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In the Zone Newsletters

Contact Rev. John Hougen to start receiving In the Zone Newsletters

February 2017

In This Issue


From the Coordinator: Celebration and Motivation


Recent Banner Presentations

  • Good Shepherd Mediation Program

  • NewCORE (New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity)


Recent Recognitions

  • The Aquinas Center Community Literacies Project

  • Redemption, Forgiveness, Peace


Updates from Recognized Zones of Peace

  • Beacon Church

  • Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

  • Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation

December 2016

Responding to Fear and Hatred


The turmoil in our nation presents opportunities for Zones of Peace

The work of Zones of Peace has taught me that the most promising paths toward peace are local. While the needs to address the root causes of violence are great, so are the opportunities, especially in the Philadelphia region. The despair and helplessness felt by so many is accompanied by a hunger to contribute something positive. I urge all of us to use the relationships we have, the positions we hold, and the influence we yield, to gather people together to bring peace and justice to the corners of the world where we have access.


Let us commit ourselves to the values expressed years ago when the Religious Leaders Council issued its Call to End Violence:


I commit as an individual: to promote peace in my home and community...

September 2016

In This Issue


"Desperately Seeking..." – A Reflection by John Hougen, Zones of Peace Coordinator


Recent Recognitions

  • Amparo De La Ninez

  • Good Shepherd Mediation Program

  • Mindfulness Through Movement


Banner Presentations


Event and Information From:

  • Peace Day Philly

  • Inter-Faith Housing Alliance (Ambler, PA)

  • Opportunity, Inc. (recognition pending)

July 2016

In This Issue


Creating Peace: Top-Down and Bottom-Up – A Reflection by John Hougen, Zones of Peace Coordinator


Creating Peace in the Summertime: Updates from Zones of Peace

  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

  • Ambler Church of the Brethren

  • National Museum of American Jewish History

  • Beacon

  • Urban Tree Connection

  • West Kensington Ministry

  • Peace Day Philly

  • Mitzvah Circle Foundation

April 2016

In This Issue


Disconnecting – A Reflection by John Hougen, Zones of Peace Coordinator


Al Aqsa Recognized as a Zone of Peace


Scheduled Banner Presentations


Updates from:

  • Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation

  • Anti-Defamation League’s Walk Against Hate

  • Rhawnhurst Turning Point

  • Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia: Ride for Understanding; Annual Dare to Understand Concert and Awards Presentation

February 2016

In This Issue


Depaul USA Recognized as a Zone of Peace


Forging Peace During Black History Month

  • National Liberty Museum

  • Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


Other Upcoming Events from Zones of Peace Partners

  • Ambler Area Coalition for Peace

  • National Museum of American Jewish History

  • Mothers in Charge


December 2015

Addressing Racism


Lisa Parker (Peace Day Philly – a Zone of Peace) calls our attention to Tieshka Smith, Photographer,  Blogger, and Community Activist, who invites us to visit her photography exhibition (Racism Is A Sickness) and consider hosting the exhibition at Zones of Peace locations.


Teishka writes: Racism Is A Sickness features photography and personal stories of 14 Philadelphians as the basis for talking candidly about race and how it influences American family dynamics, education, law enforcement, social and traditional media, workplaces and economic structures.  We are challenged to shift the paradigm around healing individual and collective wounds inflicted by racial violence of all kinds.  The goal of the project is to use this art to invite those of us who are actively working to achieve racial and social justice to come together in new and innovative ways...

October 2015

Three More Zones of Peace Recognized by the Religious Leaders Council


The Common Place, a ministry of Wayne Presbyterian Church, caps a 20 year suburban / urban partnership of the congregation with one neighborhood in Kingsessing, Southwest Philadelphia. In the last two years, they have renovated an abandoned church building, and now house a dozen programs and organizations that work closely together to build personal relationships with children and families, responding to spiritual, educational, and social support needs. With two worshiping communities, an arts-based after school program, social services, and community events, The Common Place is a sacred space to do life together. Exemplary efforts yield great results.


To learn more about The Common Place go to


In the Zone

July 2015

“In the Zone” is an occasional email sent to people who have been connected to Zones of Peace in some way. If you have news or events you would like to share with others on this email list, please send them to John Hougen at


Expanding the Zones of Peace Network


In your community, which congregations and organizations are exemplary in their efforts to reduce violence and build a better world? Please take a few moments and nominate them to become a recognized Zone of Peace. Zones of Peace is ready to expand its network and give witness to the sources of hope throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. You may nominate them online at or by contacting Zones of Peace Coordinator, the Rev. Dr. John Hougen at 215-962-8242 or

Zones of Peace Newsletter

January 2015

From John Hougen, Coordinator:


Ripples from Zones of Peace


With or without news coverage, all recognized Zones of Peace continue to demonstrate that people from diverse faith traditions contribute to our region’s efforts to address the root causes of violence, comfort its victims, and build communities of respect and hope. As each Zone of Peace fulfills its vision, others are inspired to work for peace.


Each banner is an invitation

Solid Rock United Methodist Church, one of the founding members of our initiative, has its Zones of Peace banner hanging on the outside of its building in Olney...

Zones of Peace Newsletter

August 2014

Zones of Peace August 2014


Zones of Peace is growing!  There are now 53 congregations and organizations that have been honored by the Religious Leaders Council or have been nominated for recognition in the future. There are many exemplary congregations and organizations building better communities, and their cumulative effect gives us hope that violence will decrease and neighborliness will increase in our region.


Preventing bullying!  More than a dozen Zones of Peace directly address bullying. The Steering Committee is sponsoring a series of discussions where insights and “best practices” for preventing bullying and dealing with its consequences can be shared...

Zones of Peace Newsletter

February 2014

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania


Recognized by the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia as a Zone of Peace in December 2013. Senior Rabbi Lance Sussman told the interviewers from Zones of Peace that Biblically and theologically, peace is the ultimate goal of the Jewish quest. KI’s staff and lay leadership guide this large congregation (900+families) in an amazing array of programs and initiatives that demonstrate their quest for peace...

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