Session 8

Peace is at the heart of the gospel. As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world, we are committed to finding non-violent alternatives and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society and between nations.

1. Reflect quietly on this conviction and then (if you can) share with one or two others your response to any of these questions:

  • How (if at all) does this differ from what you have known and believed before?
  • Who do you know who lives out this conviction and commitment?
  • How does this conviction inspire your imagination?
  • How does this conviction challenge or empower your faith?
  • How might this conviction impact the way you live?
  • 2. Read the article from Anabaptism Today that explores this conviction:

  • What questions does this article raise for you?
  • What aspects of the core conviction does it not address?
  • Are there elements of the article or the conviction with which you disagree?
  • Are there elements that you strongly affirm?
  • 3. Check whether there is any difference between the current version of this core conviction and the earlier version on which this article was based. If there is:

  • Why do you think a change was made?
  • Which version do you prefer?
  • Are there further changes you would propose?
  • 4. Which is less realistic – a commitment to non-violence in all circumstances or the conviction that violent means can achieve just and peaceful outcomes?

    5. What should Christians who are committed to peace do when innocent people are being victimised or whole nations are being eradicated?

    6. What biblical support is there for the claim that ‘peace is at the heart of the gospel’?

    7. What resources, processes, practices or disciplines has your church embraced for dealing creatively with conflict?

    8. What might you do personally to ‘learn how to make peace’?

    NB: Further resources for this session can be found at www.anabaptistnetwork.com/node/231

    9. What liturgical resources – songs, prayers, poetry, icons, rituals, etc. – do you know that might enable you or your church to express and celebrate this core conviction and renew this commitment?