Archive for the ‘Pilgrims for Just Peace’ Category

November 22 Peace Vigil in Georgia

December 30, 2009

Members of Pilgrim’s Peace Team traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia in November to participate in the 2009 Peace Vigil at The School of the Americas. 

Go here for more information:


A Pilgrim writes to the Metro Lutheran

May 27, 2009
In February, ELCA St. Paul Bishop Peter Rogness wrote about his recent visit to Israel and Palestine. The depth of the region’s conflict, Rogness wrote, comes from each groups’ religious and historic beliefs that they have a right to the land. He further states that God chose this area to be a holy place, where the Prince of Peace came.
The beliefs held by Palestinians, Jews and Christians have two things in common. First, they are certain their beliefs are true, Second, their beliefs are an “accident.” For the most part, everyone’s beliefs are an accident. We get them from the culture into which we are born (an accident of birth). Be born somewhere else and you’ll believe something else … and you’ll believe it with certainty. If we Metro Lutheran readers were born in Tibet we wouldn’t be Lutheran.
The accidental, yet strongly held, beliefs of human beings fuel world conflicts. The feeling of certainty, of being right, of having the truth, is a natural human emotion. But in a complex world, living and fighting based on accidental beliefs isn’t working. Somehow we have to transform the way we think and believe.
Bishop Rogness ended his article expressing uncertainty about how to deal with the Middle East conflict. I don’t know either. It seems, though, that showing up at the peace table with the attitude that our beliefs are accidents, and that the feeling of certainty about our beliefs may be an illusion, would be a new start.
Allen Zumach
St. Paul, Minnesota

Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Republican National Convention

September 30, 2008

One of our congregants, Joan Haan, went downtown, St. Paul during the Republican National Convention.  The following is a report of her experience following the Six Principles of Nonviolence developed by Martin Luther King, Jr.  I have edited Joan’s report for grammar.  The content is all hers.   

1.  Non violence is passive but requires courage

Wednesday, 9/3/2008   We stood with the young people released from jail who were being treated by medics, circling their space with blankets to maintain privacy from the media—Fox News in particular, a reporter with his cameraman taunting and probing “Where are the protesters?”  “Where are the Police?  I’m on your side.  I’ve never seen such whiney protesters.”  Surrounding the protesters and two Peace Teams (PT) were up to 200 police and National Guard in full riot uniform, helmets with shields, holding their batons in a ready position.  The courage was in staying as I felt fear—would they use their batons, tear gas and pepper spray (like they did the night before)?  The courage was in staying as I felt the anger and grief, tears falling:  Fox News whose purpose was to incite; a military force whose purpose—among 50 something unarmed youth seated and waiting on the grass, not chanting, no sign of protest—was beyond my comprehension or imagination; young people wounded and vulnerable by their incarceration, photographed, surrounded by a military force.  Their protection was their blankets, street medics, Legal Aide, ACLU, their friends and the Peace Team.

Result of our nonviolent action:  After the blankets came down, the situation was defused and the Sheriff’s Department provided a wagon full of sandwiches. 


2.  Nonviolence seeks reconciliation, not defeat of an adversary

Thursday, 9/4/2008  

The young people/students in black wore hoods and bandannas to protect their identity and to protect themselves from the tear gas and pepper spray.  Congregated on a parking space near the Capitol, they had been dispersed by the police for attempting an illegal march (after the 5 PM permit) by the “No peace for the Warmakers” March.  Their stance was menacing.  Across from them were about 20 police on bikes—no riot gear.  We positioned ourselves between the police and the youth. Remembering the afternoon before, the vulnerability of the young people released from jail, I approached the group and suggested lightly—why not just leave?  Another PT member joined me.  One of the young men asked for PT hugs; we hugged him.  They began talking with passion how an unjust system demanded a violent response.  I said something about my belief in violence begetting violence, about Gandhi and MLK.  They talked of their own heroes and spoke of the exceptions—wouldn’t you use violence if you were being raped?  I finally laughed and said I wasn’t going to argue.  I stood next to one young man, touching him as I spoke, like a mother to her son.  I said something about having daughters and wanting them to be safe.  In the end they asked for hugs and left. 



