May 2nd, 2016

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SOLIDARITY: #OccupyINAC addresses the decades-old suicide “crisis” in First Nations communities

What is the vision of the Government  of Canada? Does it 
include the wellbeing and rights of Indigenous Nations?

Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency on 9 April 2016 after 11 suicide attempts in one day, part of a pattern of over 100 suicide attempts in recent months. Reports began to circulate of suicide pacts between groups of children and youth, and a community unable to access the fundamentals of life.  In response, and to protest the lack of governmental response, Toronto-based Indigenous activists, supported by #BlackLivesMatter activists occupied the offices of Indian & Northern Affairs Canada(INAC), in concert with nationwide occupations and vigils.  

Attawapiskat hit the global news in 2011 when then-Chief Theresa Spence began a sacred fast, calling for a Nation-to-Nation meeting with the Prime Minister and Governor General (representative of the Queen).  The nearby DeBeers diamond mine had dumped sewage into the community, causing flooding and the growth of mold in reserve houses and precipitating a desperate housing crisis as the winter approached.  

 At the time, MP Charlie Angus asked 'what if they declared an emergency and no-one came?' The current spate of suicides are a direct result of the lack of response from the Government of Canada, which fought back by auditing Attawapiskat finances, the same Government of Canada that simply 'lost' $1.3 billion in 2013. The Government's intention to blame Indigenous Nations for their own poverty is part of a refusal to acknowledge the truths of colonialism. 

April 29th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 15-21 April 2016

No Passage 

Pictured here: A young Palestinian youth pushes his bike under the barbwire at the checkpoint.  After passing his bike through, he crawled under himself.  The checkpoint turnstiles are too tight for a bike and the Israeli Border Police rarely open the gate for youth.

April 27th

Prayers for Peacemakers April 27, 2016 Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Prayers for Peacemakers April 27, 2016   Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity

Give thanks for the faithful witness of those who have been involved in the protests with Occupy INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) at INAC offices across Canada set off by the suicide crisis Attawapiskat.  Pray for the encouragement and comfort of those still occupying.

*Epixel for Peacemakers May 1, 2016  Sixth Sunday of Easter
#OCCUPYINAC Winnipeg Office
 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, 
and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming  Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

April 25th

COLOMBIA: Days of Prayer and Action 22-23 May 2016 celebrate grassroots peacebuilders



Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia


Save the Date: May 22-23, 2016

May 22-23, 2016 will mark the annual Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia (DOPA). For eleven consecutive years, churches of Colombia, North America and the surrounding region have joined this journey that mobilizes thousands of people to pray and carry out actions to call on the governments of the U.S. and Colombia to put an end to the armed conflict in Colombia. This year, people have real hope that a Peace Accord will be signed, ending  fifty-years of fighting between the government and the FARC guerillas. As “Plan Colombia” moves to “Peace Colombia” advocates in the U.S. must call for the U.S. to end militarized aid, and instead invest fully in Colombia’s peace.

This year’s DOPA theme, “Building Peace from the Ground Up” acknowledges the role grassroots peacebuilding has had in tilling the soil for the peace agreement, and the critical role it will play in nurturing a peace that will be sustained in Colombia. Across our two nations we will plant ‘seeds of peace’ together, committing ourselves to renewed work and policies needed for a just peace in Colombia to grow.

For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, the ground shall give its produce, and the skies shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. (Zechariah 8:11)

April 21st

Prayers for Peacemakers April 21, 2016 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers April 21, 2016    Iraqi Kurdistan

Pray for the villagers in the Dohuk governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan made homeless by Turkish cross border bombing raids in the past few weeks.  Pray for Christian Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan’s efforts to reach out to these villagers as they return to the area and reconnect with old friends.

*Epixel for Peacemakers April 24, 2016  Fourth Sunday of Easter
Kurdish villagers  in Zharawa camp displaced by Turkish bombing in 2012
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among
 mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and
God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death
will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things
 have passed away." Revelation 213-4
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming
Revised Common Lectionary readings.

April 19th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 7-14 April 2016


Pictured here: We were stopped by these girls on their way home from school. We hope for a better and brighter future for all Palestinians, particularly the up and coming generations.

