JustPeace, the Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation of the United Methodist Church (UMC), began in May 1999. It grew out of an agency of the UMC called the General Council on Finance and Administration and was approved in concept during the agency’s mid-year meeting. The vision for the center was to offer the Church new ways of resolving the many conflicts faced by the various agencies, churches, organizations and persons in the denomination.
The name for the center came from a member of the taskforce that created it. Dr. John Paul Lederach (Professor of International Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame and concurrently Distinguished Scholar at Eastern Mennonite University), has written that he hopes in the year 2050 the word ‘justpeace’ will be accepted in everyday language and appear as an entry in the Webster’s Dictionary. The term is a combination of two key words: justice and peace. The taskforce believed that this name meets all of its requirements for a name: reflective of hope and assurance, reflective of the mission statement, clear and affirming of the center’s aspirations.”
JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation was officially established at the organizing meeting of the board of directors in Illinois on February 23-24, 2000.
From 2000 through January of 2004, JustPeace maintained its main office in Evanston, IL. GCFA decided in the fall of 2003 that JUSTPEACE should be independent of GCFA and the board submitted a petition to the 2004 General Conference proposing that it become an independent organization of the Church, accountable to the General Conference, connected to all the agencies of the Church, and serving the whole Church.
In February 2004, JustPeace was invited to move its main office to the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
The Beginnings of JustPeace – Tom’s Story
Mary Logan remembers the birthing of JustPeace
Bishop Don Ott – The First 10 Years of JustPeace