Result of our nonviolent action:  I helped defuse the situation.  I don’t believe I changed any minds.

3.  Nonviolent action is directed at eliminating evil, not destroying the evil-doer

There is so much I wish I could have said to those young men in black.  I wish I could have held them closer so they could have heard my heart—perhaps then they would have heard there are nonviolent ways to “fight” injustice.  Somehow I felt like I failed them—that my generation has failed them with preemptive violence.

4.  A willingness to accept suffering for the cause, if necessary, but never to inflict it

Putting on the canary yellow MN Peace Team vest and hat was a uniform, an agreement to be nonviolence.  We were at different levels of risk taking—individually and as teams. Several of us were gassed and sprayed and four arrested. I was not.  We accompanied, witnessed, stood between potential harmful people/situations.  We alerted marchers, protesters and bystanders to potential risks and the police approved “escape route.”  One of us accompanied a bystander (possibly a delegate) to the hospital after she was tear gassed.  My mantra was “I am a mother—I will not move.”  And I wore my vinegar scarf around my neck, taking the airline advice: put your own mask on first.

5.  A rejection of hatred, animosity or violence of the spirit, as well as refusal to commit physical violence

When I was looking at the faces of those fully armed police officers I had to remind myself that they are children of God—sons, daughters; fathers, mothers; humans—hot, tired, possibly hungry, bored, scared, and equipped to the gills and following orders. I had to remind myself of the many respectful acts—warning people, letting PT members know how people could exit, choosing restraint when disrespected.

When I heard the verbal antagonism, intimidation, disrespect of person and when I heard of the destruction of property, I had to remind myself they are children of God—sons, daughters; young people; some fathers, mothers; humans—hot, tired, possibly hungry, bored, scared, vulnerable, passionate in their righteousness, wanting something.

6.  Faith that justice will prevail


Or faith that faith will prevail over despair and grief; that justice will at times prevail. I have witnessed first hand the ugliness of preemptive, military policing.  I understand violence has many faces and shades in a way I didn’t understand or experience before.

Result of my action:  I am left with two feelings: Grief and gratitude.  Grief for the violent presence of the police force and the action of some police; grief for the premeditated violence of some protestors.  Gratitude for the vast majority of peaceful protestors and the officers who did not react with intimidation and physical violence.  Gratitude for personal safety.  Gratitude for being a peaceful presence, making that human connection, providing safe space and defusing volatile situations.  Gratitude for the work and training of the MN PT and the privilege of affinity teams who support and encourage the nonviolent best in me.

The Minnesota Peace Team is a non-partisan group that responds to community requests to be present in potentially volatile situations.

  • Our singular focus is to assist in keeping people from hurting one another and to protect the civil rights of everyone involved.
  • The team does not interfere with civil disobedience and does not try to enforce laws.
  • All team members are trained in nonviolent techniques to be used with an attitude of openness and respect toward any one involved in potentially violent encounters. or



More resources from Ann Tews-Part III

July 28, 2008

Possible other books and articles about peace if one is interested.

Brown, Tricia Gates. Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams.
a collection of first-person accounts from trouble spots in Haiti, Iraq, Colombia, Hebron, Mexico, and Canada. The sometimes-harrowing narratives of this small group of fierce accompaniers ring with humanity: fear, intimacy, doubt, and joy are all part of incarnating Jesus’ radical way of peace. Herald Press.

Chase, Kenneth R & Alan Jacobs, eds. Must Christianity be violent? : reflections on history, practice, and theology. Grand Rapids : Brazos Press, c2003. 1587430649
NOTES Based on a conference held Mar. 15-17, 2000 at Wheaton College.

Dear, John. “Action challenges war addiction; in word and deed, Christians owe allegiance to the peacemaking Jesus. (Paths to Peace Action). ” National Catholic Reporter. 38.25 (April 26, 2002): 33(2).

Dear, John. “Blessed are the nonviolent. ” The Other Side. 34.n1 (Jan-Feb 1998): 10(4).

