Regional Groups

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.

Frequent Questions

  • 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 Rachelle Friesen at 416-423-5525, canada@cpt.org . If you are anywhere else, contact Jen Yoder at: 773-376-0550, outreach@cpt.org

 

What are effective methods for starting a regional group?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

Colorado

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, gretchen.b.t.williams@gmail.com

Europe

CPT Europe is an emerging structure of organized CPT work in Europe.    

CPT Europe - Facebook   |   Web blog

Current Focus

Thousands of refugees have died along European Union borders in recent years. Miles of barbed wire and militarized border controls are forcing migrants seeking safety in Europe to take the most dangerous routes — crossing the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia and Italy or the narrow straits between Greece and Turkey. Those who make it face racism, violence, institutional incompetence and, frequently, confinement or deportation.

The systematic closure and militarization of Europe’s borders with its neighbors contrast sharply with the European Union’s rhetoric of democracy and universal human rights.

CPTers in Europe are responding to this crisis. After a preparatory visit in February 2014 (pictures | report), in April 2014 an exploratory delegation travelled to the Greek-Turkish border. The delegtion met with refugees, civil society organizations and activists to build relationships and develop an understanding of the situation.

As a consequence, the Convergence (annual gathering) of CPT Europe decided to begin a project with a local partner in the city of Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece, the "Village of All Together". The initial project ran for three months in 2014 and in 2015. Since 2016 the project has been expanded. 

Further Information:

Regular updates on the work of CPT Europe can be found at the blog: cptmediterranean.wordpress.com and on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CPTEurope.

Netherlands

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:  info@cpt-nl.org

See the website in Dutch: www.cpt-nl.org 

Northern Indiana

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 richm@cpt.org  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.

Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia)

Christian Peacemaker Teams Oceania is a regional group that includes Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Aotearoa and Australia.

CPT Oceania recognises the role colonialism has played and continues to play in oppression of people’s in our region.    This is a key focus in our focus on undoing oppression.

CPT Oceania is building on of the work of the CPT Australasia group which was established in 2008.  We have renamed ourselves to step away from the colonial connotations of the word Australasia.   Our regional group includes trained and active CPT’ers, those who have participated in delegations, and other supporters of CPT. We have a close association with the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand.

We meet regularly by teleconference and seek to meet in person once a year.

CPT Oceania has three key focus areas:

1.      Supporting members of the Christian Peacemaker Team Corps and delegate

Our region currently has five trained members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams and a larger number who participate in training.  We seek to provide mutual support and practical information to people as they serve on team. 

2.      Supporting more participation through a subsidy program

Given the cost of travelling to both delegations and training from our region, CPT Oceania has established a fund to support people in our region to become delegates.  Click here for more about applying for a scholarship.  Click here for more about donating.

3.      Exploring how we can work in solidarity with the people of West Papua

The group has a key concern for the people of West Papua and is talking with groups about how we can partner with them in their struggle to overcome violence and oppression.

We’d love to hear from you!  Please contact us at oceania@cpt.org

Ontario

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, canada@cpt.org

Philippines

For more information contact Rey Lopez: rclopez.cptphils@gmail.com

United Kingdom

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. 

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 to identify opportunities for peacemaking.

In May 2015 European CPTers met in London at Union Chapel. As part of the convergence, we joined with the Anabaptist Network for a Faith Activism day. We also joined with London Catholic Worker to do a very powerful witness in solidarity with refugees who are drowning trying to get to Europe.

In March 2017, European CPTers had another meeting in the UK- this time in Yorkshire. This included a visit from CPT's Executive Director, Sarah Thompson. 

CPT UK is hoping to eventually raise the money to have a full-time or possibly four-day-a-week Outreach Worker in the UK, reaching people in churches, Quaker meetings and learning institutions, and encouraging people to take part in CPT Delegations around the world.

If you are interested in meeting with CPTers in the UK, discussing a delegation or hosting an event about peacemaking, please also contact uk@cpt.org.

If you would like to donate to CPT UK (outreach work for CPT in the UK), please either write a cheque out to ‘Mennonite Trust’ or transfer the money to:

London Mennonite Trust
Sort code: 40-04-37
A/C: 01200224 

London Mennonite TrustSort code: 40-04-37A/C: 01200224  IBAN - GB62MIDL40043701200224

IMPORTANT: Write a letter or email, ‘requesting’ that the funds be put towards CPT UK’s project (be careful to not use the language of ‘requiring’). The address for letters and cheques is Vickie Schellert, The Mennonite Trust, PO Box 73540, London E9 9DB. Vickie's email address is: administrator@menno.org.uk

 

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPT_utdkingdom

Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianPeacemakerTeamsUK

Washington, D.C.

For more information contact Sally Hunsberger:  sallyhunsberger@juno.com