“Israel-Palestine and the Pursuit of Peace: Stories, History, and Reflections on a Year Lived in Jerusalem”–A Plowshares Peace Talk

You’re invited to the next Plowshares Peace Talk on Monday (November 12) at 7 p.m. As usual, we’ll meet at the Weaver-Swartz home at 510 Talbott Dr. in Wilmore. The topic is “Israel-Palestine and the Pursuit of Peace: Stories, History, and Reflections on a Year Lived in Jerusalem.”

Our guest will be Aaron Woods, a doctoral student studying the Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. Aaron spent a year teaching history and peace at a Christian school primarily attended by Palestinian Muslims in an Israeli-controlled area of Jerusalem. He recently sent a short survey to his former colleagues to in turn give to their high school students about their life, goals, what they like to do outside school, but also what they want Americans to know, what they think peace looks like, and how the conflict has directly impacted them. He’s collected 172 responses and will share them with us next Monday. Please come hear Aaron share the voices of young Palestinian Muslims and describe ways we can listen and learn more. I think you’ll find this fascinating.




“Peace Within”–a Plowshares peace talk

Dear friends,

You’re invited to a Plowshares peace talk next Tuesday, October 23, at 7 p.m. Our speaker, Kevin Bellew, associate dean of wellness at Asbury University, will be speaking on “Peace Within: Nonviolent Communication with Ourselves.” More specifically, he’ll lead us in some experiential exercises and address how critical, aggressive, and even violent thinking can lead us to places of insecurity—as well as limit our ability to be truly present with others.

As usual, we’ll meet at the Weaver Swartz home (510 Talbott Dr. in Wilmore). We’ll have lots of room and plenty of hot drinks; hope to see you next Tuesday!




“Art and Social Justice”–a Plowshares peace club event

You are invited to the next Plowshares peace club event to be held next Tuesday, February 27, at 7 p.m. Linda Stratford, professor of art history at Asbury University, will be presenting on “Art and Social Justice,” specifically on how visual art practice and the practices of the Christian church have both long served as agents of social transformation. Dr. Stratford will discuss how themes of prophetic power, social justice, and principled dissent informed the work of African American artist Jacob Lawrence (d. 2000).

The event will be held at the Swartz home (510 Talbott Dr. in Wilmore). We’ll have snacks and hot drinks ready to accompany good conversation.

More on Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

Dear friends,

We had a nice showing of about 25 people for Plowshares on Monday night. For those who want to learn more about techniques of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Joel Klepac recommends the following resources:

Stay tuned for more events . . .


Plowshares event on nonviolent communication

You’re invited to the next Plowshares peace club event at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Monday, October 30). Our guest is Joel Klepac, who will be speaking on how to use principles of nonviolent communication to empower people to engage in difficult conversations with empathy and honesty. You will learn how to increase agility in conflict, enhance ability to engage in authentic encounters with others, and engage in relationships involving power differentials. These techniques have been developed by Marshall Rosenberg and were inspired by principles of nonviolence developed by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.

Joel is a licensed marriage and family therapist. He spent nine years with Word Made Flesh working with marginalized youth in Romania and three years working in community mental health in Kentucky. He now works at Centre College in student counseling services.

As usual, come to the Swartz residence at 510 Talbott Dr. in Wilmore. We’ll have hot drinks and apple cake on hand as we learn more about how to pursue peace in a violent world.



Plowshares event with Tony Hall on global hunger

I’m excited to begin our sixth year of the Plowshares peace club. For those of you new to the area, Plowshares is a group that discusses issues of peace and justice. We have participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Freedom Day March in Lexington. We’ve had conversations and speakers on topics as varied as Congolese refugees, Christian participation in war, peaceful interpersonal communication, environmental sustainability, peaceful business practices, and more.

Our first meeting of the semester, held in conjunction with Asbury University, will be held next Monday, September 25, at 5:30 p.m. in the Kinlaw Library board room (that’s on the second floor). Our speaker will be Tony Hall, a former congressperson from Ohio who holds a longtime passion for and expertise on the issue of global hunger. He is the author of Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man’s Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, and People of Faith Are Joining Forces to Help the Hungry, the Poor, and the Oppressed (2007) and has served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Learning from the Majority World

Philip Jenkins writes, “If you want to think of the average Christian in the world today, then think of, perhaps, a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a favela [in Brazil].”

Consider, then, the following blog post that highlights “18 Latin American Female Theologians You Should Know About.”

Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst to speak on the gospel in global contextsSee especially the paragraph on Ruth Padilla DeBorst, a terrific person we’ve had the privilege of hosting in our home:

Ruth Padilla DeBorst is a Colombian Protestant theologian serving as provost of the Centro de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI) in Costa Rica. She holds a B.Ed. from Lenguas Vivas “Juan Ramón Fernández” in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School; and a Ph.D. in Missiology and Social Ethics from Boston University. She is a leading voice on misión integral, and for several years, she has been involved with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and the Latin American Theological Fellowship. Dr. Padilla DeBorst has authored various articles and book chapters, including “An Integral Transformation Approach,” in The Mission of the Church: Five Views in Conversation (2016), and “Songs of Hope Out of a Crying Land: An Overview of Contemporary Latin American Theology,” in Global Theology in Evangelical Perspective: Exploring the Contextual Nature of Theology and Mission (2012). She also co-authored Mission as Transformation: Learning from Catalysts (2013), with David Cranston.