2006 Conference Overview
Sponsored by Methodist United for Peace with Justice (MPUWJ), the Conference on “Building a Wesleyan Theology of Peace for the 21st Century” took place in San Francisco, California from September 28 to October 1, 2006. The host congregation, Temple United Methodist Church in San Francisco was cosponsor. The conference was organized by Howard W. Hallman, chair, MUPWJ, and Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, pastor, Temple UMC.
The purpose of the conference was to bring together church leaders, seminarians, peace practitioners, local clergy, and lay people to sit together and think prayerfully about a Wesleyan theology of peace. The goal was not to stretch our faith to fit our ideology but rather to go deeply into our Wesleyan tradition and to emerge prayerfully with a theology of peace that we can walk with in this new century. As a framework, the conference used the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.
Approximately 90 persons participated, including United Methodist bishops, clergy, laity, and seminary professors. The following persons provided leadership for worship and discussion groups:
Apostles of Nonviolence. Mubarak Awad, Nonviolence International and Arun Gandhi, M.K. Gandhi Institute.
United Methodist Bishops. Bishop Roy Sano, Bishop Beverly Shamana, Bishop Forrest Stith, Bishop C. Dale White.
Seminary Faculty. Dean Kevin Burke, SJ, Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley; Prof. Richard Hays, Duke Divinity School; Prof. Albert Hernandez, Iliff School of Theology; Prof. Barry Penn Hollar, Shenandoah University; Prof. Diane Lobody, Methodist Theological School in Ohio; Prof. D. Stephen Long, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Prof. J. Steven O’Malley, Asbury Theological Seminary; Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, Pacific School of Theology; Prof. Douglas Powe, Saint Paul School of Theology.
Clergy and Laity. Rev. Greg Bergquist, Pastor, Santa Rosa United Methodist Church; Rev. Dr. Richard Deats, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Rev. Carlee L. Hallman, Bethesda UMC, Bethesda, MD; Howard W. Hallman, Methodists United for Peace with Justice; Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, Temple UMC, San Francisco. Rev. Kelvin Sauls, UM General Board of Discipleship; Rev. Dante Tangonan, Pastor, Gevena Avenue UMC, San Francisco; Rev. Elizabeth Tapia, The Philippines; Rev. Brenda Vaca, Temple UMC, San Francisco.
A reporting team under the leadership of Richard Deats included Joyce Georgieff and Jim Hipkins from the MUPWJ Board of Directors, Rev. Bruce Pettit, UM San Francisco District, and David Wildman, UM General Board of Global Ministries. See Summary of Discussion.