emerged in 2015 out of conversations within the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches in the Hunter and Central Coast and was endorsed by the respective church leaders.

Last year its focus was promoting compassion for asylum seekers. This issue continues to challenge us on many levels. Recently the UN has reported that forced displacement in 2015 exceed all previous records, for the first time topping 60 million. This means that 1 out of every 122 persons on Earth has been forced to flee their home. As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres reminds us, “Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything.”

HOW TO GET INVOVLED

In 2016 we ask churches and Christian organisations to stand together to call for peace. They can do this by posting a message of peace on their noticeboards for at least one day per week for the month of May*.

It’s very simple to be involved with Give Us A Sign: Peace!

1. Choose a message of peace for display on your noticeboard. You may choose your own, or select from a number of options from the Give Us A Sign team. These will be available shortly from our website.

2. Take a photo of your sign and post it on:
a. The Give Us A Sign Facebook page; and
b. Your organisation’s Facebook page or other social media.

That’s it!

SPEAK OUT ON PEACE

Church leaders may also like to preach on the theme of peace during this time.

Churches leaders have reminded us recently that there is more to peace than simply the absence of armed conflict.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said:

“Peace is more than the end of war: reconciliation dismantles the hostilities which previously separated and alienated us from one another and from God.”

Pope Francis has spoken similarly:

“Peace is not just the absence of war, but a general condition in which the human person is in harmony with himself, with nature and with others… There is no future without peace!”

We ask all churches and Christian organisations to support this ecumenical project and speak with one voice of peace.

More information will be available to clergy closer to the commencement of this project.

Thank you for your support.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

*Please note: The February/March edition of Encounter was published with previously prescribed dates of Lent. Since going to print the dates have been changed to May. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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