Public Witness

COLOMBIA: Download #DOPA2016 Worship and Action Resource Packet

 

Have you seen our site? cptcolombia.org

DOWNLOAD: Days of Prayer and Action Worship and Action Packet | May 22-23

May 22-23, 2016 will mark the annual Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia (DOPA). This event is celebrated in communities and congregations across Colombia and the U.S. This year, there is 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 investment 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.

Download the Worship and Action Packet for stories, multimedia links, prayers, resources and ideas on how to participate with us.

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)

DOWNLOAD HERE
Alvaro Garcia
Days of Prayer and Action event at the Four Square Church in El Garzal, May 2015
[photo: Caldwell Manners] 
 

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 18, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, May 18, 2016

Give thanks for the decision that Christian Peacemaker Teams – Europe made to hold its convergence and public witness at the Eurovision song contest in Malmö, Sweden three years ago last week.  Out of that meeting arose its decision to accompany and partner with refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers and their allies on the Greek island of Lesvos.

*Epixel for Peacemakers May 22, 2016 Trinity Sunday
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming  Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

 

CPTnet
2 February 2016
CPT INTERNATIONAL: I Corinthians 13 for CPTers

by Peter Haresnape

1 Corinthians 13 for CPTers

If I speak about courage and justice, and siding with the oppressed, and speaking truth to power no matter the cost, but do not speak about love... I am just a loudmouth orator, a white saviour, a shameless self-promoter.

If I am excellent at nonviolent communication, and I take great pictures, and I know all the latest anti-oppressive lingo, and I can analyse racist systems so as to dismantle them entirely, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I fully embrace the work of prophet and activist and martyr, and get dragged away by the riot police or bombed by the military of my own country, but have not love, that is no use to anyone.

Love is patient. Love survives evil, war, oppression. It remains when the teargas clears and the children go back to school. It is still there when the water is protected. Love is kind, not arrogant, not insisting on its own way, but making space for joy and truth even in the hardest circumstance.

Whether it is love between two people, or love of a person for their community, or love of a community for its land, or love of justice and peace and equity, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Clever words will be forgotten. The most interesting facts are subject to revision. The best sermon you've ever heard – you will forget. Right now, everything we do is flawed and inaccurate. But. One day we'll experience Truth with a Capital T. And then all this will be unnecessary.

Before I was mature, I was immature. In becoming mature, I left behind ways of speaking, thinking and reasoning that were immature.

Right now we're hearing murmurs, reading translations, seeing shadows on the wall, but one day we'll see face-to-face.

Right now, half of the time I'm guessing, but one day I will know beyond all doubt – and I will be fully known.

What remains when it is all stripped away is three things:
Faith that the flawed world as we see it is not all that there is;
Hope that the next generation will live in a better world;
and Love to give us the strength and motivation to build it.

The greatest of these is Love.

 Peter Haresnape

Want to feel the love, show the love, be the love for CPTers struggling find the best way to personify love in their own work?http://www.cpt.org/participate/donate

UNITED STATES: Former CPT Iraq, Palestine, Vieques team member goes to jail for drone resistance

 On 12 January, the National Day of Action to Stop Killer Drones, grandmother and drone resister Mary Anne Grady Flores learned that she will go back to jail for six months starting Tuesday, 19 January. Grady Flores served as an intern on the Palestine and Iraq teams and was part of Christian Peacemaker Team’s delegation campaign to stop the U.S. Navy bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

Grady Flores had been out on appeal of a lower court convicting her of violating an order of protection. Col. Evans of the Hancock Air National Guard Base 174th Attack Wing (in Syracuse, NY), sought the order to “protect” him from nonviolent anti-drone activists.  The court charged her with violating the order because she took pictures of eight Catholics protesting the US drone assassination program at Hancock on Ash Wednesday, 13 February 2013.  Onondaga County Court Judge Miller upheld the lower court conviction. Of note is that a court acquitted all eight Catholic drone resisters because they went to uphold law, not break it.

The court and the Base have used orders of protection, typically given in domestic violence situations, in an attempt to deter protest and suppress free speech. Judge Miller also upheld a lower court ruling on the Hancock 17, seventeen nonviolent drone resisters who received orders of protection, jail time, and fines.

Prayers for Peacemakers, January 13, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, January 13, 2016

Give thanks for the gift of water. Give thanks for the Indigenous peoples defending clean water around the world today. Pray that governments and corporations will abandon resource extraction projects that threaten watersheds.

