‘Restorers of Streets to Live In’ – 2012 Peacemaking Conference

July 11-14, 2012 Ghost Ranch Conference Center Abiquiu, New Mexico

A new kind of conference

This conference is different: Peacemakers, we are listening to you and challenged by you! Peacemakers from across the country are invited to the sacred space of Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico, to explore the Kin-dom of God as expressed in Isaiah 58:12, holding fast to our call to be Restorers of Streets to Live in.

This is a conference about restoring and transforming the streets in which we live and mentoring new and younger peacemakers. You will have the opportunity to form and covenant with new communities to continue the work of peace beyond the conference and learn skills in connecting and communicating the work of peacemaking through the use of social media. This is a conference for peacemakers by peacemakers; conference leaders are giving their time to this conference because of their passion and commitment to peace.

We hope you will make the effort to join us for this conference. It will fuel and energize you to continue the work of peace and justice for the long haul.

Our commitments

With continuing commitment to nurture the peacemaking community in the PC(USA), support the livelihood of Ghost Ranch and New Mexico, strive to lower conference fees and work toward responsible stewardship of God’s creation, the Peacemaking Program and the planning team of the 2012 Peacemaking Conference have made intentional choices to:

  • Reserve housing options that reflect an intentional community that chooses to live simply
  • Respond to Ghost Ranch’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by limiting car traffic while at the ranch by providing group transportation* to and from the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) for participants and leaders
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle materials of the conference, and
  • Remember that Peacemaking Offering funds subsidize the entire conference, reducing the cost for all participants so that all wanting to attend are able to attend

We will connect, confess, bless and venture out

At the 2012 Peacemaking Conference, the body of Christ gathered will  …

CONNECT as we explore our call, while encouraging one another in claiming the ministry of peacemaking through contextual Bible study and small group reflections. We are calling the small groups Neighborhoods.

CONFESS who we are and whose we are, what we believe and what we resolve to do as peacemakers, called and claimed by God through daily prayers and worship.

BLESS one another in the sharing and receiving of God’s gifts as peacemakers by learning how to advocate for peace through nonviolence, respectful dialogue, global discipleship, gun violence prevention, ending human trafficking and building peace through moral imagination. We are calling these activities Taking It to the Streets. In addition, we will experience hands-on laboratories we are calling Expressions to broaden our skills in interpreting and telling the stories of peace through social media, photography/video, writing, choir and visual arts.

VENTURE OUT into the world informed by conversations on peacemaking issues and country situations we are calling Briefings, being inspired by screening a video documentary and listening to the journey and reflections of David LaMotte in concert. We venture out as a people who have been equipped, encouraged and emboldened with imagination, vision, wisdom and hope, to be voices, hands and feet in the ongoing work of peacemaking—to be Restorers of Streets to Live in.


Contextual Bible Study

Imagine a Bible study experience that took seriously context, community, critical thought and change! Imagine moving in a Bible study from thought to feeling to action, hearing the voices of the whole community and discerning together what the Spirit is saying to the church. Imagine coming away from a study not only closer to God but also closer to the community and committed to living out your faith in ways that make for peace and the restoration of the streets! Do more than imagine as we study Isaiah 58 as a community of faith!


Taking It to the Streets

Registration selection required. Taking It to the Streets is a two-hour period each afternoon for peacemakers to actively engage in current peacemaking activities of the PC(USA). Use of social media/social communities will be encouraged for growing a movement in your worshiping community to be Restorers of Streets to Live in.

Becoming a “Peace Church”? Led by Roger Powers and Shaheen Amjad-Ali Is the PC(USA) now being called to become a ”peace church,” not simply opposing particular wars but affirming nonviolence as a basic orientation toward conflict abroad, at home and in our everyday lives? How can the PC(USA) hasten the day when humankind no longer considers war an acceptable or inevitable means of resolving conflicts? After nine years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in response to eight presbytery overtures, the 219th General Assembly (2010) initiated a churchwide process to discern new directions for peacemaking and to encourage every Presbyterian to wrestle personally with the nonviolent witness of Jesus Christ. Becoming a “Peace Church” will guide you through the discernment process and enable you to take it back to congregations and mid-councils.

