North Texas now has a faith-based peace organization to rally behind.
The North Texas Fellowship of Reconciliation was launched in late January to help unite all faith communities on social justice issues, like LGBT equality and immigration.
FOR started in Europe by people opposed to World War I. Its members focus on achieving goals though nonviolet ways.
Denton pastor Jeff Hood, a field organizer for the Federation of Reconciliation, said he’d been hoping to start a regional chapter for awhile. FOR chapters in Tarrant County and Denton used to exist but faded away.
“There is not an organization right now in NTX that can speak not just domestic issues but international issues from a nonviolence perspective and from a peace-oriented perspective with a faith-based peace and nonviolent perspective,” Hood said.
Hood teamed up with Cathedral of Hope’s Lynn Walters, executive director of Hope for Peace and Justice.
The group had about 30 members at its first meeting. Hood said he expects people to blog weekly on issues they’re passionate about, and they’ll meet every few months.
“We’re more interested in having that online presence and being a platform for people from all different kinds of backgrounds,” he said, adding that people form all faith backgrounds have joined the group. “With this being founded on the campus of the Cathedral of Hope at the Interfaith Peace Chapel that really speaks to two things that we are committed to as faith leaders. One is total equality and the other is within that total equality being an interfaith movement.”
Walters said she wanted to oversee a local FOR because it’s the oldest faith-based peace organization in the country, and she “thought it was a good way to plug into an organization with same values as we have.”
She said the group will meet again in April to dicusss the past weeks and plan how to move forward with projects and programs.
“We started it, but we’re still kind of in the baby steps of trying to figure out what all we want to do with it,” she said. “I think it’ll be really interesting.”