Zion to host peace conference, photography exhibit

For the past four years, members of the Rachel Circle at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka have been learning about the problem of domestic violence, especially the role a church can play in preventing it.

John Nolter will be the keynote speaker for Zion Lutheran Church’s upcoming conference, Discovering Peace: Transforming Our Lives Through Stories. Photo submitted
John Nolter will be the keynote speaker for Zion Lutheran Church’s upcoming conference, Discovering Peace: Transforming Our Lives Through Stories. Photo submitted

It is one of many topics that people are afraid to talk about. That is why the women of the Rachel Circle decided it was time to have a conference, not only about the problems, but also about finding peace. It was during these kinds of discussions that someone mentioned the photography exhibit “A Peace of My Mind.”

“A Peace of My Mind” is a multimedia arts project built around the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” Founded in 2009 by award-winning Minnesota photographer John Noltner, the project began as his effort to rediscover humanity in an increasingly polarized world.

With portraits and personal stories, ordinary people reveal extraordinary insights into how we can work toward common good and create a world that is more just for all.

Holocaust survivors, refugees, artists, former prisoners, teachers, immigrants, veterans and more share inspiring stories of compassion, forgiveness and transformation in a series that celebrates our common experience and sense of community.

The stories have been shared at www.apeaceofmymind.net, in two award-winning books and in traveling exhibits that are installed across the country.

“A Peace of My Mind” serves as a powerful catalyst for community conversations about service to others, civic responsibility and social change.

A compelling storyteller, Noltner draws on his journey of discovery and the stories he has encountered along the way to lead engaging workshops, seminars and keynote presentations.

Noltner will be the keynote speaker for Discovering Peace: Transforming Our Lives Through Stories, a conference that will take place at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, from 6-9 p.m. and all day, Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Noltner’s exhibit will be on display in the narthex and lower commons at Zion through Oct. 15. This conference is for women and men who have an interest in conversations about the meaning of peace.

Breakout sessions on Saturday during the conference will feature gifted speakers on a variety of topics who will relate their own personal stories about discovering peace in the context of mental health issues, domestic violence, addiction and recovery, transcending race/class/culture boundaries both locally and globally, local homeless youth initiatives, living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and prayer as a tool for discovering peace.

Pre-registration for this conference is required. The cost is $30. Lunch is included. More detailed information about conference speakers and activities is available at www.zionanoka.org. Registration forms may also be picked up at Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 Fourth Ave. S. at the Zion reception desk. Continuing education hours may be available for some sessions. Scholarships for the conference are also available.

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