Welcome to Peace Camp!
Ledayne McLeese Polaski, conference planner, welcomed attendees to the 21st annual summer conference (‘peace camp’) of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. To her left is Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian, legendary veteran of the civil rights movement and other campaigns of nonviolent work for justice and peace. I know Dr. Vivian through our mutual work in Every Church a Peace Church and was privileged to introduce him as keynote speaker on 10 July and to present him with the Bill Moore Lifetime of Peacemaking Award on 13 July 2006. Now in his ’70s, C.T.’s speeches are no longer quite as “linear” as they once were, but he remains an inspiring hero of mine because he has been through so much and has always remained strong in his faith and true to his convictions. I strive for my Christian discipleship to be just a tiny bit of his. C.T.’s ailing wife, Octavia Vivian, herself a veteran nonviolent warrior, has just written a biography of her friend, the late Coretta Scott King–who, unfortunately, did not live long enough to read it. O God, please raise up for us new Martin and Coretta Kings, new C.T. and Octavia Vivians! If ever we needed such leaders, it surely is now.
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