A call to renewed life – 2012 Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference

by Sophie Beal
Intern, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Communion table from the final day at the Peacemaking ConferenceThe Ghost Ranch Peacemaking Conference held in New Mexico July 11th-15th was a transformative experience. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend this conference and to meet the many people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who are committed to making peace around the globe.

The Ghost Ranch conference incorporated new and creative ways to speak about peace and learn from one another what a vision of peace in our world might look like. As a group, we spent three days focused on the Biblical text, Isaiah 58. What we found was that this text gives way to endless questions, insightful discussions, and a far more complex understanding of our own communities as well as our selves. The brokenness apparent in Isaiah 58 became not merely an isolated reality for the ancient Hebrew community of the Bible, but also a sobering reminder of the brokenness of our own communities. However, in this brokenness we found also a call to renewed life—a life rooted in compassion and justice for others as well as our own humility and self-awareness.

The Peacemaking Conference ultimately calls us to look hard at our own lives and empowers us to make real and lasting change for the better—be that through education reform, public policy, grass roots organizing, or story-telling. As a result of this conference, my confidence is reaffirmed in the power of our church to create change by working together and remembering Jesus’ call to love our neighbor and work for justice. For without justice, there can be no peace.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)