CPT International

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Sarah Thompson appointed CPT Executive Director

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Sarah Thompson appointed CPT Executive Director
17 December 2013

Christian Peacemaker Teams is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Thompson to the position of CPT Executive Director, starting in January 2014.

Thompson brings a wide range of experiences to the position. Through her work in the international peace movement as a public-speaker and community organizer, she is adept at bringing people together across lines of difference and building momentum for positive social change. Her Christian church involvements include six years of volunteer work as the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference's Youth and Young Adult Executive Committee and Global Youth Summit planning group, as well as service with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem, Washington, D.C. Advocacy office, and in her hometown of Elkhart, Indiana, United States.

Thompson has traveled across various continents through activist and volunteer work with feminist anti-war movements, Spanish translation opportunities, the Fulbright Scholarship, and Spelman College (graduated summa cum laude in 2006 with a Comparative Women's Studies & International Studies double major, and a minor in Spanish).

A 2011 Masters of Divinity graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Thompson writes, “I am thrilled and humbled to participate with CPT in this capacity. I feel called to the spiritual practice of building partnerships that transform violence and oppression. I am grateful to all who have gone before me to make this organization a place where I can use my gifts, bring my questions, encounter challenges, and rely on support from allies and colleagues.”

Thompson recalls, “I first learned about CPT's edgy peacemaking programs and analysis of structural oppression when I was in Peace Club at Bethany Christian High School in Goshen, Indiana (1999-2002). After attending the CPT Peacemaker Congress my sophomore year, I knew that CPT would be a part of my future.  I was thinking more along the lines of when I retired, but was delighted to have been invited to participate sooner.”

Outgoing Director Carol Rose says, “This is going to be great! We are beginning a really exciting period in CPT’s history.  I am confident to hand over leadership to Sarah who is creative, capable, and caring. Her activism grounded in deep faith, coupled with her brilliant thinking, brings a dynamism that will help keep CPT moving with joy and partnering powerfully.”

Thompson served as a member of CPT’s Steering Committee (2010-2012) and has worked for the past year as CPT’s Outreach Coordinator. “I am very grateful for these opportunities,” she says. “Like my previous work with grassroots, political, and social-justice organization, working through CPT has been a deeply formative and positive experience for me.” The focus of the Executive Director role will be on strategic directions for organizational development, undoing oppressions, and fund- and friend-raising.

To introduce yourself to Sarah, and/or to schedule her for a speaking engagement or fundraising event for CPT, please contact her at director@cpt.org. In light of this good news, please share this announcement widely, and click here to make a gift in support of Sarah as she begins as Executive Director.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Sacred power infuses CPT Americas Convergence, Giving Tuesday

During the well-attended CPT workshop at the School of the Americas vigil 22-24 November 2013, we mingled sharing from teams and undoing oppressions with moments of song and silence.  We sought to make the workshop more than just informational.  We wanted to embody in the workshop the presence and power of the sacred, because acknowledging that sacred power is what makes this life-work sustainable for us. 

Sarah Thompson facilitated invitationally, and Chris Knestrick wrote the following prayer, interspersing sections with stories CPTers shared (Sandra Milena Rincón Vidal about Colombia and Iraqi Kurdistan, Peter Haresnape about Aboriginal Justice, Tim Nafziger about Undoing Oppressions, and Jonathan Brenneman about Palestine):

 CPTers at conclusion of 24 November SOA Watch vigil


We must commit:

               We can only move out as far as we have moved in.

May we commit to the work of undoing oppression in ourselves, organizations, and communities.

                Only in doing so can we build right relationships.

The workshop was a part of the larger CPT Americas Convergence, a gathering that brought together new and seasoned CPTers and our supporters, to join the mass mobilization for de-militarization 22-24 November.  We accompanied events happening at the gates of Ft. Benning US military training base, and witnessed to the conditions and stories of the immigrants detained at Stewart Detention Center.  Former Steering Committee member Anton Flores and the Alterna Community organization he leads hosted us with much love and integrity.

