eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – November 2007


eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – November 2007

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Monthly news and commentary on biblical peacemaking

November 2007

In This Issue:

• Peacemaking and Thanksgiving: They Go Together!

• When the Holidays Aren’t Holly or Jolly

• Around the World in (Roughly) 80 days

• In the News…

• Peacemaking Teams

• Testimony of the Month

Peacemaking Church Resource Set

A comprehensive approach to building a Culture of Peace–it’s the next generation of peacemaking materials for churches. $199.00              more info

Upcoming Event Schedule:
• December 7, Midlothian, VA – Conflict Coaching• January 18-19, Oviedo, FL Mediation Training
 • January 19-22, Anchorage, AK – Peacemaker Seminar
• January 18 through February 11, Salem, OR Peacemaker Seminar(DVD series on Monday evenings)• February 14, Phoenix, AZ Pastors Conference• February 29-March 1, Corvallis, OR Peacemaker Seminar

More information, registration, or complete listing of upcoming events


Peacemaking and Thanksgiving: They Go Together!

It’s a bit of a tradition to include Colossians 3:15 in the eNews that comes out closest to Thanksgiving: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” The apostle Paul makes a clear and intimate connection between peace and thankfulness here. Have you ever meditated on this connection? Do peace and gratitude go together in your mind?

Paul uses an interesting word here (the only time it is used in the New Testament) when he exhorts us to let the peace of Christ “rule” in our hearts. The original sense of the word “rule” was that of the role of an umpire. In sports, an umpire is the administrator of the game, making sure rules are not broken and order is maintained, and making key decisions as to what happened on a certain play. In the same way, the peace of Christ is to be the administrator of our lives. It will govern the decisions we make. It will keep us from “breaking rules.” It will maintain order in our churches. And when any situation is in question, the peace of Christ will make the final call. So a peacemaker is one whose heart is truly “umpired” by peace–not just any peace, but the peace of Christ.

After emphasizing why the peace of Christ is to reign in our hearts (because we are members of one body who are called to peace), Paul then adds, “And be thankful.” The idea of being thankful is much more than an afterthought–it is intimately connected with the peace he just discussed. This peace of Christ is a grand and glorious gift from God, and we are to be thankful for it. We should consider it as precious to us. By recognizing its value and being openly grateful for it, we have even more motivation to both make and keep peace. A thankful church is not likely to be a conflicted church. Yes, thankful people demonstrate the reconciling peace of Christ ruling in their hearts.

So among all the other things you gave thanks for as you gathered this Thanksgiving–the blessings of the past year and God’s goodness to you–we hope that you paused to give thanks for the peace of Christ. And may it rule in your hearts throughout this coming holiday season.

When the Holidays Aren’t Holly or Jolly

If your Thanksgiving was actually more stressful than restful, perhaps you will be encouraged by this online article by Tara Barthel. Here’s a quote to give you a taste:

“According to the catalogs and TV commercials, the holidays are supposed to be filled with joy, music, laughter, and love–happy people doing happy things. For many of us, however, the holiday season is often one of stress, grief, and conflict. Instead of “Thanksgiving gratitude” and “glad tidings of great joy,” we find ourselves miserable and angry over small matters (“Who spilled on the velvet tablecloth? Mrs. Critical will be here any moment–what will she think?”). And we catch ourselves pasting on a fake grin as we seethe over yet another sarcastic comment from a relative (“Oh, don’t be so sensitive! I was only kidding”).

As we walk through the clamor of the holidays, our relationships may reflect a “peace” as weak and flimsy as a sheet of thin gift-wrapping paper from the dollar store. How can we get past the faade of fake holiday happiness and truly wrap this season in a blanket of grace, joy, and love?”

Around the World in (Roughly) 80 days

It’s been a busy fall for Peacemaker Ministries staff members and other friends who have been traveling around the world to share the ministry of reconciliation. God is doing great things in all corners of the world, and we’d love to tell you more about it.

  • Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries, addressed an influential group of seminary leaders in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Peacemakers from more than a dozen countries–lawyers, pastors, lay people and cross-cultural workers–attended the Peacemaker Conference in Charlotte, NC.
  • Bob Barrett spent three weeks working with a mission organization in the Philippines.
  • Vice President of International Ministries Chip Zimmer traveled to Manila as the Philippines Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) launched its Peace Builders ministry.
  • A group from Peacemaker Ministries traveled to Ecuador to teach a group of attorneys within the Latin American Christian Lawyers’ Network.
  • Exciting work continues in the peacemaking ministries established in Korea and Australia.

You’ll hear much more about these activities in the next Peace on Earth e-newsletter–if you haven’t subscribed, sign up today! You won’t want to miss these informative updates, as well as a helpful article on the most common conflicts experienced by short-term mission teams.

In The News…

Are you happy in your job? Time Magazine recently published a study on job satisfaction, and it was actually a little surprising how generally dissatisfied Americans tend to be in their work. But do you know what job ranked #1, with 67 percent affirming that they are “very happy” in their job? Clergy! The next highest group wasn’t even close. And at the very bottom of the list? Gas station attendants.

Now it’s hard to say what that really means (i.e., who exactly are identified as clergy), but perhaps it reflects the genuine satisfaction gained from knowing your job is a calling from God. But how would your pastor answer this question? Would he be part of the one-third that isn’t very happy? Is he so beat down with the conflict and stress of his job that he’d much rather be doing something else–anything else? (The statistics we’ve seen paint a less rosy picture for pastors than this study indicates. See Strike the Shepherd by Ken Sande for a discussion of what most pastors face).

So let’s all try to have our pastors be part of the two-thirds who are very happy in their job–that they would know they are loved and appreciated, and that there would be no other job and no other church where they would rather serve. (And be nice to gas station attendants. Any day you meet them, they are probably having a hard day.)

Peacemaking Teams

One of the key concepts in the new Peacemaking Church materials is peacemaking teams. A peacemaking team is a group of mature Christians who sense God’s call on their lives to help their church on its journey toward developing a true culture of peace. In nearly every church where peacemaking has taken root and had a long-term impact on that church, there’s a group of people that stands behind the effort. They are the ones who “own” it, and they are the ones with the passion for maintaining it. Without a team in place, peacemaking will tend to fizzle and fade within a church.

If your church already has an existing peacemaking team, that’s great! You might be interested in some of the specific tools contained in the Peacemaking Team materials. But if your church does not have a team, take a look at the Peacemaking Church Resource Set (available for a limited time at $199)–the creation of a peacemaking team is a key outcome of this comprehensive effort to bring peacemaking into your church and keep it going. For much more information on inspiring, teaching, and embedding peacemaking in your church, visit the Peacemaking Church section of the website.

Testimony of the Month

Sometimes, we think of peacemaking as something that “somebody else” needs to hear about. But God wants it to start in your own heart. Read the following testimony to discover how it demonstrates this truth.“A co-worker and I have had an unusual relationship–outside of work, we get along great, but at work, it is a different story. There is tension, disagreement, and a general sense of frustration and underlying anger. I once told my husband, ‘I can’t help it. Every time she walks in the office, I get defensive and I put up a wall. I don’t want to work with her.’ And yet we both work at a church.

“I didn’t attend the Peacemaker Conference to help me personally–I came to learn how to teach it to our short-term teams! How ridiculous is that? Of course, God had other ideas. He worked in me and opened my eyes. He gave me tools to reconcile this relationship. I came home and this co-worker wanted to meet with me. It seems God had been at work in her as well. She did not want our difficult relationship to ruin what God was doing in the ministry.

“We met just four days after the conference. We spoke to each other from the heart and in a true spirit of humility. God worked a miracle. I firmly believe attending the Peacemaker Conference was a part of his plan all along. Thank you very much for what you do and for being committed to bringing peace so others can know Jesus. God bless you.”

Portland, OR

Peacemaker Ministries  P.O. Box 81130 Billings, Montana 59108 (406)256-1583 http://peacemaker.net

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Posted on

March 4, 2015