Peace Like a River

On this past Sunday, we kicked off our program year at Minnehaha with Rally Day. We had a lively service outside, met & blessed a great collection of volunteers to teach our children, went to classrooms, reconnected with friends, dined, painted faces, rode bikes, and more. It was a celebration.

As part of this celebration, we introduced our theme for the year: Peace Like a River. Throughout the year, we’ll be coming back to this as a touchpoint, to help us frame all of our seeking, serving, and celebrating.

Over the past two years, we talked about “stepping into the story.” This story of God’s love – we’re each a part of it, it’s our story as much as it’s the story of Abraham, King David, and the disciples. We are called to share God’s love with the world, and in doing so: we change the world.
In the midst of this is the driving force of and for peace. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, taught us that this bringing peace to the world wouldn’t be easy.  He made sure we knew that this peace wasn’t for a select few. He made sure we knew that peace wasn’t about sitting quietly and not causing trouble. He made sure we knew that living a life of peace – that striving for justice and love for all – this will change the world.

We don’t sing about peace like a quiet pond deep in the woods. We sing about peace like a river: a powerful, dynamic force that leaves its imprint, that changes all in its path. Peace like a river that provides, that nourishes, that alters the world.

What would this kind of peace look like in your own life? In your children’s lives? What might a world of peace look like? Join us as we explore peace like a river.

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Peacemakers

In August, besides celebrating (or mourning) the end of summer, we had the chance to observe a solar eclipse. Different locations and circumstances (ah, cloudy Minneapolis) dictated just how much of the eclipse we were able to see. Darkness covered the light. It wasn’t safe to look at. It wasn’t in our control. And, we watched. I had the pleasure of observing it with my children and my parents. My father tried to get the grandchildren to join him in a dance to encourage the sun to return. They looked at him like he was crazy, and promptly jumped back into the pool. There was no doubt in their mind, even as they watched the sun disappear in the middle of the day, that the light would return.

We all have different levels of comfort with darkness. We all have different levels of trust in the light. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel safe to have our children observe this struggle between darkness and light. Mostly, it feels like we have no control. And, quite often, it seems as if our efforts to control the light are futile and we may as well just jump in the lake. For the eclipse, we listened to NASA scientists explain all that was happening, and we trusted in their wisdom and understanding, learned a bit about this amazing universe of ours, and trusted that the moon wouldn’t forever blot out the light of the sun. As Christians, seeking peace and love in this world of ours, we learn that by working together we are the peacemakers, the light bringers. When we see darkness and hate in this world, we know that LOVE is stronger, and that we can bring light into the world.

 
“…and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
This year in Children & Family Ministries, our theme is Peace Like a River. We’ll be looking at all the different ways we experience peace (spiritual, emotional, and physical), as well as exploring how we might be the peacemakers in the world. We hope you will join us in this journey, and encourage you to share with us ideas on how we might better help your family find light and hope in the midst of darkness.
We don’t need any pinhole projectors, colanders, or special glasses to participate. Simply join us – for Rally Day, for Sunday School, for worship, for Playgroup – for wherever it might be that you feel you can find peace and/or can work to bring peace. The darkness isn’t more powerful – while we may not always have control – we know this with certainty. Just as certainly, we know that we are called to be the peacemakers.