‘God Squad at Night’ to Host Special Guest Methodist Minister from Ireland
‘Rethinking Conflict’ with Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, champion of conflict transformation, peacebuilding and reconciliation
(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – “No democracy can survive without the will of its members to sacrifice,” says The Reverend Dr. Gary Mason, a Methodist minister who has spent a career in inner city Belfast building peace across the “ghosts of religious division which have dogged this island for hundreds and hundreds of years.”
The Village Square’s “God Squad” will host a special edition “God Squad at Night” program featuring Dr. Mason as a special guest. Dr. Mason brings wisdom from the Irish legacy of sectarianism to America’s current divisions. His organization, Rethinking Conflict, is a UK-based non-profit social enterprise working in the field of conflict transformation, peacebuilding and reconciliation.
Dr. Mason has learned that “trust is developed in the context of a meaningful relationship,” and that if the historical baggage in a society isn’t addressed it continues to rear its head. He sees signs that the escalation in our racial tensions are following along some of the escalations in violence they’ve seen in Northern Ireland.
This program, hosted by The Village Square in cooperation with Leon County Government and WFSU, will be held on Thursday, March 29, 7-8:30pm at the WFSU studios, and is free and open to the public with advance registration online at tlh.villagesquare.us/event/god-squad-pm. Sincere thanks to Good Samaritan United Methodist Church for providing Dr. Mason for this important evening.
The God Squad includes Reverend Betsy Ouellette-Zierden of Good Samaritan United Methodist Church, Pastor Darrick McGhee, Sr. of Bible Based Church, Reverend Josh Hall of First Baptist Church, Rabbi Jack Romberg of Temple Israel, and Father Tim Holeda of Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More.
The God Squad hosts a monthly “Faith, Food, Friday” series that began in 2011 with the notion that neighbors breaking bread together could begin to heal the civic divide that has so paralyzed our nation, our states and our hometowns. Seven years and many meals later, everyone is still speaking to each other. People from across the community, no matter what their faith background or beliefs, are invited to participate in these improbable conversations “for people of faith and no faith at all.”
God Squad at Night and the Faith, Food, Friday series are hosted by local nonprofit The Village Square, dedicated to building community across the partisan divide in order to improve the quality of the civic conversation in America. Organized in Tallahassee in 2006, The Village Square has additional locations in Fort Lauderdale and Salt Lake City, UT.