As Wisconsin Conference’s Peace With Justice Coordinator, I personally thank each of you who already celebrated,and are going to celebrate Peace With Justice (PWJ) Sunday through a special offering. We, United Methodists, are called to observe this one of the United Methodist Church’s six churchwide Special Sundays once a year, traditionally on the first Sunday after Pentecost, which falls on Memorial Day Weekend Sunday this year.

What a way to honor the sacrifices of those who forfeited their lives in the battlefield! It is because when we talk about peace with justice, we focus on much more than the absence of war or the end of the ongoing war with victory.

“Peace with justice” means breaking down barriers, and living and working with people - both those who share our beliefs, and those who do not. It means advocating and speaking up for others, as we find them being created in God’s image, and being loved and sought by God, so that God’s children can be free from all that prevent them from living full lives. Truly, our works for peace with justice help build a culture that welcomes economic equality, seeks peaceful resolutions, fights oppression and doesn’t pit one culture against another - nor places one above another.

Half of your PWJ offering supports local programs here in Wisconsin,and the rest goes to the General Board of Church and Society for grants to U.S. and international programs. The 2017 PWJ offering funded the Rising Sun Camp, where Wisconsin children of an incarcerated parent had summer camp fun and the opportunity to express themselves through the arts, build community of support, and learn leadership skills. The offering also supported the advocacy and training of Worker Justice Wisconsin for low-income worker labor rights.

Your Peace With Justice gifts do so much more across the nation, and around the world. The gifts strengthened the programs for youth to learn alternatives to gang involvement and violence, and for homeless women to meet their unique needs and bridge out of poverty. Thanks to your gifts, college students in the Democratic Republic of the Congo received trainings for peace-building and conflict-prevention during election season; and rural entrepreneurship and community development projects continued to serve people in Zimbabwe.

Find more information and resources for promotion and education on Peace With Justice Sunday here at this link. You can find a ready-to-print bulletin insert, images, video clips, children’s sermon, litany for worship, and more!

Do you plan to launch a ministry that pursues reconciliation and peace, honoring the dignity of every individual made in God’s image? Please consider applying for a grant from either the Wisconsin Board of Church and Society or the General Board of Church and Society.

Let me say thank-you again. Because of your Peace With Justice Sunday offering, we people of The United Methodist Church are able to make a difference in many lives, here in Wisconsin and around the world.

“Those who make peace sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts (James 3:18, CEB).”