First in Caring Mark 9:30-37

Just Peace Sunday

It has been said that in Africa, a traditional greeting and response is,”How are the children?” and “The children are well.”

“How are the children?” is not a way to inquire about the particular youth in one’s own household, but instead is an invitation to consider what is most important in the whole society, and whether that is being attended to. “The children are well” refers not just to the health of a few of the children who are known to the conversation partners, but the peace and prosperity to all of society. This question, and its response, is a way of assuring that the most important priorities of the community are placed first.

A movie available from the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC PIN) called How Are the Children? tells the stories of Palestinian children, some as young as five years old, detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank of Israel. On their website,, UCC PIN responds to some questions that arise from that first and most important question, “How are the children?”

“Since 1967, the United Church of Christ has spoken through General Synod resolutions regarding issues of peace and justice in the Middle East. Long before that, mission personnel of our predecessor denominations worked successfully to create partnerships of mutuality and ministry throughout the region. Here we provide information on various aspects of UCC witness related to the experience of children in Palestine and Israel. These links provide information regarding the 2017 UCC resolution of witness concerning Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.”*

*From the website page

You can also find links to the movie “How Are the Children?” and guides for utilizing this powerful resource with your congregation, on the website

Today is Just Peace Sunday. For 30 years, the Just Peace Church pronouncement has inspired a grassroots movement of UCC congregations committed to corporately naming and boldly proclaiming a pubic identity as a just-doing, peace-seeking church. For more information about Just Peace, visit

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