by Riley Naylor

rileyI came into the summer ready to impress everyone, and instead I’m sitting here humbled by my experiences and the people I met. My name is Riley Naylor, and I was blessed to work as an intern with Peace Catalyst this summer. I’m a Senior at Bethel University in Minnesota, and I thought I had the right theology, ideas, and training to rock this internship. I was confident that I had what it took, but God had other ideas for my summer, and I’m so thankful He did.

Through this internship, I was able to improve my research skills as well as have conversations with many people about what it takes to run a non-profit. I was able to visit the Golden Islamic Center, and volunteered with Project Worthmore teaching art classes to the Burmese refugee community once a month.

However, what impacted me the most was siting in on Rick Love’s class at Denver Seminary and listening to the debate between him and his students. They were talking about Islam and terrorism, which is a touchy subject under normal circumstances, but some of the adult students were from regions where they had been personally affected by Islamic extremist groups, making the discussion even more personal and heated. However, by the end of the class, everyone was able not necessarily to agree on the points discussed but to understand where the others were coming from. I think this is the most practical aspect of peacemaking that we can practice in our daily lives.

Witnessing these relationships between people who have different points of view and different religions changed in my heart the belief that peace is a lofty idea that is too great to attain. Peace doesn’t have to mean agreeing on the same ideals or morals but striving to understand one another, especially when we don’t agree. As our cities and states become more and more diverse, as our world becomes smaller and easier to navigate, peace is not just a lofty goal but a necessary part of life.

Peace isn’t simply a nice idea. It comes through uncomfortable encounters, tough conversations, and revised expectations. Peace isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is for those who desire to live in a community with people who view life and faith differently. What is holding you, me, and our neighbors back from peace? If we can identify that, we can start making moves towards change, and a great outpouring of new relationships can be built.

What Box Do We Fit In?

September 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

As an evangelical peacemaking organization, we find that people often have a hard time figuring us out. There are several “boxes” people tend to try to fit our work into (interfaith, pacifist, liberal, etc.), so in response to the questions we normally get, in this video Rick Love talks about each of these “boxes” and where we fit.

 

by Rick Love
chris riceChris Rice spent 17 years in Jackson, Mississippi serving in an inner-city neighborhood and, more recently, has spent the last 10 years as Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. He grew up in Seoul, South Korea and is now heading back to facilitate a Northeast Asia Reconciliation Initiative with the Mennonite Central Committee.

I first met Chris in January of 2010 when Jim Mullins and I flew to Duke Divinity School to share with him about the birth of Peace Catalyst. I was impressed with his wisdom and gentleness and noticed that he exuded such peace that he seemed like a bit of a mystic. I liked being around him.

We met again at the Lausanne gathering in Cape Town, South Africa in October of 2010 where he masterfully facilitated the reconciliation track I participated in.

Chris’s three award-winning books are Reconciling All Things (Christianity Today Book Award), the memoir Grace Matters (Publishers Weekly Best Adult Religion Book of 2002), and More Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel (Christianity Today Critic’s Choice Award). In my opinion, Reconciling All Things is one of the best books available on peacemaking.

Chris’s latest interest concerns mission drift and recovering the “faith” in faith-based organizations. He recommends three books:

The Miracle, the Message, the Story: Jean Vanier and L’Arche
by Kathryn Spink
A wonderfully written story of a ministry struggling to keep its identity through thick and thin.

Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism
by David R. Swartz
A history telling a story of evangelical commitment to the least of these

The Ephesian Moment: At a Crossroads in Christian History
by Andrew Walls
Why does diversity matter for growing into the full stature of Christ?

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Most pastors believe that peacemaking should play some significant role in the church. But there seems to be a gap between this belief and the actual practice of peacemaking in most churches. So where does a pastor or Christian leader start? Here are some fundamental peacemaking practices that outline a Bible-sized view of peace. Feel free to share this video with anyone you think would appreciate it.

 

Many Christians, especially missionaries, around the globe have lived under the stress of having dual identities or being “undercover” for Jesus. In this video, Rick Love tells his personal story, what he’s learned about this, and why we at Peace Catalyst place such high value on having one message that makes sense to everyone who listens to us. Listen through to the end – this is good stuff and important for followers of Jesus and peacemakers in every context.

 

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For more Peace Catalyst videos, visit our YouTube channel.