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Berea Hosts ''Peace Fellowship''

Berea College was the site for the annual summer conference this summer for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and attracted several hundred attendees from across the Western Hemisphere. The theme was “As the Powers Fall.”

Many of the activities took place in the Alumni Building and Union Church. There were fun and informative events for children, teens and adults. The annual “peace camp” as it has become known to the younger participants, is a time for “making new friends and renewing old friendships; renewing spiritual and social and mental resources to be able to take up the work again with new energy; and being challenged in new ways, according to Michael Westmoreland-White, a member of the peace fellowship.

Si Kahn, director of Grassroots Leadership, led a two-part workshop on the prison crisis, one of a variety of sessions held at the Draper Building during the conference. “The only community in this country that has any kind of credibility left is the faith community. If we are serious to actually change the nature of jails and the entire justice system, we have got to mobilize the faith community,” he told participants.

Kahn, also a noted folk singer, led music in the daily joint sessions. Other celebrated participants were performing artists Alicia Pagan and Ray Two Crows Wallen; Kentucky writer Wendell Berry; Candadian Vern Ratzlaff, a retired Mennonite minister; dramatist Al Staggs; Elaine Enns, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries coordinator; and author Rita Nakashima Brock.

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