Soon after everyone returned home CPT participated for the first time in #Givingtuesday.  CPT organizers set a one-day goal of raising $1,100 (1% of the Plowing and Planting Major Donor Campaign goal) and we accomplished it!  Both the spirit of togetherness present at the CPT Americas Convergence, and working collectively to raise the funds needed are deep encouragements for the long haul of building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: CPT launches Plowing and Planting Campaign; Director Carol Rose announces retirement

10 December 2013
CPT INTERNATIONAL: CPT launches Plowing and Planting Campaign; Director Carol Rose announces retirement

On 3 December, CPT launched its first major gift campaign: Plowing and Planting.  Drawing on the image of swords into plowshares, we are preparing our field.  Can you join us?  We have two goals:

 • Plowing under the debt for our Chicago training center and office.

The building has served us well since 2010.  Paying off the remaining debt will free up $15,000 a year over the next four fiscal years.  That amount is the average annual cost of sustaining one CPTer.  At the start of the campaign, this debt stood at $69,500.

 • Planting new seeds of psycho-social care for CPTers. In 2013, we established a circle of care for CPTers under trained counselor Karen Brandow. In 2014, we are planning a weeklong retreat and hope to provide in-person care for our peacemakers in the field.  Our goal in this area is $40,500.

Do you know people who might be in a position to make a major gift to support peacemaking?  Would you consider a gift yourself?  Please email outreach@cpt.org.

Our goal is to raise $110,000 by August 24, 2014.  Thanks to generous donors, we have already raised $42,100 in donations and pledges.  As part of the Plowing and Planting Campaign, outreach coordinator Sarah Thompson, director Carol Rose, assistant director Tim Nafziger, and reservist King Grossman will be meeting with prospective donors.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 December 2013

Prayers for Peacemakers, 3 December 2013

Give thanks for everyone who participated in Christian Peacemaker Teams' peacemaking ministries by donating on #GivingTuesday, 3 December 2013.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Please join us for #GivingTuesday

3 December 2013
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Please join us for #GivingTuesday

This is a one day global opportunity (all currencies accepted!) to take action to remind ourselves that the end of the year is not about consumerism, but about sharing our resources in good will so that there indeed may be peace on earth. Together we can raise $1,100 for CPT on #GivingTuesday! This is 1% of CPT’s new major gifts campaign, Plowing and Planting. Your donation on #GivingTuesday can help each project in a specific way.

We would also welcome your help in sharing one or two of these short invitations with your social media network (make sure to include the link):


#GivingTuesday This month in Palestine, the Israeli military has confiscated the vehicle used for transporting the children to Al-Fakheit school.  CPT Palestine, EAPPI and Operation Dove do not have enough volunteers to provide the accompaniment really needed to protect the driver and the vehicle.  In an atmosphere where very few good ideas are being presented for peace in the region, accompaniment matters. Support something creative and a little bit risky! http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2013/11/05/south-hebron-hills-cpt-releases-new-video-masafer-yatta-under-israeli-occupation

CPT INTL: And then they attack you and want to burn you

Can you support CPT this month? We're approaching the end of our fiscal year on October 31st and we still need to raise $55,000 to make our target for this fiscal year.

Our partners need our support now more than ever.

Ruins of House burnt down in Las Pavas on September 17.

Colombia: On September 17, a home belonging to a member of the Las Pavas community was burnt down with about 1500 kg of corn stored inside. This act of arson is a devastating loss for the farmer who lost his home and is just the latest attack in a campaign of terror by those who want to push them off their land. With your support, CPT walks with them and many other communities in Colombia struggling for a dignified life on their own land.

Palestine: On the same day, September 17, Israeli authorities denied full-time CPTer Jonathan Brenneman entry into Israel. He was the third CPTer in three months that the Israeli government has turned back from their peacemaking work with our Hebron-based team. Brenneman’s denial of entry came the day after the team witnessed bomb detonation and machine gun fire in in Firing Zone 918 where the IDF is trying to displace twelve Palestinian villages. With your support, CPT walks with them and the many other communities in Palestine struggling for a dignified life on their own land.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: CPT Americas Convergence to participate in School of the Americas witness at Fort Benning, 20-24 November


Join us this November for the first ever CPT Americas Convergence in Georgia, USA.   CPTers and supporters from Turtle Island (North America) to the Southern Cone will gather for five days of formative events including worship, public protest, fellowship, accompaniment, and the opportunity for nonviolent direct action Wednesday, 20 November through Sunday, 24 November 2013.  

