March 2015: Making Peace Real
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
The United Church of Christ in Mozambique is poised to have a very significant impact on the work for peace in the country. This is shown by the Christian Council of Mozambique, which meets regularly to prepare resources for peace education and advocacy. Recently, we were able to participate in their talks and plans for promoting peace.
The Annual Synod for the United Church of Christ in Mozambique (UCCM) was held in a local church just outside Beira. Much like our annual church conventions in the United States, the Synod is comprised of reports from all the divisions of the church, times for worship, and recognition of service and ordinations. Unlike our US Synods and General Assemblies, in Mozambique they are held in small, sometimes rural, churches under a rented tent. There are no vendor booths, or exhibition halls, and no separate breakout sessions to attend. Everything happens as an entire group. Everyone listens to the finance report and the sermons alike.
I am still learning the rhythm of these large church events in Mozambique – when you can get up and stretch your legs and when to stay put. Sitting under a hot tent for three days in a suit and clerical collar, I am always glad to look around and notice the other pastors sweating as much as me. I feel like we have had a bonding experience, both physically and spiritually, especially sharing the space and participating in the ordination of new pastors.
These reverently joyous gatherings are inspiring examples of peace in action. I have no doubt the church will eventually succeed in their efforts toward a peaceful nation.
Kim and Erik Free serve with the United Church of Christ in Mozambique. Their appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples’ Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.