Forty-five leaders and influencers in peacebuilding will come together at Seattle University, hosted by Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry, on April 17-18.? These representatives were selected by a unique planning and implementation team which has created this "Christian Peace Circle". The leaders joining the conversation come from every public expression of Christian identity in the United States, including from the Catholic, Orthodox, Historic Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal and further members of the Christian family. All are active in the arenas of media and publishing, human rights organizations, academia, public policy and more. Short bios of a selection of participants, below.
The Christian Peace Circle is an effort to create a community in a postmodern world for Christian unity around the specific issue of peace, proactively responding to matters of national and international turmoil or violence. Dr. Michael Trice, a member of the planning and implementation team as well as the School's Assistant Dean for Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue noted: "Leaders engaging this Christian Peace Circle gathering meet at a time of urgency in the 21st century for the voices of consensus in peacebuilding today. ?This meeting is one way to meet that urgency."?
The Christian Peace Circle's planning and implementation team formed in the summer of 2010, and originated from a conversation between leaders in various communities about the future of the Christian voice for unity and peace in the United States. The planning and implementation team includes: Marie Dennis (Director of Pax Christi International), Andre Gingerich Stoner (Ecumenical Officer for the Mennonite Church, USA), Dr. Michael Trice (Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Assistant Dean for Ecumenical & Interreligious Dialogue), and Reverend Michael Livingston (National Poverty Advisor for the National Council of Churches of Christ).
Stay tuned for more information following this event!
Bios, selection of participants (in alphabetical order):
Paul Alexander (Ph.D, Baylor) is professor of social ethics at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University and co-president-elect of Evangelicals for Social Action. He co-founded Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice and authored Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God. His other books include Christ at the Checkpoint and Pentecostals & Nonviolence: Reclaiming a Heritage. Paul is a Fellow in the Christian Leadership Initiative in the Shalom Hartman Institute/American Jewish Committee in Jerusalem. He has delivered keynote addresses related to human rights, peacemaking, and justice in The Hague, Netherlands; Pune, India; and Bethlehem, Palestine.
Carroll Baltimore is the 19th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.; Senior Pastor of International Community Baptist Churches, USA /Philippines; and President of C.A.B. Outreach Ministries, Inc. with 96% of donations is used for the needs of people.? He has traveled to six continents, 40 countries, led 71 global missions, and planted over 30 global churches.? He leads in global social justice, education, poverty, civil and human rights, and believes that we can alleviate cultural and religious barriers through diverse collaborations.? He is requested for senate testimonies and strategic dialogues concerning hate crimes, gun violence, torture victims, climate justice, and peace in the Middle East.? Dr. Baltimore has been honored by the President of the United States for his service to his community.
Merwyn De Mello
De Mello has transitioned from a Co-Director to a reservist position with Christian Peacemaker teams (CPT).?? He grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and Mumbai, India.? In Japan, he worked as an immigrant rights advocate and community organizer to change policy for asylum seekers.? In Tanzania, he co-coordinated projects in 13 refugee camps on the Tanzania-Rwanda-Burundi borders and developed community education programs on advocacy and peacebuilding.? At the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance in Zimbabwe, he designed and taught courses in Transitional Justice and Trauma Healing, Peacebuilding.? De Mello was a Maryknoll lay minister in Zimbabwe and provided coordination for peacebuilding strategy development in Harare.? More recently, in Mumbai, he coordinated programs for promoting honesty, transparency, and accountability in governance.? De Mello is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite U w/ a MA in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding. ?He is a community organizer and designs and facilitates trainings on conflict resolution, simple living, popular education, and interfaith and intercultural relations, for peacemakers, faith-based groups, organizations, and communities.
Marie Dennis is co-president of Pax Christi International, the global Catholic peace movement, a position she shares with Bishop Kevin Dowling from South Africa.? She is also a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. Until recently, Marie was director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. She worked for Maryknoll from 1989 to 2012. Marie holds a masters degree in moral theology from Washington Theological Union and honorary doctorates from Trinity Washington University and Alvernia University.? She is author or co-author of seven books, including Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings,? St. Francis and the Foolishness of God and Diversity of Vocations.
Marie now serves on the national board of JustFaith Ministries; the steering committee of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network; and as a contributing editor to Sojourners magazine. She has previously served on the White House Task Force on Global Poverty and Development; the advisory committee of Orbis Books; and the boards of the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, the International Resource Center, the Washington Office on Africa and the Jubilee USA Network.
