8:30am Early Church: Zoom Only
10:00am Hybrid: In person or on Zoom
Register HERE for 10am Zoom
Information about Sundays at FPCPA
 Directions to our Palo Alto campus


Thursdays, February 23 to March 23

6:30 to 8 pm


Register HERE

Please take the Inventory of Conscience prior to the first session. It takes about 10 minutes and should be taken before Feb. 23. It will help people understand what pacifism means.

Take the survey HERE

Led by Rev. Geoff Browning
With guest speakers: Rev. Mark Davidson and Rev. Ben Daniel

In 2016 First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto became a “peace church,” an official designation of the Presbyterian Church, USA. We were the first peace church in the denomination; now, there are four others. But what does being a peace church mean? Come join the discussion with our 5-week series, starting Thursday, Feb. 23, and led by former member and current parish associate, Rev. Geoff Browning.

Feb 23rd – The Inventory of Conscience Survey Presenter/Host: Rev. Geoff Browning

March 2nd – Nonviolence in the Teachings of Jesus Presenter/Host: Rev. Mark Davidson

March 9th – Nonviolence in the Early Church Presenter/Host: Rev. Mark Davidson

March 16th – Nonviolence in the Epistles Presenter/Host: Rev. Mark Davidson

March 23rd – Can War be Just? Presenter/Host: Rev. Ben Daniel  

Other guest speakers: 

Biographies of speakers

Ben Daniel

Ben Daniel is the pastor of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland and is a writer whose spiritually grounded, left-leaning social and political commentary has appeared in a wide variety of publications globally. He is the author of Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), The Search for Truth About Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction (Westminster John Knox, 2013), and Thoughtful Christianity: Faith and Action in the Way of Jesus (Westminster John Knox 2015).

Mark Davidson

J. Mark Davidson retired in 2019 after 21 years at the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, NC, and 40 years serving the PCUSA in campus ministry and pastoral ministry. Mark’s parents were Presbyterian mission workers in Lebanon in the 1960s, and those experiences left within him deep imprints of service to the vulnerable and the riches of the multicultural and interfaith community. In addition to degrees from Davidson College and Princeton Seminary, Mark has a master’s in Peace and Justice Studies from the Quaker seminary, Earlham School. of Religion. He also did post-graduate study in political theology and Christian social ethics at SMU. From 2010 – 2016, Mark chaired our denomination’s Peace Discernment Process, a 6-yr renewal of our vision of peacemaking, featuring a focus on nonviolence. The Presbyterian peace churches came out of that process. a member of the Peace Church Working Group and the author and designer of the 3 Bible studies in the Peace Church curriculum. He’s happily married, and has four adult children, and has twin granddaughters. In addition to being a spiritual director and a retreat leader,  Mark loves to hike and bike, play jazz piano, and make stained glass.

Geoff Browning

Geoff Browning is a Presbyterian minister and former campus minister at Stanford University where he taught classes on liberation theology and led student trips to Central America. He is a Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, one of the first churches in the PC(USA) to declare itself a Peace Church. He also served as the Peacemaking Advocate for the Presbytery of San Jose for many years and he is the host of the Benders of the Arc podcast.

Our church has provided guidance and education for many conscientious objectors in our congregation. These are young men who are required by law to register for selective service on their 18th birthday and include Joshua Ching, Chris Iyer, Alex Iyer, Jay Henderson, Jeremy Mineau, and others.