dispatches to and from

nathan f. elmore

Dispatches to and from faith, culture, and things in between

 

In Oman, along the Wahiba Sands, in January 2012.

Left to right: Doug, Ameer, me, Fatima.

Peace Catalyst International.

In 2012, I joined the staff of Peace Catalyst International, where I contribute as a peacemaker, educator, and writer. PCI is a faith-based nonprofit focused on Christian-Muslim peacemaking.

My educational background includes an M. Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. Presently, I'm a Doctor of Ministry candidate in Global Christianity & Development at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The working title for my D. Min. Thesis-Project is:

Peace Catalyst International: A Strategic Example in Remaking the Narrative between Evangelicals and Muslims through Creative Peacemaking and Christian-Muslim Partnership for the Common Good.

Since 2006, Christian-Muslim relations has become an arena of personal interest and active engagement. In addition to ongoing friendships, I've had wide-ranging experiences with Muslims—participating in a year-long Quran study at the mosque of the Islamic Society of Clemson (2007-2008); directing a campus ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University which initiated and hosted dialogues, common meals, and service projects bringing together Christian and Muslim students (2009-2014); adventuring in the Muslim-majority country of Oman through a travel-study program (2012); and representing PCI in Washington, DC at a symposium on the Marrakesh Declaration (2016).

Through its peacemaking paradigm, PCI seeks to educate and empower Christians toward a more constructive and comprehensive encounter with Muslims. We act practically to assist Jesus-followers in their contexts to move beyond the shock-and-awe responses to the violence of Islamist extremism and the tired tropes of Islamophobia or willful ignorance. PCI is strategically involved in cooperative endeavors with Muslims—in particular, promoting religious freedom and countering violent extremism.

One of my educational and empowerment tools is a seminar I've developed: New Samaritans: Loving Our Muslim Neighbors. Since 2012, I’ve presented this seminar in a variety of settings, including Christian congregations, mission organizations, leadership forums, collegiate/young adult ministries, and youth groups.

Throughout the seminar we consider a Jesus-shaped approach to the particular neighbor who is Muslim. As such, there is a blend of biblical and theological exploration; inter-religious learning about Islam and Muslims; and storytelling from my lived experiences with Muslims.

  • Part 1: looking at the historical considerations and contemporary conditions defining Christian-Muslim relations; re-experiencing the Parable of the Good Samaritan
  • Part 2: surveying the basics of Islamic faith, practice, and theology
  • Part 3: re-experiencing the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well; exploring a multifaceted engagement with Muslims that includes dialogue, witness, and peacemaking

If interested in this three-part seminar, please feel free to connect with me.

nathanfelmore@gmail.com