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					Educating the Church in Jesus’ Vision of Peace

Preaching Peace

Preaching Peace Annual Report Year Ending-September 30, 2008 Michael Hardin, Executive Director
Preaching Peace has had an extraordinary first year for a start-up nonprofit organization. Summer 2007 saw our incorporation, formation of a board of directors and initial contacts with the emerging foundation Imitatio, Inc. The promise of annual funding allowed us to raise funds from individual donors to transition. We have also applied for our 501(c)3 and await a determination letter from the IRS. As our primary objective is to “educate the church in Jesus’ vision of peace” utilizing the insights of the mimetic theory, we did some strategic long range planning to develop resources that would fulfill this goal. We hired a contract employee to assist with our web management and we set up a satellite office in Ohio from which our Conference Coordinator volunteers his time Our special thanks respectively for the great work and contributions of Kenton Martin who is giving the site a new look and making it even more user friendly and the Rev. Rick Judy who has developed an extensive list of contacts for Preaching Peace. We have also been beneficiaries of volunteer assistance, from hosts who sponsored our events (too many to list) to supporters who have done video editing (Wyble Studios) and IT work (Bryce Rich and John Kleist). We will continue to nurture our relationship with Imitatio but we will also be aggressive in diversifying our revenue streams, appealing to other grant sources. I cannot imagine Preaching Peace apart from contributions from Imitatio and thank Robert Hamerton-Kelly and Rene Girard for their faith in us and their willingness to support our project as leaders in Imitatio. Since we combine the mimetic theory with various witnesses to peace in the Christian traditions, we continue to seek funding from the many family foundations in the Historic Peace Churches, offering them specific means to help reach their peacemaking goals. We have also begun to develop a group of faithful donors and a line of premiums for their benefit so that they will come back time and again to Preaching Peace to meet their specific teaching needs regarding the Biblical basis for Christian Peacemaking. Our Conferences, One-Day Seminars and Leadership Training Calls will continue to be the highlight of our face-to-face teaching ministry. Our original focus for clergy, offering nonviolent commentary on the lectionary texts, is going to the next level. This fall our team of writers will tackle the three-year commentary on the Epistle texts. Our website averages 10,000 visitors a month. Premium lines will consist of an inter-related series of media: books and adult education DVD courses. We successfully completed our first project on Nonviolent Atonement this past August. Our premium lines are shared everywhere we travel and on the website. Reviews of our books and evaluations from our events confirm the exceptional quality of the peace education we deliver. We are also in conversation with several denominations to count Preaching Peace events as C.E.U.‟s (Continuing Education Units) for their pastors. In short, Preaching Peace is being recognized as one of the premier trainers of the mimetic theory in North American Christian churches. I will mention that there is interest in bringing Preaching Peace to the U.K. in 2009 and Australia in 2010. We are working with our overseas contacts exploring these training possibilities.

It has been important to garner the recognition of some well-known and respected persons this past year who testify to the quality of the work that we have begun. Not only have Rene Girard and many of our friends in the Colloquium on Violence and Religion lauded our work, but denominational leaders have as well. Kate Harvey, head of the American Baptist Ministerium, Jim Foster, Director of the Institute for Christian Spirituality, Gregory Boyd of Woodland Hills Church, Minneapolis, and internationally known speaker Brian McLaren call Preaching Peace „remarkable‟, „inspiring‟ and „cutting edge.‟ There are many moving stories from persons who participated in Preaching Peace events. A Lutheran pastor who attended an NVA whose daughter was murdered the night before said he was able to handle the trauma because of the good news he heard (CNN News). A Seminary Student from upstate New York was near tears when she said “I‟ve been waiting forty years to hear this ever since I was kicked out of my Sunday School class as a child for questioning how God could punish Jesus for our sin.” The editor of a major press said her time with us was “a boundary expanding, spirit soothing fall-in-love-with-God-again experience.” Rene Girard, a featured speaker at our September 2008 Compassionate Eschatology Conference, shared a very positive evaluation of his time with us and again affirmed the work that we have begun. Looking back on all of the speaking engagements we did, the number of seminars we created, books in contract and DVD series we have produced or will be producing, it has been a fantastic first year with a solid strategic plan for growth. 2009 will also be focused on bringing several books to completion (The Church at Peace in a World at War, Compassionate Eschatology, and The Jesus Driven Life. Our goal to promote the mimetic theory among the Christian churches, colleges, universities and seminaries is being accomplished in spades! We are grateful to the Preaching Peace Board for their guidance and oversight. We also thank Bob and Helen Pfeifer of Cloister Tax Services for their dedication and commitment to helping us set up an accounting system and for overseeing our finances. On a personal note I want to acknowledge the support and inspiration of John K. Stoner (formerly of Every Church A Peace Church), his friendship continues to be essential to our work. I also thank my students at Landisville and Akron Mennonite Churches whose constant questions are often the inspiration for new project ideas. Thanks also to the many contributors at Preaching Peace events, our speakers, and to those who write for our website, your contributions have been invaluable. My deepest thanks go to Lorri Hardin, our Board Vicechair and Managing Administrator who oversaw all of our finances, marketing and general administration. She has really worked hard this past year and deserves kudos for seeing things through from A to Z. She has organized our office, purchased equipment & supplies, created all of our promotional aids, functioned as my editor and helped in so many other ways. This has truly been a team effort. What follows is a list of events we produced our first year followed by the projects we have completed or that are forthcoming. Regional Conferences had between 10-14 different engagements, NVA = Nonviolent Atonement Seminar. *Events we attended in order to network with others have an asterisk. Our 2009 calendar is already heavily booked through August.

