We recently concluded our first event in the beautiful state of Colorado and our first ever Cultivate: Denver.  In short, it was a success!

“Cultivate Denver deepened, cemented, and affirmed my understanding of peacemaking in the conflict of my community. My definition of peacemaker as repairer of relationships–between God and man and between men–helps me to identify with my vocation and the mission of God. Cultivate Denver is not anti-conflict; after and through conflict we grow peace and the end product is more beautiful than the original.” – Derek White, Lawyer and Local Peacemaking Practitioner

Our Cultivate Intensives are designed to convene cross-sector leaders from within a specific context or leaders from within a particular organization, galvanize them together through our Everyday Peacemaking framework, and mobilize them to shape a peacemaking movement within their city.  Each Cultivate Intensive features local peacemakers who are waging peace within the most broken places and systems within their city.

The Hosts & Location:

The success of Cultivate is largely dependent upon the host team who takes the initiative to spread the word, put out specific invitations to key cross-sector leaders and their teams, and select a location that is most conducive for our interactive intensive.  Kathy Escobar of The Refuge was Cultivate: Denver’s Champion, even hosting us within The Refuge’s recently re-designed space.

Three Highlights:

discussion

  1. The room was truly filled with cross-sector leaders.  Executive Directors, Pastors, and key influencers from significant Denver-based, national, and international organizations, representing thousands of people, came together to train in the peacemaking Way of Jesus.  As the day unfolded, we watched varied perspectives and areas of expertise deepen our collective understanding of Denver and what it means to be activated as a singular multi-faceted instrument of peace within the larger Denver area.
  2. Derek and Alicia White, our featured Denver-based peacemakers, were extraordinary in their humble explanation of a deeply intentional, practiced life of peacemaking among the Burmese refugee population. These two embody the very definition of Everyday Peacemakers who seek the holistic repair of broken relationships and the flourishing of the other.
  3. photoIraq-based peacemaker, Jeremy Courtney (The Preemptive Love Coalition), gave a lunch briefing on Iraq, ISIS, and what peacemaking through Preemptive Love is like within war torn Iraq. “Inspiring” is an understatement for the time we shared together as we heard his story and interacted with he and Palestinian peacemaker, Sami Awad (The Holy Land Trust) on the stakes of peacemaking when violence seems to be the only option.  What an honor to host these two world-class peacemakers and to know that the impact of Cultivate: Denver will scale beyond Denver to streets of Baghdad & Bethlehem. We highly recommend Jeremy’s book, Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time.

Last Thoughts:

  • It is obvious that there exists a glowing ember of peacemaking among key influencers, organizations, and churches in the Denver area. We count it a deep privilege to have been given the opportunity to blow on that ember and watch it flicker into a flame.
  • More than ever before, we affirm that the North American Church must be activated as an instrument of peace in collaboration with contextualized cross-sector organizations who also love and seek the flourishing of their cities.
  • We anticipate our next Cultivate: Denver in 2015 and look forward to seeing you there!

If you were at Cultivate: Denver, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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