Can the Church withstand the divides of the current social context? Is the Church still “salt for the earth” when spiritual division within the body of Christ jeopardizes its witness? In a world and Church increasingly polarized, skills of conflict transformation and healthy dialogue are fundamental tools for living out a theology of peacemaking and reconciliation. The Church is called to creatively reimagine Shalom community by moving beyond political divides. In this workshop, participants will learn “peaceful practices” – skills for addressing divides present in their congregations and communities – as they imagine how to return hope to a splintered church.
Dina Gonzázlez-Piña is the Executive Director for West Coast Mennonite Central Committee. Dina has decades of experience working in pastoral and administrative leadership, multicultural ministries, and ethnic and racial equity. She serves as adjunct staff for Fresno Pacific University (FPU) and on the boards of CCDA and Fresno Latino Leadership Network and was the first woman of color to serve on the U.S. Mennonite Brethren Pacific District Conference Board of Faith and Life. Dina holds a master of arts degree in education and a bachelor of arts degree in social work from FPU and an urban leadership certificate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dina lives in Hanford, California, with her husband, Dr. Xavier, and their children, Rebeca and Samuel.
Jes Stoltzfus Buller is the Coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee’s Peace Education department. She has years of domestic and international experience facilitating group dialogue, managing collaborative peacebuilding projects, developing curriculum and training children, youth and adults in skills of conflict transformation and trauma healing. She holds degrees in Sociology and Bible, Religion, Philosophy and is finishing a master of arts in Transformational Leadership. In her current role, Jes works with churches across the U.S. to teach peace theology, facilitate trainings and create resources for engagement in various aspects of peacebuilding. She lives in Goshen, IN, with her husband, Willian, and their children Belén and Moses.