Preaching Peace Events Calendar Sept 2007-Dec 2008
Date
((2007 Sept 12-14 Sept 23-26 Oct 7-14 Oct 26 Nov 4-11 Nov 15-22 Nov 28 Dec 7-8 2008 Jan 12-16 Jan 19-20 Jan 27-Feb 4 March 13-18 April 1 April 11 May 16 May 21-22 June 12-14 June 18-21 July 1-3 July 12-16 Aug 12-14 Sept 26-27 Oct 11 Nov 7 Nov 12-16 Dec 6 Regional Conference & NVA Retreat: Mimetic Theory Regional Conference & NVA Regional Conference & NVA NVA Seminar NVA Seminar NVA Seminar *Theology & Peace *Envision Conference *COV&R Meeting *Mennonite Interchurch Consultation *Church of the Brethren Annual Meeting On Being a Peace Church Conference Compassionate Eschatology Conference Seminar on Discipleship and Mirror Neurons Lecture at Eastern University on MT Regional Conference & NVA On Being A Peace Church Seminar Parkersburg, WV Perkasie, PA Iowa City, IA Knoxville, TN Rochester, NY Boston, MA Perkasie, PA Baltimore, MD Princeton, NJ Riverside, CA Akron, PA Richmond, VA Grantham, PA San Francisco, CA Lancaster, PA Philadelphia, PA Columbus, OH State College, PA

City
Under the Auspices of Preaching Peace, LLC Lectures on Mimetic Theory Defiance, OH Regional Conference & NVA Youngstown, OH)) Regional Conference NVA Seminar Regional Conference *AAR/COV&R Meeting Lebanon Ministerium Retreat: Mimetic Theory Knoxville, TN Minneapolis, MN Salem/Portland, OR San Diego, CA Lebanon, PA Lancaster, PA

Preaching Peace Projects 2007ff
Project Title Nonviolent Atonement Major Conference Book: Stricken by God? (Eerdmans) One-Day Seminar DVD 10 session course Completion/Implementation project completed January 2007 November 2007 September 2007 August 2008

On Being A Peace Church Major Conference Book: The Church at Peace in a World at War (Cascadia) One-Day Seminar DVD 10 session course Reading the Bible from Below Book Series: Rene Girard & the Christian Tradition (Wipf & Stock) 5-7 volumes projected One-Day Seminar DVD 12 session course Compassionate Eschatology Major Conference Book: Compassionate Eschatology One-Day Seminar DVD 10 session course Book of Peace, Book of Power Major Conference Book: The Bible; Book of Peace, Book of Power One-Day Seminar DVD 10 session course The Jesus Driven Life Book DVD 32 session course Blessed Brutalities: The Religious Origins of American Violence One-Day Seminar DVD 8 session course Romancing the Resurrection: Cultural Evidences for the Risen One One-Day Seminar DVD 8 session course James Alison Lecture Tour (Southeast PA) Mimetic Theory and Pastoral Ministry Consultation

August 2008 October 2009 November 2008 February 2009

May 2009January 2009 April 2009

September 2008 December 2009 January 2009 June 2009

June 2009 June 2010 October 2009 February 2010

April 2010 August 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009

May 2009 July 2009 September 2009 October 2009 (?)

