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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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2/19/2003 Peace will be the focus of Linfield symposium

McMINNVILLE – Leaders from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths will focus on the theme "Abraham's Children Ask: Is Peace Possible" during the Pollard Symposium and Frazee Lecture at Linfield College March 12-14.

The symposium will feature keynote presentations by Christian, Jewish and Muslim peacemakers who have been active in national and international efforts to build a more just and peaceful world, according to William Apel, professor of religion at Linfield. Each speaker's comments will be from within the perspective of their own religious traditions. Interfaith dialogue will follow each presentation.

Four keynote speakers will be featured at the three-day conference.

Ken Sehested will present "Report from Iraq" Wednesday, March 12, at 4 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall. He led an ecumenical delegation of peacemakers called Voices in the Wilderness to Iraq in February. Sehested is one of the founding members of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, an informal network of a dozen different Baptist groups in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico dedicated to a more just and peaceful world. He served as executive director for 18 years, traveling the world as a witness for peace. Sehested, who currently serves as co-pastor of the Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, N.C., is a recipient of the Dahlberg Peace Award, which he shares with notable spiritual leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Michael A. Robinson will speak Wednesday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium. Robinson is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa, Calif. He served many years as a member of the national council of Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and was a member of the executive of the Mid-East Witness. He is a member of the committee of the Jewish Peace Fellowship and is on the advisory board of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. He was national president of the Jewish Peace Fellowship and chairman of the Committee on Justice and Peace of the Central Conference of Rabbis.

Nancy Hastings Sehested, along with Ken Sehested, will speak Thursday, March 13, at 4 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium. She is an American Baptist minister who is known nationally for her sermons and meditations on spirituality and ethics. She has been at the forefront of the debate on the role and status of women in the church and society. She is currently the chaplain of the second largest prison in North Carolina and co-pastor of Circle of Mercy Congregation.

Rabia Terri Harris will speak Thursday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium. She is the coordinator of the Muslim Peace Fellowship located in Nyack, N.Y., sharing offices with the FOR. The Muslim Peace Fellowship represents a gathering of Muslims of all backgrounds who are dedicated to making the beauty of Islam evident in the world. In addition to teaching and speaking throughout the U.S. she has co-edited, with Ken Sehested, "The Peace Primer" with quotes and insights from basic Christian and Islamic spiritual teachings.

Other activities will include a major forum featuring local Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders responding to the conference theme from their positions as leaders within Oregon's various faith communities. There will also be opportunities for the public to attend classes in which conference speakers will engage in informal discussions.

For the full conference schedule and registration information, contact David Massey, Linfield chaplain, 503-883-2259, or e-mail

This conference is made possible through the support of the Pollard Symposium and the Frazee Lectureship with support from students, faculty and staff at Linfield College.

The Frazee Lecture in Bible and Religion was established in honor of Gordon G. Frazee who served Linfield College for 32 years as chaplain and professor of religion. The Pollard Symposium in Religion and Society honors J. Hybert Pollard, former professor of religion at Linfield.