April 18th

MEDITERRANEAN POEM: Love letter to Mitylene

This is my love letter to Mitylene

Mytilene! The thorny embrace, the mermaid with the orange necklace
The raki drunk nights, the hand that caresses me, the hand I love
Mytilene the joyful cigarette smoked by me after a late embrace
Mytilene the joyful cigarettes that the abandoned children of our earth smoke
after kissing your orange necklace
Mytilene! I love the hands that caress Sappho
beside men who shave their shoulders with the sea salt in their underwear
Mytilene! I love also the Sohrab Sepehri lips who whisper into my ears in the rain
”We have to close our umbrellas, 
We must walk in the rain
We must sleep with women in the rain
We must re-imagine everything in the rain”
While a little angel was sleeping in the rain
with her eyelids heavier than the victorious body of Tyndareus over the defeated body of Helena
with a loneliness deeper than bottom of the well in which Joseph was thrown and abandoned by his brothers
with a silence more scary than the silence of the grave in which Mohammad Abu Khalid from Quneitra is composting
Into redness of your flowers, into the feathers of your birds until there is no you and him but only him or only you
Until the sea that swallowed him when he approached his lips to your orange necklace, 
Shall embrace both of you and retake you to its deep blueness

Even behind your blue wall flowers grow, 
When the Mart Force tried to show that fear is bigger than love
I saw a couple from Syria who were spooning each other in a parking place without any fear
I saw a way blocked by Ahmad Halabi and his friends and they demanded from you to see them as humans
I heard Ahmad Halabi saying that the only thing which could make him happy was a joint, a shower and a ferry ticket which could take him to a stable roof over his bombed heart
I saw Abd trying to leave you to embrace his beloved girl and you prevented him
I saw Hisham who lost his son in the sea, not giving up the hope that he was alive while he already was eaten up by your human eating fishes.

April 14th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine March 2016 Newsletter


Kindergarten students CPTers walk to school


The Walk to School in Hebron


Imagine your children or grandchildren going off to kindergarten. Young, innocent, curious, proud to be "adults" going to school now. Not quite the same for kindergarten kids off to school in Hebron, Occupied West Bank, Palestine. 

In one neighborhood the kindergarten kids round the corner from the courtyard where their families live. Then, to go to school, they have to climb a rather steep hill. This hill has some features that you would consider "out of the ordinary". 

There is a nice, hard-surface path that leads up the hill. On the right of this path is a low wall constructed of concrete barriers -- somewhat like you might find separating the traffic lanes on an Interstate highway or autoroute -- topped with a wire fence. The path becomes a kind of corridor, but it's not the path for these kindergarten kids. They are Palestinian in occupied Palestine. Their path lies to the left of the barrier. It's an eroded dirt path covered with rocks and debris -- not so easy for little feet and short legs to navigate.

Read the full article here

April 13th

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 13, 2016 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers, April 13, 2016     Palestine

Pray for U.S policymakers who are questioning their country’s unwavering support for Israel.  These include Representative Hank Johnson, Senator Patrick Leahy and eight other members of congress who held up the Israeli military’s murder of Hadil Hashlamoun in Hebron last fall as an example of why the U.S. needs to re-evaluate military aid to Israel.  They also include Senator Bernie Sanders, who has called for Israel to stop building settlements and referred to the indiscriminate killings of civilians in Gaza in 2014.  Even though he misstated numbers of Palestinians killed in an interview and his comments brought a barrage of criticism from other candidates running for president, he has not backed down from his statements.  Pray that these congressional members will continue to show the courage of their convictions, and that the voters in their districts will have the wisdom to resist the pro-Israeli Occupation lobby during the elections.


*Epixel for Peacemakers April 16, 2016  Fourth Sunday of Easter
Senator Patrick Leahy                                                                Representative Hank Johnson
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your
 staff-- they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint
 my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:4-5
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common 
Lectionary readings.

April 11th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: March 2016 Newsletter now available!

Newroz - Celebrating the new year of 2716 !

The participants on the 45th CPT training joined other friends to celebrate the 2716 New Kurdish Year (Nawroz) by visiting the Kurdish mountains. Nawroz represents freedom, renewed hope and Kurdish dreams.