Peace with Justice Sunday provides possibilities for learning, empowerment

In April this year,  the Great Plains Conference was represented by Emily DeVore, Orlando Gallardo, Andrea Paret and Michael Davis at Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD 2016). They, along with hundreds of other Christian and faith-based advocates, raised their voices for justice at the 14th Annual National Gathering of EAD for Global Peace with Justice in Washington, D.C. April 15-18, 2016. This year's event was titled, "Lift Every Voice!  Racism, Class and Power." 

The EAD 2016 National Gathering featured an array of speakers and preachers with a range of national and international experience discussing the theological, ethical, policy and advocacy dimensions of issues related to racism, class and power.

In the next few weeks, those that attended will be sharing some of the highlights of the events.  

I give thanks for the opportunity to attend this event and especially thank Great Plains Peace with Justice Ministries for making scholarships available so our delegation was able to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2016. Now, I look forward to sharing the message of "Peace with Justice" with others in the conference.  

Throughout the weekend, all who attended were inspired by dynamic preachers of the Gospel, including the Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the "Forward Together Moral Movement," who preached the opening message with Ezekiel 37:1-14 as the Biblical text on Friday evening.

I was encouraged and challenged to do more to promote peace and justice for all, remembering the difficulties and struggles that persons of color continue to encounter each and every day.  

However, none of us who heard Dr. Barber's challenging message knew that an even more powerful message would be shared later that evening and into the next day. This message would illustrate the need for continued effort to promote civil liberties, for on Saturday morning we learned from Douglas Grace, director of Ecumenical Advocacy, that Dr. Barber had been escorted from the American Airlines plane before it left the airport for North Carolina. The following day, Dr. Barber shared the sad details of the incident

As a person, who has at times mistakenly thought that racial prejudice and discrimination is a thing of the past, this event reminds me again of the need to advocate for and stand up and defend those persons who live in a world where not all are treated equally. We have come a long way; however, I realize that we are a long ways from responding to others as Jesus would have responded.

God Bless!
 
The Rev. Michael Davis, retired, pastor, Elgin UMC, Nebraska/ Submitted by Andrea Paret, Great Plains Peace with Justice coordinator.

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, Peace with Justice Sunday enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The special offering benefits peace with justice ministries in the annual conference and through the General Board of Church and Society.

When you give generously on Peace with Justice Sunday, you give The United Methodist Church a voice in advocating for global peace and justice. Give now.