Saturday, September 20, 2014

International Day of Peace, 21st September

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
It is 30 years since the UN General Assembly made the Declaration on the Rights of Peoples to Peace. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 and the first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282PDF document, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.
The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

And yet...... there are growing hostilities in many parts of the world.

Let us commit ourselves to be people of prayer, and to pray for peace in the world, and to affirm by our words and actions 'the right of peoples to peace'.

What are the stories that may be shared about peacemakers in the global diaconal community? 

God of grace and mercy,
   you look with great love on all your people
   of whatever race, culture and religion.
We ask you to bless us this day
   and send your Holy Spirit upon us
   and upon all the diverse peoples of our world:
   the Spirit of peace and justice,
   of understanding and reconciliation.
May people of violence
   allow themselves to be touched
   by the plight of those who suffer,
   and may your Spirit help broaden the horizons
   and deepen the understanding of us all.
We make this our prayer
   through Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Nicholas Hutchinson, FSC
in Volume 1 of 'Walk In My Presence', a book of prayer services
ISBN 1-898366-60-8
(Matthew James Publishing, Chelmsford, England)

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