CPT Regional groups are built around a core of trained
CPTers and CPT supporters that work to reduce violence both in their local regions
and by supporting or serving on already-established CPT projects.
CPT regional groups
engage in a variety of activities: nonviolent direct actions, organizing speaking
tours, lobbying government officials, and serving on CPT projects. CPT regional
groups can function as a spiritual support community for people doing a lot
of peace organizing.
When at least ten people from a region
apply to become CPT Reservists (3-year term, 2-8 weeks service per year), CPT
will work with that group to plan a regional training.
The process for becoming
a CPT Reservist includes first participating in a CPT delegation, and then applying to become part of the Peacemaker Corps.
- How are regional groups organized?
- How do they relate to the Chicago office?
- What are effective methods for starting a regional group?
- What makes for a strong regional group?
How are regional groups organized? How do they relate to the Chicago office?
Regional groups tend to be fairly autonomous (both financially and in decision-making) from the CPT offices . Regional groups decide for themselves: how often to meet, what issue or issues to focus on, how to structure themselves, whether or not to join coalitions, etc. Some regional groups fundraise money specifically for their regional group. The most successful regional groups have found that meeting on a regular basis is important to keep the group together and active.Each regional group is asked to designate one person to be the liaison with the CPT coordinator responsible for linking regional groups in their part of the world with CPT as a whole . These coordinators can provide support like: regular communication with the group to find out what the group is doing, regular communication with the rest of CPT to highlight the work of regional groups (e.g., writing updates for the newsletter), being available to brainstorm ideas for actions or the direction of the group's work, etc.
If you are in Canada and you are interested in forming a regional group in your area, please contact Rebecca Johnson at 416-423-5525, email@example.com . If you are anywhere else, contact Tim Nafziger at: 773-376-0550, firstname.lastname@example.org
What are effective methods for starting a regional group?
- Become a CPTer. If you are interested in organizing a regional group and you, yourself are not a CPTer, CPT strongly encourages you to participate in its 4-week intensive nonviolence peacemaker training held twice a year in Chicago. It is important to have a local CPTer who has experienced the training firsthand to help with scheduling, content, and local logistics that are involved in a regional training.
- Contact, contact, contact. Form a list of people you know and contact them to see if they have or know of someone who might have interest in forming a CPT regional group. CPT can send you a list of people in your region who are interested in CPT. One man sent a letter to over 100 people and then followed up with a phone call! Other's have put announcements in church bulletins and contacted various peace and justice committees.
- Focus on forming an active group. When you contact people about a regional group, it is important to focus on recruiting people for a regional group instead of recruiting people for a nonviolence training. Past experience has taught us that people tend to get excited about being trained in nonviolence and don't really understand that this is training people to become CPT Reservists and part of a regional group.
- Foster interest in CPT. Invite CPTers to come talk about their experiences ‘in the field'. It's a great way for people to learn how peace is made ‘on the ground.' One group set up a series of speaking engagements in their area (at local churches and schools) and, as a result, a few people signed up for CPT delegations. Go to the Speakers Bureau page to find CPT speakers.
- Encourage people to go on CPT delegations. This is a great way to get to know CPT. Plus, it's a mandatory step in the application process for becoming a CPT reservist, which also includes filling out a corps application and having a telephone interview with our personnel coordinator. Once five people from the group have completed the application process (and another five are in process), then tentative dates for a regional training can be set.
- Start meeting. The most successful regional groups have found it helpful to begin meeting regularly as a group (e.g., once a month) before the actual training. This is helpful because it allows the group to begin forming a vision of what issues it wants to focus on, plus folks can start getting to know each other better. Some groups began by reflecting on what it means to be peacemakers. Other groups began by organizing prayer vigils to address local violence.
After the group has begun meeting, the regional group development coordinator can come to your area to talk further about CPT and begin the process of planning the training.
What Makes for a Strong Regional Group?
- sharing life stories
- meeting in different venues and staying in each other's homes
- having regular, face-to-face meetings
- having full-day meetings, which makes the meeting more like a retreat day
- including a significant 20-30 minute worship time in the meetings
- commissioning each other for CPT service (delegations, Reserve duty, etc)
- having a staff person to support, energize, be available
- having "refresher training" sessions
- fairly flexible agenda and time frame for meetings
- the group is a "home" for those with common interests and world-view, understands us and our CPT experiences
- chance to meet full-timers personally
- news of group's activities circulated frequently by e-mail between meetings
- staying in touch with other social justice organizations to make common cause and future recruits
- support field teams with actions at home like the Colombia vigil in Toronto in August
- support and participate in CPT Urgent Action requests etc.
- organize local fun(d)raising events
- monitor and respond to local press reports
- maintain contact with local politician
AustralAsia (Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia)
Following participation by a number of New
Zealanders and Australians on CPT delegations, an ad-hoc group -- comprising
representatives from the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand
(AAANZ), the Society of Friends in Australia and New Zealand and the Mennonite
Church in Indonesia -- established the CPT AustralAsia Regional Group in 2008.
The working group prepared the following mandate
and vision statement as a basis for its operation. Subsequently representatives
from the Philippines have joined the working group.
