The 2016 General Assembly welcomed and adopted the Vision for Society Statement, which seeks to continue to place peacebuilding firmly at the heart of Christian discipleship and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
At the time, the convener of the Council for Church in Society, Very Rev. Dr. Norman Hamilton said, “This is a symbol of our desire that this statement will both be a stimulus for our engagement with wider society, as well as a powerful symbol that this is a calling of the whole Church to a highly important aspect of Christian and biblical witness.”
The text of the Statement adopted by the General Assembly is as follows:
WE, MEMBERS OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND,
saved by grace
and called by God to grace-filled relationships,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
as ambassadors of Christ’s Kingdom
in a broken and divided world;
BELIEVE that the Good News of Jesus Christ
challenges and equips us
to develop radically new attitudes and relationships
with our neighbours throughout the whole of Ireland.
WE CONFESS our failure
to live as Biblically faithful Christian peacebuilders
and to promote the counter culture of Jesus
in a society where cultures clash.
ACCORDINGLY, WE AFFIRM Christian peacebuilding
to be part of Christian discipleship
and reassert the Church’s calling
to pursue a peaceful and just society in our day
WE SEEK a more reconciled community
at peace with each other,
where friend and foe,
working together for the common good,
can experience healing
and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In PCI’s 500-plus congregations across Ireland, peacebuilding will look different. Different in Belfast as it will look from peacebuilding in Dublin as it will in Galway, or Cork; but its centrality to Christian discipleship remains the same wherever God has placed us.
To support congregations to prayerfully consider how they can outwork Christ’s call to be peacebuilders in their own communities, the Council for Congregational Life and Witness has produced a number of free resources:
“It is my prayer that our Vision for Society Statement and our continued commitment to peacebuilding will bear much fruit.”
Rev. Stephen Johnston, convener, Congregational Life and Witness Good Relations Panel.