CPT will partner with the Alterna Community and former Steering Committee member Anton Flores-Maisonet, based in LaGrange, GA to participate in an annual public witness and civil disobedience action at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin.   Stewart, a privately run prison, is the largest immigrant detention center in the United States. Alterna and Georgia Detention Watch have long monitored this facility, documenting violations of human rights and detention standards and organizing vigils to remember the detainees trapped there as well as Roberto Martínez Medina who died while in detention at Stewart.

Following the witness in Lumpkin, CPT will join thousands gathered at the gates of Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA to call for the closure of the infamous U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA).  Since 1946, this “School of Assassins” has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, psychological warfare, military intelligence, and interrogation tactics.  SOA graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people, targeting educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor.   They have tortured, raped, “disappeared,” assassinated, and massacred hundreds and thousands of Latin Americans.   Although the official name changed in 2001 from SOA to WHINSEC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation), the school under any name is synonymous with torture and impunity.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Call for Expressions of Interest and Nominations for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Full-Time Executive Director


CPT seeks applications for an Executive Director. Position begins in January 2014. Job description is stated below. Executive Director will play a major role in donor development. Additional responsibilities include direct supervision of select staff members and strategic organizational development.

Applications from members of racially-marginalized groups and from outside North America are warmly welcomed. As with all staff members, compensation is a need-based stipend up to US$2,000/month, other benefits include full health coverage, opportunities for ongoing learning/growth, and incredibly meaningful work within teams of kind, gutsy and committed peacemakers. The initial appointment is for a period of three years starting with a 3-month mutual trial period.

Contact the Search Committee (director.hiring@cpt.org) with expressions of interest, nominations, or questions. A detailed job description, qualifications, and application materials are available at www.cpt.org/ed-job-description. Application materials are due by Sep 14, 2013.

Please share this message widely and pray for God's work through this appointment process.

CHICAGO: Public witness calls for protecting Las Pavas, Colombia farmers from corporate aggression


 Passersby watch dramatization of palm oil company pushing Colombian farmers off their land - Colombian Consulate, Chicago
 Passersby watch dramatization of palm oil
company pushing Colombian farmers off their
land - Colombian Consulate, Chicago

On Friday, 26 July, CPTers and supporters took to the streets of Chicago calling for an end to violence against the community of Las Pavas, Colombia. Donning cardboard palm trees and straw hats, participants dramatized palm oil producer Aportes San Isidro’s acts of aggression towards the subsistence farmers of Las Pavas.  

In recent months, the company’s armed security guards have destroyed crops, damaged farm equipment, fire bombed homes and buildings, killed animals, threatened people at gunpoint, and brutally attacked one community member with a machete.  Despite government orders granting the land to the Las Pavas community, Colombian police have done nothing to stop the company’s attacks and encroachment upon Las Pavas territory.

“We are calling on the Colombian government to protect the families of Las Pavas,” said Cass Bangay of Ontario, Canada in front of the Colombian Consulate in downtown Chicago.  She went on to read from a series of testimonies by Las Pavas community members: “Roberto Puerta Peña, father of six says, ‘I’m trying to make a good life for my family here on the farm, but I haven’t achieved that yet.  The violent harassment from the palm company is really hard.  One time they held a gun fifteen centimeters from my head.  Then they threatened to hurt my family.’”  A small delegation delivered a letter to the Consul General along with a small palm tree and images and testimonies from the Las Pavas community symbolizing the group’s concerns. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams launches new logo


Flowing from a three-and-a-half year Mission and Presentation Re-visioning (MAPR) process that included representation from all parts of Christian Peacemaker Teams, graphic artist Nekeisha Alexis-Baker created a new logo for CPT.

The CPT visual identity, as Alexis-Baker articulates it, “focuses on the organization’s new mission statement, ‘Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.”  Each element of the logo (including the graphic element), works together to suggest movement from division and strife toward renewal and restoration.”