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Peacemaking Issues --
a listing of our reports 2008-09

For our most recent posts on peacemaking issues in 2010 >>

Some major areas of concern are:

bulletThe coup in Honduras
bulletThe war against Iraq
bulletThe terror of Sept. 11 and its aftermath
bulletThe Middle East
bulletColombia
bulletIndonesia
bulletThe U.S. Military
     School of the Americas
     Vieques, Puerto Rico
     Military spending
bulletPeace force
bulletGlobal economic justice

ALSO:    The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program provides lots of good resources for study, worship, and action.

For an archive of our posts on peacemaking, 2005-07 >>
For an index to peacemaking issues, 2003-2004 >>
And for items from 2001 - 2002 >>

Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons expresses thanks for new strategic arms limitation treaty
[4-10-10]

A crucial, necessary step

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued the following statement today in response to the signing of a new strategic arms reduction treaty (START) by President Obama and President Medvedev:

The new nuclear arms reduction treaty signed by the United States and Russia on April 8 in Prague is an event that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long awaited. This initiative resonates with the vision of the prophet Micah who looked toward the day when nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” (Micah 4:3). Guided by this biblical vision, General Assemblies of the church and its predecessors have understood that following Jesus and working for God’s intended order and life abundant involve seeking international disarmament and arms control measures. ... This could also lead to further reduction in their nuclear arsenals. We give thanks for the courage and will to negotiate this treaty and we look forward to its ratification.

The full text of the statement >>

Lenten study with a Peace focus
[1-25-10]

Christian Peace Witness is ready to bring:

Tony Campolo,
Sr. Dianna Ortiz,
Rev. Lennox Yearwood,
Kathy Kelly,
Joshua Casteel,
Liz McAlister,
Noah Baker Merrill & Ken Butigan
to YOUR CHURCH for Lent!

Just click here to learn more.

Along with a dvd featuring profound inspiration from these faith leaders, our Lenten study includes:

bulletbiblical reflections on lectionary passages for each Sunday in Lent - plus Easter (good preaching resource!);
bulletprayers and litanies for worship; and
bulletseven complete study lessons which can be used as a series or individually.

CLICK HERE to download a sample of the study text and watch a sneak preview (via youtube) for the first two sessions.

You're invited to ...

Join a delegation to Nicaragua
January 16-23, 2010
[11-10-09]

In January, the PC(USA) is sponsoring a Delegation to Nicaragua, where participants will have the opportunity to experience Nicaragua, Fair Trade and the church’s work there firsthand. The delegation is perfect for anyone involved in a congregation, college or camp that uses Fair Trade coffee or Sweat-Free Ts, has hosted a holiday bazaar using Fair Trade products, or simply wants to learn more.

Delegates will:

bulletMeet Fair Trade farmers and artisans
bulletPick coffee and stay in homes of farming families
bulletMeet the women who sew Sweat-Free Ts
bulletBuild community with fellow Presbyterians
bulletLearn about Nicaragua, Fair Trade and more!

The delegation will take place January 16-23, 2010, and is sponsored jointly by three organizations: PC(USA), Equal Exchange and CEPAD (the Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua).

Applications are due November 20. For information and an application call (774) 776-7366 or send an email. Some scholarship assistance is available.

Please consider joining us and pass the word to others who may be interested.

Peace,


Melanie Hardison
Enough for Everyone
(888) 728-7228 x5626

In all the uproar over the Scotland’s release of the "Lockerbie bomber" ...

Church of Scotland welcomes decision to release Lockerbie bomber     [8-22-09]

Ecumenical News International reports from Edinburgh:

The (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland has said it fully supports a decision taken by the Scottish Government on Aug. 20 to release the convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, on compassionate grounds.

“This decision has sent a message to the world about what it is to be Scottish,” the Rev. Ian Galloway, convenor of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said in a statement. “We are defined as a nation by how we treat those who have chosen to hurt us. Do we choose mercy even when they did not choose mercy?”

