Two key events take place this weekend that celebrate and affirm the place of faith, nonviolence and resistance in Christian peacemaking.
Reclaiming Gospel Nonviolence is a conference held in Perth, Scotland, exploring the outcomes of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative Rome 2016 gathering on nonviolence and just peace. To explore and deepen the themes participants will hear from Fr John Dear, author and witness for peace and nonviolence who took part in the Rome gathering and Lucas Johnson, secretary of International FoR, engaged in active nonviolence. Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi and Executive member of the CNI will also lead workshops and planning sessions. The conference is ecumenical and organised by For, J&P Scotland, the Church of Scotland, the Anglican Pacifists , the Scottish Episcopal Church and Pax Christi. The gathering will be held at St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull, Perth fro 14 – 16 July.
In London a new Faith and Resistance movement will be launched at Friends House on 15 July .
Over fifty Christians, who have pledged to take nonviolent direct action for the sake of justice and peace, have gained the support of Thomas McMahon, Bishop Emeritus of Brentwood. The activists, of all denominations and from all parts of the country, campaign on issues of justice, peace and climate change, and consider nonviolent direct action to be an unavoidable consequence of following Jesus’ teaching today.
In a statement to be read out on Saturday, Thomas McMahon says,
‘I have long believed that when the Gospel loses its prophetic element it has lost its cutting edge. A prophet is very much God’s person who is prepared to challenge in his name even though uncomfortable. They are not usually popular people and certainly disturb our conscience. There are many ways of giving prophetic witness and non violent direct action can be one of them.’