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Peace with Justice

Peace with Justice is a way United Methodists reflect the of shalom of the Bible. It calls the church to “strengthen its capacity to advocate publicly in communities and nations” throughout the world. The Peace with Justice initiative aims to make God’s shalom visible and active in people’s lives. One component of this is an annual offering and grants awarded to local churches working for justice.

Peace with Justice Sunday is June 16, 2019

 Peace with Justice Grants

2018 Awardees

Centennial Advocates – Rev. Julie Wilson, Centennial Memorial UMC, Frederick 

A core group of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will be trained in self-advocacy and other techniques for advocating for both their own needs and those of their peers. They will be given one-on-one coaching as well as real-world opportunities to practice their skills at the local and state level. Additional training and opportunities to practice advocacy will be available to the wider community as well.

The members of the core group are all persons who worship, attend Bible study, or otherwise consider themselves part of the congregation. About half of them are racial minorities, and all are socio-economically disadvantaged. While working on their individual self-development goals, we will also be addressing common challenges which they and their community face, including obstacles put in place by policies at the city, county, and state levels of government. They will be coached in how to advocate for changes to these policies.

Furnishings for DC-MD JFON’s New Office – Sarah Gingold and Rev. Ken Hawes, Wheaton 

DC–MD Justice for Our Neighbors provides free, high-quality, immigration legal services and a warm welcome to immigrants in our congregations and communities, encourages cross-cultural community building and promotes education for ministry and advocacy. In order to better serve our clients and expand our ministry, we are relocating our office and need to furnish the reception area so that a warm, hospitable atmosphere offered immediately upon entering our space. 

New national policies are making it harder to seek asylum in the United States or taking away legal residency opportunities such as Temporary Protected Status, putting many more American residents at risk. By providing free legal aid and insisting on due process of law, we are defending not only our Christian but also our American values. Through the legal clinics at four area United Methodist congregations, volunteers participate by providing hospitality, building relationships with the clients we serve. We also raise awareness about the issue and advocate for policy reforms, to make it clear that immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are NOT a threat to our national security or the cause of our nation's economic problems. Through our work in defending our neighbors in the courts and educating our citizen neighbors about their plight, we fight fear and hatred of the unknown and instead give United Methodists in our congregations a chance to respond to foreigners with love and compassion, which leads to reconciliation, redemption, and transformation.

Shower Ministry and HOPE4ALL at Mt. Vernon Place UMC, Rev. Donna Claycomb Sokol, Washington, D.C. 

Shower Ministry and HOPE4All provide opportunities to authentically engage with those who are experiencing homelessness. The HOPE in HOPE4ALL stands for Housing Opportunities and Permanent/Promising/PaidEmployment; and this is 4 [for] All. At Mount Vernon Place we believe that these things are basic human rights and actively work to develop, empower, and equip our unhoused neighbors who are experiencing homelessness—who are disproportionately people of color caught in cycles of systemic poverty—through developing authentic relationships, facilitating accountability groups, acknowledging the intrinsic human dignity of each individual, and serving as advocates within systems, institutions, and structures to help move our unhoused neighbors out from unemployment/underemployment and homelessness into housing and into permanent, promising, and paid employment. In addition to this work, HOPE 4 All offers various forms of support for daily, weekly, and monthly needs including, but not limited to, transportation assistance, boots, tools, clothing, fees, deposits. We have found that oftentimes providing a pair of boots, a set of tools, the fees for a CDL, paying a housing deposit, or providing a bus pass to get to a job interview can have a transformational impact when given in unison with a community of relationality, accountability, and support.

The Shower Ministry which like HOPE 4 All is designed not only to meet immediate needs—offering showers, toiletries, basic and thermal undergarments, coffee, and pastries two teams each week—also serves as a safe place for the development of an intentional community. For volunteers, facilitators, and those receiving services, these two ministries have created a grassroots network of people that can be mobilized to promote and support policies that address systemic poverty and racism.

The Community Anti-Violence Program at Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church 

C.A.P.provides after-school tutoring and mentoring for children and youth who are vulnerable to the trauma of poverty and violence in their community. The Peace with Justice grant, which was awarded to Hughes for the second year in a row, is used to partially offset the cost of stipends to Howard University students who serve as mentors/tutors. The primary objective of C.A.P. is to show children and youth the love of God by providing them with mentoring, tutoring and a healthy meal. C.A.P. meets every Tuesday from August through May. The ministry partners with Campus Kitchens, which prepares and delivers the meals.

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