2018-2019 Peace Sunday Project

What is it? For the 2018-2019 academic year First Congregational UCC in Mount Vernon is providing a monthly Peace Sunday dedicated to providing (1) a peace centered worship service at 9:30 am; (2) an interfaith friendly peace class for adults and youth at 11 am; and (3) a peace centered spiritual practice at noon.

Where is it? The peace worship service and interfaith friendly peace class will be at 200 N Main St, Mt Vernon, Ohio. The peace centered peace practice location will be announced (below) each month.

Why is it? First Congregational Church’s interfaith friendly summer Peace Village for community children has been so popular that the church has decided to create similar teachings once month for adults and youth called Peace Sundays, as well as more peace events for children, youth and adults.

More information:
Rev. Scott Elliott, the pastor of the church has been working with a visiting pastor, Rev. Anna Woofenden and the Church Council to create the Peace Sunday Project. The idea is to bring the core Peace Village teachings about peace with self, others, community and creation in new and exciting ways to the whole congregation. The Peace Sunday Project will do that the first Sunday of every month. Rev. Woofenden has been hired as the Visiting Pastor of Peace and Spirituality to work on this eight month long project. Rev. Woofenden pointed out that “The plan is for Peace Sundays to begin with a peace centered worship service, then at 11am we hold an interfaith friendly class with youth and adults focusing on peacemaking. After the class Peace Sunday will end with a spiritual activity that is inter-generational, experiential, interfaith, and engaged.” The church plan includes bringing a Peace in the Community events out of the church and into community during the week. Church and the greater community members could attend one or some or all of these offerings. The hope is to create peace-full opportunities in a variety of ways to a variety of people, bringing love and compassion–and peace to the day. First Congregational Church is pleased to announce this new program and welcome Rev. Woofenden as their first ever Visiting Pastor of Peace and Spirituality.

Rev. Anna Woofenden earned her Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion and is an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America. She is an author and speaker and the founding pastor of The Garden Church and Feed and be Fed Farm in Los Angeles. She is a leading voice in the food and faith movement and has taught food, faith, and entrepreneurial ministry at Wake Forest Divinity School and will be teaching in Spring 2019 at Bethany Theological Seminary. Her book Feed and Be Fed: Finding Church Beyond the Walls will be coming out in spring of 2020 with Herald Press.

Rev. Elliott noted that “We are very fortunate to have someone of Anna’s quality and qualifications in Knox County and it is an honor to have her join our staff as a visiting pastor.”

What’s Planned for Peace Sunday, October 7, 2018:

We’ll start out in October by looking at how we can cultivate people within ourselves. Sunday morning worship will be themed around this topic and as we approach the Communion Table together we can focus on how we are nurtured and fed by the sacrament and connecting to the God of peace. In our Adult Forum we will consider the concept of there being many ways to connect to God and ways to find those places of peace within each of us. Particularly we’ll be looking at the idea of the “7 Pathways to God” a model that looks at the Relational Pathway, the Intellectual Pathway, the Serving Pathway, the Contemplative Pathway, the Activist Pathway, the Creation Pathway, and the Worship Pathway. We’ll explore these as broad containers to help explore various means of spiritual practice and share and discover ways to enrich our personal practices and encourage each other in creating more internal peace.

After the Adult Forum, the whole community is invited to bring a picnic lunch out to Ariel Foundation Park where we’ll have some time of fellowship before moving into an hour of “Nurturing the Peacemaker.” Our time of “Nurturing the Peacemaker” will include some collective gathering and then opportunities to spend time at various stations engaging spiritual practice through art, nature, movement, community, silence, etc. This will be a multi-generational and inter-faith friendly event and we encourage you to welcome your friends and neighbors to join in as well!

Want to learn more about The Peace Project? For more information on the Peace Sunday Project call the church office at 740-393-1736 or send an email to Rev. Woofenden at Anna@woofenden.net or to Rev. Elliott at revscottelliott@mvucc.org