Global reconciliation has been one of the hallmarks of the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold's tenure as Presiding Bishop, and his forum, "Toward a Reconciled World," scheduled for 8 p.m. on June 15 in Hall C of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, will focus on the Episcopal Church's ministry of healing in the international community.
Special guest and featured speaker, the Rev. John Danforth, Episcopal priest, former U.S. senator from Missouri and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will deliver a speech titled "The Right Church at the Right Time: A challenge to the Episcopal Church."
Setting the context for the evening, which forms part of the Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention, Griswold will offer an overview of the Church's role as the embodiment of reconciliation.
"It is my hope that our discussion will open us to a greater understanding of how we might individually and collectively seek a world healed of poverty, civil conflict and global pandemics," Griswold said.
Dr. Jenny Plane Te Paa, dean of the Anglican Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand, will offer an indigenous perspective on racism, gender and human sexuality issues in her address, "Healing the Wounds."
"Peacemaking in a world of globalization" will be the theme of an address by Bishop Thomas Shaw of Massachusetts, during which he will discuss the challenges for the Abrahamic Faiths -- Christianity, Islam and Judaism -- "on Israel and the future Palestine."
Other guest speakers will include Alex Baumgarten, international policy analyst for the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations (OGR), who will speak about advocacy as a tool of reconciliation, and Malaika Kamunanwire, Episcopal Relief and Development's director of communications, who will focus on Episcopalians' response to world disasters and overcoming poverty.
The Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, director of Peace and Justice Ministries, who has helped with the organization of the forum, explained that "at a time of so much conflict and turmoil in the world, the evening will focus the Convention's attention on the Church's mission of reconciliation and healing in the global community. This has been a passion of the primacy of Frank Griswold, and the diversity of speakers he has invited will help us all reflect on the centrality of our mission."
Agreeing with Grieves that "exploration of and reflection on the role of reconciliation in the life of the Church" has been one of the hallmarks of Griswold's tenure, Maureen Shea, director of OGR, said, "The forum will highlight how the Episcopal Church has strived to act as a reconciler in a world of civil discord, poverty, and global pandemics."
In a final word and blessing, Griswold will deliver "a plea for mission over division."
"I know that we will receive rich fare from Senator Danforth and the other excellent presenters," Griswold said. "I recall that after the Minneapolis Convention [in 2003], many noted that the Forum on Reconciliation had been a highlight of the Convention and I feel sure that same will be the case this year in Columbus."