Sixth Annual Family Peace Camp Is Held in Florida

Donald Miller presents at Historic Peace Church conference in Latin America in 2010
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Donald Miller (right) was one of the presenters at the Historic Peace Church conference in Latin America in December 2010. The conference was one of several held on different continents over the course of the Decade to Overcome Violence to bring together representatives of the peace churches.

About 35 campers came together on Labor Day weekend at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. Quakers, Catholics, and Brethren from six congregations met with Donald E. Miller of Richmond, Ind., to hear stories from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where Christians face violent threats to human life.

The Action for Peace Team of Atlantic Southeast District and Camp Ithiel co-sponsored this Sixth Annual Family Peace Camp, providing a rich experience for peacemakers young and old.

The theme for the weekend was “Decade to Overcome Violence,” a program of the World Council of Churches that led to peace conferences of the Historic Peace Churches being held on several continents between 2000 and 2010–skillfully coordinated with help from Miller, professor emeritus at Bethany Theological Seminary and a former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren.

His clear, inspiring sessions raised challenging questions: Does commitment to peace make a difference? How do peacemakers address the principalities of power? What does a peace person or group do with a violent adversary? What about the victims? Is there really a “Just War”? What does “Just Peace” look like?

The camp also gave participants opportunities to sing, play, pray, and explore new ways to be peacemakers. Miller brought his clarinet. Other musicians joined in on recorder, mandolin, and banjo, teaming with a participant who sang and played guitar. Someone else played an original number on piano, composing as he played. Sisters invented a stately “trust dance.”

— Merle Crouse provided this report.