Religious leaders inspiring peace …

Kinnamon, Forbes Open Peace Gathering
With Calls for Unity and Celebration

By Jordan Blevins

January 14, 2008 – Heeding God’s Call: A Gathering on Peace, convened
by the Church of the Brethren, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends, and Mennonite Church USA, opened here
Tuesday, seeking to raise voices, inspire hope, and take action.

than 300 people of faith committed to working for peace in this world
have come together to share in times of worship, hear from speakers and
panels, and work together to bring a message of peace to the global

Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary of the National Council of
Churches, USA, brought greetings of peace from the broader ecumenical

church’s calling is to be a demonstration project of God’s gift of
peace,” Kinnamon said, “and the fact that Christians are so obviously
fragmented and co-opted by the powers of the world is what drives the
ecumenical movement … We are Christians: recipients of the gift of
peace. We are Christians: called to be ambassadors of reconciliation by
the way we live with one another. May it be so, even here, even now.”

The full text of Kinnamon’s address is at

The Rev. James Forbes, former pastor of The Riverside Church in New York, preached at an opening worship service.

Forbes called on delegates to
out blessings and sing praise…acknowledge our need and open our hearts
to receive…and offer ourselves and our gifts to be part of God’s
package of favors to those in need.”

delegates to this  conference, an ecumenical group representing more
than 15 faith communities, will spend the next 4 days with one another
in a combination of worship, plenary sessions, workshops, sharing in
small groups, and panel discussions, and exploring the faith basis of
their peace testimonies. They will raise up current peace work and
witness; and examine how they might better support and engage each
other in ongoing peace work, as well as in creating new opportunities
to witness together for a more peaceful world. 

conference will end Saturday by engaging with the broader faith
community in Philadelphia in a demonstration against gun violence in
the city.

Jordan Blevins is assistant director of the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice program in Washington.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, [email protected]

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