The group maintains contact through occasional
teleconferences and an occasional email newsletter to those interested in its
activities and the work of CPT more generally.
Vision and Mandate
- To support the
vision and mission of CPT globally in implementing organised non-violent
alternatives to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict
- To establish a
group in the Australasian region to support, encourage and implement organised
non-violent alternatives to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict
through a range of relevant activities, including:
- Encouraging and facilitating the participation of interested people on
- Working towards the running of a CPT training course in the region
- Engaging with local and regional communities where peacemaking and
conflict resolution would be appropriate including those arising from the
impacts of climate change, religious conflict, economic dislocation and local
indigenous issues in the region leading towards invitations for CPT delegations
and possible team presence
- Advocacy on behalf of people suffering conflict
- Conduct training and educational activities to encourage the churches
and other interested community groups in the region to a commitment on
- Raising funds to support peacemaking and conflict resolution activities
in the region and by CPT.
The group is exploring peacemaking activities with church and
community groups in West Papua. Discussions are also proceeding with people
interested in CPT in the Philippines about the possibility of undertaking CPT
training in the region.
More details on CPT Australasia including copies
of the email newsletter are available at
Australasia refers to a geographical region including Australia, New Zealand,
the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Christian Peacemaker Team, Colorado
(CPT-CO), holds monthly meetings, which include updates on CPT activities, prayer
and spiritual reflection, planning for future peacemaking activities, refreshments,
and fellowship. Members serve on CPT teams in Asubpeeschoseewagong, Colombia,
Iraq, and Palestine. Activities on the local scene include:
- demonstrations ranging from violent toys to anti-war rallies
to Citizen's Weapons Inspections
- surveying area toy stores with results being shared with the managers,
- interpreting CPT to area churches and meetings and to the larger community
and the media, CPT fund-raising activities,
- joining community peace watch efforts during times of expected student violence,
- assisting with training of students and neighborhood residents in being
a violence-reduction presence in times of potential violence.
- training for being part of CPT Reserve Corps in 1997 was led by various
CPT staff who traveled to Boulder, Colorado, for weekend sessions.
For more information, contact Gretchen Williams at 303-245-0015, email@example.com
CPT Netherlands works at enlarging the CPT support base in the Netherlands. It aims at regular participation in CPT delegations and organizes speaking tours for those who have served with CPT. We hope that "creating space for peace " will become a central theme for those who want to contribute towards a better world for all.
For more information contact Maarten van der Werf, firstname.lastname@example.org
See the website in Dutch: www.cpt-nl.org
CPT Northern Indiana (CPTNI) is a small community of Christian peacemakers gathered from the northern Indiana and southern Michigan area. The group of about twenty people, ranges in age from 18 to 70+. They meet monthly to eat, refresh their spirits, and plan the nonviolent revolution. They have done work on peace issues in their area ranging from immigrant rights to war taxes to militarism. If you're interested in joining them, call 574-642-3963 or email email@example.com for directions and the next scheduled meeting.
CPTNI is a sponsor of a nonviolent campaign to End the Production of DU Weapons that works through education, creative nonviolent action, legislation, and media. The campaign has a direct focus to end production of DU weapons at major facilities in the US - Alliant Ballistic Laboratory in Rocket City, WV, and AeroJet in Jonesbough, TN. CPT delegations to Virginia and Tennesee meet with people impacted by these weapons, including veterans, hospital administrators and plant employees, and organize and carry out a nonviolent public witness challenging the production of DU munitions.
In order to keep their peacemaking skills sharp, the CPT Ontario group spends
part of each quarterly meeting doing roleplays in order to practice nonviolent
responses to incidents that CPTers have encountered in "the field." Meetings
are also a time for group members, returning from CPT projects, to share and
debrief their experiences with supportive friends. In addition to serving
on CPT's international projects, members of CPT Ontario work together to support
local peace initiatives.
In 2003, CPT Ontario hosted or joined a variety of local peace witnesses, including
actions to stop the war inIraq, a prayer walk in Hamilton's Red Hill Creek Valley
to stop a planned expressway, a "community conversation" in Kitchner about the
danger of violent toys, and two public witness events highlighting the current
situation in Iraq at the Mennonite Church Canada Annual Assembly in St. Catharines.
Since forming in 1997, CPT Ontario has hosted two CPT regional trainings that
trained 26 people to become CPT reservists. CPT Ontario is currently preparing
for a third training. If you are interested in the training or finding
out more about CPT Ontario, please contact Doug Pritchard, 416-423-5525, firstname.lastname@example.org
CPT launched its first regional group outside of North America in
May 2004. CPT-UK came together with the purpose of building a presence
in the region, resulting in the October 2009 European Training which
took place in London. Those trained in this group, and those who are
already members of CPT have served on each of CPT's projects and bring a
wide range of skills and experiences.
In March 2011 European CPTers and supporters met in Berlin for the
first CPT European Convergence to continue the conversation about
establishing support for CPT in Europe and identify opportunities for
If you are interested in meeting with CPTers in the
UK, discussing a delegation or hosting an event about peacemaking,
please contact Maureen Jack, Reservist on the Palestine Team or Peter
Haresnape, fulltime Member of the Aboriginal Justice Team.