The Conference Schedule and Structure
Our conference is structured to create a continuous flowing dialogue among the presenters while maximizing audience participation throughout the day.This will be accomplished by having our speakers participate in a series of 3 sequential panels which will consider their work , the issues they are involved with, their own personal journey towards "revolutionary love". We will ask them to look at priorities, obstacles, and strategies for, to quote, Dr. King, "bending the arc of history towards peace and justice." Finally, we will ask them to help us imagine how true transformation might be realized.In each panel all of the panelists will answer the same questions from their own differing perspectives, insights, experiences. Conference attendees will also be invited to ask questions and give comments. Each panel will have a moderator to keep things moving.While this design is experimental it offers the probability of a highly interactive, and insightful day which works to include the entire community and perhaps helps us think a little more deeply about the core issues which underpin the multiple problems we are confronting at this moment in human history.Panel 1 is titled, “The Heart of Caring - Our Work and Inspiration. Panel 2, “Bending the Moral Arc Towards Justice” and Panel 3, “Revolutionary Love - How Do We Make It Real?.Attendees of the conference are also invited to begin thinking of questions they would like to see answered and email them to us now. Please email John at email@example.com with your questions or comments.Friday, August 17, 20126:00 - 7:00 PM Potluck Supper7:05 - Opening Remarks - Maureen Aumand and John Amidon7:15 - 9:00 PM A Dramatic Reading of a "Declaration of Independence From the War in Vietnam" read by James Ricks, written by Martin Luther King, Jr. After the reading, our panel will comment on the speech, in light of the wars currently undermining our society today.
10:15 - 11:45 Panel 1- The Heart of Caring: Our Work and Inspiration Panelists: Kathy Kelly, Clare Grady, David Swanson, Matt Southworth Moderated by John Horgan
Panel 1. THE HEART OF CARING-OUR WORK AND INSPIRATION
1.Describe your work as a person deeply concerned with peace. Consider both the
issues and actions that engage you?
2. What is at the root of why you care at all? What compels you to move forward?
Followed by audience participation
Panel 2. BENDING THE MORAL ARC TOWARDS PEACE AND JUSTICE
1. Considering your work and experience as an activist, what do you feel are the
greatest priorities demanding our attention, if we are to move towards peace
with justice as a national priority. What should we be working on?
2. Conversely, what are the greatest obstacles to peace with justice facing us
in the journey towards realizing this national priority?
Followed by audience participation
Panel 3. REVOLUTIONARY LOVE -IS IT ON THE HORIZON?
1. What, to your mind, are the most strategic action(s), campaign(s) we should
embrace at this moment which could lead us towards true transformative change?
2. Do you see signs of hope and movement towards achieving the critical mass
needed for true, radical, systemic change. Is peace possible? Are peace and
justice on the horizon?
St. Francis Listens
Do you know the story of St. Francis of Assisi's meeting with the Sultan of Egypt at Damietta, in the middle of the Fifth Crusade? The Little Poor Man didn't stop the battle but his peace mission—the historically accurate version—reveals a model for dialogue, not only between waring factions, but also between apparently conflicting cultures. We'll ponder the story and it's relevance to a hopeful future.
Walt Chura, O.F.S. is a writer and lecturer. He is a lay Franciscan, a member of the Emmaus House Albany Catholic Worker extended community and coordinator of the Thomas Merton Society of the Capital Region. He blogs at www.catholicconvergences.wordpresspress.com