3 As the planning team and leaders gathered for the 2010 Presbyterian Peacemaking Seminar gathered, we were reminded that we do not gather alone. We gather within that great mystery of the Communion of Saints – that mystery that we experience regularly but can never fully describe – the cloud of witnesses – people who live in faith and people who have lived and died in faith – people well known to us and deeply beloved by us and people whom we have never met – people upon whose shoulders we stand – people whom we have met once and now carry within our hearts and souls and minds and spirits forever – people who have been part of the lives of the people we know and the people they know and the people they know, in an interrelated web spanning time and place.

We named aloud, and in silence, some of those who are part of that great Communion. In the tradition of our sisters and brothers in what we call Central America, as each name was named, we responded, "Presente!" We closed, reflecting on those whom we named in silence, those whom we forgot to name, and those whom we overlooked. And again, the response came, "Presente!"

Thanks be to God.

The photo shows some members of the Communion of Saints. It is from the archives of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. The names of those in the picture are not known.

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