Within minutes of the decision by the Scottish government, the United States expressed deep regret and disappointment that its pleas were ignored not to free the dying man, a former Libyan intelligence officer, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing. Al-Megrahi is in the final stages of prostate cancer.

Galloway also said in his statement:

“Nor is it about whether he had the right to mercy, but whether we as a nation, despite the continuing pain of many, are willing to be merciful. I understand the deep anger and grief that still grips the souls of the victims’ families and I respect their views. But to them I would say justice is not lost in acting in mercy. Instead, our deepest humanity is expressed for the better. To choose mercy is the tough choice and today our nation met the challenge. We have gained something significant as a nation by this decision. It is a defining moment for us all.”

The rest of the story >>

A tribute to Burma's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi      [8-12-09]

Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and recipient of the Nobel peace prize, has written:

I think of my sister Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi every day. Her picture hangs on the wall of my office, reminding me that, thousands of miles away in Asia, a nation is oppressed. Every day I ask myself: have I done everything I can try to end the atrocities being committed in Burma? And I pray that world leaders will ask themselves the same question. For if they did, the answer would be "no", and perhaps their conscience will finally force them to act.

Humankind has the ability to live in freedom and in peace. We have seen that goodness has triumphed over evil; we have witnessed political transitions in South Africa, and elsewhere, evidencing that we live in a moral universe.

Our world is sometimes lacking wise and good leadership or, as in the case of Burma, the leadership is forbidden to lead.

Aung San Suu Kyi has now been detained for more than 13 years. She recently passed her 5,000th day in detention. Every one of those days is a tragedy and a lost opportunity. The whole world, not just the people of Burma, suffers from this loss. We desperately need the kind of moral and principled leadership that Aung San Suu Kyi would provide. And when you add the more than 2,100 political prisoners who are also in Burma's jails, and the thousands more jailed in recent decades, the true scale of injustice, but also of lost potential, becomes heartbreakingly clear.

He concludes:

Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma deserve nothing less than our most strenuous efforts to help them secure their freedom. Every day we must ask ourselves: have we done everything that we can? I pledge that I will not rest until Aung San Suu Kyi, and all the people of Burma, are free. Please join me.

The complete essay >>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amnesty International USA offers a way to join Archbishop Tutu in protesting:

Click here to send your message to Than Shwe, the head of the military junta, calling on him to act immediately to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Myanmar.

August 11, 2009: DAY OF GLOBAL ACTION FOR HONDURAS      [8-10-09]

Donna Laubach, a friend of the Witherspoon Society, and a retired mission co-worker now living in Spain (or Venezuela -- we're not quite sure), has asked us to post this notice about an important action of protest tomorrow.

It has been posted on the School of the Americans Watch website, but only in Spanish, and Donna has said in her note: “Please pass on this info in Spanish to Witherspoon. It is about time we give out news in Spanish, since it is a rather large group of folks in the States.”

So here it is, with links to further information on the SOA website.

Click here for the English language SOA website.


11 de Agosto de 2009: DIA DE ACCION GLOBAL POR HONDURAS

Descargue AQUI el informe final de la Misión de DDHH en Honduras (7 Agoto de 2009) la que fue conformada por representantes de organizaciones y redes de derechos humanos.

Marchan a Tegucigalpa

Unas 600 personas provenientes de diferentes municipios de los departamentos de Olancho y Francisco Morazán han caminado cientos de kilómetros y su moral de resistencia se mantiene intacta a pesar de las inclemencias del sol o las torrenciales lluvias. Su objetivo de llegar a la capital está cada vez más cerca. Defensoresenlinea.com localizó la marcha pacífica cuando se desplazaba por la aldea La Cañada y la siguió hasta el sector de Monte Redondo a unos 23 kilómetros de la capital. Al realizar el recorrido se ha podido constatar que personas que se transportan en vehículos particulares apoyan a los manifestantes con agua y alimentos Las mujeres son tan entusiastas como los hombres, en la movilización hay campesinos, ganaderos, comerciantes, maestros, estudiantes y profesionales. Gladys Núñez ha acompañado la movilización desde Juticalpa.

