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Prayers for Peacemakers July 1, 2015 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers July 1, 2015     Colombia

Give thanks that Colombian Christians at the International Ecumenical Gathering for Peace in Bogota had a chance to fellowship with Christians from other countries embroiled in lethal conflicts and share peacebuilding experiences.


  *Epixel for Sunday, June 28, 2015 
 Photo: Justapaz
So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

NIGERIA: Women widowed by Boko Haram find healing in mutual support


Among the most vulnerable of Boko Haram’s victims, are the Nigerian women who have lost not only lost their homes and possessions, but also their husbands, and have to find a way to care for themselves and their children alone.  In my three months among them, I have met a number of such women, but three I have come to know more personally. 

One-year-old Hope crawls around on the floor of the reception area at the headquarters of EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria or the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) in Jos.  She has a quick smile and inquisitive face.  Every time she heads toward the door to the outside steps, Naomi, her mother, gets up and catches her just in time.

Naomi was working as a secretary at the former headquarters near Mubi, when Boko Haram attacked there on 29 October 2014.  She and her daughters, Blessing (18) and Hope (1) fled with throngs of others. Her husband, Bello Philip Mwada, and their three sons, Moses, Emmanuel, and Haruna, who left a little later, were shot and killed by Boko Haram fighters. She believes that her husband, a member of the Nigerian Police Force, was targeted because several times he found out that militant fighters were coming to a particular community, and he warned the residents to flee.

COLOMBIA: “Cain, where is your brother?” International churches share peacebuilding experiences


International Ecumenical Gathering For Peace
Bogotá, April  8-11,  2015

Photo: Justapaz

There is no one recipe for building peace. Each country has suffered pain from war at levels that others cannot imagine. These are just some of the shared examples of wisdom that came out of the 8-11 April International Ecumenical Encounter for Peace in Colombia.   

The event drew seventy-plus women and men from around the world to discuss ways the church can build peace in the face of the ongoing war in Colombia. The group exchanged peacebuilding experiences from the regional, national and international levels. 

Representatives of Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Mennonite, Assemblies of God, Foursquare Church, Presbyterian, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Reformed and Colombian communities participated.  They discussed strategies to deal with lost loved ones, threats, and displacement from the ongoing conflict over land and power. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos, June 14-20, 2015


Pinwheels for Peace


Pictured here: The NGO Rebuilding Alliance led an activity for the children of Susiya—a village in the South Hebron Hills under imminent threat of demolition by Israeli authorities. The activity consisted of drawing the meaning of peace in a square piece of paper that was turned into a pinwheel, and pinned on a pencil.

“For Such A Time As This” Esther 4:14 –An open letter to Stephen Colbert

“For Such A Time As This” Esther 4:14 –An open letter to Stephen Colbert

On June 24, 2015, the children of the martyred Clementa C. Pinkney had to walk beneath the Confederate flag to where their father lay in state, in the South Carolina Capitol building.  That flag stood for their enslavement, their dehumanization. That flag was on Dylan Roof’s car when he drove to Mother Emanuel, planning to slaughter your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Black people—adults and children—all over the United States continue to be killed and brutalized with impunity by law enforcement.

Brother Stephen, you are possibly the most privileged white Christian South Carolinian on the planet.  We are not criticizing you for your position.  We know that you have often used your media platform to speak out for marginalized people.  Christians in South Carolina have told us of your generous gifts to public education there and we know you have made significant charitable contributions to other worthy causes.

We are asking you to do more.  Black Christians are asking White Christians to stop white people from killing them.  You could use your media platform to speak out against the police murder and brutalization of  communities of color.  Asking you, as we have this week, to use your privilege to take down the flag in Columbia is also a very small thing.  We know it is not without risk.  CBS executives may not like it.  You have an extremely slim chance of ending up in jail.  You could receive threats from people who want the flag to stay up (which is why we have offered accompaniment.)

But unlike Queen Esther, you are not facing certain death at the hands of a capricious monarch (Esther 14:11.)  And you have not lived out the violence that  Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, Susan Jackson and millions of your black fellow Christians have under the Confederate Flag.

So make a statement, Brother Stephen.  Call on White people, whether they are wearing uniforms or flags, to stop killing and brutalizing black people.  There are Christians in South Carolina waiting to meet us.  Let’s take down that flag.

Today’s Open Letter is the last posting of the Colbert Campaign.  We are asking our constituency  to

  • go to https://www.facebook.com/colbertlateshow?fref=ts and in the comments section post the link to this open letter and tell Colbert that now is his Esther 4:14 moment. Today he can start creating a less violent future for all the black and brown children in the United States.
  • For those of you with Twitter accounts:  You can send messages to @StephenAtHome.  We have no way of gauging how many are getting through or who is reading them.  Doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.  Good hashtags are #BlackLivesMatter and #TakeDownTheFlag. But the MOST IMPORTANT hashtag is #LSSC ( which stands for LateShowStephenColbert). Use pictures, if possible. Again, remind him that God may have put him in his position for just such a time as this, and that black and brown children deserve not to live in fear of white violence.  Use pictures. 
  • Check out: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LSSC&src=typd.   Favorite the #LSSC tweets of other Brothers and Sisters who are encouraging Colbert to travel to Columbia with CPT and Suey Park. Doing so will give these tweets more prominence.

 To donate to the cost of the CPTers’ travel to Columbia, SC, click here. IF WHITE PEOPLE RUN SCREAMING THROUGH THE STREETS OF COLUMBIA, SC EXORCISING THE CITY OF ALL SYMBOLS OF WHITE SUPREMACY BEFORE STEPHEN COLBERT, SUEY PARK AND CPT GET THERE, the money will go toward CPTers’ travel to project locations in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Northern Ontario, and Palestine.