Enns, Fernando, Scott Holland, & Ann Riggs. Seeking cultures of peace : a peace church conversation 1st ed.Telford, Pa. : Cascadia Pub. House ; Scottdale, Pa. : Herald Press, c2004. 193103821X

Grassi, Joseph A. Jesus is shalom : a vision of peace from the Gospels
New York : Paulist Press, 2006. ISBN 0809143089

Grassi, Joseph A. Peace on earth : roots and practices from Luke’s Gospel Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c2004. 0814629792

Harak, G. Simon. “The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence. ” Theological Studies. 56.n4 (Dec 1995): 824(2).

Jegen, Mary Evelyn. Just peacemakers : an introduction to peace and justice. PUB INFO New York : Paulist Press, c2006. 978-0809143504

Jersak, Brad & Michael Hardin, eds. Stricken by God? : nonviolent identification and the victory of Christ. Grand Rapids, Mich. : William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2007. ISBN 978-08028-62877

McLaren, Brian D. Everything must change : Jesus, global crises, and a revolution of hope. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, c2007. ISBN 9780849901836

Trocme, Andre. Jesus and the nonviolent revolution; edited by Charles E. Moore. EDITION Rev. and expanded ed. Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis Books, 2004. 0874869277

Yancey, Philip. “Jesus’ sword: longing for peace in tumultuous times. (The Back Page). ” Christianity Today. 47.1 (Jan 2003): 80(1).

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More resources from Ann Tews–Part II

July 28, 2008


The following are quotations from the New Testament. I also listed what references I used to find them. The church library contains the two books with Kohlenberger as editor.

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! –Matt 5:9

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mother-in law; a man’s worst enemies will be the members of his own family. Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not fit to be my disciple; whoever loves his son or daughter more than me is not fit to be my disciple. Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my steps is not fit to be my disciple. Whoever tries to gain his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will gain it.” –Matthew 10:34-39

“Salt is good; but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have the salt of friendship among yourselves, and live in peace with one another.” –Mark 9:50

Our God is merciful and tender. He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.” –Luke 1:78-79

But Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” –Luke 7:50 (Jesus at the Home of Simon the Pharisee)

“God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!” Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “command your disciples to be quiet!” Jesus answered, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.” He came closer to the city, and when he saw it, he wept over it, saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace! But now you cannot see it!” –Luke: 38-42

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it is as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. –John 14: 27

I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world! –John 16:33

Jesus answered, “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” –John 18:36

Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. Whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what race he belongs to. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Acts 10:34-36

But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. Romans 2:10

They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God.
–Romans 3:17-18

Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. –Romans 5:1

To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. –Romans 8:6

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. –Romans 12:17-18

So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace and that help strengthen one another. –Romans 14:19

However, if the one who is not a believer wishes to leave the Christian partner, let it be so. In such cases the Christian partner, whether husband or wife, is free to act. God has called you to live in peace. –1 Corinthians 7:15

The gift of proclaiming God’s message should be under the speaker’s control, because God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.
–1 Corinthians 14:32-33

And now, my brothers, good-bye! Strive for perfection; listen to my appeals; agree with one another; live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
–2 Corinthians 13:11

But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. –Gal 5:22-23

For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies. He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. By his death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to god. So Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to all—to you Gentiles who were far away from God, and the Jews, who were near to him. –Ephesians 2:14-17

Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. –Ephesians 4:3

So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.
–Ephesians 6:15

And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Jesus Christ. –Phil 4:7

Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son’s sacrificial death on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven. –Coloss 1:20

The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. Coloss 3:15

When people say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape.
–1 Thess 5:3

First of all, then I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. –1 Tim 2:1-2

Avoid the passions of youth, and strive for righteousness, faith, love, and peace, together with those who with a pure heart call out to the Lord for help. –2 Tim 2:22

Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. –Hebrews 12:14

And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace. –James 3:18

As the scripture says, “Whoever wants to enjoy life and wishes to see good times, must keep from speaking evil and must stop telling lies. He must turn away from evil and do good; he must strive for peace with all his heart. For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers; but he opposes those who do evil.” –1Peter 3:10-12

The Amplified Bible includes the following regarding heart & soul peace: 1 Corinthian 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thess 1:12; Galatians 1: 3

Anderson, Ken. Where to Find it in the Bible: the Ultimate A to Z Resource. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996

Kohlenberger III, John R. The Concise Concordance to the New Revised Standard Version. New York: Oxford University Press. 1993.

