Welcome to the May issue of PeaceSigns! This issue is packed with great articles from longtime and new contributors and covers a lot of ground. I believe you'll find plenty to ponder and new ideas to consider this month.<read more>
Parading with Jesus
by Jennifer Davis Sensenig
When my husband and I moved to California our new church family invited us to be part of the Peace and Justice Education Committee. We had never belonged to a church that had such a committee, but we were intrigued with the title. One of our pastors, Bert Newton, convened the committee and the first project we worked on was the annual Palm Sunday Peace Parade. My experience of that parade has transformed my thinking, worship planning, and preparations for Palm Sunday. When we moved to Harrisonburg, VA we brought the Palm Sunday Peace Parade with us. Here's how a Palm Sunday Peace Parade could invigorate your congregation's Holy Week experience and share good news in your local community.<read more>
by Sherah-Leigh Gerber
Ever wonder how your congregation could address the issues of poverty in your community? Want to know what alternatives there are for scholarships or traveling after high school that don't require military involvement? Interested in fighting human trafficking and helping women rescued from the sex trade? These concerns and ideas are all things that sparked the start of an Ohio Conference Resource Team.<read more>
A few years ago, Ohio Conference of MC USA underwent a structure change. In the new model, most standing "committees" were abolished and instead leadership was committed to working with a "resource team" model.
These resource teams are short term, ad hoc groups that form to address a specific issue or concern. Typically, these teams are comprised of members from across the Conference representing different congregations.
by Berry Friesen
Norman stood at the podium only a few feet from the elevated bench. In loose-fitting green shirt and matching trousers, he looked like a health care worker in hospital scrubs. Shackled hands, resting on the podium, and the sheriff's deputies standing behind to his left and right, made it abundantly clear he was a prisoner.<read more>
From the moment Judge Farina strode into the courtroom, ascended the bench and took his seat facing Norman, he emphasized his power to have a huge impact on Norman's life. "Today, we are at a crossroads. According to the sentencing guidelines, I can sentence you to seven years in state prison."
As the election season heats up, I frequently hear some form of the following two sentiments from my fellow Americans.<read more>
"I'm fed up, so I just won't vote."
Or the opposite: "Just imagine how bad things will be if 'my' candidate doesn't win," implying "my" candidate is going to save the world.
While I am sympathetic to both sentiments, I find both of them to be problematic.
While Earth Day was celebrated last month, in April as it is each year, it doesn't seem too late to reflect on our role - as humans and as peacemakers - with regard to "creation."<read more>
Our Sunday School class has been using a study guide prepared by Sojourners <sojo.net>, "Christians and the Environment" to look at the issue of how we relate to creation. We began by sharing our individual views on how to best relate to the environment. As we did so, it became apparent that we came at the issue from different perspectives - personal, economic, spiritual, humanitarian, etc. While there were areas of overlap among these, it seemed that it would be beneficial to have a common foundation from which to approach the issue and to resolve apparent tensions. This led naturally to the first lesson in the study guide which addressed a "theology of creation."
I turned 45 today.<read more>
The age comes with a mixture of emotions. Though I may live to be 100 it is hard not to feel like my most productive years are disappearing quickly. Of course I ask myself what I'm doing with my life.
More specifically - how am I spending that limited universally undervalued currency I have - namely my TIME?
In all honesty I have to admit a lot of my time is spent on the web. Or to put it more truthfully, IN the web.