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Presbyterian Peace Fellowship to hold its online General Assembly Peace Breakfast Saturday

Hymn writer the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette to receive PPF’s Peaceseeker Award

by Presbyterian Peace Fellowship | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Zoughbi al Zoughbi will keynote Saturday’s General Assembly Peace Breakfast, held every two years by Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. (Contributed photo)

Where can you hear from a true peacemaker in the Middle East, enjoy cutting-edge music, honor a beloved hymn writer and eat your cereal?

You can do all that and more on Saturday via Zoom at the Peace Breakfast of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Held for every Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly for many decades, the Peace Breakfast will start at 8 a.m. Pacific Time, 9 a.m. Mountain Time, 10 a.m. Central Time and 11 a.m. Eastern Time. It’s strictly BYOB — Bring Your Own Breakfast.

“As PPF marks its 80th year of stirring up good and holy trouble, we’re eager to share with friends far and wide in celebration,” says the Rev. Dr. Laurie Lyter Bright, executive director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, an independent nationwide community of Presbyterians who work on peacemaking concerns. “With all the pain in the world, it seems an odd time to celebrate. Yet we believe the commitment to peace rests in hope that resists, and joy that is too stubborn to be diminished. Whether you’re a commissioner or an advisory delegate or a local Presbyterian, we hope that you will join us.”

The traditional GA Peace Breakfast has adapted for the hybrid needs of General Assembly in 2024. The Zoom event is free. Register at

The keynote speaker at the breakfast is Zoughbi al Zoughbi, the remarkable peacemaker who has been at the heart of the Wi’am Conflict Transformation Center of Bethlehem, on Palestine’s West Bank, since 1984. Zoughbi is a committed leader who has endured as a peacemaker. He loves and challenges his fellow Palestinians to seek peace and to resolve conflict with wisdom and honored traditions. He also brings an expansive view on the roles of women and children as peacemakers.

The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Contributed photo)

Presbyterian hymn writer the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette will receive the Peaceseeker Award for 2024. Given since the first award to Presbyterian Stated Clerk William P. Thompson for his support for conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War, the Peaceseeker Award celebrates peacemakers who lead, serve, inspire and take risks for the Prince of Peace.

Gillette has given the church more than 400 hymns of lament, outrage and mercy; Christmas carols; and new words to older music to inspire action for peace and justice on behalf of all of Creation. From times of gun violence to overcoming discrimination, Carolyn’s hymns offer the words that the church needs, always using familiar hymn music to update the faith, song by song.

A local pastor along with her husband, the Rev. Bruce Gillette, at First Presbyterian Union Church of Owego, New York, Carolyn has been generous in sharing her gifts both in and beyond the church. She has contributed hymns and songs for national celebrations from Habitat for Humanity to the Humane Society of the United States and to congregations as far-flung as Cape Town, South Africa. Carolyn’s hymns appear in more than 20 books, always linked to a scripture reference or to the Lectionary. PPF praises God who gives all good gifts, including the gift to the church of Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.

Matt Black (Contributed photo)

But there’s more! Contemporary music at the Peace Breakfast will be offered by Matt Black, a longtime member of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship community, fresh off the release of his latest album, “A Little Closer.”

Presbyterians are invited to start their General Assembly engines at the Peace Fellowship breakfast on Saturday! Gather as longtime GA followers or for your first time. Gather in the spirit of peacemakers who are spread across time zones and geography. Gather knowing that our many roads to peace lead to the same destination: God’s peace made manifest.

Founded in 1944, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is an independent community of more than 3,200 Presbyterians who believe that Jesus calls the church to help reduce violence, war and exploitation. A nonpartisan group open to all Presbyterians, many PPF members first became involved in peacemaking issues as commissioners and advisory delegates to past General Assemblies. Learn more here.

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