Siga leyendo....
Honduras – update and action alert

This comes from the Alliance for Global Justice

Zelaya's plane unable to land. Runway blockaded by military. At least two young people are dead

Demand complete cut-off of aid and relations by US!
[7-6-09]

Yesterday, Sunday, July 5, 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was violently overthrown and removed from the country by a military coup on June 28, flew back to Honduras accompanied by UN General Assembly President Miguel D'Escoto. His plane circled the airport, where 100,000 people had gathered to await him and return him to office, but was unable to land because the military blockaded the runway. He then flew to Managua for a brief stop and meeting with President Daniel Ortega before flying to San Salvador to meet with the Secretary General of the OAS and the presidents of Argentina, Ecuador, and El Salvador who had flown there direct from an OAS meeting in Washington, DC.

More information, and suggested actions >>

Our earlier report on Honduras, and the coup leader's background in School of the Americas >>

The Military Coup in Honduras – led by an SOA graduate       [6-30-09]

This early report on the coup in Honduras, on Sunday morning, June 28, comes from School of the Americas Watch.

A military coup has taken place in Honduras this morning (Sunday, June 28), led by SOA graduate Romeo Vasquez. In the early hours of the day, members of the Honduran military surrounded the presidential palace and forced the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, into custody. He was immediately flown to Costa Rica.

A national vote had been scheduled to take place today in Honduras to consult the electorate on a proposal of holding a Constitutional Assembly in November. General Vasquez had refused to comply with this vote and was deposed by the president, only to later be reinstated by the Congress and Supreme Court.

The Honduran state television was taken off the air. The electricity supply to the capital Tegucigalpa, as well telephone and cellphone lines were cut. Government institutions were taken over by the military. While the traditional political parties, Catholic church and military have not issued any statements, the people of Honduras are going into the streets, in spite of the fact that the streets are militarized. From Costa Rica, President Zelaya has called for a non-violent response from the people of Honduras, and for international solidarity for the Honduran democracy.

While the European Union and several Latin American governments just came out in support of President Zelaya and spoke out against the coup, a statement that was just issued by Barack Obama fell short of calling for the reinstatement of Zelaya as the legitimate president.

Call the State Department and the White House

Demand that they call for the immediate reinstatement of Honduran President Zelaya.

State Department: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339

White House: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414

Click here to send a message to President Barack Obama.

Visit www.SOAW.org and www.SOAW.org/presente for articles and updated information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Campaign for Labor Rights added this information, and calls for action, later on Sunday

SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON DENOUNCES COUP – THE STRUGGLE IS NOT OVER – NEW DEMANDS

We just received a call from attendees at the emergency protest at the White House that Secretary of State Clinton has denounced the Honduran coup and expressed support for Pres. Zelaya.

Here is a short report, detailing new demands, from Alliance for Global Justice co-coordinator Chuck Kaufman:

We shouldn't relax though. The coup has not yet been reversed. The US needs to do more than issue a statement. They need to cut off all military aid until Zelaya is safely returned to Honduras.

They need to support bringing the coup plotters to justice. They need to replace the US ambassador who obviously knew what was going on. How fast they do that will indicate whether he told them about it in advance or not.


We are still asking people to:

Call the State Department and the White House

Demand:

1) Cut off all military aid to Honduras until Pres. Zelaya and Chancellor Rodas are safely returned to office;

2) Support any international movements to bring the coup plotters to justice;

3) Replace the US ambassador to Honduras

State Department: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339

White House: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414


OTHER IMPORTANT UPDATES AND BACKGROUND

Compiled from a variety of sources:

bulletApparently the ambassadors of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua were beaten by hooded soldiers and briefly detained after they tried to defend Pres. Zelaya.
bulletDuring this time, the US Ambassador was unavailable for comment, whereabouts unknown
bulletWe're not sure what the current fate is Chancellor Patricial Rodas nor do we have details regarding Pres. Manuel Zelaya, who was arrested and flown to Costa Rica.
bulletThe situation that precipitated this situation was the call by Pres. Zelaya for a referendum to change the Honduran constitution. The military and the Supreme Court refused to honor or cooperate with the referendum, which has been called for for months and has wide popular support.
bulletElectricity has been cut off throughout Honduras and television stations have been shut down. The last we had heard, there has been a stand-off in the streets between popular masses and the Honduran military.

