BIG SKY – All Saints in Big Sky and the Rotary are hosting an evening of conversation based on the topic of peace.

“[As Lutherans and Episcopalians], we are called to be peacemakers in all times and places,” said Reverend Darius Larsen, All Saints pastor and priest. Churches, Larsen said, are tasked with being “a community of peace,” citing the World Peace Prayer:

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world and our universe.

For the Rotary, “the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace is [a cornerstone],” said Dr. Jeff Strickler, the President of the Rotary Club of Big Sky.

Rotary is active in more than 200 countries, working to foster world understanding and peace.

“One of Rotary’s goal is to engage and inspire Rotarians and community leaders to become involved in Peace Through Service,” Strickler said.

He and Larsen feel the Peace Forum will do just that.

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Peace Forum presenters

Dr. Larry Rasmussen

Dr. Rasmussen will discuss planetary health as a major concern for any human peace. Dr Larry Rasmussen is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, was professor at Union Theological Seminary from 1986 – 2004, and taught at Wesley Theological Seminary and St. Olaf College.

Asked to comment on the topic he plans to address, Rasmussen cited the rabbinical letter of the American Jewish community entitled “Wonder and Restraint:”

We are obliged to seek peace and pursue it – to oppose easy recourse to military violence, outside of legitimate self-defense, not only for its destruction of human life and health, but also for its shattering impact on nature and natural resources.

Vice Admiral (retired) Rodney P. Rempt

“The war on terror is about freedom,” says Admiral Rempt, a Vietnam veteran who retired in 2007 after 41 years of active duty in the Navy.

During his time at sea, Rempt commanded three different ships, including a missile boat and a cruiser. He also worked for many years on weapons systems development, including defense against ballistic missiles. More recently he served as President of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and then as Superintendent of the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Bill Warnock

Mr. Warnock was the country director for World Vision in Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza from 1986-1996 and Bosnia-Herzegovina 1996-2000. He will discuss peace from the perspective of the Holy Land and the Balkans.

“We in the West all too often think that they have been killing each other for centuries,” he said. “That, however, does not really summarize the situation accurately. The reality is not so easily dismissed, so as to excuse our non-involvement, as I learned during my time living in those places.”

Warnock has degrees from Colorado University and from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University, and has worked providing relief, reconstruction and community development in conflict and post-conflict situations and advocacy promoting a just peace for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. He is also a part-time consultant to the US Army on peacekeeping operations and civil-military affairs.

The April 1 Peace Forum will take place at the Big Sky Chapel, starting at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.