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July 28-31 'Peace Among the Peoples' Conference
prepares to affirm Decade to Overcome Violence

Elkhart, Ind., July 14, 2010 -- The World Council of Churches' Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) was launched in 2001, the year the September 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington led the U.S. and its NATO allies to go go to war against Al Qaeda terrorists and Afghanistan.

The subsequent war against Iraq, and murderous confrontations in Sri Lanka, the Sudan, the Congo and elsewhere, have made the first decade of the 21st century one of history's most violent.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the Decade to Overcome Violence was a failure.

"The goal of the Decade was to strengthen existing efforts and networks for preventing and overcoming violence, as well as inspire the creation of new ones," said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA. "The events that followed 9/11 make those efforts all the more important."

Kinnamon is one of the organizers of "Peace Among the Peoples," a DOV-related ecumenical peace conference aimed at "overcoming the spirit, logic and practice of violence" slated for July 28-31 at Associated Mennonite Bible Seminary here. (Click here to register.)

Participants in the conference expect to play a role in developing the agenda of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation next May in Kingston, Jamaica. The Kingston meeting will be the official culmination of the Decade to Overcome Violence.

"From the very beginning the ecumenical movement has been a peace movement," Kinnamon said. "I hope that this year the churches of North America will recommit to this ecumenical vision of peacemaking."

Speakers and presenters at the “Peace Among the Peoples” conference include:

Paul Alexander, Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice; Andy Alexis-Baker, Marquette University; Gail Allan, United Church of Canada; Rita Nakashima Brock, Faith Voices for the Common Good; Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School; Scott Holland, Bethany Theological Seminary; Richard Hughes, Messiah College; Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Matthew Johnson, Every Church A Peace Church; and Colonel Herm Kaiser, United States Army (Retired).

Also, Itonde Kakoma, Wartburg Theological Seminary; Guillermo Kerber, World Council of Churches; Mary Jo Leddy, Regis College and Romero House Community; Philip LeMasters, McMurray University; Jan Love, Candler School of Theology; Jarrod McKenna, Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand; Brian McLaren, Author of A New Kind of Christianity; Logan Mehl-Laituri, Centurion’s Purse; Rich Meyer, Christian Peacemaker Teams; and Weldon Nisly, Salem Mennonite Church.

Also, Rodney Peterson, Boston Theological Institute; Margaret Pfeil, University of Notre Dame; Dan Philpott, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Gerard Powers, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Ernie Regehr, Project Plowshares; John Rempel, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary; Carol Rose, Christian Peacemakers Teams; Gerald Schlabach, University of St. Thomas; and Tim Seidel, Mennonite Central Committee.

Also, Glen Stassen, Fuller Theological Seminary; André Gingerich Stoner, Mennonite Church USA; Michael Trice, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Craig Watts, Disciples Peace Fellowship; and Kent Yoder, University of Hamburg.

In addition to the National Council of Churches, sponsors of the event are: Bridgefolk; Catholic Peacebuilding Network; Church of the Brethren; Historic Peace Churches - Fellowship of Reconciliation Consultative Committee; Indiana Partners for Christian Unity and Mission; Institute of Church Life at University of Notre Dame; and Institute of Mennonite Studies.

Also, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church; Mennonite Central Committee; Mennonite Church Canada; Mennonite Church USA; Orthodox Peace Fellowship; United Church of Christ; and University of Notre Dame - Department of Africana Studies.                 

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 36 member faith groups -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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