The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship recently co-signed a letter to the Joint Federal Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs with 46 other organizations to request that human rights conditions are included in the fiscal year 2016 budget for foreign assistance for Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia. This is in response to the lessoning and in some cases, removal of these conditions to the U.S. Federal budgeting process. We were joined in signing this letter by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“I think there’s going to be another revolution.” Hermano Pedro spoke these words to me, nodding slowly, as we sat at the kitchen table drinking sweet coffee and eating bread. That was in early July of this year. We were talking about Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and the protests that were happening in the capital calling for his resignation. I had asked him what he thought would happen--would Guatemala just wait it out until the September elections or would Molina be forced to resign, just as his vice-president had done a few months earlier?
Around the world, people experience violence over natural resources, sometimes dying for the very land and water that gives them life. As climate change grows, conflict grows. We will fight for land, food, resources, water and breathable air.
This past weekend was darkened by the news from the West Bank that many of us saw when we woke up on Friday--that 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh had died in an arson fire set by Israeli settlers. As we read the news, Ali’s four-year-old brother and parents were in the hospital being treated for burn injuries. It wasn’t long before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the US, the UN, and the European Union condemned this act of violence. Most notably, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli Army, too, called this an act of terror.
Pope Francis recently released a highly anticipated papal encyclical, Laudato Si', on the subject of climate change. This study guide is intended to assist individuals or small groups to read and digest Laudato Si’. It follows the natural divisions of the letter and recommends scriptural and worship resources to create a seven part study designed to encourage fruitful conversation. It is our hope that these conversations will lead to a surge of faithful action on the part of Christians from all traditions to care for our common home.