Serving the Prince of Peace from Nazareth


Dear Friends,
Salaam from Nazareth.

We hope this letter finds you in good health, and that you are filled with renewed energy as we conclude summer and welcome a new season.

At the Nazareth Center for Peace Studies, our summer was mostly about research and writing. In this newsletter, we would like to share highlights from a seminar that we led at a conference held in Norway this summer.
"Peacemaking as Mission" Seminar at Mission Summit SENT 2023, Norway

Last July, we had the opportunity to lead a two-hour seminar at the Mission Summit SENT 2023, a collaborative effort between the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) that took place in Stavanger, Norway. This global event brought together over 900 participants from Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and beyond, uniting Christian voices to discuss the mission of God in our world today.

In our "Peacemaking as Mission" seminar, we discussed the potential of Christian communities to promote healing and reconciliation in divided world through dynamic communal practices. We explored their role as catalysts for peace initiatives, fostering justice, forgiveness, and positive change. 

Our discussions included real-life case studies highlighting the transformative impact of these communities who actively bridge divides, mend broken relationships, and provide spaces for dialogue in conflicting societies. Our seminar also highlighted the unique practices that define these communities, revealing their ability to inspire lasting change and resilience in challenging circumstances.
In addition, the seminar facilitated three separate group discussions, with each group representing a different country: Ukraine, Ireland, and Romania. Within these discussions, groups were required to address: the mission of the Christian community in each country; the embodiment of counter-cultural values; peace-fostering practices; collaboration with the broader community; and innovative programs.

These group discussions gave attendees from diverse parts of the world a platform to share insights, perspectives, and lessons from their contexts. This exchange offered valuable ideas for promoting peace through missional approaches.
On a personal note, it was such a joy to meet my PhD supervisor, Prof. Miroslav Volf, who was the keynote speaker at the conference. He spoke about his new book The Home of God: A Brief Story of Everything, co-authored with Ryan McAnnally-Linz.

This remarkable book discusses the idea that God's purpose in creating the world is not for humans to leave it to be united with God, but rather for God to make the world a home for both Himself and humans. To fulfill His desire to dwell and make His home with us, God sent Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In response to God's loving and insistent desire to create a home with us, our natural inclination is to draw closer to Him, loving Him with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves. This journey begins within; making a home for God in our hearts empowers us to co-create a transformed world, echoing the "home-making work of God in this world." Embracing this truth, we realize that "God the Creator is a homemaker God." 
Prayer Requests

Amidst growing protests, violence, and divisive laws, please pray with us for a decrease in violence and the emergence of leaders and communities committed to living in peaceful coexistence and harmony in the Land.

We greatly appreciate your partnership and encouragement. Your prayers, support and engagement hold significant value for us.

Much love 


Rula Khoury Mansour, PhD
Founder and Director
Nazareth Center for Peace Studies