223rd Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren
San Diego, California — June 28, 2009
While marking its 35th anniversary, On Earth Peace is unveiling a new strategic plan that is directing and prioritizing the organization’s work. For those attending the annual breakfast, this meant more was on the menu than just food and fellowship. Participants were invited to a unique opportunity to provide feedback about peacemaking within the Church of the Brethren and the On Earth Peace agency.
On Earth Peace staff members opened the breakfast with reports on the strategic plan, shifts in their work, and new programs. A vision for Jesus’ followers was shared: “Nourished by God’s power, building strong families, creating healthy congregations, and leading communities toward God’s vision of peace, justice, and abundant life for all people.”
On Earth Peace’s peace education program continues to be committed to developing leadership for peace in each generation, and has developed two new partnership programs: “Kids as Peacemakers,” developed for children as young as five, as an arts-related program; and “Agape-Satyagraha,” which teaches 11-18 year olds the basics of conflict resolution and ways it can be implemented in their lives.
The Ministry of Reconciliation is beginning a visioning process on how best to continue applying Christ’s teachings about conflict with individuals and within congregations.
The peace witness program is promoting the International Day of Prayer for Peace campaign, now in its third year. In this time of economic challenge, the program is providing support for congregations that want to lift a vision of God’s peace before communities impacted by the current economic crisis.
Following the presentation from staff, the denomination’s 2009 Youth Peace Travel Team performed a skit they will use at camps to get youth excited about peace.
Energized by the On Earth Peace message, breakfast participants were given time to provide responses and reflections on how the new strategic plans are relevant to their congregations and ministries. These responses will be reviewed by On Earth Peace staff and board to help determine ways to keep the work exciting, relevant, and meaningful.
–Gimbiya Kettering serves as communications staff for On Earth Peace.
The News Team for the 2009 Annual Conference includes photographers Glenn Riegel, Ken Wenger, Justin Hollenberg, Keith Hollenberg, Kay Guyer; writers Karen Garrett, Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Melissa Troyer, Rich Troyer; staff Becky Ullom and Amy Heckert. Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, editor. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.