Kim Phuc to speak at Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America

The 26th annual Baptist Peace Fellowship Summer Conference will be held on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) July 4-9.

“The Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America’s (BPFNA) annual conference, which we affectionately refer to as Peace Camp, gathers together hundreds of ordinary people of all ages who are interested in living a life of peace rooted in justice,” program coordinator Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski said. “The week offers us the spirituality, inspiration, skills, knowledge and community to live peacefully in the midst of a culture that is violent in both obvious and subtle ways.”

The conference is sponsored by the BPFNA and will feature several prominent speakers and workshops throughout the six days including Monday’s keynote speaker, Kim Phuc.

Phuc’s village of Trang Bang, South Vietnam, came under attack during the Vietnam war on June 8, 1972. Planes mistakenly dropped napalm on the Buddhist pagoda with several children perishing in the attack, while others, including Phuc, sustained injuries.

In fleeing from the attack, Phuc’s picture was taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning Associate Press photographer Huyng Cong Nick Ut. The image became a symbol of the Vietnam War and the tragedy that ensued in Trang Bang.

Rob Voyle, whose work is based on Appreciative Inquiry (AI) will serve as the guest leader for the week. Voyle, a native of New Zealand, uses unique teaching styles that focus on being helpful, humorous and healing.

There will be morning sessions with Voyle and an optional intensive afternoon workshop.

“Being together in this way nurtures, affirms and equips each of us to do the particular work of peace to which God calls us,” Polaski added.

Admission is free to the public. Tickets for the Jennifer Knapp concert Friday evening are $15.

For more information on the conference contact Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski, 704-521-6051; e-mail:

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