Reflection on the 2012 Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference at Ghost Ranch

Mandala made at Peacemaking Conferenceby Elodie de Bethmann
Intern, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

From the 11th to the 14th of July, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Presbyterian Peacemakers from around the country. At Ghost Ranch, I had the opportunity to partake in contextual Bible study and worship, participate in “Expression” workshops, engage in conversations with my “Neighborhood” group, as well as help lead a training session on Human Trafficking. The conference was a unique experience, through which I have gained valuable skills in becoming proactive in my approach against Human Trafficking and practicing my faith in creative ways. I have also taken away true inspiration from the wonderful people I met there; I am so grateful to have had the chance to work with them and witness the passion they exude. I deeply value the time we shared, learning about their lives as peacemakers and from the paths that led them there.

When I began my internship in June, I had just completed my first year of college. I was uncertain about my interest to engage in Peace and Justice Studies in the long-term. Being at Ghost Ranch was the first time I had ever worked with so many individuals who devote their lives to conflict resolution and peace transformation. Hearing about their work and learning from their experiences settled several of my uncertainties. I feel very fortunate to have had such open conversations about peacemaking and faith at a time where I felt I needed direction. It was an enlightening experience that, I believe, has set down the foundation for what I ultimately pursue.

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