Mennonites host churches' conference on North American attitudes to war

Mennonites host churches' conference on North American attitudes to war

By agency reporter
25 Jun 2010

The Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, in the USA will host an ecumenical peace conference 28-31 July 2010, focusing on contemporary North American responses to war.

Christian peacemakers of all traditions and disciplines are expected to attend the 'Peace Among the Peoples' conference, aimed at reinvigorating the churches’ conversation on war and peace. The event is a preparatory meeting for the World Council of Churches’ 2011 International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (http://www.overcomingviolence.org/peace-convocation.html).

"Peace Among the Peoples represents the culmination of recent ecumenical peace efforts. This important discussion will help shape the future of the churches’ peace witness in North America", says Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCUSA), who will participate at the event.

In large and small group settings, participants will dream, discern and strategise the next steps for creating a more unified peace witness in North America as well as encouraging churches to become 'peace churches'. Results of the meeting will be presented at the NCCCUSA General Assembly in November 2010 and at the 2011 Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica.

The event will include presentations from leading thinkers, such as Stanley Hauerwas, Rita Nakashima Brock and Brian McLaren. Discussions on the contemporary issues of just policing, responsibility to protect, nuclear weapons and chaplaincy will include dynamic exchanges between presenters and listeners.

There will also be deliberative working sessions on current ecumenical efforts, like the Truth Commission on Conscience in War, the status of conciliar peace dialogue and the formation of a North American Ecumenical Peace Centre.

Morning prayer and evening confessional worship will frame the beginning and the ending of each day. Preachers include Matthew Johnson, Mary Jo Leddy and Leonid Kishkovsky.

Disciplinary groups - academics, activists, clergy and peace fellowships - as well as interdisciplinary groups will be given opportunities to meet during meal times. These conversations will seek to promote collaboration among disciplines by assessing the interests and needs of each group.

There are some 1.3 million Mennonites throughout the world. Along with Quakers and Church of the Brethren, they are one of the 'historic peace churches', with roots in the Radical wing of the Reformation in Europe.

Conference registration is now open and additional information may be obtained at: www.peace2010.net

[Ekk/3]

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