From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
RECORD CROWD USHERS IN PEACEMAKING JUBILEE
05 May 1996 08:38:13
95284 RECORD CROWD USHERS IN PEACEMAKING JUBILEE
by Jerry L. Van Marter
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.--Swaying to the music of renowned Christian songwriters and
performers Jim and Jean Strathdee, a record crowd of some 1,600
Presbyterians launched the Presbyterian Peacemaking Jubilee here Aug. 12.
"This is the largest peacemaking conference in the history of the
said Presbyterian Peacemaking Program coordinator the Rev. Richard Killmer
to the enthusiastic, cheering crowd.
The Rev. Arthur Sundstrom, pastor of Chevy Chase (Md.) Presbyterian
Church and conference director, said "jubilee" marks "a time of
restoration, freedom, peace and celebration." The purpose of jubilee is not
to ignore the omnipresence of conflict in the world, "but to witness to the
many ways God's peace giving is present in the world and in our lives."
Preaching from the book of Micah, opening worship preacher the Rev.
Joseph L. Roberts Jr. urged conference participants to be active int heir
search for peace. "The question is no whether we celebrated the year of
jubilee, but what will we do in the year of jubilee," he said.
Roberts, who succeeded Martin Luther King, Jr., as pastor of Ebenezer
Baptist Church in Atlanta, titled his sermon "Until None Sleep Under the
Bridge." In Atlanta, he noted, "lots of people sleep under bridges and
there can be no peace in Atlanta until we bring all those out from under
the bridges and cross them together."
To illustrated his point, Roberts told a story of the recent Special
Olympics. Several children lined up for a race and shortly after the
start, one eight-year-old competitor fell and began to cry. The other
racers, rather than continuing the race, all stopped and returned to help
their fallen foe. They helped him up, dusted him off, "kissed it where it
hurt," and then hand-in-hand finished the race together.
"The Christian calling," Roberts explained, "is not to try and win all
the time but to help the weak and the injured among us and go on together."
Roberts cited Haiti and south Africa as two places where peaceful
revolutions have held out promise for those oppressed. He praised Jean
Bertrand Aristide of Haiti and Nelson Mandela of South Africa as two
examples of leaders "who follow the path of most resistance."
Quoting Thomas Jefferson, Roberts urged jubilee participants to
remained steadfast in their efforts: "Don't let freedom be lost by
negligence or misunderstanding." After all, he concluded, "rich and poor
stand equal before God and God prays that all will someday meet God
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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