Below are some links to articles, videos and stories that JustPeace staff have enjoyed this week. We hope you enjoy them too!
April 17, 2015
- UMR: Panel Offers Pastors Advice on Becoming ‘Ministers of Reconciliation’ in African-American Communities – The United Methodist Reporter writes about a panel sponsored by The Gospel Coalition that recommended that ministers should establish relationships with law enforcement and seek ways to become moral authorities in their communities by listening.
“Christians need to remember to develop the discipline of listening. All the panelists recommended that pastors do all that they can to become more approachable by all community members, regardless of religious background.”
- On Being – Heartbreak, Violence, and Hope for New Life – Parker Palmer writes on the On Being blog about the relationship between suffering and violence, both on a personal and international level. He ponders whether a nation-state can have the heart to respond to collective suffering in transformative ways that lead to increased compassion and understanding.
Yes, violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering. But we can ride the power of suffering toward new life — it happens all the time.
- Washington Post – How military chaplains are finding new ways to treat vets with invisible wounds – Tim Townsend writes about how military chaplains are learning more about moral injury and how to care for soldiers experiencing woulds of the soul.
Ultimately, most moral injury experts agree, healing mandates forgiveness of some kind. Some want God to forgive them, others learn to forgive themselves. Still others can’t forgive themselves for taking another human life, so they angle for something else..
- Jackson Progress-Argus – Peace requires religious tolerance – Hal Brady, a United Methodist pastor and Executive Director of Hal Brady Ministries in Atlanta, stresses the importance of creative dialogue between faiths in order to break down the walls that separate us and work for peace.
“What I’m talking about here is not forgiveness itself but how we promote it, how we encourage others to think about it, and how we position ourselves around it. The conversations we have and the rhetoric we use are important so that we don’t discourage those who see forgiveness as soft, weak and irrelevant, or exclude those who consider it to be solely for the strong or spiritually enlightened.”
- PBS Newshour – What the Boston Marathon bombing taught me about helping students with trauma – Dr. Barbara Gortych, the head of Assessment, Guidance, and Mental Health for Watertown Public Schools, writes about the trauma experienced by students in her community of Watertown and the importance of self-care.
“Trauma is a slippery thing and not so easily pushed away, even in a resilient town like Watertown. We know from Dr. Jonathan Comer’s research (published in the journal Pediatrics) that Watertown students living in the area of most intense activity during the manhunt experienced more mental health symptoms than students who were actually at the bombing in Boston and saw terribly injured people.”
- Religious News Service: Can churches disagree and still stay together – Jonathan Merritt interviews Scot McKnight about his new book, “A Fellowship of Differences.” In the interview, McKnight talks about how the Church was designed by God for diversity and how many churches need to move away from a “pulpit culture” and adopt “table fellowship” – a place of grace and fellowship.
“For us to become the church God wants – the church we will be in the kingdom of God in the new heavens and the new earth – we must learn now the art of table fellowship. Christians have created a pulpit culture where the faithful sit in pews to listen and greet and sing and then leave.”
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
- April 17th- 19th, 2015: The “Re-Visioning Justice in America” Conference: This conference will be held at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN. Registration will open in early January 2015. PKeynote speakers include Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson and Howard Zehr.
- April 21 – 23, 2015: FaithCARE – Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches: This FaithCARE training in Whitby, Ontario is scheduled for April 21 – 23, 2015 and is offered in partnership with the Eastern Canada Christian and Missionary Alliance. This training is open to anyone. For more information and for the complete conference brochure, visit this link.
- April 23-25, 2015: Public Conversations Project: The Power of Dialogue – Constructive Conversations on Divisive Issues – a highly interactive workshop for practitioners, leaders and others interesting in transforming conflicted conversations.
- April 28th, 2015 – The 2015 Slomoff Symposium: Restorative Justice in Our Communities – The University of Massachusetts Boston is hosting this symposium with author Michael Patrick MacDonald and a panel of community leaders and practitioners to discuss restorative justice.
- May 7-9, 2015 – National Council of Churches – 2015 Christian Unity Gathering – Herndon, VA outside Washington, DC. The event will be a celebration of ecumenism and an opportunity to put that spirit in to practice as we continue our work to respond to the mass incarceration crior, justsis and explore our second priority, interfaith relations with a focus on peace. The keynote speaker will be 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowe
- May 11-15, 2015 – Lombard Mennonite Peace Center: Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders – Pittsburgh, 32 hours of training, which is useful for judicatory leaders, clergy, pastors in transitional/interim ministry and lay leaders – anyone who works with people!
- October 28-31st, 2015 – Pathways to Hope: Recovering from the Invisible Wounds of War – Leawood, KS. A project of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School in partnership with the Church of the Resurrection. This conference will educate service providers, medical care-givers, congregations, community and religious leaders, and veterans and their families about the struggles of reintegration into civilian society for those who have served in the military.