Peacemaking during tumultuous times will be a major focus of the virtual conference
by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Ecumenical Advocacy Days is just a few weeks away, but there’s still time to register for the annual conference, which will focus on bringing about a more peaceful world.
“Swords into Plowshares: Achieving Enough for All & Pursuing Peace” is the theme of the April 25-27 conference, which brings together Christian activists and advocates for workshops, worship and plenary sessions on theology and policy. As usual, there also will be a lobby day.
“EAD is a chance for peacemakers to come and learn how to be effective advocates and make their voices heard in the halls of Congress,” said Catherine Gordon, representative for International Issues for the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.
The conference, which will include participation by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and ecumenical partners, takes place at a time when numerous wars and conflicts are causing death and trauma around the world, from the Ukraine to Cameroon.
“As we face an ever-increasing emphasis on military solutions to conflicts, it’s a crucial time for the ecumenical community and Presbyterians to be a voice of the gospel and peacemakers,” Gordon said. “Militarism is affecting the lives of those in the U.S. and abroad, and military spending is taking away resources that could otherwise be put towards feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and elderly, and educating our children.”
The conference theme is rooted in the Book of Micah, where one finds this vision: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more.”
Promotional materials highlight that passage and declare, “We cannot take by force what is intended to be shared. Let us heed Christ’s call and gather as one body to discern how we can re-forge weapons of destruction into tools of growth, cultivate healing throughout God’s Creation, and pursue systems that empower each person to thrive.”
The event’s opening preacher will be Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Interim President and General Secretary for the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. McKenzie, who is the author of multiple books, including “The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps to Move Closer to God,” will speak at 10 a.m. (Eastern) on April 25.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency also will be well represented. Individuals speaking or assisting with workshops include Gordon; the Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program; mission co-worker the Rev. Jed Koball; mission co-worker the Rev. Sarah Henken; and Susan Krehbiel, associate for Migration Accompaniment Ministries with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
OPW will host a time for Presbyterians to gather at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 25, Gordon said.
For more information about the conference or to register, go here.
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