Presbyterian Voices for Justice 

A union of The Witherspoon Society and Voices of Sophia

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Our reports about the 219th General Assembly, July 2010

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School of the Americas, 2003

Off to prison for peaceful protests   [4-7-04]

School of the Americas Watch reports that many of those who demonstrated against the "School of the Assassins" last November are now entering federal prisons, mostly for terms of six months.

And we have a special report on Witherspooner Don Beisswenger, as he began his six-month term at the Federal Prison at Manchester, Ky.

SOA and the New American Empire   [3-29-04]

David McPhail takes a careful look at the School of the Americas -- where it came from and how it works today -- as a window into the workings of U.S. power in Latin America.

Don Beisswenger sentenced to 6 months for SOA protest  [1-28-04]
bulletA press release gives some details of his conviction and sentencing for his witness.
bulletHis own statement to the judge tells more of his motives.
Witherspoon member Don Beisswenger heads to trial for SOA protest 

Don Beisswenger issued a statement on January 16th, the day before leaving for his trial in Federal Court on January 26th on charges of criminal trespass for his participation in the Nov. 23rd demonstration at Fort Benning, GA, to protest the human rights violations that have been supported by training at the School of the Americas.

For background, see our earlier report.

40 protesters arrested at demonstration against School of the Americas   [12-2-03]

Nonviolent protest met with US military violence

bulletPresbyterian minister and Witherspooner Don Beisswenger was among those arrested.
bulletKathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness, was hogtied and abused physically and verbally as she was arrested.
Peace Fellowship announces events at SOA protests in Columbus, Georgia    [11-6-03]

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship invites Presbyterians and friends to two events in Columbus, Georgia

Saturday, November 22, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Presbyterian Delegation Breakfast

Holiday Inn North Azalea A room
2800 Manchester Expressway
(Exit 7 - I-185 South or Exit 7B I-185 North)
Columbus Georgia

Cost: $10 for full breakfast buffet
Meet other Presbyterian Peacemakers; everyone welcome
RSVP: Marilyn White, or 281-554-2851
In Columbus: 713-299-4811

Sunday, November 23, 8:15 a.m.
Presbyterian Presence at SOA vigil

Meet in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, 3741 Victory Drive and Fort Benning Road
(Near vigil parking areas)
Look for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship banner

We will march together to the vigil site at the gates of Fort Benning, where we will join the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other religious peace fellowships in the memorial procession. During the vigil, PPF will hold a brief prayer service at the gate, on Fort Benning property.

The SOA Watch website provides full information about the plans for the vigil and protests.

Witherspooners Jane Hanna and Betty Kersting plan to be at the protest.  Anybody else?  Send a note and let us know!

Amnesty International decries US military in Latin America

Amnesty International has condemned the growing presence and influence of US security forces in Latin America. According to a report titled "The Human Rights Implications of US Training of Foreign Military and Police Forces," each year the US trains 100,000 police and soldiers from 150 countries, a significant increase since 9-11. Mexico is the second leading recipient of military training, trailing only Colombia. In 1999, Mexico received US$918 million for advanced combat training and arms.

The School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, is one of the principal training facilities. The School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) is planning a massive peaceful demonstration in front of Fort Benning on November 21-22.

For more information, see

Thanks to the Mexico Solidarity Network



GA actions ratified (or not) by  the presbyteries   

A number of the most important actions of the 219th General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book of Order.

We're providing resources to help inform the reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.

Our three areas of primary interest are:

bullet Amendment 10-A, which would remove the current ban on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.

bullet Amendment 10-2, which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of Confessions.

bullet Amendment 10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government that was approved by the Assembly.

If you like what you find here,
we hope you'll help us keep Voices for Justice going ... and growing!

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Darcy Hawk
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Gibsonia, PA  15044-8312


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!


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