Hope: Next Generation Christian Peacemakers
On Saturday, 15 July 2006, I noted in this blog that, unlike some aging peace & justice organizations, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America was in good shape because of the extraordinarily high quality of leadership from youth and twentysomethings who have been involved in “peace camp” since their childhood. In fact, one amazing aspect of our yearly gatherings (as well as other regional events, friendship tours to global places of conflict, etc.) is their intergenerational character with ages from infancy to old age distributed roughly equally.
http://anabaptist418.blogspot.com/2006/07/were-in-good-hands-young-leaders-of.html for that earlier article.
The picture above is of one of these young leaders, Rachel (“Rae”) Hunter, an experienced teacher (in subjects as varied as high school theatre and middle school science) and published author and poet. Having literally grown up in the BPFNA and herself a long-time member, Rae has often led worship and workshops at “peace camp.” She currently serves as pastor to the BPFNA Board. Deeply rooted in her Baptist heritage, she has also had considerably more ecumenical and interfaith experience than many do at twice her age. A product of an interracial marriage, Rae’s whole life has been one of “border crossings” in pursuit of the in-breaking Rule of God.
As I pass kicking and fighting firmly into the land of Middle Age (when I turn 45 next April, I will no longer be able even to say I am in my EARLY ’40s!!), I am tempted sometimes to despair at the world my generation has left for the next–despite all the best efforts of many. But when I see the quality of young leadership in the next generation of Christian peacemakers and justice seekers like Rae Hunter, my hope revives. There appear to be dark days ahead, but our many Rae Hunters will carry the Light into those dark days.
P.S. Call the White House Comment line again today and explain that an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon is not a contrast to a longterm peace. Press for a ceasefire now for the sake of innocent lives, especially those of children. 202-456-6213
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