Peace Advocacy in the Western Plains

Published on Oct 18th, 2017 by wpd-office | 0
Conference logo by Connie Rhodes

As Joanna was working on The Shepherd’s Voice, she asked me to write an article about the position of peace advocacy in the Western Plains District. Joanna informed me that George Eisele was the Peace and Justice Coordinator for “years” in the district. He eventually suggested to Joanna that she might take over for him, but as she was not quite ready at that time she suggested that Paul Cesare of First Central CoB be invited to this position.  In 2008 the Witness Commission asked Paul if he would be willing to serve in this ministry, which he did with great gusto from 2008-2010! When he decided to step down because of other obligations, Joanna became the Peace and Justice Coordinator for the district since she had already been serving as the Decade to Overcome Violence coordinator (2001-2009). Joanna stated that George Eisele was a great inspiration to her to continue educating others on peace and justice issues. George often went into schools to counteract the military presence for recruiting and was oftentimes treated poorly. He is currently a member of First Central CoB in Kansas City.

George Eisele


George Eisele

 

 

 

All of these former volunteers were working to encourage and facilitate others in bringing peace into their lives, their congregations, their communities and the world. Each of these persons has a passion for peace and volunteered to be a receptacle through which ideas could flow to all in the district. I was asked to take the position of Peace Coordinator for the district at the 2016 District Conference. I’m not sure I have any special talent in this area, but I do have strong feelings about Christ’s call to peace for all of us. When I was district moderator in 2014 I felt a strong urging from the spirit to base my theme for the conference around peace – thus the theme “Pursuing Peace”. This idea – the pursuit of peace – is a challenge to each of us, especially within the political and social climate of the present. I only know that it is important to seek out resources that guide us into action for peace, to spend time in specific prayer for peace, and to spend time by ourselves contemplating how to bring peace into our own lives and souls. I have found the On Earth Peace website to be a good resource, as well as trying to read articles and books from authors who focus on contemplation and prayer.

From the Brethren.org website on peace:

“The Church of the Brethren seeks to become a living peace church. Christians are called by God to witness to the gospel of peace with such intensity that nations repent and history is changed. Less than a radical witness can only lead us to accept idols of materialism, blind nationalism, the glorification of military strength, dependence on technological solutions for human problems, and personal and national security at the expense of justice.”

“The Church of the Brethren believes “that war or any participation in war is wrong and incompatible with the spirit, example and teachings of Jesus Christ”.”

“We completely dissent from this increasingly militaristic worldview and we instead publicly witness to Christ’s peace because we remain “convinced that good citizens in a good society must work out a better way than war to resolve international conflict.” (1970 Statement on War). “Our commitment to form partnerships in ecumenical and interfaith contexts and to work to find creative, non-violent solutions to the world’s problems is just another way we witness to the transformative power of Christ’s peace.”

 

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in this position.

“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”  Psalm 34:14

 

Blessings,

Terri Torres, peace coordinator
territorres52@hotmail.com
Cell:  620-960-0523

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