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There comes a time in the life of every family, church, or organization, when we disagree with one another.  When we do, it is important to remember that no matter how much we disagree, the manner in which we respond to one another is an important measure of (and reflection of) our ability to see Christ in the Other.  (more…)

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Noonday Prayer for Christian Unity
Northminster Presbyterian Church (Map & Directions)
6717 David Street, Columbia, SC 29203
January 22, 2015
The Rev. Dr. James B. Blassingame, Preaching
President, Baptist Educational & Missionary Convention of SC
 
Service begins at Noon
Followed by a Simple Fellowship Meal
Please register for the meal (no fee) by e-mailing Trudy Bouknight, Administrative Assistant at  sccouncil@sccouncil.net.

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Spring Valley Presbyterian Church

125 Sparkleberry Ln., Columbia, South Carolina

Come to Potts Fellowship Hall

Entrance is at back of building

Church phone number is 803-788-3859

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Breaking News! CLE and CEU Credit has been approved 

for attorneys and licensed professional counselors!  

scroll down for conference topics, schedule, and speaker biographies:

Topic highlights are domestic violence, Africa missions, refugee children in USA, Middle East conflict, making peace in families, rule of law, preventing genocide … timely and relevant!!!!!

TO REGISTER

Fill in this form:

FRIDAY TOPICS

8:30 AM Registration and Coffee

9:00 AM Light Amid Darkness: What Did the Twenthieth Century Teach Us For Prevention of Genocide, and Where Does Peacemaking Fit? (Alexandria Skinner)

10:00 Documentary Film of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Sudan, and panel discussion of restorative justice

11:00 AM Children At The Border: What Are The Legal And Practical Issues With Regard To Undocumented Alien Minors On Our Southern Border?  (Tammy Besherse, One hour of CLE / SW/ LPC CEU anticipated)

12:00 PM Lunch together

1:00 PM Introduction of the Work of Each Speaker: What We Do and Why We Do It

Leah Boyd: Building Peace Through Rule of Law

Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather:  Building peace by building communities

Hugh Hammond:  Building peace through small group dialogue

Julie Owens:   Building peace through training helpers

2:45 PM  World Cafe peacemaking exercise for participants

4:00 PM  Group Sharing and Recap

4:30 Close for Day

SATURDAY 

8:30  Registration and Coffee

12:00 Lunch together

CHOOSE TWO MORNING AND TWO AFTERNOON SMALL GROUP SESSIONS:

Some Spiritual Dimensions of Forgiveness And Reconciliation (Hugh Hammond)

Healing Trauma, Transforming Conflict, And Building  Peace In South Sudan: The Work of RECONCILE, International (Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather)

The Church and Domestic Violence: Scriptures and Ways to Help (Julie Owens, 1 hr CLE anticipated)

Healing Trauma, Transforming Conflict, And Building Peace In Seven Countries In Africa: The Work Of ALARM (African Leadership And Reconciling Ministries) (Leah Boyd)

Use of Compassionate Communication To Build Bridges of Understanding  (Hugh Hammond, 1 HR CLE, LPC CEU anticipated)

Increasing Peace In Africa Through Rule Of Law: Practical Applications of Biblical Principles of Justice (Leah Boyd, 1 HR CLE anticipated)

From Justice to Mercy: Spiritual Aspects of Healing After Trauma (Julie Owens)

Stories of Hope in the Midst of Conflict (Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather)

SATURDAY PLENARY

3:25 Living as a Lamb Among Lions: Applying Biblical Principles of Peacemaking As A Christian in an Increasingly Hostile World  (Asher Din, Moderator, and Panelists)

4:00 PM Closing Worship

SUNDAY

On Sunday, August 17th, for those who wish to hear more,

Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather will be speaking at Forest Lake Presbyterian at 9:00 and 11:00 AM

Leah Boyd will be speaking at McGregor Presbyterian  church at 10:00 AM.

swords to plowshares

August 15th and 16th, 2014

Spring Valley Presbyterian Church

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM each day, Childcare and lunch provided but we need you to pre-register so we know how many to plan for!

