Walking in the Way of Peace - 2012
Eastern District Conference / Franconia Mennonite Conference
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, each of us will be formed by the Gospel of Peace as we grow into unity and maturity in Christ across the boundaries and conflicts that divide us, so that we are all becoming salt and light in every context.
Goal 1: Formed by the Gospel of Peace
Every congregation will engage in Biblical study, absorbing and wrestling with the witness of both Old and New Testaments regarding the nature of peace/shalom, our identity as peacemakers and our worship of the God of peace/shalom.
Goal 2: Growing into unity and maturity in Christ, who breaks down the dividing walls
Every congregation will make an intercultural connection appropriate to that faith community, with the purpose of learning in relationship more of what it means to belong to Christ together in unity which spans boundaries of gender, economic resources, race, ethnicity, national identity, etc.
Goal 3: Becoming salt and light
Growing from the experiences and learning of the first two goals, every congregation will engage in a peace witness which models reconciliation to people outside our Mennonite Church circles.
This resource list, which will be updated frequently throughout 2012, is intended to provide a snapshot of peace education resources that are available for local congregations. However, Biblical peacemaking is way of life, not a one-time education or study program. The Gospel of Peace (Shalom) permeates both Old Testament and New Testament teaching. Peace and evangelism are the heart of the Gospel.
We encourge pastors and congregational leaders to contact us directly about building a peace education program for your congregation, or for small groups or individual members who are open to new opportunities for peacemaking. There will also be Pastors and Leaders breakfast conversations and special peace education events throughout 2012.
- Preaching Peace - includes Peace-oriented Lectionary resources for every Sunday. (There is also an index by scripture text for those who don't use a lectionary.)
- For the 2012 liturgical year, whose gospel lections draw extensively from Mark's gospel, there are two books by Ched Myers that together provide extensive exegesis and contemporary interpretation of Mark's gospel.
Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus examines Mark's gospel in it's historical context; and Who Will Roll Away the Stone? Discipleship Queries for First World Christians
articulates a North American theology of liberation, justice and peace, based on Mark's call to radical discipleship.
- The Radical Nonviolent Witness of Jesus by Ched Meyers (MP3 audio, 70 min. lecture) Bible study on Mark 1:1-3:6. (This lecture was part a Philadelphia Peace Gathering in 2009.)
- Seeking Peace, by Titus Peachey and Linda Geheman Peachey.
This book is a collection true stories of Mennonite people around the world who have embarked on a journey toward peace. These stories struggle with some of the many practical concerns related to their attempts to live their belief in peace. In this collection are more than 70 true stories (not sermons!), some satisfyingly resolved, others considerably open-ended, about ordinary people trying to live peace.
- Evangelist Shane Claiborne has several books that make excellent resources for sermons or group study. However, Shane's books are not indexed by topic or scripture, which leaves it to the pastor or group leader to take careful notes for later reference.
- Sojourners sermon resources (monthly subscription service).
- Sojourners also has an archive of many articles on Peace and Justice themes that are useful for sermons or group discussion.
- Biblical Foundations of Peace and Justice - on-line course (Jan. 31 - May 23, 2012) taught by Mary H. Schertz of AMBS. Cost is $1,434.
- Mark's Call to Discipleship in Sociopolitical and Economic Context, with Ched Myers (Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, 8:45-10:15 pm EST). Myers will discuss Mark 1:14-20 and the real world of first century colonized Palestine which makes phrases such as "I will make you a fisher of people" come dramatically alive. The cost of this 90 minutes webinar is $9.50. Register for the webinar at www.chedmyers.org.
This webinar offers a prelude to Reading Mark 'Politically': A Socio-Literary Approach to the Gospel, an intensive study of Mark (Feb 20-24, 2012) at Bartimaeus Institute (Oak View, CA). Ched Myers will lead an intensive training in how to exegete and exposit the Second Gospel throughout Year B for preachers, teachers, and activists. Myers' approach will, as always, integrate perspectives from "the seminary, the sanctuary and the street."
- Say to This Mountain: Mark's Story of Discipleship, by Ched Myers, Marie Dennis, Joseph Nangle, Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, and Stuart Taylor, is a good text for an extended adult study of Mark's gospel. (A study group using this text could also be coordinated with gospel sermons that follow the Year-B Lectionary).
- Sojourners "Faith & Justice Network" (subscription membership for congregations) includes discussion guides for small group study and Sunday school classes.
- MCUSA/PJSN - Peace Resources
- Thermostat: Peacemaking 101 - DVD with video clips and 100-page study guide for 33 different study units (English and Spanish versions). The units - which can be used separately - include the themes of peacemaking, imagination, allegiance, security, terrorism, camouflage and nonviolence. "Thermostat" is an excellent resource for junior high and senior high ages - but the various units should be chosen carefully to fit the maturity and experience of the youth group.
- Shalom Lifestyles: Whole People, Whole Earth - video curriculum with fifteen topics (Brethren Press, 1991). Excellent for youth discussion on peace & justice topics, but currently available from Menno Media only on VHS (video tape).
- Peace DVD: Especially for Youth - six session DVD and study guide, appropriate for junior high youth. (See Resource Centre to order DVD.)
- What is an Anabaptist Christian? [PDF], by Palmer Becker. (Missio Dei, Number 18, 2nd edition, 2010) from Mennonite Mission Network. Order printed copies from Store.ThirdWayMedia.org.
- Also, see Peace Resources for Youth (MCUSA / PJSN) and note 2.*
The most insideous aspect of racism is its institutional form, which puts people of colar at great disadvantage while it is almost invisible to America's white/Anglo population. For those of us who are not people of color, it is only by acknowledging the privileges that we take for granted that we can begin to address institutional racism and build effective partnerships with people who are not thus privileged.
*Note 1: Resources will be added to some categories later this spring -- or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for recommendations.
*Note 2: Contact us at email@example.com for recommendations that are specific to your community or congregation or topics of interest - or if you need help finding any of the resources listed here. As indicated above, this is not and cannot be a comprehensive resource list. It is only a representative sample of available resources.
Peace & Justice