Towards A Living Peace Church
The “Living Peace Church” Call
Since the 1935 “Conference of Historic Peace Churches” in Newton, Kansas the Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites have shared the “historic peace church” label. This label served not only as a badge of distinction, but also as a shield of privilege and a form of accommodation with the war programs of the nation. Basically, this label said that these minority faiths were quaint, insignificant, and not a threat to the nation’s war efforts.
With the Annual Conference Statements “Peacemaking: The Calling of God’s People in History” (1991) and “Call For a Living Peace Church” (2003), the Church of the Brethren put the world on notice that the “historic peace churches” would no longer be contained within the walls of privilege and accommodation. These boldly declared our intent for peacemaking to break out and infuse the entire body of believers in a “living peace church.” As we see other denominations and traditions also moving in this direction, we reach out for partnership and unity with all churches – remembering Jesus’ words, “Many that are first shall be last, and many that are last shall be first.”
The noble “Every Church A Peace Church” experiment was an early attempt to embody this “living peace church” vision for all of Jesus’ churches. The new “Living Peace Church” framework and foundation for the On Earth Peace ministry represents another wave of peacebuilding that will keep surging onto the shores of Jesus’ church until it has soaked the entire body of faith with a shared commitment “to live and teach as Jesus lived and taught.”
You can follow our startup progress on the Living Peace Church blog. If you want to ask about how to start a "leavening team" in your local church, contact Bill Scheurer, On Earth Peace Executive Director.
+ Over time, we assemble a comprehensive offering of peacebuilding programs, mostly by working with a wide range of LPC partner providers.
* OEP has primary responsibility for outreach to client congregations and partner providers. Most program content and delivery will come from LPC partner providers, who specialize in their respective fields, with OEP helping to adapt and coordinate their programs for LPC purposes.
= Local churches are the focal points of LPC program design and delivery, while also providing for individual and denominational participation. The LPC strategy also includes small group teams within congregations, and partnerships with peace fellowships, networks, and coalitions.
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