This Alert was prepared by the Campaign for Labor Rights.

Visit our website at: http://www.clrlabor.org/wordpress/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For background and analysis:

For a sharp analysis of the background of the situation in Honduras, see Nikolas Kozloff’s article, “Obama's Real Message to Latin America?” He expresses concern that the coup may indicate a willingness on the part of the Obama administration to return to the old “interventionist U.S. foreign policy in Central America,” by sanctioning, or at least not opposing, a military coup against a democratically elected government.

Kozloff is the author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008). You can follow his blog at www.senorchichero.blogspot.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since these earlier reports were written, it appears that the Obama administration is speaking and acting to oppose the coup. Here’s one brief report, from Sam Youngman, writing in The Hill:

It begins:

Saying the U.S. does "not want to go back to a dark past," President Obama said Monday that the military ouster of President Manuel Zelaya was "not legal."

Meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in the Oval Office, Obama said the two men has discussed the coup and "all of us have great concerns."

The president said the ouster should not be used as "a means of political transition," calling it a "terrible precedent" for the region.

"We do not want to go back to a dark past," he said. "We always want to stand with democracy."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But the “ghosts of past U.S. policies” hang over U.S. responses to the coup, says the N. Y. Times.

War: Do we hafta??

Arch Taylor reviews Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace, by Douglas P. Fry    [11-15-08]

The recorded history of humankind is replete with stories of war and bloodshed. Consequently, most people resignedly assume that making war must be a natural characteristic of human nature, or at least of the masculine half. The phrase, “man the warrior” has become shorthand to express this generally accepted view.

Douglas P. Fry challenges that conclusion, drawing on the evidence provided by careful research into the evolutionary development of humankind.

Read the full review >>

8/6/08 -- Hiroshima Day

At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column.


Sixty-three years ago this morning at 8:15 the world changed. This is by David Krieger:

Hiroshima, August 6, 1945


Check this article by Krieger:

The Living Myths About Nuclear Murder: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He writes:

Yet, the fate of the world, and particularly the fate of humanity, may hang on how we remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we remember the bombings of these cities as just another point in human history, along with many other important points, we may well lack the political will to deal effectively with the challenges that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. If, on the other hand, we remember these bombings as a turning point in human history, a time at which peace became an imperative, we may still find the political will to save ourselves from the fate that befell the inhabitants of these two cities.

More >>


David Krieger is the President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He is the author of
Today Is Not a Good Day for War.

Today is not a good day for war,
Not when the sun is shining,
And leaves are trembling in the breeze.

Today is not a good day for bombs to fall,
Not when clouds hang on the horizon
And drift above the sea.

Today is not a good day for young men to die,
Not when they have so many dreams
And so much still to do.

Today is not a good day to send missiles flying,
Not when the fog rolls in
And the rain is falling hard.

Today is not a good day for launching attacks,
Not when families gather
And hold on to one another.

Today is not a good day for collateral damage,
Not when children are restless
Daydreaming of frogs and creeks.

Today is not a good day for war,
Not when birds are soaring,
Filling the sky with grace.

No matter what they tell us about the other,
Nor how bold their patriotic calls,
Today is not a good day for war.



Thanks to John Shuck, who posted this on Shuck and Jive on 8/06/2008 08:20:00 AM

Peace Fellowship publishes analysis of peace-related overtures    [6-3-08]

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship has published a comprehensive analysis of the most pressing peace-related overtures to be considered later this month at the 218th General Assembly.

