21st September as UN Peace Day is gaining a higher profile each year, with people and organisations around the world using it to raise awareness and take action on different aspects of peace. But it also marks the beginning of a period which features a number of days and weeks with a peace and Quaker focus. Friends around the North will be taking a lead in some of these and participating in many more. Our website calendar lists some of them and we would be pleased to hear from others so that we can add more. They range from talks and actions, such as peace lectures, to acts of protest and witness. The following are links to just some of these. But beyond these, our peace testimony is a process of discovering what we can do throughout this week, month and year and all weeks, months and years. As we are reminded in our Advices and Queries…(see bottom of article)
World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel 20-26 September https://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/events/world-week-for-peace-in-palestine-israel
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 26 September http://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination
York Peace Talks, starting 1 October – http://www.yorkquakers.org.uk/news.html
Huddersfield Quaker Peace Lecture, 8 October – http://www.huddersfieldquakers.org.uk/event-diary/
John Hamilton Memorial Peace Lecture 8 October – http://www.liverpoolquakers.org.uk/
Drones Week of Action, 3-10 October, inlcuding – Drop Scones Not Drones demonstration https://dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com/drones-week-of-action/
Keep Space for Peace Week 3-10 October – http://www.space4peace.org/actions/ksfpw15.htm
*Quaker Week 3-11 October*- http://www.quaker.org.uk/news-and-events/news/quaker-week-2015-live-adventurously
World Quaker Day 4 October – http://www.worldquakerday.org/
Week of Prayer for World Peace, 11th – 18th October – http://www.weekofprayerforworldpeace.com/prayers.html
One World Week- 18-25 October http://www.oneworldweek.org/v2 “Hope In Action”
Interfaith Week (England and Wales) 15-21 November http://www.interfaithweek.org/
Scottish Interfaith Week, 22 – 30 November http://www.interfaithscotland.org/scottish-interfaith-week
Prisoners for Peace Day 1 December – http://www.wri-irg.org/campaigns/prisoners_for_peace
31. We are called to live ‘in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars’. Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.
32. Bring into God’s light those emotions, attitudes and prejudices in yourself which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging your need for forgiveness and grace. In what ways are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?
33. Are you alert to practices here and throughout the world which discriminate against people on the basis of who or what they are or because of their beliefs? Bear witness to the humanity of all people, including those who break society’s conventions or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic life. Seek to understand the causes of injustice, social unrest and fear. Are you working to bring about a just and compassionate society which allows everyone to develop their capacities and fosters the desire to serve?