Adult Education DVD Series
Nonviolent Atonement (team) How Jesus Read His Bible (Hardin) Transforming our Minds (Carmody) Rene Girard & the Mimetic Theory (Girard et al) Understanding the Mimetic Theory (Bartlett) Blessed Brutalities (Pahl) Transformative Anthropology (Hardin) On Being a Peace Church (team) Romancing the Resurrection (Bartlett) The Jesus Driven Life (Hardin) Book of Peace, Book of Power (team) August 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 February 2010

Our readers and attendees write…
“Preaching Peace strikes me as a wonderful tool for preachers who need more scriptural, historical and exegetical information as they prepare their sermons.” –Rene Girard, Emeritus Stanford University “Www.PreachingPeace.org is the best web-based introduction to Rene Girard I have found on the Internet. The site's introductory essays lay out the basic lines of Girard's thought, and its relevance to theology and culture, with clarity and insight. As well, the Bible studies and lectionary guides, book reviews and Conference Information make this the perfect place to visit for clergy people, theologians, activists, students and others. Preaching Peace is animated by a prophetic desire for social change and renewal fueled by a deep commitment to liberating Christian witness...an oasis in the desert.” -MarkWallace, Professor Swarthmore College “Thank God for you and your work at Preaching Peace. Well done, good and faithful servants!” -Teresa Stricklen, Professor Pittsburgh Theological Seminary “Girard has helped--as Karl Barth and John Yoder help--many to rediscover the strange new world of the Bible. Indeed, part of that rediscovery involves the surprise that the Gospel frees us from the violence that grips our lives. Preaching Peace wonderfully provides resources for the kind of discussion we so desperately need if we are not to lose hold of the nonviolence of the Gospel.” -Stanley Hauerwas, Professor Duke University “I recommend your Nonviolent Atonement seminar because it is a boundary expanding, spirit soothing, ‟fall in love with God again‟ experience.” -Rebecca Irwin-Diehl, 2nd Baptist Church Germantown, Editor, Judson Press “I am impressed with the scope and quality of what you have been doing. I like what I have seen. Keep up your good work. I‟m going to keep on dropping in on your efforts.” -J.R. Burkholder, Emeritus Goshen College. “I am writing to express my deepest appreciation for the work of Preaching Peace. In my own theological reflection and preparation for preaching you are always –without exception-among the first resources I explore. Preaching Peace is a truly prophetic voice centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ that is both essential and relevant in today‟s world.” -Matthew Staniz, Pastor, Temple Lutheran Church “Thank you for you website. Your reflections (on biblical texts) keep me honest and focused on the gospel of Christ. I have often used quotes from your reflections in my work in Campus Ministry at a nearby university and we used your Nonviolent Stations of the Cross on campus for our Good Friday service this year. My own spiritual life and my preaching would be much poorer without you.” -Julie Morris, Priest, Trinity Episcopal Church “I wanted to write you a note and tell you thanks for the work you are doing via the Preaching Peace website. For years now I have read your lectionary commentaries and have found them extremely helpful, if not life-altering.” -Rev. Dr. John Mann, Scotland

