The Church’s Mission in a Polarized World

Relational Resources for the 2024 Campaign Season

February 28, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
Location: Georgetown Law Center Gewirz 12 Map

What difficulties have we encountered in our work to de-escalate violent rhetoric? What are the challenges in building foundational trust across profound political differences when social, cultural, informational, and media environments do not favor this work? This program started with initial tone setters by Rev. Robert Aaron Wessman, Glenmary Home Missioners, author of The Church’s Mission in a Polarized World (2023). The tone setters laid out Christian resources for reducing the use of violent rhetoric, best practices for building foundational trust, and the ministry of Jesus as a model for “crossing over” for understanding and trust across deep differences.

This was followed by interactive roundtable discussions during which Rev. Wessman joined participants in exploring some practical suggestions for strengthening the network of people committed to addressing and reducing the use of violent rhetoric, especially during the 2024 campaign season, and reinforcing support and communication across a variety of differences.

This event is co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Georgetown Law; Georgetown Law Mission and Ministry; Focolare Media; Focolare Forum for Dialogue and Culture; and the Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.


8:30 - 9:20 a.m. EST | Coffee and light continental breakfast

9:20 - 9:50 a.m. EST | Welcome Remarks
Amy Uelmen, Georgetown University

9:50 - 10:30 a.m. EST | Roundtable: Introductions

10:30 - 10:50 a.m. EST | Break

10:50 - 11:10 a.m. EST | Metaphors Matter: Redeeming Our Rhetoric this Election Cycle
Rev. Aaron Wessman, Glenmary Home Missioners

11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST | Roundtable: Christian Resources to De-escalate Violent Rhetoric

12:00 - 12:30 p.m. EST | Plenary Sharing of Emerging Best Practices and Challenges to Address

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. EST | Lunch 

1:15 - 1:30 p.m. EST | In a Polarized World, What Would Jesus Do?
Rev. Aaron Wessman, Glenmary Home Missioners

1:30 - 2:15 p.m. EST | Roundtable: Christian Resources for Building Foundational Trust Across Profound Political Difference

2:15 - 2:25 p.m. EST | Break 

2:25 - 3:00 p.m. EST | Plenary Sharing of Best Practices, Hopes for Next Steps, and Conclusions

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