Mushrooms and Peacemakers

Mushrooms and Peacemakers

I have been trying to find Peacemakers lately… It reminds me of trying to find mushrooms. For those who do not know, at slightly varying times of the year in the Spring in certain areas of the North, and even in the south, if one knows how to look and what to look for, one can find delicious Morel Mushrooms.  People come from everywhere to find these delicacies. As I write, April 28th, 2012, the anniversary of the terrible Spring storm in that hit Tuscaloosa, AL one year ago on this date, mushrooms are already being found in Illinois, where I grew up.  I imagine they are growing on our family farm ground now and people are finding mushrooms.

To find a mushroom, one must have sharp eyes, know where they may have grown in the  past, but that does not prove they will be there the next year, take a stick and walk around in the woods or wilderness moving covers of leaves from the previous fall..  Sometimes great big ones seem to appear right before one’s eyes!  Look on the North slopes, look where May Apples grow… Look all around, relax, don’t get too stressed out.

Mushrooms and Peacemakers?

Now, how does one find Peacemakers?

Jesus said:

Matt 5:9

9 Blessed are the peacemakers ,

for they will be called sons of God


I got it!

To find a Peacemaker, one just goes to a Christian church and looks for followers of Jesus!  Jesus seems to say we should be… Right? They are of course all Peacemakers!


One has to look for Peacemakers, kind of like one has to look for mushrooms… Take a stick, stir things up, relax, keep an open eyes and an open mind, don’t look in all the regular places…  Peacemakers do not all grow in Christian churches, in fact form my experience, unfortunately, not many grow in Christian churches, or in the U.S. Government, or in the Universities where one might expect to find courses in Peacemaking.  Look everywhere, look in the Spring, Look in the summer, look in the fall, look in the winter..

Mushrooms grow as a fungus, when the conditions are right, in the right type of soil.  So do Peacemakers.  Peacemakers grow as a result of the infection of the Spirit of God, revealed to us in Jesus, and in others, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Tolstoy, Gregory Boyd, and common folks, even me, where you can also find this fungus growing…. Look for it….  You might find it, if you care about it….  Taste it, if you wish….

I found some Peacemakers in Atlanta last weekend!

I went to a Peace Party… Now, there is where one finds Peacemakers!  Check out this link:

Read the names… Peacemakers from all over the world congregating for a Peace Party!  John Lennon would be glad… Joan Baez would sing….  Jesus would say:

Matt 5:9

9 Blessed are the peacemakers ,

for they will be called sons of God.


Perhaps some religious types would say, “John, you are absolutely crazy, some of these people are Jewish, some may be Methodists, some are Catholics, some may be Muslims, some are Mennonites, there are black people in here from the Congo, people from Holland, from Germany, from Japan, from the U.S., from everywhere….. How can you say they are sons of God?  They are not even all of them Christian…

I did not say that…          Jesus did…..

I found some more Peacemakers….  I went to the Oakhurst Baptist church,

Check it out… I would never have imagined a Baptist Church like this.

They planned the whole service around the visit of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, of which I am a member, and of which we have a chapter right here in Tuscaloosa, AL, imagine that!

They asked us to sit on the front row, to be a part of the service, and for little children to come up and ask us where we were from, and look up where we were from on an Ipad, and look at the flag of our nation, and welcome us…  I told them Alabama had a flag, Roll Tide, and everyone laughed!

The songs were about Peace, the sermon was about Peace and given by one of their ministers who is a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Lucas Johnson.  At the end, we marched around the church Sanctuary, singing about Peace!  Oh, they have women pastors too.. they have backs in there, a lot of people with theological degrees looking for a home, a lot peacemakers, I perceived.

After church, one of the pastors, (a woman), hugged all of us… And men hugged each other too…  Hugs are free!

I might mention this church has been disfellowshipped from a religious denomination, as you will see on their web site, if you look at it, for their radical beliefs in such things as:

Matt 5:9

9 Blessed are the peacemakers ,

for they will be called sons of God.


I have been too… disfellowshipped, I know the feeling… However, one needs to worship God somewhere….Everywhere, for that matter, since He is everywhere, even in these Peacemakers whom He claims to be his sons….

Anyway, I know this is getting a little long, but if you are looking for mushrooms, I have some tips… If you are looking for Peacemakers, I have some tips….  Some might say I have eaten the wrong type of mushrooms, the way I think about these things and all, but I think I know which mushrooms to eat:):)  I am not dead yet, and keep kicking against the pricks of this culture which is indoctrinated in violence and war.  There are holes in my shoes….

Want to talk about the Gospel of Peace some day?  Call me, let’s do it, over a breakfast of mushrooms and Green Tea……

Grace AND Peace,

John Cooper

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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