You can download the complete commentary (four pages, in PDF format), or you can go to specific topics by clicking on the titles below.  There you will find the analysis in html format, with helpful links to many of the overtures and reports that are referenced.

The PDF document will provide you with a complete, easy-to-print version for use during the Assembly.

The topics include:

bullet Iraq Overtures
bullet Colombia Overtures
bullet Israel/Palestine Overtures
bullet Gun Violence and the Social Creed
bullet Mercenaries, Conscientious Objectors, and the Abolition of War

Click here for the complete analysis (in PDF format).

Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Update
[posted here 6-2-08]

2008 PEACEMAKING CONFERENCE
REGISTER ONLINE

Sowing Mustard Seeds:
Working for God's Justice-Confronting Poverty

July 15-19
Chapman University Orange, CA

NEW -- One-Day Walk-in Commuter Registration Form  (Adobe Acrobat required)

After June 16, call Dayna Oliver, Conference Registrar at 888-728-7228, ext. 5936 to register. Registration closes June 20.

Promotional Bulletin Insert (Adobe Acrobat required)

Peacemaking Conference looks at justice, poverty

July event set at Chapman University in southern California
[4-12-08]

The causes and effects of poverty are the focus of the 2008 Intergenerational Peacemaking Conference of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), July 15-19 on the campus of Chapman University in Orange, CA.

The theme of the annual conference – sponsored by the General Assembly Council’s Presbyterian Peacemaking and Hunger Programs, the Presbyterian Washington and United Nations Offices, Mission Responsibility Through Investment, the Child Advocacy Office and the Office on Small Church and Community Ministry of the PC(USA) – is “Sowing Mustard Seeds: Working for God’s Justice – Confronting Poverty.”

The conference is set against the backdrop of economic globalization, which has created new forms of poverty with more extreme disparities between the rich and the poor, conference organizers say. The annual income of the richest 1 percent of the world’s population is equal to that of the poorest 57 percent, with over 24,000 people dying each day due to causes of poverty and malnutrition.

Conference participants will explore the convergences of economic, political, cultural, and military systems that force and facilitate the flow of wealth and power from vulnerable persons, communities and countries to the more powerful.

Theological reflection and worship will be lead by Rev. Mark Lomax, pastor of First African Presbyterian Church in Lithonia, GA. He will be joined at the conference by keynote speakers Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, a policy think tank on social, economic and environmental issues; Roberto Jordan, president of the Reformed Church in Argentina; and Lisa Schirch, professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.

More in the full report from Presbyterian News Service >>

Spiritual Leaders Do Their Job, Are We Doing Ours?

Witherspooner and energetic blogger John Shuck offered this thought for Holy Week     [3-17-08]

The Dalai Lama calls for the world to take notice ...

"Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place," said the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. He was referring to China's policy of encouraging the ethnic Han majority to migrate to Tibet, restrictions on Buddhist temples and re-education programs for monks. (Read More)

Meanwhile...

Pope Benedict XVI issued one of his strongest appeals for peace in Iraq on Sunday...

The pope also denounced the 5-yearlong Iraq war, saying it had provoked the complete breakup of Iraqi civilian life. "Enough with the slaughters! Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq!" Benedict said to applause at the end of his Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square. (Read More)

So, fellow preachers. Do we let the Pope and the Dalai Lama have all the fun? Or do you think we ought to speak out with our congregations, on our blogs, and wherever else about stuff, that is like, important?

Visit Shuck’s “Shuck and Jive” blog >>

Christian Peace Witness for Iraq
March 6 - 10, 2008
Washington, DC ... and around the country


Witness in Washington, Vigil in your Community
[2-21-08]

Join thousands of Christians in Washington D.C. and across that country as we worship and witness together to say “YES” to peace and “NO” to the War in Iraq. Read our invitation and principles. Events start Thursday, March 6 and end Monday, March 10.

The main source of information is the Peace Witness website >>

Ways to get involved: 

●          Learn more and register to join the Washington Witness: The events include workshops, worship services, an interfaith gathering... See a map of events, a timeline, or register now!

