"Blessed are the peacemakers."
Violence has no place in pluralistic democracy. Yet fears of violence connected to elections and ideology are growing. Increasingly peacebuilding organizations with experience in conflict zones from Nigeria to Northern Ireland are looking to apply lessons they have learned abroad to U.S. democracy. Different groups seek to promote social cohesion, de-escalate crises, stem toxic disinformation, educate faith leaders, and, like MCC Respectful Conversations, help people to talk about emotionally intense topics in a way that builds empathy and strengthens relationships.
Since before "peacebuilding" was a discipline, faith communities worked at it. Living out God's love has, for some, always included a vocation of conflict management and fostering the greater good. There is a call now for faith leaders to again take up the mantle of peacebuildiers in a unquely necessary time in our social life.
Minnesota Council of Churches Respectful Conversations is partnering with a variety of organizations in the coming years to better equip Christian and other faith leaders with the education, reflection, skills and capacity to help their congregations be makers of peace in their mission fields.
The Peacemakers series is not a cohort with attendance required at each meeting but instead a way for those faith leaders and communities committed to fostering peace and opposing violence to learn, reflect, pray and plan together for how they will be agents of God's love in our state. The focus in each session will be ultimately on the prevention of violence, with skills and information learnt at each one serving to achieve that goal.
While some of our peacebuilding partners are most able to work with Minnesota peacemakers online, some sessions will be in person at the Minnesota Church Center or other locations.
REGISTER BELOW or click here to complete the registration form.
September 20, Noon - 1:30pm (online)
Orientation and Bridging Divides
What is peacemaking? What makes it urgent for us today? Princeton University's Bridging Divides Initiative analyzes violence in communities to determine those spaces where it is disproportionately present - or absent. Some future presenters may also be introduced in this session.
2023: January 26, 1:00pm - 3:00pm (online)
Resetting the Table (Part 1)
This highly interactive character-shaping workshop is the first half of a two-session workshop focused on following meaning questions. Expect to share about some of your own formative experiences.
2023: February 2, 1:00pm - 3:30pm (online)
Resetting the Table (Part 2)
This highly interactive character-shaping workshop is the second half of a two-session series focused on demonstrating understanding. Expect to be in conversation with people with whom you may disagree about something important to you.