Preaching Peace UPF
An Urban Peacemaker Fellowship
Urban Peacemaker Fellowships (UPF) are Street Psalms training initiatives. Led by Street Psalms Senior Fellows, our 10 Urban Peacemaker Fellowships work to equip the head, heart and hands of urban leaders to love their city and seek its peace with the Gospel of Jesus.
How can a group of pastors collaborate to help each other and their congregations practice peace?
Street Psalms helps urban leaders love their city and seek its peace. We host this weekly gathering of local pastors, attending to the lectionary Gospel passage with one simple question. “How do we preach this text for peace?”
This group was born in response to a need voiced by local pastors: an opportunity to prepare for sermons in community around a common weekly text, using a common hermeneutic of reading the text (from below) through the eyes of the crucified/risen Christ and with a particular focus on how the text is good news for the most vulnerable in our city. The desire to practice peace has now become the focus of our Urban Peacemaker Fellowship that is shaping collective action beyond the weekly text study for pastors.
In addition to weekly discussions, we are focusing on two collective actions: Public Witness and what we are calling a “Peace Toolkit.” In public witness, we will use the calendar to look at holidays, events or possibly forgotten moments to target. Once chosen, we use our collective imagination to create meaningful forms of public witness. One example offered is to create a Good Friday Cross Walk where we walk to places in our neighborhoods where violence has occurred and reclaim them for peace.
Our other collective action involves creating a kind of peacemaking toolkit that will provide liturgies and practices for congregations to access. As a part of this our congregations will pick one or two Sundays to share a common liturgy, text and even similar sermons as a way to expand our sense of community and possibly our impact.
As a Street Psalms Senior Fellow, Ken’s particular focus is nurturing a neighborhood congregation in a blue-collar urban community to have an impact on its neighborhood over the long haul.