“Your site and other Girardian insights have helped rejuvenate my understanding of Jesus, the Gospel and preaching...in my 37th year of priesthood. Thank you!” -Father Larry Estey “I heard from René this week and he and Martha had nothing but wonderful things to say about the Compassionate Eschatology conference. They said "We were so impressed by the way Michael and Lori organized the symposium and by the way that they lead it. The speakers were first-rate, and the participants were serious, well-informed and dedicated. They came from across the United States and several were from Canada. It was really moving to see so many pastors who are putting their understanding of the mimetic theory into practice." I know you are not in this for the glory, but it's always good to hear words of appreciation. The work you are doing will bear much fruit.” -Suzanne Ross, The Raven Foundation “I really enjoyed my time at the Preaching Peace conference at Messiah College. I had a chance to present a lecture called "Pre-emptive Peacemaking" But even better, I had the chance to hear some top-notch lectures and participate in some truly "generative" dialogue. If you're looking for a good conference to attend - where you'll hear things and think about things that virtually nobody else is addressing - check out one of their conferences. Christians preaching peace ... what a concept!" -Brian McLaren “From [Preaching Peace] I have received a new perspective of God-the God of mercy and compassion by really looking at Jesus‟ purpose and personality.” You have given me excitement of Jesus (evangelical) and concern on social issues (liberal)-a mix that is hard to find today!” -Mennonite Church Member "Thanks very much for the work you are doing. Your focus on the work of René Girard, particularly for evangelical Christianity, is a wonderful service. Girard‟s exposition of the biblical witness to revelation, especially the revelation of Christ as the Innocent Victim whose redemptive work includes exposing the scapegoat mechanism underlying all cultures and human relations, is needed now more than ever in these apocalyptic times. Your development of a theological agenda in which you relate Girard‟s thought to theologians like Barth, Bonhoeffer, and others should be of great appeal to pastors and all those committed to the proclamation of the good news of God‟s peace." -Jim Williams, Former President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion “The Making Peace Conference was wonderfully intense and life-giving. It linked together my early prereflective faith, (with) contemporary thought and theology, and produced a „state of the art‟ faith that is postmodern, ancient and timeless. It was richly challenging…and offered hope that helps us see the world as it is, yet not despair. This Conference really helped me and is worthy of prime time in the academic and church year. “ –Rev Tom Truby “This Conference takes peace to the core of one‟s being. If you will take the time and come willing to invest yourself and trust the facilitators, then you will be challenged, moved and blessed.” -Rev. Mary McKinney “What has touched me the most in class is that God is a nonviolent God and Jesus is our way of peace. This is welcoming, affirming and challenging…Biblical knowledge presented so I can trust the Bible.” -Student, School of Peace Theology

“One of the great contributions of Preaching Peace has been programs that integrate the theological foundations of nonviolence, conflict resolution and peacemaking with the accessibility of lay leadership and pastors to applied nonviolence skills and information.” -Rev. Dave Jehnsen, Churches Supporting Churches; Board Chair, Every Church a Peace Church “Very enlightening, challenging and thought provoking! These are „must‟ seminars for all Christians.” -Robert Moyer “[Preaching Peace is] transformative in my biblical and theological interpretation of peacemaking for leadership in the local congregations.” -Rev. Ben R. Wagener “This Conference presented deep theological ideas, but without scholarly jargon. Lay people, clergy and scholars learned from each other in accessible presentations.” -Andy Alexis-Baker “The [Nonviolent Atonement] Seminar provides the material for building the foundation that is transformational, embracing Jesus‟ way of life.” -Steven Hamilton “[This Conference] was a timely opportunity to experience the nonviolent God in Christ through interaction with other seekers of alternatives to violence and Empire.” -Rev. Daniel Donmoyer “A nice blend of theological, philosophical, biblical and practical insights reminding us of our calling to be people of peace.” -Michael Derstine “Preaching Peace led me to locate and read Girard‟s works – which had not been part of my seminary curriculum – and provided me with a deeper and clearer understanding of the [mimetic theory].” -Rev. Bill Schlesinger “I find that [Preaching Peace] essays are always scholarly, yet accessible, pastoral and incisive, reflecting contemporary sensibilities while soundly aware of tradition.” -Fr. Stephen Concordia, O.S.B. “God‟s gifts to the human race are innumerable and invaluable. This event blew my mind. I cannot thank you enough. You made a difference for me.” -Chris Zook, High School Student “By hard work, faith and boundless commitment [Preaching Peace] has carved out a unique role in the propagation of the mimetic theory and everything this emerging framework of thought means for Christian theology in our time. I would say that more than any single body or agency they have ensured that mimetic theory has entered the world of Protestant thought and church leadership, certainly here is the USA. [Preaching Peace] represents…a highly significant theological and cultural outreach in the present situation in North America and, I believe, beyond.” -Anthony Bartlett, Professor Bexley Hall “The [Compassionate Eschatology] Conference was transforming, it answered so many of the questions I had before I arrived. I can‟t thank you enough for this marvelous experience” -Barbara Jean West England


				
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