Yesterday morning Sarah White called an open meeting for peacemakers to gather and dialogue (and eat delicious food!). I am not officially on our Circle of Peacemakers compassion team but I follow their movements, subscribe to the listserv (contact [email protected]), and show up for as many actions and open dialogues as I can. They are thoughtfully engaging Christ’s call to be peacemakers and leading us to get in the mix.
We were getting into the problems of our bloated military budget and the removed nature of some of our actions around the world. Scott Clinton participated in the monthly protest at the Horsham Drone Command center and encouraged us to get there.
Blew, owner of Franny Lou’s Porch Coffeeshop, contributed this to the dialogue: “War hurts both the killer and those that are killed. It also affects generations. The United States keeps the ghettos flourishing so they can guarantee people in the battlefield. They go to those that are impoverished and offer a “way out” of poverty, of that space… One thing that came up in our peacemakers gathering this morning was coming up with ways to encourage other healthier ways for ‘getting out.'”
I appreciate Blew’s ability to connect a far away problem with the problems in our own city. She chases issues down to an executable action in our real lives. We need Jesus to help us love the people right around us, and to not succumb to the apathy that swallows us up when problems seem to far away, or too broad. We have more power to be peacemakers than we realize. Jesus grows our capacity as we make more space for peacemaking, for love, for action.
Some of what Circle of Hope discerned God calling us to this season has to do with making even more safe spaces. More good businesses, more obvious hospitality in our Sunday meetings, more “about Circle of Hope” gatherings, and more cells. It is so inspiring to connect all these dots and understand more about the potential for not just new spiritual lives in Christ as people find us, but also new kinds of lives, new kinds of work, new kinds of leadership and opportunity. This weekend on Saturday I hosted a brunch gathering of all the cell leaders at 2007 Frankford Ave., Nicole and Kent hosted an an About Circle of Hope brunch on Sunday, and Sunday night Kristen Snow and Becca DeWhitt hosted a 4:30 gathering with cookies and coffee before our meeting. New people showed up at all of them! Our city is full of people who are hungry, looking for safe spaces to be who we were made to be, to be at peace, and to make real peace and reconcile with the whole earth.
Our peacemakers pray and think and show up and share everything they’ve got. Every day we each get opportunities to be peacemakers, and I’m especially thinking about all of the family gatherings that will be happening this week right after a surprising election season. If you are not too worn out from the 2 year barrage of facts and fiction that came out of the campaigning, consider making peace around the dinner tables. Think of the dedicated peacemakers among us who are praying for peace in you, your relationships, and your whole family. Draw some courage from their dedication, and that of Jesus who treasures you, your Uncle Jimbo, Aunt Doris, and all the cousins.
–Martha Grace, writing