The week before Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC to be a part of the Evangelicals for Peace consultation. This two-day series of meetings involved fifty special invitees involved in various facets of peacemaking. Our focus was on Syria as a case study for a host of challenges, including war, terrorism, and immigration. The first day we met at Capitol Hill in the Cannon House Office Building. The event began with some thoughts on US Syria policy presented by Congressman James McGovern from Massachusetts. The rest of the day included panel presentations and discussion related to why evangelicals should care and be engaged in the challenges of global conflict. The evening of the first day, and the entire second day were held at Bread for the World, just a few blocks away from Capitol Hill.
The second day gave us another opportunity to continue our discussions. Panel discussions and interactions touched on countering violent extremism, Christian action in serving the afflicted on the ground around the world, religious freedom issues, and organizing evangelicals for action in these areas.
I was privileged to be a part of this event. It included some of the leading evangelicals from around the world involved in peacemaking. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, was there, and he gave a great presentation on the evening of our first day. Representatives of other organizations included World Vision, World Relief, King's College, Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding, Global Immersion Project, Peace Catalyst, Sojourners, and many other organizations. I attended represented both the Multi-faith Matters grant project as one of our team outcomes sharing how the stories of the local church in positive multi-faith engagement can play a part, as well as my role with the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. Bob Roberts of NorthWood Church was also there, and he and I participated in a podcast interview for The Bridge Initiative of Georgetown University. Bob is also a part of our grant team.
I think this consultation was worthwhile. An organization like Evangelicals for Peace (EfP) is needed as a focal point to assist the efforts of many individuals and organizations involved in various facets of peacemaking. This gave me a great opportunity to meet several people I've only interacted with by email or Facebook, and to network with many others. I hope to follow up with EfP in one of their ongoing action groups.