Whitaker, Richard E and John R Kohlenberger III. The Analytical Concordance to the New Revised Standard Version of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2000.
# Anne Tews Says:

More on The Vietnam Tapes from MPR

July 6, 2008

When Dan Kleven served in combat in Vietnam in 1970, he was sent on a raid into Cambodia.  He describes finding a cache of supplies.  I have copied the following from MPR’s transcript of the program.  This is Dan Kleven speaking in an audio cassette letter to his folks on a dairy farm outside of Willmar, Minnesota.

I know something I didn’t mention. We found this medical cache. It had everything you could think of. It had heroin, it had morphine, it had barbiturates and amphetamines and every kind of drug. All of them in vials from France and Russia, Great Britain, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and all these different places where all these drugs came from.

They had a whole big bag full of syringes, sterile syringes, and they were from the United States. They were given by American Friends Service Committee — Quakers. And what I’ll do, I’ll send this deal home in this tape and you can show it to whoever you like. But it really made us guys mad because you know, we’re over here fighting and you got bunch of idiots sending the North Vietnamese people supplies and stuff. Goll, I can’t hardly believe it. It really made us mad anyway, but I’m going to send it home in the tape and let you read it.

He’s nineteen or twenty years old here, a soldier in a country we Americans never learned about in school, nonetheless, we were trying to save it. 

In June, Pastor Wayne delivered a sermon in which he talked about traveling with the Lutheran World Relief to Ethiopia in the late 1980s.  There was a famine in Ethiopia and various countries had donated food but the food was not being delivered to the people who were hungry.  To help, the Lutheran World Relief bought Mercedes Benz trucks to transport the food from the docks to the feeding stations.  Pastor Wayne wasin a delegation to see if the food was being delivered to the hungry masses. 

Yes, it was.  And after it was delivered, the Merceded Benz trucks were confiscated by the government.  These fine trucks would make no more deliveries of food to the hungry; they would now go into service for a government that was willing to starve its own people.  But before that had happened, they had each made one delivery of food to starving people. 

My comment:  It is difficult to do service.  Once our good intentions have left our hands, we cannot know what will happen, if our good intentions will be diverted, even perverted.  Perhaps our life-saving supplies will fall into the hands of the enemies, the wicked, the corrupt, the spooks. 

Perhaps we can take comfort in Jesus’ command, “Love your enemies.”  It is difficult, but sometimes we might do it despite our efforts otherwise. 

Reva Rasmussen

Fighting for Peace: The Vietnam Tapes from MPR

July 6, 2008

July 4, 2008, Minnesota Public Radio broadcast a special one hour Midday program featuring audio letters sent between Dan Kleven of Willmar, Minn. and his family and friends during his 11 months in combat in Vietnam in 1970.

The letters are ordinary and stunning in their simple and straightforward reflections on the draft, soldiering in Vietnam and life back on the Minnesota farm.  I hear these letters as being reportage, neither in favor of the Vietnam War nor against it, although they lend support to both sides.

I was impressed that Dan Kleven, a young soldier, always calls the Vietnamese “gooks.”  Civilians are not people, the soldiers are not fathers and sons and brothers; they are not even soldiers.  The Vietnamese are gooks, rhymes with spooks.  In a successful raid, “Gook ponchos” are found.  Dan Kleven describes the ponchos in detail, they are very good quality and he and his fellow soldiers are glad to have them.  The ponchos are something the American soldiers understood, so they were allowed to be real; but the people we Americans were saving from Communism were not – they were something other than human – something more like spooks.

Is this what we must do to make it okay to destroy a village in order to save it? 

I am not criticizing Dan Kleven.  He’s an American who fought in a war for America paid for by all of us.  He took his orders, he demonstrated patriotism, he used the language he was taught to use.   

