Compelling Vision

“The Spirit of our God is upon me:

because the Most High has anointed me

to bring Good News to those who are poor.

God has sent me to proclaim liberty to those held captive,

recovery of sight to those who are blind,

and release to those in prison --

to proclaim the year of our God’s favor.”

- Luke 4: 18-19

Is this passage just poetry, or is it a proclamation of an alternate vision of how life can be? Is it timely today? I believe it is a proclamation that is relevant to guide discipleship today.

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International Conscientious Objection Day

Today, on International Conscientious Objection Day, a group of local leaders are gathering for an ecumenical prayer event at the nation’s World War One Memorial in Kansas City, MO, to honor and remember conscientious objectors from World War One. The planning team included the Church of the Brethren, Friends, Mennonites, the Community of Christ, and others.

OEP Board member emeritus Phil Miller will represent On Earth Peace at the event, and will share the following statement from staffer Matt Guynn:

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2019 Pentecost Worship Resource

Pentecost 2019 Peacebuilder

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” - Acts 2:4

Several times a year, On Earth Peace prepares worship resources to share with our constituency. We’ve heard that these are as often used for personal devotion as for actual worship planning, so for Pentecost 2019 we’ve expanded what we’re providing, to include some traditional worship resources along with poetry, art, and music. Please use these resources to pray, to plan worship, or however you see fit!

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We See Jesus: Scripture Reflection by Mark Pickens

“Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”

- John 14:8-14 (NRSV)

Have you ever seen Jesus? I remember the experience of growing up in a moderately conservative christian church and community where this question would have been asked. It came from a perspective that enticed more of a spiritual inkling or evangelistic premise to it; the idea was that if your spirits were set right, on good terms, or having accepted the gospel message of God’s love through Jesus Christ into your life, then spiritually, you were set to one day spend all eternity with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. The christian faith in its personal experience of being lived out has particular implications to individual as well as collective narratives; however, there is also a universal or holistic side that still maintains personal context, while stretching us beyond our vision of faith.

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OEP Adopts New Values, Vision, and Mission

The On Earth Peace (OEP) board and staff concluded its spring board meeting at the Maria Kaupas Center in Chicago feeling invigorated by positive accomplishments and energized by a new sense of direction and momentum. As a spiritual focus for board conversations about values, vision, and mission, each session of business was opened with devotional reflections on what has been called Jesus’ mission statement:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 4:18-19

Lucas Al-Zoughbi, former OEP intern and newest board member, led one of the devotions and read the scripture in his home language of Arabic:

 «رُوحُالرَّبِّعَلَيَّ،لِأنَّهُمَسَحَنِيلِكَيأُعلِنَالبِشارَةَلِلفُقَراءِ. أرسَلَنِيلِأُنادِيَلِلأسرَىبِالحُرِّيَّةِ،وَبِالبَصَرِلِلعِميانِ

وَلِأُحَرِّرَالمَسحُوقِيْنَمِنَالأسْرِ، وَأُعلِنَأنَّوَقتَالرَّبِّلِلقُبُولِقَدْجاءَ.

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