Gun Violence Prevention Led by Cesar Acosta and Maggie Leonard Participants will learn about different types of gun violence and how it affects our communities. We will understand how to explore this issue in congregations, identify the type of violence that needs addressing, find local allies, and discuss a variety of approaches and organizing strategies for engaging communities.=
Human Trafficking
Led by Martha Gee and Nancy Eng MacNeill Human trafficking—modern-day slavery—is a multidimensional threat, one that deprives men, women and children of the most basic of their human rights. From sex trafficking to debt bondage, from the tomato fields to the mining industry, it is a complex phenomenon—lucrative, widespread and growing. Explore how the PC(USA) is partnering with others to address human trafficking through human rights, a victim-centered approach that puts the rights of trafficked persons at the center of all advocacy and assistance efforts. Find out what works, what doesn’t, and how you can be part of a movement for justice for trafficked persons.

Living as Global Disciples: Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Led by Mark Koenig and Ryan Smith What is the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations? Why does the church have this ministry? What does the ministry do? How can Presbyterians interact with the ministry? Explore these questions and more in this workshop. The workshop will include a brief introduction to the United Nations and an overview of how the ministry and other NGOs interact with the United Nations. Learn how the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations advocates for justice and peace in the name of Jesus, guided by the policy of the General Assembly of the PC(USA).    Participants will receive ideas and resources for living as disciples of Jesus in the global neighborhood through worship, advocacy, and action. The Moral Imagination Led by Jay Rock and Sara Lisherness An opportunity for discovery, joint inquiry and reflection on the more intuitive and creative side of peace-building based on the work of John Paul Lederach and Parker Palmer. The Moral Imagination will focus on being attentive, aesthetic, curious, at home, and on what happens as peacemakers live into the questions. Sessions will be more active than passive and will include time to reflect and to use our creative gifts as part of our exploration. Be ready to sing, write, read, walk, eat and talk with one another as part of this exploration!  (The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Peacebuilding, by John Paul Lederach [Oxford University Press, 2005]; andLet Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer)

Respectful Dialogue Initiative Led by Linda LeSourd Lader and J. Herbert Nelson It is a challenge in the church to discuss issues that may be controversial or political. The issue is not whether to talk but how to talk. Experience shows that when we talk about our disagreements, we get deep enough to honestly admit how little we know instead of asserting how much we think we know. Communities that engage in respectful dialogue report positive outcomes on decision-making. The goal of Respectful Dialogue Initiative (RDI) is to train Presbyterians how to lead respectful dialogues on issues in their churches and communities. It is built on biblical principles and John Calvin’s conviction that Christians are called to help shape society through public life. RDI is not a reinvention of the wheel, but builds on the work of the Peacemaking Program through its resource “Seeking to be Faithful:  Guidelines for Presbyterians During Times of Disagreement.” In this election year, it is important for the voice of the faith community to be heard.


No registration selection required. Expressions are one-hour sessions each afternoon of the conference for exploring and providing hands-on experience with different ways to articulate, interpret and share stories of peacemaking through social media, song, writing and visuals. You can spend all of your time in one Expression or experience them all.

Choir Led by Luba Kravchenko The conference choir will explore an eclectic mix of music from a variety of time periods, cultures and traditions. From Iona and Taizé to Africa and Asia, from chant to spirituals, the music we sing will offer a perspective on the universality of the musical language and the common experience of worship through song across time and place. All voices with an eagerness to sing and lead worship are welcome!

Film and Story –  ”Story is as basic to human nature as eating and sleeping. Our life experience has narrative quality. We live life and share our stories.”  (David Rhoads) Led by David Barnhart How can we use the story of our lives and ministries to reflect, heal, raise awareness, facilitate collective action and work toward peace in our communities? We will share the stories of our ministries and explore ways to document those experiences through video and other artistic mediums. Social Media Led by Bruce Reyes-Chow Using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other platforms, the Social Media Team will focus on best practices of social media use and explore the technical aspects of particular services as well as the nuances of what, how and why we share information with the world.  The conference will serve as a “laboratory” for our work and will be a learning event for all levels of comfort and experience in social media. Bring your laptop and any other techno gadgets that you might use for your social media life.
Led by David LaMotte and Shannon Parks-Beck Words and music move and inspire us. When these two creative efforts collide, we access a unique and particular voice in changing the world. Shannon and David will guide participants through practical and emotional challenges to writing for peace and justice. Through guided exercises and instructive examples, participants will explore tools to enrich content, invite inspiration and polish craft. The workshop will focus primarily on writing poetry and will also touch on the more specific topic of songwriting.

