|Photo by Regina Holmes|
|The Ministers of Reconciliation Team was introduced to the 2012 Annual Conference during the Sunday business session. Ministry of Reconciliation program coordinator Leslie Frye was at the podium to explain the expanded MoR presence to the delegate body.|
This year the officers of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference invited On Earth Peace to expand its Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) presence. The 2012 Conference took place in St. Louis, Mo., on July 7-11. The expanded presence included the entire Conference, not just the business sessions.
Identified by yellow lanyards and “Ministers of Reconciliation” tags, a team of trained volunteers was available throughout the Exhibit Hall and other Conference venues during the day and evening. They could be reached by calling a special telephone number and also could be contacted via the On Earth Peace booth and the Conference Office.
Like the MoR observers who have served during Annual Conference business sessions for over 20 years, members of the Ministers of Reconciliation Team were available to listen, help make sense of the proceedings, be a peaceful presence in tense situations, and mediate conflict, facilitate communication, and help navigate misunderstandings. They received training to respond appropriately in the event anyone was being threatened or harmed, whether verbally, emotionally, or physically.
The team was active throughout Conference and members report that interactions were overwhelmingly positive.
As On Earth Peace prepares a report for the Annual Conference officers to help in planning for next year, we welcome feedback. Please send impressions, reflections, and/or suggestions, including what worked well or what could be improved. Send responses as soon as possible–ideally within the next week–to Ministry of Reconciliation program coordinator Leslie Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-755-3940.
— Leslie Frye is Ministry of Reconciliation program coordinator for On Earth Peace.