●          Host a local vigil in your community on March 7th or sooner: Right now, events are listed in PA, IN, OK, IL, CA, OH, TN, WA, GA, MD... See the local events on a map, a timeline, or as a list.

●          Read and sign the Pledge for Peace

●          Volunteer

●          Imagine 10,000 Feet of Hope: Whether or not you can come to Washington in March you can be part of the web of resistance by offering a strand of hope.
 

Join the 6th Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days – Claiming a Vision of True Security

Their conference begins Friday night after the Christian Peace Witness events, and goes through the lobby day on Monday. Full registration costs $160, Saturday only (use conference code “CPWI”) costs $80. Learn more and register for EAD.


This additional message comes from Rick Ufford-Chase, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

You can finally register for the Washington Witness!!!

Go to www.christianpeacewitness.org to learn more about and register for the Washington Events, or to register your own Lenten worship or witness for Peace on the CPWI page. 

●          There are great workshops and nonviolence trainings on Thursday night the 6th and Friday morning the 7th.

●          There are nearly a dozen different Christian worship services to choose from on Friday the 7th at noon.

●          There are plans for an Interfaith Witness and public action (during which some may choose to risk arrest as an expression of conscience) at the capitol.

●          There will be a workshop on Saturday afternoon the 8th for those who want to volunteer as local/regional organizers for ongoing CPWI efforts.

●          Saturday night there will be a Faith-Based Coffee House for Peace and Justice.

●          If you can’t come to D.C., register your own local service/witness to end the war in Iraq on the CPWI website!

Check out the Pledge to Seek Peace. You can sign online, and invite others to sign as well.


Learn more about the new Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partners

I’m excited about this emerging coalition because I think we are into a new age of Interfaith relationships. Thirty years ago, the task of reaching out beyond the boundaries of the Christian faith was largely left to the leaders of our denomination, or perhaps to pastors. Now, however, those relationships are commonplace where we work and live, and most of us have the opportunity to live the rich possibilities of those relationships rather than simply learning about them second hand.

That opportunity is also a responsibility, of course. Our nation is said to be the most religiously pluralistic in the world. As my friend, Dr. Sayyid Syeed, the founder of the Islamic Society of North America, has claimed, “we are responsible to model for the world what healthy, multi-faith community is.”


The Christian Peace Witness for Iraq and Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partners have planned the Washington Witness to coincide with Ecumenical Advocacy Days.

Go to www.advocacydays.org to register now!


Check out the “Picturing Peace” Youtube video contest


The bottom line is that you have the chance to get in on the ground floor on a movement that I believe is going to take off. Bring your youth group for a witness you can trust will be principled, thoughtful, and positive. Come with your Bible study or adult group for some or all of the events. Fill minivans and buses, and if you can’t make it to DC, remember that you can hold your own service and witness locally around the county. Remember to register your event at www.christianpeacewitness.org .
 

Creating a Culture of Peace
[1-21-08]

The innovative design of this national training program provides a holistic and practical foundation in spiritually-grounded active nonviolence. Participants come to recognize their own power for making personal and social changes without violence and improve their skills for respectful engagement with opponents, instead of confrontation that polarizes and demonizes. Unlike trainings that focus only on anti-war protest, Creating a Culture of Peace training is an incubator for participants to raise issues which most concern them — group controversy and conflict, neighborhood violence, domestic violence, climate change, war and militarism, discrimination, video games, homelessness, peace education, and lack of health care. The training helps build a working community for peacemaking, through a shared foundation, learning new skills, and a guided experience in struggling and celebrating together.

The training is highly participatory and does not depend on reading a book or lectures. It draws upon the wisdom, experience and talents of all the participants and on the skills and knowledge of trainers. Mutual learning occurs through storytelling, meditation, small group sharing, brainstorming, role plays, thought-provoking exercises, music and movement. CCP offers training on nonviolence principles, analysis of social change and community-building, skills for peacemaking and resources.

