“Jesus’ followers are called to peace. When Jesus called them, they found their peace. Jesus is their peace. Now they are not only to have peace, but they are to make peace.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words serve to remind the church that peace is not extraneous to our life together; the Peace of Jesus Christ is our common life. Peace is the call we have received, the gift we have been given, the good news that has been preserved for us in the lives of countless saints.
And yet, violence seems to reign. From the various microaggressions that plague our parishes, to gun violence and domestic abuse that fills our neighborhoods, to the seemingly endless military conflict that now defines the “market-state”-the world of which we are a part is truly more skilled at practicing violence than practicing peace. At this year’s Gathering, we will examine concrete ways to make peace in our churches, neighborhoods, country, and across the globe. For, as Bonhoeffer reminds us, the Peace of Christ must be practiced, or it is no peace at all.