Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mark Koenig: Peacemaker


In all the publicity about Michael Dowd and the Jesus Seminar, I don't want Rev. Mark Koenig to be left out of the fun.

Mark is the coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. He will visit the Tri-Cities next week, September 8-9.


Our presbytery meeting is on Tuesday at Holston Camp and Mark is going to lead worship and tell us about the peacemaking program of the PC(USA).

Before meeting with these regal reverends and elders, he is going to do a presentation at First Presbyterian of Elizabethton on Monday.

This workshop is not just for Presbyterians. Anyone with a concern for peace in our world should be there!

Here is the schedule:

At five p.m. we have a variety homemade soups, homemade breads, homemade desserts, and homemade hospitality. Everybody welcome. Our peacemaking committee is putting on the dinner.

Then at 5:45, Mark is going to speak about the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. (Michael Dowd leads the evolution workshop at seven). Big night. Hope to see you.

Then on Tuesday, Mark is going to be at the Presbyterian Campus House on the ETSU campus. Mark will talk with students and the wider community about peacemaking. Everyone is invited at 7 p.m.

Mark has been busily blogging at Swords Into Plowshares. He has been talking about nuclear weapons, Darfur, Sudan, 'Publish What You Pay', gun violence, the International Day of Peace, and much, much more. Mark keeps up on what is happening in the world and how peacemakers can make a difference.

This workshop is not just for Presbyterians. Anyone with a concern for peace in our world should be there!

Here is a meditation from Mark on peace:

What image comes to mind when you hear the word peace? Start not with a definition but with a picture. Don't resort to words. Be visual. What do you see in your mind’s eye when you hear the word peace?

A friend of mine, Andy Jacob, wrote about an experience with his first child as an image of peace. Christopher “is lying snuggled in my arms, gently swaying in a rocker in front of a fire, listening to rhythmic gospel music, while putting the finishing touches on a bottle.”

Andy’s image called to mind one of my favorite family pictures. It is from long ago - some twenty-five years. I am sprawled out on the couch, sleeping. I have hair and a dark beard and sprawled out on me, sleeping, is my older son. Peace.

Those images speak to me not because of the absence of conflict - for peace is so much more than that.

There is a sense of wholeness - of well-being - of security - of trust - of right-relatedness - of love - within such images. All of those dimensions are part, I believe, of the peace God intends for us - the peace God gives to us in Jesus Christ - the peace God invites us to live into and share.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word peace?

Who is Mark Koenig? Come and meet him Monday!

This workshop is not just for Presbyterians. Anyone with a concern for peace in our world should be there!

In the meantime, here is a bio:
Mark Koenig has served as co-pastor of churches in Iowa and Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and on the staff of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. He edits (and sometimes writes) study guides on topics related to peace and justice, edits the quarterly newsletter Peace Notes, and provides the content for the Peacemaking Program Web site. He preaches, leads workshops, goes to meetings, and plans events. He writes prayers and the occasional poem. He serves as the coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
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