Peace & Justice
The Peace and Justice Committee responds to God’s call to be peacemakers by supporting the work of our congregation to seek racial and environmental justice, end hunger and poverty, prevent violence, expose injustice, and promote peace.
End Hunger and Poverty
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24
“Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is entirely contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ. Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism.” PC(USA).
1. Advocated for the adoption of Matthew 25 Initiative with the Mission Committee
2. Fostered the Esther Brigade
1. DPC Matthew 25 website at https://www.dtownpc.org/matthew25/
2. Presbyterian Mission for Racial Equity, PC(USA)
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
The Earth in its entirety, of which we humans are a part, is God’s very good creation. (Gen. 1) As stewards of all of creation, we have been tasked by God to “till and keep it.” Environmental justice is often termed “eco-justice” which encompasses ecological, economic, and social justice for “all people on a thriving earth.” Environmental injustice (environmental racism) also refers specifically to placing heavy industry, toxic waste facilities, industrial plants and oil terminals near black, brown, Indigenous and low income communities.
As a result of environmental injustice, the Peace and Justice Committee believes the words of Hosea resonate strongly today: “There is no faithfulness or loyalty, and no knowledge of God in the land…Therefore the land mourns, and all who live in it languish; together with the wild animals and the birds of the air, even the fish of the sea are perishing.” (Hosea 4:1-3)
1. Purchased NEXT Church resource for the congregation
2. “Down to Earth: The Bible and Environmental Ethics” with guest presenter Dr. Jacqueline Lapsley of the Princeton Seminary
3.“Stewardship of God’s Earth” Steward Faith Steward Earth presented by Dr. Nathan Stuckey
Resources: Books and Reports
1. Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice. A Report adopted by PC(USA) in 1990. (church library)
2. Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007, The United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries (Report in church library)
3. Laudato Si. An Encyclical letter of Pope Francis on Care for Our Common Home.
END HUNGER AND POVERTY
Peace and Justice supports those in our congregation who work toward solutions to end systemic poverty and injustice by:
- Aiding vulnerable communities as they work to improve their lives
- Supporting educational and training programs
- Providing congregation-wide education which prepares us that we may join in partnerships for action and advocacy to end hunger and poverty
- Participation in Racial Wealth Gap Simulation
- Support for other programs, including Caring for Friends, Code Blue, Community Meal, Bread for the World, Support for Mission Organizations
There are nine Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of PC(USA) covering a broad range of endeavors from disaster response to poverty to several levels of advocacy and church policy to education and more. They are:
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)
- The Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)
- Self-Development of People (SDOP)
- Office of Public Witness (OPW, Washington D.C.)
- Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN, New York)
- Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI)
- Office of Racial & Intercultural Justice
- Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
- Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
“O God, bring our nation and all nations to uphold justice and equity, that poverty, oppression, and violence may vanish and all may know peace and plenty; in the name of Jesus Christ, the ruler of all. Amen.” The Book of Common Worship, 695.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “true peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” Since God intends peace in all places and peace for all people, we are called to address the causes of violence in our world. That means caring about the child who lives in fear at home, those living in refugee camps, those fearing gun violence, those living at risk on the margins, and those victimized by wars among nations and tribes. In a world full of sin and darkness, Christ asks us to carry His light of pure peace and compassion.
- Adult Education offered a class on Firearms, Domestic and School Violence.
- Sponsored classes on the Israeli Palestinian conflict
- Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network
- Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call
- 2019 Gun Violence resources packet
- 10 Things You Can Do to End Gun Violence. Suggestions based upon the recommendations approved by the 219th GeneralAssembly (2010) in Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.
- America and its Guns: A Theological Expose, by James E Atwood.
- Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for Peace, by Christian Iosso.
For more information, contact Greg Jensen.
DPC In Action
September 1, 2022