Visual Led by Mark Montgomery We are creative beings. What happens when our wildest creativity couples with our greatest hope? We begin to see tangible, visible stories of peace. Join us for a time of reflection, creation, hopefulness and peacemaking. We will use various media, tools and our imaginations to envision, sculpt, paint and create.



One of the most powerful and meaningful tools in peacemaking is learning the stories of others. During the conference we will take time to practice doing the important act of listening to and sharing with one another in groups each evening. Frequently at conferences we become fixated on “learning” and “doing,” forgetting the simple power of “being.” Our hope is that with intentionality we might learn about one another’s lives and passions, to better support one another as each person returns home to make the streets safe for living.

Worship When we stop to thank God, we find ourselves in a community that transcends an individual need and transforms into the working and worshiping body of Christ. Together as peacemakers, as wanderers, as broken and tired individuals, as energy-filled and hopeful people, we join together to receive bread for the journey. Let us worship God!

Briefings Engage in conversations that will explore current peacemaking issues that may have an immediate impact or need attention such as: Israel/Palestine, recent General Assembly actions, homelessness, caring for veterans and their families, etc.  Briefing topics will be announced closer to the time of the conference.

Young Adult Cohorts The Peacemaking Conference is a unique opportunity for young adults (ages 18‒29), to gather with other young adults who are seeking to explore issues and gain skills for social action. As full participants in the conference the Young Adult Cohorts will gather to:

  • Share informal conversations with conference leadership/artists
  • Connect with the peace and justice ministries of the  PC(USA)
  • Explore opportunities that are available to young adults in the denomination
  • Build community around evening campfires to reflect, share stories and make a difference

Special opportunities

Concert with David LaMotte A veteran of 10 CDs and 2,000 concerts in 47 states and on four continents, David has traveled extensively for peace and humanitarian work, from Hebron to Haiti and from Belfast to Bosnia. In 2004, he co-founded PEG Partners, Inc., which supports school and library projects in Guatemala. He continues to lead PEG as a volunteer.

Though he has won numerous songwriting awards, the awards he’s proudest of have to do with

humanitarian and peacemaking work. He was nominated as a “Hero of Humanity” (Heifer Project’s publication World Ark) and named a “Madison World Changer” by his alma mater, James Madison University. In 2008 LaMotte was awarded a Rotary World Peace Fellowship by Rotary International, where he received his master’s degree in Peace Studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and worked with a Gandhian development organization in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. Currently he is on a limited touring schedule while writing a book, rearing a toddler and working with the NC Council of Churches as their Program Associate for Peace. He also recently began a three-year term on the Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Committee for the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee).

Director Screening with David Barnhart Two of David’s documentaries, “Kepulihan: Stories from the Tsunami,” and “Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina 5 Years Later” were broadcast nationally on ABC and NBC and were screened at film festivals across the country and internationally. “Kepulihan: Stories from the Tsunami” also had the distinguished honor of being selected by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site as part of its D.R.E.A.M Film Series (Developing Racial Equality through Art and Music). David is currently developing long-term story initiatives with survivors from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and a project that focuses on the impact of gun violence that will be broadcast by NBC in November of 2012. Pending availability, David has offered to provide a director’s screening of his current projects.

Mercado (or market)  Friday evening brings the works of local artists in the area of northern New Mexico to Ghost Ranch. Meet the artists and purchase handmade pottery, weavings, textiles, jewelry, cards, and other items.

Magic Place Saturday afternoon Magic Place highlights the artistic talents of Ghost Ranch seminar faculty and staff members and offers items for sale.

For momre information: http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/peacemaking/


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