Summer Peace Conference 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:00 PM to Sunday, July 22, 2018 12:00 PM

Brochure/more information pdf

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Since its inception in 2011, the Peace Conference at Rolling Ridge has served as an important platform for healthy dialogue and inspirational hope. Diverse speakers over the years have addressed issues of peace-making, Earth tending, and interfaith reverence.  This year during our 8th Annual Peace Conference, we will look at the spiritual foundations of environmental justice in the Abrahamic faith tradition.  During the Saturday afternoon plenary, interfaith environmental leaders will share about the importance of creation care in their tradition and then discuss the common roots that unite them for action.  Sunday afternoon workshops will delve deeper into Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim eco-spirituality, while also exploring practical opportunities to protect our common planetary home.  During our closing service, we will celebrate our unity through song and prayer..

About the leader(s)

Shua Khan Arshad

Shua Khan Arshad is an instructor at Merrimack College and an associate of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. She is a Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM) Executive Board Member and is the President of Groton Interfaith Council (GIC).  She has lived in South Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe and speaks frequently on intercultural relations. Ms. Arshad is the founder of the podcast "Light Up with Shua," and she has been a consultant for International Programs and Partnerships at Tufts University. She achieved the level of Reiki Master, and an ardent practitioner of Pranayama (breathing), meditation & Yoga since more than 20 years. As a healer, she is strong proponent and practitioner of alternative medicine and therapies, healthy lifestyle, cooking, environmental preservation, and an avid recycler. Occasionally, she also performs in concerts as a Ghazal singer. Her love for horses keeps her in the territory of stables.

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas serves as Missioner for Creation Care in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the United Church of Christ, Christ, Massachusetts Conference.  An experienced retreat leader and spiritual director, she is a long-time climate activist dedicated to inspiring a wave of religious activism to address the climate crisis.  Her most recent book, Joy of Heaven, To Earth Come Down (2016), is a collection of daily Advent-Christmas meditations on the sacredness of the natural world.  

Norman Comtois

Rev. Norman Comtois,  OMI, MA  is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.   His experience in Pastoral Counseling, Intentional Eucharistic Communities, and Renewal programs for women religious continues to inform his ministry as a current retreat director.  In the year 2000, Norman completed an Earth Literacy program at Genesis Farm, Blairstown, New Jersey. Since then he has devoted his interest and education toward developing retreats and courses that bring the Universe Story to life in a spiritually  meaningful way. He also serves as team member and consultant for La Vista Ecological Learning Center.
Father Norm encourages those attending his presentations and retreats to ponder the wisdom of their religious traditions in the context of the Story of the Universe.  

Fred Small

Hailed by Pete Seeger as "one of America's best songwriters," Fred Small sings songs of conscience in the tradition of Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, and Holly Near.  Powerful, affecting, and inviting, Fred's songs illuminate the goodness and courage of all kinds of people and have been interpreted by many singers around the world.  With 8 albums, the National Organization of Men against Sexism (NOMAS) honored Fred for his contributions to gender justice in 2010, and in 2017, UU Mass Action presented him with the Ruth Rowan Award for his musical contributions to social justice movements. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, Fred earned a law degree and a masters in natural resources policy at the University of Michigan.  He wrote his first song in 1974 on the morning of his first law school examination.  In 1980 Fred left his position as staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation to pursue his career in music full time.  A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Fred Small now currently serves as Minister for Climate Justice at Arlington Street Church, Boston.

Scott A. Tepper

Scott A. Tepper ("Reb Zisha") is a lay religious leader and teacher in Boston's Jewish community.  He earned his BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, spending a year at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where Judaism's connection to the Middle Eastern climate cycle is clear. He also holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Scott was a founder of two local chavurot (religious fellowships), sang with the Zamir Chorale of Boston, led High Holydays for B'nai Or of Boston (Jewish Renewal congregation), was Religious Leader of Chevras Agudas Achim/United Brothers Synagogue of Bristol RI for 12 years, has taught at numerous synagogues and LimmudBoston (community learning conference), and serves as a Mikveh Guide at the Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh (ritual bath).  He may have seen some direct action take place at the construction site of a nuclear power plant. Professionally, Scott leads business systems training for a local corporation. You can read more about him at