Marie M. Fortune
Marie Fortune is a graduate of Yale Divinity School. She is a pastor, educator, and author as well as a practicing ethicist and theologian. Marie is a minister in the United Church of Christ and founded FaithTrust Institute in 1977. Today FaithTrust Institute is a multifaith, multicultural organization in the U.S. providing religious communities and advocates with training, consultation and educational materials to address the faith aspects of abuse. Her books include Sexual Violence: the Sin Revisited (Pilgrim Press, Cleveland), Keeping the Faith: Guidance for Christian Women Facing Abuse (Harper SanFrancisco), Is Nothing Sacred? ?(Pilgrim Press, Cleveland), Love Does No Harm: Sexual Ethics for the Rest of Us (Continuum, New York).
Bishop Gumbleton of Detroit, Michigan is a retired auxiliary bishop of the Detroit archdiocese, and a leading voice for peace, justice, and civil rights in the United States.? A noted speaker and writer, his columns appear regularly in the National Catholic Reporter.? Bishop Gumbleton is founding President of Pax Christi USA, the American Catholic peace movement and is a former pastor of St. Leo?s parish in the inner city of Detroit.? Bishop Gumbleton is also a founder and former president of Bread for the World from 1976 ? 84, and is the co-founder of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.? He has been a board member of the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, New Ways Ministry, Witness for Peace, and Fellowship of Reconciliation.? He is a co-author of the 1983 U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference Pastoral Letter, "The Challenge of Peace."
With peace and justice issues being a central concern as long as she can remember, Evelyn have been blessed to work in a variety of venues that allowed her to live out that concern.
This includes working on issues of poverty, hunger and homelessness through the Waterbury (CT) Area Council of Churches; issues of retributive and restorative justice through the Maine Council of Churches; and a variety of peace and justice issues through the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, including time in Liberia facilitating Conflict Transformation trainings before their 2011 elections.
Nick worked as a diplomat in South Africa, Ghana, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia and speaks both Korean and Indonesian-Malay fluently.?? After twenty five years a US diplomat, Nick Mele retired to pursue peace outside of government.? He has worked as a nonviolence trainer for Pax Christi USA,?as a founding staff member for the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and as the Pax Christi representative to the Inter-Religious Conference on Article 9, an international group working to reduce militarism and armaments in the Asia-Pacific region.? Nick has served as director of communications for the Nonviolent Peaceforce and helped design its staff structure and its pilot project in Sri Lanka--both were subsequently modified as lessons were learned.?? Nick contributes to the Pax Christi USA blog and writes on foreign affairs, nonviolence and other justice issues for a variety of publications.? He currently serves on the National Council of Pax Christi USA.? His particular interests are disarmament, especially nuclear abolition, Northeast Asia, and US foreign and security policies.
Jeanette Rodriguez is a professor at Seattle University and teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Women Studies, and the graduate School of Theology and Ministry. Rodriguez is the author of several books and articles concentrated in the areas of U.S. Hispanic theology, theologies of liberation, peacebuilding, and genocide studies. Her works include Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment Among Mexican American Women; Stories We Live; co-author with Dr. Ted Fortier of Cultural Memory: Resistance, Faith and Identity; and co-editor with Dr. Maria Pilar Aquino and Dr. Daisy Machado of A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology. She has served as board member for the Academy of Hispanic Theologians in the United States, and as Vice Chair for Pax Christi USA. Presently she is on the board of the NCR. Rodriguez holds a Ph. D. in Religion and the Personality Sciences from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.
Elizabeth Soto Albrecht
Elizabeth Soto Albrecht is moderator-elect of Mennonite Church USA. Elizabeth is coordinator of field education at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Associate Chaplain at Lancaster General Hospital. She is an ordained pastor and has served on the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA for two years. She is the author of two recent books, Seek Peace and Pursue It: Women, Faith and Family Care (Faith & Life Resources, Mennonite Publishing Network, 2010) and Family Violence: Reclaiming a Theology of Nonviolence (Orbis Books, 2008). In addition to study at AMBS, Elizabeth has earned a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco (Calif.) Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in religion from the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico and a Bachelor?s degree in Health Education from the Universidad de Puerto Rico.