Resource offers conflict transformation tools

Conflict is a normal part of life. It arises in our workplaces, in our churches and with our families. To help people learn to work through divisive issues, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. has produced a new adult Sunday school curriculum, Peaceful Practices: A guide to healthy communication in conflict. It invites churchgoers to follow Jesus’ call to peacemaking through dialogue with…

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Military service from a Mennonite perspective

Picture this scene: Three Mennonite pastors, two of whom are military veterans, sit down for a discussion of Mennonites and the military. This scenario may sound unlikely, but it’s actually a description of the latest episode of the Ohio Conference Cast podcast. In this podcast episode, hosts Corben Weaver Boshart and Ramon Lianez talk with Lucas Johnson, pastor of Valley…

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Peacebuilding institute offering online courses

The Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) at Eastern Mennonite University will be conducting its May and June courses online this year, due to uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic. SPI is offering courses in the areas of trauma awareness, restora­tive and social justice, leadership and management, and conflict transformation skills. For more information, see https://emu.edu/spi.

Peace Center plans online workshops

Update: Please note that the date for Healthy Congregations has been changed to Jan. 30. Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC) is offering two of its workshops, Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches and Healthy Congregations, online during January. Both workshops will take place on Zoom. Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches will take place Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. ET to 3:30 p.m.…

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Peace center moves its courses to Zoom

For the rest of 2020 Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will hold all its scheduled training events remotely via Zoom rather than in person. Scheduled training events include Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (Aug. 3-7), Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches (July 18), Healthy Congregations (July 21), and Breaking Free: Finding Resilience in an Era of Collective Trauma (July 16…

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Easter – now what?

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By Dick Barrett, Conference Minister This past Sunday we celebrated Easter in a way far different than most of us have celebrated Easter in the past. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we couldn’t celebrate it together in our churches with all the pomp which we normally do. Most of us had to celebrate in a much more subdued manner in…

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A time for prayer

We find ourselves in a time of great divisiveness, both in America and in many places around the world. We find ourselves in a time where the United States and Iran are on the brink of war. This is a time for us Christians to unite and pray for peace: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but…

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Course offers congregations tools for engaging conflict

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) — For six weeks each year, Betty Pries, Ph.D., a conflict management specialist based in Waterloo, Ontario, leads an online short course for AMBS as a sessional instructor. In the course, Transforming Congregational Conflict and Communication, Pries and her students draw on biblical, theological, practical and spiritual sources in examining difficult experiences that pastors and…

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A peace church?

By Dick Barrett Conference Minister This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:12-14 (ESV)…

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Congregations encouraged to apply for Spread the Peace Grants

To encourage congregations and conferences to “spread the peace” in and beyond Mennonite Church USA, the Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Mission Network has small start-up and sustaining grants available. Funds will be given to those meeting the following criteria and as funding allows: To Mennonite congregations or conferences for projects based in the United States. For church…

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Bluffton peace lecture to tell story of MJ Sharp

BLUFFTON, Ohio — John E. Sharp will present “Changing the World One Life at a Time: The MJ Sharp Story” at 11 a.m. on March 26 in Yoder Recital Hall at Bluffton University. Sharp will reflect on the life of his son MJ Sharp who died in his prime as a peacebuilder in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On March…

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God is doing a new thing in Central America

By Dan King Instead of a luxury cruise to some tropical paradise this year, consider an “Anabaptist Church Tour” in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras this fall. Charles Geiser will be leading this tour Oct. 19-30, and it will highlight what Anabaptist churches in the region are doing. Experience firsthand and up close how God’s Spirit is working among Anabaptist believers…

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Stories from Tanzania – seeking peace and dealing with difficult issues

“We have been praying for you [Mennonite Church USA],” says Bishop Amos Muhagachi, a leader in the Tanzanian Mennonite Church who is currently studying at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. In this episode of the Ohio Conference Cast, hosts Bill Seymour and Thomas Dunn talk with Bishop Amos Muhagachi about his experiences with seeking peace on the national level…

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Peacebuilding institute offers variety of courses

Registration is now open for the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. SPI 2018 offers two seven-day sessions and two five-day sessions, each with several courses running at the same time. Participants can take one course per session. Courses can be taken for professional skills training or academic credit. Courses are open to all people interested…

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MWC Peace Sunday worship materials are now available

Mennonite World Conference (MWC) is encouraging congregations to celebrate Peace Sunday on Sept. 24. The theme for Peace Sunday in 2017 is “A  Renewed Peace Church Builds Bridges.” This theme picks up on two elements. The first builds on the Renewal 2027 process which MWC has embarked on. Second, in light of the rising nationalisms around the world, which separates…

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