Middle East Consultation 2023
My Peace I Give You: Practicing Peacemaking in the Middle East
The purpose of this year’s Middle East Consultation is to explore peacemaking practices in the Middle East amidst personal, communal, and national conflicts. We will discuss the successes and failures, achievements, and shortcomings of these practices through a biblical contextual lens to better equip the Church as it seeks the multi-layered transformation of societies.
Last year, MEC 2022 highlighted peacemaking theories that targeted the cultural challenges that peacemaking ministries face in the Middle East. In February 2023, the theories helped us train a group of key Arab Church leaders who implemented, observed, and analyzed these theories contextually. MEC 2023 will build on this process by offering a platform to present this data as a framework for emerging biblical contextual models of peacemaking. The Consultation this year will be held over three days starting September 25 in a hybrid format (online and in-person) leading up to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development starting on the evening of the 27th. MEC 2023 will seek to deepen participants’ understanding of peacemaking theory and practice in Arab societies. It will provide learning opportunities drawn from the experiences of various Arab theologians and practitioners in peacemaking, explore dimensions of conflict facing regional ministries, and discuss opportunities to engage in peacemaking initiatives across the Arab world. Accordingly, MEC 2023 will host several panelists who are experienced practitioners in peacemaking from Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon. A peacemaking paradigm will be addressed regarding three different dimensions – inner peace, group peace, and national peace. This will be followed by workshops for contextual and practical initiatives. Conversations will produce panel discussions on specific topics that help us develop the presented theories in a manner aligned with Scripture and address the culture of honor and shame in our societies. Internal peace: Peace in this regard consists of a state of personal well-being rather than the mere absence of challenging conditions. We will hear how leaders addressed inner peace through the immense challenge of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria that created much instability, fear, suffering, and death. Communal peace: Human beings are deeply interconnected. We live out our full humanity through relationality. It is in our relationality that we aim to be moral, compassionate, and social. Subsequently, as we address communal peace, we will look at how leaders dealt with social issues in their contexts. We will hear about how leaders addressed gender issues in Sudan, inter-religious tensions in Egypt, disunity in Lebanon, and barriers to reconciliation in Iraq. National peace: Striving towards this kind of peace in such complicated contexts as the Middle East leads us to expose unhealthy national patterns as we seek to build new relational dynamics characterized by reconciliation and forgiveness. We will hear about peacemaking initiatives in Lebanon focusing on dealing with the memory of the past, multiple narratives, and current challenges.
Join us for MEC 2023!
Join us on September 25, 26, and 27 as we engage in rich conversations on the realities of the Middle East and on the hope of peace for the world in Christ as we engage in practical and contextual workshops on the theories and practices of peacemaking. Register today for MEC 2023:My Peace I Give You: Practicing Peacemaking in the Middle East. • MEC 2023 will be held in Arabic with English translation. • All workshops will be held both over Zoom and in-person.