Every group chooses and plans concrete projects for change.

CCP emphasizes two forms of active nonviolence: Constructive Nonviolence, where we must put most of our time and effort, is about creating a just and peaceful culture by developing new relationships, new practices, and new institutions. Nonviolent Resistance includes tactics such as boycotts, petitions, and rallies; it is designed to protest, and even to interfere with, injustice and oppression. Both forms are enhanced by increased democratic participation.

Creating a Culture of Peace is offered in communities across the country and at Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center in Bangor, Pennsylvania, where the CCP national office is located. In its first four years, CCP traveled to 36 states and Palestine, trained thousands of participants and 350 trainers, and was adopted by national and regional faith groups and Veterans for Peace. Janet Chisholm, who established and coordinates CCP, refers trainers and provides resources, materials, and consultation for community groups and the teams of trainers. The CCP program reflects her experiences in anti-poverty work, religious education, teaching children and student teachers, peace activism and collaboration with other trainers. She was inspired and challenged by her faith tradition; the cloud of witnesses for peace, and her six years at the Fellowship of Reconciliation as its executive and nonviolence training coordinator.


Janet Chisholm, Bangor, PA
www.kirkridge.org
jgchisholm@aol.com
845-641-3648

Thanks to John Shuck, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee, which is cooperating with a number of other churches and groups in East Tennessee to bring the Culture of Peace program to their area on March 7, 8, and 9.

Interested? Click here >>

 You're Invited!

Stony Point will join in Interfaith Dialogue on “Untangling the Roots of Conflict”

[1-4-08]

Every day, religious violence affects people around the world. While people of all faiths claim to worship a God of peace, in the 21st century we're seeing religious conviction increasingly breed extreme violence, threatening our very survival. This year's Trinity Institute conference brings together a panel of prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim voices to explore the deep roots of religious conflict and illuminate each faith's vocation as a force for peace – in ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world.

Webcast from Trinity Institute:
an Interfaith Dialogue,
Untangling the Roots of Conflict

January 21- 23, 2008
Stony Point Center, Stony Point, NY

Featured Speakers
  
James Carroll
   James H. Cone
   Susannah Heschel
   Tariq Ramadan

Opening Preacher:
  
Katharine Jefferts Schori

Visit our Stony Point Center website for more information on these respected theologians.

For more information and to register for this event, please call (845) 786-5674 or visit our website.

Explore with a panel of theologians how religion becomes entangled with violence and what are the resources within each tradition for living together in peace, without losing our unique identities.

Our satellite gathering offers the full conference experience – keynotes live via webcast from New York, and discussion groups to promote the discovery of individual and community call to action, and the realtime Q/A with the presenter through e-mail! Plus a special reception with a classical piano concert and the special viewing of Constantine's Sword.

All these at a cost far less than attending the originating site in NYC, without the stress and hassle of going to the biggest city, parking and exorbitant lodging cost. View the conference in the comfort of our Auditorium and participate in reflection groups.

Rev. Charles Ryu, Program Director
Stony Point Center

For our most recent posts on peacemaking issues in 2010 >>
For an archive of our posts on peacemaking, 2005-07 >>
For our stories from 2003-04 >>
For an index to peacemaking issues, 2001-2002 >>

Some blogs worth visiting

 

PVJ's Facebook page

Mitch Trigger, PVJ's Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!

You can post your own news and views, or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.

 

Voices of Sophia blog

Heather Reichgott, who has created this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:

After fifteen years of scholarship and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy, students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and thoughtful community.

 

John Harris’ Summit to Shore blogspot

Theological and philosophical reflections on everything between summit to shore, including kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in Flushing, NY.

 

John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive

A Presbyterian minister, currently serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and lightening up.

 

Got more blogs to recommend?

Please send a note, and we'll see what we can do!

 

Plan now for our 2010 Ghost Ranch Seminar!

GHOST RANCH SEMINAR

July 26-August 1, 2010

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
CONFRONTING THE STRUCTURES OF INJUSTICE

 

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