The time-honored tradition of New Year's Resolutions is usually directed toward an individual's ambitions, and usually enjoys a short life. By the end of January, many resolutions have been forgotten or gently set aside. Instead of reflecting on personal goals, Patheos has invited contributors to consider some "resolutions" around faith-based practices that could lead to greater peace in 2015.
It's easy to identify behaviors and attitudes that contribute to social, cultural, or political problems, but it's far harder to make realistic and judicious suggestions about how individuals, communities, and even larger social units — denominations, alliances, voluntary associations, etc. — might contribute to peace within families, between adversaries, in the political arena, and even on a global scale. What traditions, practices, rituals, or new ventures would you like to encourage for 2015 that could initiate greater peace in areas of strife?
Best Practices for Peace in 2015
Yitzchok Adlerstein, Orthodox rabbi, Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Most of these group-behavior makeovers require far less willpower and stamina than really showing up at the gym a few times a week.
Khaled A. Beydoun, Assistant Professor of Law, Barry University
That child I encountered in Lebanon in 1987 will live as a lurid reminder in 2015 that instead of turning away from struggle, or pitying those strapped tightly to it, our lives are enriched by seeking out the wisdom and warmth that will come from embracing them.
Adam Chalom, Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism
To increase peace in the world, we need to speak peace, and not peace through victory, but rather peace through understanding and acceptance. To lay the groundwork for this kind of peace, there is one sentence we can all practice saying when it is true.
Cat Chapin-Bishop, Quaker Pagan, blogger
Some of the time, Peace requires us to sign petitions, protest, carry signs, and practice civil disobedience. But all of the time, Peace requires us to live consistently with the values that nurture it, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can begin to release our inner Corgis.
Carole Crumley, Senior Program Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Peace is not something far away, nor is it something that someone else has to make happen. It is already planted in my spiritual heart, a birthright, given as part of my creation in the image of God and awakened through the gift of God’s spirit in Christ.
Holli Emore, Founder and priestess of Osireion and Executive Director of Cherry Hill Seminary
Take time to visit some other religious groups, attend an interfaith event or two, and make some friends whom you might not ever meet if you just stay in your safe private circle.
Adam Ericksen, Director of Education, the Raven Foundation
The biggest problem facing our world is violence in all its forms — physical, spiritual, economic, emotional, and ecological.
Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, Nature spirituality
As we become more frequently centered in Peace, we are better able to manifest more Peace in our relationships with others and be part of collective processes of bringing more Peace into the world.
Marc Gafni, President/CEO, Center for Integral Wisdom
Ignorance is not clueless; it is insightful, but only partially so. Ignorance is to take part of the story and make it into the whole.
L. Elaine Hall, United Methodist pastor
Many Christian communities are terrible at navigating disagreement and difference. In the name of peace, we have become chronic conflict-avoiders. The result is not God's shalom, but rather increasing division.
Anne Howard, Episcopal priest, Preacher-in-Residence at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, California
It’s a stance of humility and of audacity at the same time: we are accountable to one another, dependent upon one another, and only when we see this can we dare to build the kind of community that fosters the common good.
Deonna Kelli Sayed, American Muslim author, blogger
Sometimes, compassion is asking someone to talk; mercy is pausing to listen. This small act feels delicious and rebellious — almost subversive — because we are given little space to practice such things.
Joerg Rieger, Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology, Perkins School of Theology, SMU
Many of us find it counterintuitive to act peaceful when our communities are full of injustice and strife. But what if true peace comes not from merely acting peaceful but rather from fighting what prevents peace?
Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association
Setting aside our interest in arguing doctrine, even for a time, in order to embrace empathy, is vital if we are to see violence and discrimination decrease.
Tim Suttle, Evangelical pastor and author
I know of only one suggestion to make: Worship.
This post is part of a Patheos Public Square on best practices for peace. You can’t make peace if you don’t know what peace is. That much is clear from the daily headlines. I can’t think of a better “best practice for peace” than to reframe our lives around a more accurate view of what [Read More...]
Patheos invites contributors to consider some “resolutions” around faith-based practices that could lead to greater peace in 2015. I cannot speak for everyone, but I will speak for myself. Here are my resolutions to improve peace that I will take on in 2015. I believe that if we, as individuals, resolve to do these things, collectively, that will bring peace wherever it can be brought.