Division, racism, violence. They shake our world and make us long for peace. But why does it seem so unattainable and how do people of faith find it?
An international panel of speakers will address the issue of peace at the 2015 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, Nov. 12-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. This year’s conference, “Longing for Peace/Exploring the Heart of God,” will feature three keynote speakers and focus on the spiritual roots and foundations that support the search for peace in the three Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Special music will be provided by The Yuval Ron Ensemble.
The keynote speakers are:
The conference will also include additional sessions, workshops and a panel discussion with the three speakers that will be moderated by Rabbi Phil Bentley of Hendersonville. Space is limited and early registration is recommended. Registration is $120 before Sept. 1 and $145 after Sept. 1. Students may attend for $60. Register at www.lakejunaluska.com/peace or by calling 828.454.6682.
The Peace Conference will also offer live streaming of the three keynote speakers, establish several international sites for small groups to gather and watch portions of the Peace Conference, and issue an invitation to various faith groups, peace fellowships and individuals to join Peace Conference participants leading up to and during the Peace Conference in prayers for world peace and in a renewed emphasis on prayer, meditation and contemplation.
“With the Peace Conference, we feel the importance of joining hands with various segments of the faith communities around the world to advance the work of reconciliation and peace by learning peace making and contemplative practices from the Abrahamic traditions,” said Garland Young, a retired Methodist minister and chair of the coordinating committee for the Peace Conference. “The Peace Conference is always made up of leaders of different faiths, a directive established by the late Wright Spears, whom we call the “grandfather of the Peace Conference,” because he was the one who first brought the idea of a peace conference to his fellow ministers during the time of the Iraqi War.”
Charlene Kammerer, retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, said the 2015 Peace Conference offers a place where leaders of various religions can give witness to alternatives to the division, violence and racism that’s shaking our world today. “In our faith traditions, we all recognize that a relationship with God provides the foundation to become peacemakers in our hurting world and sources of hope,” Kammerer said.
The Lake Junaluska Peace Conference is an ongoing response to God’s call to peacemaking and reconciliation. Affirming the community of Abrahamic faiths, the Peace Conference seeks to work in partnership with Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other religious traditions to advance the work of reconciliation and peace. www.lakejunaluska.com/peace
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center