REGISTRATION IS FREE BUT TO OFFSET COSTS WE ARE REQUESTING A DONATION OF $25 PER DAY

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather are ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church (USA) .  They work in Yei, South Sudan, with RECONCILE, International, an African-led ministry which engages in peace-building and trauma healing work in South Sudan.

Leah Boyd is an American human rights attorney who works with ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciling Ministries), training African leaders in principles and practices related to Biblical justice.  ALARM is an African-led peace-building and trauma healing ministry which works in seven African countries affected by war and genocide.

Julie Owens is a nationally recognized expert and trainer in the subject of domestic violence.  In a state which ranks as a leader in the USA in domestic violence, Julie will speak not only about what can be done to counteract domestic violence itself, but the process of trauma healing for victims (a process which will have been described during day 1, in the context of the Africa experience).  Julie will help participants learn ways to apply this theoretical understanding of trauma and violence into practical knowledge that can be applied in local ministries and nonprofits, and in their own churches.  Domestic violence advocates will not want to miss this workshop!

Hugh Hammond, MDiv., is a former engineer who has a passion for bringing peace and reconciliation to those torn by conflict in the Holy Land, where he has traveled each of the last three years to do peace-building work with Palestinians and Israelis. Hugh is also a candidate for certification as a trainer in Nonviolent Communication, a method for building compassion pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg, who founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Asher Din  is a Ph.D. Candidate at Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC,  but he is a native of Pakistan.  Asher’s family has been Christian for many generations, living in a predominantly Muslim culture and navigating cross cultural dialogue and peacemaking as part of their everyday lives.

Alexandria Skinner, J.D., works as a mediator for families and churches in South Carolina who seek peaceable resolutions to difficult challenges.

This conference is sponsored by the Peacemaking Committee of Trinity Presbytery.

 

*The art on this page is the “Christ the Peacemaker” stained glass window located at Central Baptist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania, has been used with permission.  The explanation for the art is:

Christ the Peacemaker They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war any more.  Micah 4:3

The window facing Lancaster Avenue represents Central Baptist Church’s ministry of peacemaking and justice-building in the world.  The Light of God descends from heaven, coming through the figure of Christ the Peacemaker.  The light surrounds Christ’s hand and continues down through the sword to create the plowshare.  The bright colors represent the explosive transformation that occurs when peace breaks out in the world.

“To me it is like the phoenix arising from its own ashes symbolizing rejuvenation, continuity, and resurrection.  I used clear glass for the main part of Christ’s body as an invitation to the outside world to come in and know the Peacemaker.”  Lucinda Shaw, artist

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“[W]e know it is possible to love our enemies. Otherwise why would Christ in the Sermon on the Mount ask that we so love? . . .  Are we to make Christ a liar? If we do not think it possible to love our enemies, then we should plainly say Jesus is not the Messiah.”  (Quote from Stanley Hauerwas)

 

Karoly Ferenczy, Sermon on the Mountain (1896)

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Ruins of the old cathedral

 

In November of 1940, the 12th Century Coventry Cathedral was destroyed by German bombs. Rather than respond in hate, the Provost at the time, Richard Howard, encouraged his congregation to respond with faith, hope, and love. A new cross was formed out of charred timbers that had fallen.  A second cross was made from nails found on the site of the ruins, and was hung on the wall.  Construction was begun immediately on the new cathedral.

The decision to forgive and to seek reconciliation led to the foundation of The Community of the Cross of Nails, which now pursues a ministry of peace and reconciliation in troubled areas of the world.

A Litany of Forgiveness is recited every weekday at the Cathedral. It goes as follows:

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
Father Forgive.

The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,

Father Forgive.

The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Father Forgive.

Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,

Father Forgive.

Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,

Father Forgive.

The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,

Father Forgive.

The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Father Forgive.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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Click HERE  to link to a slideshow discussing the concept of satyagraha (translated from Sanskrit by Martin Luther King, Jr. as “truth force”), showing the roots of this concept in the teachings of Jesus, its development by Gandhi, its use by King, and examples of waging peace in the world. 

 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.‘ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:43-48

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