Nonviolent Witness

SOA Vigil 2015

For 25 years, the SOA Watch has been a consistent and powerful movement calling for a close of the School of the Americas and an end to the training of Latin American soldiers by the US Army. They organize around a common vision of an end to militarism and empire by focusing specifically on closing the School of the Americas through nonviolence.

Chereth Brook at SOA 2015

And Yet, There is Hope: Reflection on a Visit to the Albany Catholic Worker Community

This morning I sat in the basement of the Emmaus House (the Albany Catholic Worker community), who was a recipient of one of the PPF Peace Communities grants. It was a cold morning, but it was warm inside as we gathered around the Advent wreath with the single candle of hope lit during this first week of Advent. We sang "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and read from Baruch and an Advent reflection by Dorothy Day and prayed for our world and for our communities.

Tales of a Faith-Led Artivist

My vocational calling as a faith-led “artivist" contains a bias toward those artists who are culture keepers, healers, vision casters, whistle-blowers, mirrors to society and midwives to the world we dream is possible. My most moving experiences of dance, theater, music, poetry, and art is when it addresses the social and political climate in which it exists. Many artists, feeling the need to break the shackles of traditional structures, have put their curiosity and impulses above any responsibility to their audience. The undercurrents of social critique preserved in folk-art and in older cultural traditions do not have the same visibility in our world of high production value, novelty, and cleverness. Yet, those justice minded artists keep pouring out their hearts.

Mosaic of Peace Conference

Monday, April 4, 2016 to Saturday, April 16, 2016
Mosaic of Peace 2016
 
The event website has conference details, a sample schedule, and an online application.  
 

Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me

Just at the close, one of our company, a grizzled old, wheel-chair-bound vet., native of Poland, asked for the microphone. He wanted to sing to us. And while his voice may well have been a fine one some years ago, of late it had deteriorated into a bleak, stentorian bellow. Nevertheless he could not be denied and, as it turned out, his selection could not have been more fitting. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me…” And as he blasted forth those well-known words there was hardly a dry eye in the place.

He reminded us just what it had all been for. He sang of the pity, the tragedy, the futility, and yes the nobility of it all. He recalled us to the cause so many had died for, that we all had served for, that had yet to be achieved, we hoped, by different, far less self-defeating means. His grand old words of peace, no matter how discordant, spoke more eloquently than all the flags and ribbons, the medals and mementos, and recalled us to ourselves, our better, truer selves.

Destination Bethlehem by Barrie Shepherd

The book is written as a personal guide, with a prose meditation, prayer or poem for every day from Advent through Epiphany. However it might also be useful as an Advent study group book, and as a rich source of materials for worship planning and for preaching throughout this most demanding season.

Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence

Fight explores violence in the Bible and challenges us to live out Jesus’ call to non-violence. With prophetic relevance, New York Times bestselling author Preston Sprinkle tackles the controversy surrounding violence and grapples with surprising conclusions. Anyone who has struggled with the morality of violence will appreciate this convincing biblical guide. Buy as a paperback or an ebook here.

A Month of Creation Justice

The weather is finally beginning to feel fall-like here in New York, a not-so-subtle reminder of the reality of climate change in our world as we prepare to mark the three-year anniversary of Sandy in just ten days. This has also been a theme over the past month in my work with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.

A New Revolution in Guatemala

“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?

Campaign Nonviolence Holds National Conference in Santa Fe

I was thrilled to be able to attend the Campaign Nonviolence National Conference this past weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement to mainstream nonviolence and to foster a culture of peace free from war, poverty, environmental destruction, and the epidemic of violence.” The Campaign, launched last year by Pace e Bene, has been endorsed by more than 200 organizations, including the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. In its first year, Campaign Nonviolence inspired 240 nonviolent actions across the country during the week of September 21-27, 2014.

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