Mel Duncan

Mel Duncan

Mel Duncan, award-winning co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce (www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org), will visit Menomonie over Martin Luther King weekend to share stories about the power and possibility of nonviolence. On Sunday, Jan. 14, Duncan will speak at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Menomonie.

His homily at 10 a.m. is entitled “Walking through the Valley of Death with Jesus, Mohandas and Martin.” At 11:30 a.m., Duncan will lead a forum about the Nonviolent Peaceforce’s work of protecting human rights and human life in conflict zones throughout the world. All who are interested are welcome to attend either or both the 10 a.m. service and the forum. A fundraising event will follow in the afternoon at the Duke and Dagger.

Duncan is a practical visionary, the father of eight, and a passionate baseball fan. He is equally comfortable listening and strategizing with peacekeepers in southern Sudan, attending a St. Paul Saints game with his grandchildren, and meeting with worldwide leaders at the Vatican.

Duncan represents the Nonviolent Peaceforce at the United Nations, where the group has been granted consultative status. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Presbyterian Peace Seeker award, the 2007 Pfeffer International Peace Prize, and The Utne Reader’s list of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World.”

In April 2016, Duncan joined 80 leaders from 25 countries in a gathering at the Vatican, called with the support of Pope Francis, to discuss “just war” theory and a return to nonviolent practice. The gathering issued a statement entitled, “An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence.”

The Nonviolent Peaceforce provides direct, unarmed protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and works with local groups on violence deterrence in conflict areas around the world — including South Sudan, the Philippines, and Myanmar. NP was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

A graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul Minn., Duncan was honored with their Distinguished Citizen award in 2006. He also holds a Masters’ degree from the University of Creation Spirituality. He splits his time between St. Paul and, New York City. He and his wife, Georgia, have eight children and 12 grandchildren.

For more information on Duncan’s visit, contact Rev. Kathleen Remund at 715-235-5838 or pastor@menomonieucc.org

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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