Last night, we had a 2nd gathering of the Historic Peace Churches here in Kingston – to talk about what we had heard, what we were taking back, and what our next steps were as people following the Prince of Peace.
There was lots of affirmation for our acceptance and large presence within this ecumenical gathering. In fact, I don’t think a day passed without a member of the Historic Peace Churches on the plenary stage – bringing our voice of pacifism and active nonviolence. It was a powerful thing to witness and see. It was also named that we are a voice that has often been on the side of the ecumenical movement – speaking to it, but not often being heard. It has certainly felt good to be heard.
However, it is more than that for us now. For this ecumenical gathering marks not only an acceptance of the message the peace churches have been preaching, but a new challenge for us in how we approach the gospel of peace – a push and a challenge to not only witness against war and violence, but to better preach what we are for.
Are we willing to hear not only the acceptance of our message of peace by the ecumenical community, but the challenge they bring to us in the midst of their acceptance? Are we ready to more actively seek a just peace – even when it might make us a bit uncomfortable? When it might challenge the standards and the reality that we have gotten used to?
I certainly hope so. It is the way of peace. It is the work of following Jesus. It is the embodiment of another way of living.