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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with category: Big Tent

July 31, 2013

The Church on Race: A Dialogue

The Church on Race: A Dialogue
A Big Tent 2013 Event

Conversations on the past, present, and future of race relations in the Church and in society in light of the Florida vs. George Zimmerman verdict


Date:  Saturday, August 3rd

Time:  10:00 a.m.—11:30  a.m.

Location: Galt House, Grand Ballroom A


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December 14, 2012

With Thanks to God for the Life and Witness of Cindy Bolbach

Ruling Elder Cindy Bolbach, Moderator of the 119th General AssemblyRuling Elder Cindy Bolbach, Moderator of the 119th General Assembly

I believe we are living through a hinge time for the PC(USA). A hinge time of hope, excitement, and anxiety, all mixed together.  A hinge time when we are realizing that the denominational structure and organization that we built in the 1950s and 1960s might not be the organizational structure we need for an age that some are calling not just post-denominational but post-Christian.

As the PC(USA), we still inhabit a top-down, corporate structure that worked well 50 and 60 years ago, when we were flush with members and with resources. We are no longer flush with members or with resources.  That does not mean, by the way, that I believe us to be deathly ill. I believe that health of any Christian community of faith is measured not by the number of its members, or by how deep its financial pockets are, but by whether it is proclaiming the Gospel authentically.

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July 14, 2011

Bringing Voice to Peacemaking


Lisherness and dove pin

Lisherness talking about a Palestinian crafted olive wood dove.


Sara Lisherness, director of Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry, in her plenary presentation talked about ‘servanthood ‘ as a call to peacemaking.  Peacemaking is not a project to be completed, but a life long ‘vocation.’  

Some years ago, I was talking with someone for whom I have great admiration and she was contemplating  ‘who are the contemporary prophetic voices in peacemaking?  Who are the Robert McAfee Brown’s in the church?’   

Then to her surprise, she realized, ‘it is me, it is my generation’ and the task of stepping up and giving ...

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July 7, 2011

Reflections on the Peacemaking Pre-Conference Workshop

The gathering of Presbyterian peacemakers in Indianapolis got started last week with a pre-conference workshop “Gun Violence, Gospel Values:  Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.”   It was a tough 6 hours, and my thanks to the leaders for that.  The statistics were troubling, and there were plenty of them, grim numbers of which we must not be aware, otherwise we surely wouldn’t accept them.

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July 3, 2011

Big Tent ends, the work continues

The Big Tent is now over.  As I sit in the airport and think back on my time with roughly 1,600 Presbyterians, I can't help but think how strong and vibrant our faith community is.  


I will fly back to New York City to continue our ministry at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.  We will continue our ministry together, knowing that there are millions of Presbyterians around this country and partners around our world praying for our work. 


This next week will bring the creation of a new state in the world, South Sudan.  The Big ...

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