Presentations, workshops and panel discussions examining violence in all its forms in American society, with a hard look at what can be done, are the elements of a special Episcopal Church gathering: Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Episcopal Gathering to Challenge the Epidemic of Violence.
Bishops, clergy and laity from throughout the Episcopal Church are invited to gather April 9 – 11 at the Reed Center and Sheraton in Oklahoma City, OK (Diocese of Oklahoma).
“As Christians, as Americans, as leaders we need to recognize violence in our society, and renew our commitment to the Gospel,” noted Bishop Ed Konieczny, Diocese of Oklahoma. “It’s our responsibility and our calling to make peace in a world of violence.”
On Wednesday, the program begins with dinner and opening plenary presentations by Bishop Konieczny on Why Are We Here, and Bishop Eugene Sutton (Diocese of Maryland) on The Theology of Violence and Peace.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is expected to briefly greet the assembly on Thursday.
Thursday will be a full day of program with plenary sessions including a panel highlighting unique Episcopal responses to violence, intentional community conversations, workshops and an opportunity for participants to organize their own working-group/workshop sessions.
Among the 19 workshops:
Becoming Radical: How to Teach Non-Violence to the Church: the Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis, faith-based organizational consultant
Laws Save Lives: How the faith community can make them happen: Vincent DeMarco, National Coordinator, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence
The Contemplative Life and Non-violence: Brother James Michael Dowd
Welcoming Communities: Preventative Medicine and Antidote to the Epidemic of Violence: Allison Duvall, Program Manager for Church Relations and Co- Sponsorship, Episcopal Migration Ministries
Liturgy after Christendom: the Rev. Paul Fromberg, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, CA; Charles Rotramel, Chief Executive Officer of Houston revision; the Rev. Matthew Russell, Duke Divinity School
Orphans of Justice: The Generational Cycle of Crime and Incarceration: Lindsay Fry-Geier, MHR, Executive Director of New Hope and Judy Gann, Executive Director Emeritus of New Hope
Respecting the Dignity of Those Impacted by Intimate Partner Violence: Robin Hammeal-Urban, Canon for Mission Integrity and Training, Diocese of Connecticut, and the Rev. Sarah Shofstall, St. Barnabas Church, Bay Village, OH, Diocese of Ohio.
Peace, Pentecost and the Pew: the Rev. Karen Hunter, Grace Church, Nampa ID, Diocese of Idaho
Heeding God's Call – Mobilizing the Faithful to End Gun Violence: Bryan Miller, Executive Director of Heeding God's Call
How to Lobby Effectively for Legislative Change: the Rev. Allison Liles, Executive Director of Episcopal Peace Fellowship and Shannon Berndt, Membership Services Coordinator, Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Talking Peace: Learning and Telling Biblical Stories of Peace: the Rev. Dina McMullin Ferguson, Los Angeles, CA
Building a Community for All: How can churches welcome the stranger?: Charles Rotramel, Chief Executive Officer of Houston revision; the Rev. Matthew Russell, Duke Divinity School
Inspiring Mission: Bronwyn Clark Skov, Missioner for Youth Ministries, and Wendy Johnson, partner in Inspiring Mission
The panel discussion, Episcopal Responses to Violence, will highlight the unique and varied ways that the Episcopal Church is responding to violence and working to change the culture of violence. Panelists include: Alex Baumgarten, Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations; Brother James Dowd; Matthew Ellis, National Episcopal Health Ministries; Kay Collier McLaughlin, author, Diocese of Lexington; Julia McMahaon, B-PEACE for Jorge from the Diocese of Massachusetts.
On Friday, the conference will feature worship, intentional community conversations, and workshop opportunities in the morning. In the afternoon, the Conference will visit the Oklahoma City Memorial. Dinner will be held at the cathedral of the Diocese of Oklahoma followed by Eucharist with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaching.
Registration is available here
Event information here
Participants need to make their own lodging reservations as they are not part of the conference registration. A special conference rate of $109 has been secured with the Sheraton here. Group name for the convention rate is “Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace.”
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The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org