At the end of the program, Kleven speaks as a grown man who now has an eighteen year-old son.  I’m taking the quotes below from MPR’s transcription of the program.  Kleven says:

 In my mind, you size up the war situation and there has to be a compelling reason to get involved in death and destruction. And maybe the Holocaust would be, obviously, a legitimate reason. But I really struggled, in regard to Vietnam, I really struggled with what the legitimacy was for us being there.

I don’t quite honestly want my kids being involved in some inadvertent political war with no win for anybody, it’s just sort of some military machine thing going on. I don’t want them involved.

In fact, I know this sounds harsh — and I’m not a rude person — but I quite honestly have been at least subtly rude to military recruiters that make an effort to call my kids. I’ve told them, “Look, don’t call back.” I don’t mean to be harsh, but I don’t need my kids to go through what I went through. It was a waste. It was a waste.

I am trying to represent accurately and then comment on the story told in the program.  To hear it in full, please follow this link to the Midday Minnesota Public Radio.

Reva Rasmussen

Another perspective on peace: a child soldier

July 2, 2008

I read A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah last winter.  It is a stunning memoir by a former child soldier of Sierre Leone.  He describes in detail how he was conscripted and fed drugs and learned to kill at the age of 13.  At age 15, he was rescued by UNICEF and rehabilitated – initially against his will.  In this interview, he talks about his experience and concludes “You forgive yourself and you forgive others who dragged you into it.  That’s the only way to go forward.  . . . In that war, everyone was seeking revenge. It exacerbated that violence. . . Until someone is ready to stop and forgive, we can’t go forward.” 

His recovery, he says, required people to be there for him, to be patient, to persevere, to selflessly be there for him.  When I read about the rehab center for child soldiers run by UNICEF in Sierre Leone, I thought these staff members must be deeply religious.  The child soldiers had undergone brainwashing and drug addiction.  They were children and they had been abused and trained to kill and had killed.  I wonder if I would ever have the strength that the staff in the rehab center had.  To love a child so deeply, to love another human so selflessly and to have so much patience and belief that healing is possible – that requires a strength beyond ourselves.   

Ishmael now travels the world as a UNICEF ambassador raising awareness for the plight of child soldiers. 

Reva Rasmussen


June 24, 2008

As editor of this blog, with Reva Rasmussen, I promise I won’t “hijack” the blog and take the focus away from where the groups who post here want to take it.

At the same time, I’m a member of the Peace Team, and, so I’d like to put my “two cents” in for a subject I have recently developed some strong feelings about–the events of 1968 to 1974, and the need for reconciliation between pro- and anti-Vietnam war Americans.

I am reading Rick Perstein’s Nixonland (Scribner). When I first heard about the book, I thought I pretty well knew what it was about–Nixon was a fascist, and he is to blame for all of our problems today.

What I found out was quite different. There’s no doubt that Perlstein’s description of Nixon is over the top, sometimes. At the same time, Perlstein makes it very clear that Nixon and his minions posed a definite threat to the freedoms of this country.

At the same time, there is another side of the story. I really started to see this different side, when I started reading about hard-hat riots on Wall Street in 1969 and 1970. Anti-war protestors jammed into Wall Street. They grabbed flag poles, tore down the US flag, and hoisted the Viet Cong flag. At the same time, hard hats were kicking the bejeezus out of war protestors.

There were provacateurs on both sides. Disgraceful things were done on both sides. No one’s hands are clean.

It’s interesting, because, I was 18 years old in 1968. I watched the Democratic National Convention riots, sitting next to me good friend and 9th grade civics teacher, Joel Frank. I helped shut down the University of Minnesota in 1970, during the Cambodian invasion. I thought I was pretty in tune with what was going on. I either chose not to see the dark, violent side of the anti-war protests, or we didn’t hear about it. In fact, Perlstein makes that very point–many times the hundreds of violent incidents happening in the 60s were never reported on, because of the fear of the network news leaders that they would lose their licenses.

Reading Perlstein’s book has really helped me see the need for reconciliation for this country. One of the major points of Perlstein’s book is that, we are the inheritors of the violent clashes of the 60s. Forty years after the Chicago riots, people still see the Democrats as the party of chaos and disorder. Forty years later, liberals still see pro-war people in the same light we saw them in 1968.

