Implementing a CRCNA Synodical
Recommendation of 2006
Presented by Mary Dengerink
April 23, 2009
• True stories of peace
• What is there to learn about peace?
• Is belief in the potential of peacemaking
and peace building a realistic
• Be prepared for change
True Stories of Peace
• Nigeria: “The Crisis” in Takum, 1997 - 2003. A three year Peacemaking
Process began in 2001 and led to the creation of Peace, Justice and
Reconciliation Committees that continue the Peace Process.
Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Committees
Continue the Peace Process.
True Stories of Peace, cont’
Iraq: A US Marine General listened to the
Chaplain and avoided escalation of a village
demonstration into gun violence.
– As told by Chaplain Keizer under the heading: Peace is Never Lost
Learning about Peace
Heeding God’s Call: A Gathering on Peace
Philadelphia, January 2009
Historical Peace Churches, Quaker, Mennonite and Brethren were joined by
Christian peacemakers from 20 other traditions, together with Jewish and
Muslim participants, at Arch Street Friends Meetinghouse
calling us to
HOPE, LAMENT, BE PROPHETIC and ACT
With this ecumenical gathering, united for peace, I recognized more deeply that God’s
redemption through Christ, offers Peace on Earth. That is the cause of my HOPE.
I LAMENT that power used violently does not resolve problems, but causes new problems.
I learned the value of joining with diverse voices who are PROPHETIC for peace in our
I exercised my capacity to ACT, joining advocacy against gun violence on the streets of
It is not enough to say,’We must not wage war’.
It is necessary to love peace and to sacriﬁce
for it. We must concentrate not merely on the
eradication of war, but on the afﬁrmation of
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Peace Building: The preventive
intervention to decrease possibility of
violent conﬂict by actions to increase
communication and collaboration
between participants or groups.
• Peacemaking: Intervention with persons
and groups involved in violent conﬂict to
facilitate alternatives to violence.
• Peace building work includes:
1) Careful assessment of goals
2) Assessment of potential for an intervention
to increase connections or divisions
3) Recognizing community leaders, but also
planning with input from all community groups
4) Encouraging equity between groups
5)Facilitating opportunity for communication
6) Creating plans for future problem
• Peacemaking work includes:
1) Listening to all sides of an issue
2) Respect, Patience, Courage*
3) Attitude of partnering to explore the
meaning of relevant events
4) Stimulating curiosity regarding the ‘other’
5) A proposal to meet the ‘other’
6) Building a common history of the conﬂict’s
origin and progression
7) Agreement to look to the future
Faith, but no Formula
“Traveler, there is no path.
We make the path by walking.”
Supports for Peace Work
• Trauma Healing
• Identity/Worldview Exploration
• Conﬂict Transformation
• Religion/Spirituality & Values
• Humanitarian Assistance & Development
from Peacebuilding Wheel by Barry Hart
We must be ‘Realistic’
Peace building efforts contain conﬂict better
than military action because:
* Peacemaking efforts create less continuing
trauma for communities.
* Peace building efforts assist people to
resolve rather than pass the injustice they
have experienced to the next generations.
* Peace building efforts assist communities to
work for a better future for themselves and
Hope in God’s Promises for Peace.
Quoting a speaker from the Peace Conference:
“Hopefulness, being a prisoner of hope, keeps us in
line with God’s future for the world.”
Dr. Colin Saxton
Peace Learning Will
• Scriptural references to peace will have a
fresh and deeply practical meaning.
• Peace knowledge will inspire reassessment of
our personal relationships and behaviors.
• Conﬁdence in peace alternatives will inspire
our peace building acts.
• Awareness of effectiveness of peace work will
provide another perspective to opinion about
political policy and practice.
An Act of Peace Advocacy
Jews, Muslims and Christians Agree on
This is the headline on a document signed by three Abrahamic communities in
Boston in January of this year:
We… are anguished by the events unfolding in Israel and Gaza. Recognizing the
legitimate needs of all peoples, including all those living in the Middle East, for
dignity, peace, safety and security -- regardless of religion, race,or national
origin -- we issue this joint statement with the hope and belief that our interfaith
voices will be heard clearly, above the din of war.
As guiding principles,*
And the Children Shall Lead Them edited by Bill Lowrey
Blind Trust by Vamik Volkan
Covenant of Peace by Willard M. Swartley
Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf
Peacebuilding in Traumatized Societies edited by Barry Hart
Resolving Identity-Based Conﬂict by Jay Rothman
The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding, Howard Zehr, general
The End of Memory by Miroslav Volf
The Journey Toward Reconciliation by John Paul Lederach
• Alternatives to Violence - www.ATV.org
• CRCNA Ofﬁce of Social Justice - www.crcjustice.org
• Envision Peace Museum - www.envisionpeacemuseum.org
• Every Church a Peace Church - www.ecapc.org
• Acts of Synod 2006: War and Peace Report