Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s executive director stepping down

The Rev. Emily Brewer came to PPF in 2015, one month following seminary graduation

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Emily Brewer (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship)

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Emily Brewer, the executive director of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, announced Wednesday she will step down at the end of April.

“I joined the staff of PPF in 2015, about a month after I graduated from seminary,” Brewer said in an email announcing her impending departure. “Where some would have seen my idealism as immaturity, PPF celebrated that idealism and helped me hone it. To idealistic people of all ages and stages of life, PPF says, ‘Oh, you think a world without war and violence is possible? So do we. Let’s work together.’”

Brewer said PPF has “shown up in times and places where it mattered the most,” including:

  • Responding to the call and invitation from people experiencing violence at Standing Rock, in Colombia, at the U.S.-Mexico border, in Israel-Palestine and in Puerto Rico
  • Responding to churches seeking to provide sanctuary to people, helping to turn guns into garden tools and “boldly proclaiming that war and militarism are inconsistent with the Gospel of Christ.”
  • Joining coalitions and movements calling for an end to racist and violent policing in the U.S.
  • Partnering with those who call “upon all of us to stop profiting from fossil fuels and start investing our money and lives in sustainable ways of living.”

PPF’s Activist Council has tripled in size over the last seven years, Brewer noted. “What that tells me is that the Church and the world is hungry for what PPF is all about: taking seriously the Gospel call to ‘love your neighbor’ and believing that loving each other means working so that each person can thrive; working for an end to systemic violence and the presence of real peace.”

The Rev. David Ensign (Photo courtesy of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship)

Brewer said it’s hard to step back, “especially in a time of war and escalating threats of nuclear war. The work feels — and is — as urgent as ever.” She said she’s grateful that the Rev. David Ensign, a Virginia-based PC(USA) pastor, writer and musician, will serve as PPF’s interim executive director, beginning in mid-April. “David first connected with PPF when PPF was organizing with other religious groups against the Iraq war,” Brewer said, “and I know his leadership and his interim experience will serve PF well in the coming months.”

“PPF has been working for peace with justice for almost 80 years,” Brewer said, “and I know it will continue boldly living out the truth that nonviolence is the way to peace.”

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