Archives for May 2012

Video: Sally Harr & the Somali Bantu

Working with Muslim refugees in Phoenix is a powerful opportunity for peacemaking and for promoting the peace of our city. We're continuing to work with the Somali Bantu community in Phoenix to put on multiple-times-weekly English and citizenship classes, and we're so thankful for all the volunteers who make it possible. We couldn't do this work without our incredible and faithful volunteers, so today we'd like to share the video story of Sally Harr, who has been invaluable to our work with the Somali Bantu.

Popcorn Guide: Todd Deatheradge

What should we make of the Arab Spring? How should we view these revolutions as Americans, as followers of Jesus, or as people who want peace? Todd Deatherage, co-founder of the Telos Group and former staff member for the Bush Administration, provides some insight and understanding to these events. As someone who has worked extensively in the Middle East, he shares his thoughts about the role of Americans and American evangelicals in this movement.

Global Neighbors & God's Story

Peace Catalyst's Jim Mullins has just finished putting together this ebook study on what the Bible has to say about culture. We're thrilled to have this fantastic resource to point people to, and we highly recommend it for all of our Jesus-following friends who want to know more about how to respond to diversity, how to obey Jesus's command to love our neighbor in a globalized world, and how to respectfully communicate what we believe.

Popcorn Guide: Jim Mullins

Can you be peacemaker without being a politician, religious leader, or wealthy philanthropist? Can average people have any real impact for peace? Jim Mullins, a co-founder of Peace Catalyst International and the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, promotes the idea of "carrot cake peacemaking" and encourages people to be creative with the resources around them and their own strengths in order to build peace.

Popcorn Guide: Mustafa Akyol

Mustafa Akyol, a well-known Turkish journalist, discusses the difference between the Islamic faith and local traditional practices. In this compelling TED talk, Akyol asserts that traditions change and vary between regions, countries, communities, and are often shaped by globalization and other global activity. Although some practices aren't necessarily found in Islamic text, they can become the predominant way society understands the Islamic faith. Sadly, this can lead to stereotypes and suspicions.

The Heart of Peacemaking

"There are too many angry peacemakers!" bemoaned a friend of mine during an Evangelical Peacemaking Summit. Everyone laughed, because we all realized the irony of it. Sometimes those who wrestle with injustice and seek peace don't embody the very message they bring. They have the right beliefs and the right actions, but not the right affections. Something is wrong in their hearts.

Popcorn Guide: Jeremy Courtney

Jeremy Courtney, executive director and cofounder of Preemptive Love Coalition, speaks about living as an American in Iraq and pursuing a lifestyle of preemptive love. He says, "violence unmakes the world," but "preemptive love unmakes violence. Preemptive Love remakes the world through healing." This philosophy of preemptive love has led Jeremy, and the staff of Preemptive Love, to work in partnership with Iraqis to eradicate the backlog of children who need heart surgery in Iraq. This video is filled with inspiring stories of peace, healing, and hope coming out of Iraq.

A Funny Thing Happened at the Mosque...

One important part of what we do with Peace Catalyst is introducing Christians to Muslims, so that they can build friendships and learn from each other. With this goal in mind, a couple of weeks ago, Martin and I met a group of Christian friends at a local mosque. We observed the prayer time and toured the facility. We enjoyed our visit; and as we were leaving, the leaders there invited us to a special event that would include a dinner, special speakers, and a Muslim comedian. We had no idea what that even meant-a Muslim comedian-at the mosque?? We were intrigued, so last Friday night we went to check it out.

Popcorn Guide: Dr. Salim Munayer

Dr. Salim Munayer is the Director of Musalaha, an organization working on the process of reconciliation in Israel and Palestine. He speaks on the importance of having a robust theology of reconciliation instead of the incomplete theologies that lead to exclusive support of either Israel or Palestine. He identifies the tendency of fundamentalist Christians to support Israel, mainline Christians to support Palestine, and shows how a deep theology of reconciliation will lead to a desire for the flourishing of both communities.