In my efforts at political activism, here in Farmington, I’ve seen many veterans who still harbor deep, deep grudges from the 60s.

I don’t believe our country can really move forward, until we reconcile these two points of view. As Lincoln said, during the Civil War, “We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

We have been “enthralled” with the hippie vs. straight, war protestor vs. hard hat conflict for forty years. We need to move on. Once again, as Lincoln said, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”

The South Africans had their Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Perhaps it’s time we had a similar effort. I’m not sure we need a formal commission, but we need the same kind of dialogue and honest heart-felt discussion, to bring out into the open the deep wounds of the 60s and 70s. In this way, we will disenthrall ourselves–break the spell of the old, dark magic–and save our country.

Are we a peace church? Our discernment process.

June 17, 2008

Joan Haan | | | IP:

I would invite members to check out the soon to be updated ECAPC web site. this page in particular may help our conversation. Please also note links.

Is Your Church A Peace Church?
The church could turn the world toward peace if every church lived and taught as Jesus lived and taught.

The Peace Church Way

1. I/We affirm hope in Jesus and the way of love which he lived and taught as the heart of Christian truth and guide to the life of the church both internally and externally.
2. I/We work to continue Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s black freedom struggle to release America and the world from the powers of racism, poverty and militarism.
3. I/We support alternatives to war and violence such as Christian Peacemaker Teams and conscientious objection, making peace through nonviolent action for justice.

Read an article on “The Peace Church Way”


The Peace Church Affirmation

Following Jesus in nonviolent struggle for justice and peace, we love our neighbors and enemies as God loves us all, becoming a peace church to share in God’s work to save the world.

How to Start a Church-based Peacemaker Group

Five Characteristics of a Peace Church — Bienenberg Declaration

The process one church is using — Jeff Street Baptist, Louisville

(You could start here with a “what if” question which raises possibilities for the future, if not the past.)
What if Every Church Had Been a Peace Church? — by Kohls

Read the following 7 questions. By gently identifying some important matters, they begin to explain what a peace church is.

Might a peace church engage in serious Bible study about the teachings and life of Jesus, believing that Jesus offers a better understanding of power, violence and nonviolence than we get from the culture around us? ~ Discussion Guide: Resources; A Pastor Speaks: Jesus and Allegiance
Would a peace church look again at what Martin Luther King, Jr. lived and taught, using the power of prayer and training for nonviolent activist intervention to challenge the triple evils of racism, materialism and militarism? ~ See The Wisdom Of M. L. King
In response to violence in the families, schools and communities of America, would not a peace church be exploring the power of forgiveness and nonviolence as its alternative to retribution and escalated violence? ~ Families Against Violence Network
In what it says about sin, might a peace church raise questions about the most deadly and indiscriminate of weapons, which envision chemical, biological, nuclear and space warfare? ~ Military Leaders Question Bombing of Hiroshima
Would a peace church be exploring potential links between military violence, domestic violence, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the message of the church, hearing the call to conscientious objection to war? ~ PTSD, Veterans and the Church — Kohls; see also “Nonviolent Action as ‘The Sword that Heals’” by George Lakey, challenging Ward Churchill’s “Pacifism as Pathology”
Would a peace church sense a responsibility to teach the stewardship of the earth and care for the environment so that future generations may have a livable planet? ~ FCUN (Friends Committee on Unity With Nature); Mennonite Environmental Task Force; religon and environment
Might a peace church endorse the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence, and the Nobel Laureates’ and UN call for a decade to develop a culture of nonviolence, so that children may be freed from the frightening threats of war, injury and death?
If you can help your church to explore these questions, then we welcome you to participate in and help expand the global network of creative nonviolence. Of course other questions must be added, and we encourage you to do that (without ignoring these)!

See Prophetic Article on Church’s Failure and Hope — Dr. Kohls
What if Every Church Had Been a peace Church? — Dr. Kohls


Please Sign Up to be a participating church, association or denomination!

Every Church A Peace Church
PO Box 240, Akron, PA 17501 USA