The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is partnering with Christian Peacemaker Teams to travel with a delegation of ten people to Iraqi Kurdistan. This delegation will focus particularly on the role and impact of fossil fuels in the region and how we might respond faithfully and in solidarity with our partners there. Since February, the delegates have been preparing for this delegation by reading about the history and current context of Iraqi Kurdistan and fundraising for the delegation.
Over 220 human rights, faith, indigenous rights, environmental, labor, and nongovernmental groups sent an open letter to Secretary of State Kerry expressing “shock and deep sorrow regarding the murder of Honduran human rights and environmental defender Berta Cáceres,” the founder and general secretary of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The organizations urged “a response from the State Department that is not business as usual but a profound change of direction towards improving the abysmal situation of human rights in Honduras.”
Coming back from our visit with the ecumenical house-church in the barrio where we read scripture, sang songs and celebrated three people’s birthdays, my first impressions are that so many people here live as best they can. They do not need more violence, hardships, or exploitation. It reminds me of people given the hard labor of making bricks –without straw (Exodus 5:1-20). These people do not need extra measures of hardship. What they do need –as an outsider– I do not know.
Thursday, March 31, 2016 – Saturday, April 2, 2016
We hope you'll join us for the inaugural PPF Activist Council Gathering in Asheville, NC March 31-April 2, 2016. We will meet, worship, collaborate, conspire, organize, and strategize for peace! Amy Cantrell, of the Beloved Community in Asheville, and others will lead us in worship and action throughout the weekend. Together, we will learn and plan to do faith-rooted organizing for peace within our communities and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
As one of the co-authors of the book Never Pray Again, I am of the opinion that piety without concrete striving for justice is worse than doing nothing at all. So if, like me, you're ready to do something about gun violence instead of offering up "thoughts and prayers", here are some things you might try.