I am excited to announce an important leadership change for the Adventist Peace Fellowship. Effective immediately, the APF welcomes Jeff Boyd as our new executive director. Jeff is a dedicated peacemaker with impressive experience as an activist, writer, and peace organizer. He has been a member of the APF for many years, serving for the past two years as Secretary on our executive board. A graduate of Union College, his list of qualifications and achievements includes earning a Masters degree in Peace Studies from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, serving as managing editor of Adventist Today, and participating in numerous rallies and demonstrations for peace and social justice. Jeff has been a vigorous supporter of campaigns to close the School of the Americas (WHINSEC), to end indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay, and to confront police brutality. For all of these reasons, the APF executive board unanimously voted to ask him to serve as director of our organization.
Since our founding in 2001, the APF has sought to keep alive a distinctive ethic of conscientious objection and nonviolent peacemaking following in the radical footsteps of many Adventist pioneers. During the first 10 years of our existence, APF co-founder and church historian Douglas Morgan served as our executive director, spearheading a wide range of initiatives. In 2003, he launched an email newsletter and website providing commentary, news, and resources for peace advocacy in the midst of America’s rush to war in Iraq. The same year, the APF received 501c3 tax-exempt status from the State of Maryland as a non-profit organization. In 2005, Doug edited and published the APF’s first book, The Peacemaking Remnant, which has been used in college courses as an introduction to Adventist social ethics and the history of Adventist pacifism and conscientious objection.
In 2011, I agreed to serve as APF’s director, working to expand our focus beyond questions of violence and war to matters of peacemaking and social justice in a more holistic sense, including: care for creation, economic justice, freedom of conscience for persons both inside and outside of the Adventist community, racial and gender equality, and the nexus of health and human rights. Over the past four years, we launched a new website with resources for peacemakers, built a small but growing network of certified Adventist Peace Churches, supported the creation of the first APF student chapter (at Andrews University), and set in place an APF grant program for both groups and individuals.
The Adventist tradition is a complex and imperfect one that nevertheless, at its best, continues to embody beliefs and values that are central to the Gospel of Christ in a world of injustice, violence, and war. It is now time for someone with fresh vision, new ideas, and different talents to help guide our organization as we continue the vital work of peacemaking and social justice for the “healing of the nations.”
Ronald E. Osborn is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Burma/Myanmar and a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College. He is the author of Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering (IVP Academic, 2014) and Anarchy and Apocalypse: Essays on Faith, Violence, and Theodicy (Cascade Books, 2010).
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