September 23rd, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 23, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 23, 2015

Pray for the refugees and asylum seekers who continue to land on the Greek island of Lesvos.  Pray for the CPT Europe workers and all the international workers, Greeks and tourists who reach out in compassion to ease their suffering.


 *Epixel for Sunday,September 27, 2015 
 Guardian video featuring CPT Europe workers helping refugees     
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:7-8 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings. 

September 21st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos, 11-17 September 2015


What Will We Tell the Principal?

Pictured here: Palestinian teachers are late for school, because soldiers are detaining them for ID checks in Hebron.  


September 18th

MEDITERRANEAN: From the womb in exile to the tomb in exile

I have seen Mela Qadir, the Muslim priest of my home village, leading many funerals. “God has taken back your soul. When we leave now you are going to try to rise up and go back to your home, but the stones above you are going to prevent your head from rising up and you will realize that you are dead,” he said to the deceased, with his voice of authority, his edgeless mustache, his ironed Kurdish suit and his elegantly tied turban.

Mela Qadir guided everyone who died in my home village in this way, at the confusing point between this earthly life and eternity. He told all of them that two angels will come, that the grave becomes like a beautiful garden where the dead person can enjoy him-or herself until judgment day–if the person was a righteous person. If not, the walls of the grave would come together and he would feel the suffering he or she had caused other people a thousand-fold.

The dead persons in my home village had names. They had life stories, known to the people who attended their funerals. On this occasion, they shared stories about the dead persons’ childhood, goodness, who they were as fathers or mothers, how good they were at their work and how funny they were.

September 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 16, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 16, 2016

Give thanks for another year of Christian Peacemaker Team-Palestine’s accompaniment of the Al-Saraya kindergarten children in Hebron’s Old City.  Give thanks for the lasting bonds and friendships that will develop.


 *Epixel for Sunday, September 20, 2015 

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,
"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
 Mark 9:36-37
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

September 15th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos, 4 -11 September


Kindergarten accompaniment

Pictured here: A young student leads a train of kindergarteners to Al Sarayah Kindergarten. CPT Palestine has resumed our accompaniment program this year of walking fourteen kindergartners back and forth to school, as they must pass  military checkpoints and armed Israeli Border Police.


September 14th

EUROPE: Why “prioritizing” Syrian refugees is a bad idea


A refugee boat arrives on the shores of Lesvos at the same time as a 
FRONTEX dinghy.                                             Photo: Ramyar Hassani

Since 2011, the bloody war in Syria has displaced millions of civilians to neighbouring countries and EU member states. Meanwhile there are other countries whose post-war situations have made life miserable for very large parts of their populations.

Since more than a year ago, European politicians have talked about prioritizing the Syrian refugees. However, the very high numbers of  Syrian refugees are people who were unable to make it to Europe “legally” due to intentionally harsh Western policies barring their entry. Around eight million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 3.75 million have gone to neighbouring countries like Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

September 11th


As we race home, the kilometres clicking, stock markets dipping, politicians promising brighter futures in radio sound bites, Lynn reads from the Truth and Reconciliation’s (TRC) 388 page report â€śHonouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future”. As an official document – it’s surprisingly digestible. As a record of Canada’s history – it’s deeply troubling. 

As we drive south, mists rising off the lakes surround the hills. It has an otherworldly effect—making me feel like the world we’re leaving is an unreal, distant, a dream that disappears like smoke once daylight arrives.

Passing through hour after hour of northern forests it might be easy to think there’s a limitless supply of timber. It could be easy to forget the living nightmare the people of Grassy Narrows have shared with us. Return to my same old ways of getting by, consuming energy and natural resources without a thought to the true costs of my living.

I remember what Larry Morrissette, who talked to us about de-colonization in Winnipeg, said about Development.  “You flush the toilet – and somebody else gets the shit.”

We have short memories when it comes to such things. The 1996 Royal Commission covered much of the same territory as the TRC report. It made many of the same recommendations. Most of which were conveniently disregarded by those in power and forgotten by the general public.

This TRC document however, is soaked in the tears of the Residential School survivors. The TRC heard over 6,000 stories. Many heartbreaking accounts are captured in the pages. In addition to the hard cold truths of how we made “our home on native lands,” it documents the human costs. The truth is that the “true north” is neither strong nor free.

September 10th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos 27 August-3 September 2015

Renewed Israeli oppression at school time


Pictured here: Yousef, one of the Palestinian boys that attend the Ibrahimi school in Hebron is stopped, questioned and asked to empty his pockets despite the fact he did not set off the metal detector.  


September 9th

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 9, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 9, 2015

Give thanks that the Aamjiwnaang First Nation is speaking out about the damage that “Chemical Valley” in the Sarnia area is doing to its nation as well as to the other living creatures.  Christian Peacemaker Teams recently participated in a “Toxic Tour” as an act of solidarity with the Aamjiwnaang people.   Like ninety other First Nations in Canada, including Grassy Narrows, Aamjiwnaang First Nation is unable to drink the water on its land.

 *Epixel for Sunday, September 12, 2015 
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray, save my life!" Psalms 116: 3-4
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

September 8th

MIGRATION REFLECTION: Not since World War II… so many people looking for HOME


Afghan refugees on Lesvos

I have been home three weeks and am now able to re-enter Winnipeg society. I no longer have to cocoon in my house, unable to face the huge grocery stores and my friends who ask me how I am.  Already I can go hours without even thinking of  the people I sat with in Iraqi Kurdistan. I am forgetting the heat and the sweat and the burning hot wind. I am forgetting the tears and pain of mothers sitting on the sidewalk begging with their eyes, families in unfinished houses asking for a refrigerator so their water can be cool enough to drink and people living in flappy tents that fall down in the blustery winds.   I am forgetting the father looking at his 21-year-old son who is thinking of paying money to a smuggler to try to get to a life worth living. I am forgetting the words, "What else can he do?"

But there are still hours when I remember. When I read news of seventy people dying in a smuggler's truck because no one would open the doors.  When I hear from my colleagues working on the island of Lesvos of ordinary people risking the life and breath of their children to get onto inflated boats trying to find a society who will embrace them and say welcome.