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Responding to the Risk of Violence in Our Communities

A seminar sponsored by the Peace and Justice Project

On Saturday, February 23, 2019, almost 25 people attended the seminar on “Responding to the Risk of Violence in Our Communities.”

The seminar began with four personal stories, with by a Q&A session and discussion. Storytellers were: Anthony House (Harrisburg Brethren in Christ), a mental health worker, speaking on the violence of the stigma against those with mental illness; Brooke Hoffman (Circle of Hope), currently a university professor, speaking on her experience dealing with a variety of difficult situations in the elementary, secondary, and university classrooms where she has taught; Kathy Stuebing (Grantham BIC), retired missionary, speaking about how she and her family handled a home invasion in Zambia with faith not fear; and Ryan Gephart (Harrisburg BIC), law student, speaking about how he and a group of friends were present with another friend who was considering suicide. Hank Johnson, senior pastor at Harrisburg BIC, moderated the panel.

The panel was followed by Ken Hoke, regional administrator for BIC US World Missions, spoke about the church statement, “A Theology of Risk.” He told several stories of dealing with risk in international situations, and described the training he and other missions personnel received in dealing with hostage and other risky situations.

The morning ended with additional group discussion and interaction, and prayer. One important takeaway: topics, with good discussion and interaction. One takeaway: We need to be willing to take the risk to open our hearts to people who are hurting.