January 17, 2016  Second Sunday in Epiphany
Anishinaabe Water Walkers
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 9, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 9, 2015

Give thanks that Canada is finally launching a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Pray for the inquiry to be fully equipped, empowered and lead by the families, and that it will bring Canada's legacy of colonial misogyny into the light.

*Epixel for Third Sunday in Advent, December 13, 2015

From a February 2014 March for Murdered and Missing Women and Girls.

 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflicts you: and I will save her who is lame,
and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land
 where they have been put to shame.

At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you:
for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth,
when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, says the Lord.  Zephaniah 3:19-20 KJV (adapted)


*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

CHICAGO: CPTers join protest calling for living wage, racial equality

 


Activists from Chicago and all across the United States held protests calling for a fair, fifteen-dollar national minimum wage on Tuesday, November 10.  

But for those at the protest, the low wages that keep many families in poverty is just one component of the structural racism within the United States.  

"This isn't just about money. This is about justice. This is about the black community. The brown community," said one of the protesters that asked not to be named. "This is about black lives, about police brutality, and about Rekia."  

Rekia Boyd was a twenty-year-old whom police officer Dante Servin shot and killed three years ago.  The protesters marched and demanded that Dante Servin face justice. 

Members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine team showed up in solidarity for the protest.   Currently in Hebron, dozens of people have died at the hand of the Israeli military in what Amnesty International has termed “extrajudicial executions.” Israeli leaders currently serving in the government speak of Palestinians and other non-Jews inegregiously racist terms, justifying violence against them. 

"We came out today because CPT understands that violence is rooted in oppression and that through our work we have to work on all forms of oppressions including an unfair wage that is rooted racism," said field worker Cody O'Rourke. "And it is through this coalition building that we have witnessed tangible changes being made across the movement that is calling for justice across Israel/Palestine."  

CHICAGO:CPT trainees join coordinated witnesses against state brutality in Chicago and Palestine

 

Black Youth Project 100 leader Charlene Carruthers
(center, seated) reminds her comrades that they are 
there because the Chicago mayor wants to allocate an
additional $200 million to the Chicago Police Dept. 

Where does the money go? This question was just one of the the common themes in the coordinated actions of the Chicago chapters of Black Lives Matter and Jewish Voice for Peace coordinated on the weekend of 24-25 October 2015.  CPTers in the middle of a month long training attended the events, employing their public witness, human rights documentation, and nonviolent direct action support skills. Other CPTers from the administrative team and field teams also participated. 

On 24 October marches to stop police brutality rocked the entire United States, making visible the lives stolen by state violence (one African-American dies every 28 hours at the hands of police or Correctional Officer in the US).  In Chicago, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) met at the convention center. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had invited them to learn from Chicago Police Department (CPD).  The CPD is notorious for corruption; recently victims of systemic Chicago police torture won a precedent-setting reparations payout. 

CPT trainees demand independent investigation into Afghan hospital bombing

“The U.S. cannot investigate itself.”

“While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping.”

These were some the core messages Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) conveyed through signs and chants on 9 October 2015 when it marched through the streets of Chicago, demanding an independent investigation into the hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan by the United States armed forces. On 3 October, the U.S. military carried out a bombing raid on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, resulting in twenty-two deaths, including ten hospital staff and twelve patients.  Doctors Without Borders is requesting an independent investigation into the bombing from the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC).

Members of CPT gathered on Friday outside of the British Consulate in downtown Chicago dressed in blood-spattered hospital attire and carrying a black coffin to symbolize the deaths at the hospital in Kunduz.   Alicia R from London delivered a letter to the British Consulate urging the British government to request an investigation by the IHFFC.  Only a member country can request such an investigation.

As the march started, chants of “while you’re shopping, bombs are dropping” and “bombing hospitals is a war crime,” echoed through the streets.  At several intersections, members of the group dramatized the bombing by falling in the middle of the street as another marcher hit them with a sign shaped as a bomb that had the letters, “USA,” on it.

The procession stopped at the Canadian Consulate where two Canadian citizen trainees had a meeting to urge the Canadian government to also request an investigation by the IHFFC. During the meeting, other members held vigil outside. They sang and handed out information about the bombing to passers-by.

The march concluded at the US Federal Building where Kody Hersh from Philadelphia, PA and Douglas Johnson Hatlem from Chicago, IL knelt in front of the main doors preventing access as they prayed. Federal security locked the doors and rerouted pedestrian traffic, while CPT members and other supporters held a prayer vigil in memory of the innocent lives lost in Kunduz, Afghanistan. 

As of Sunday 11 October, no member country has yet requested an investigation from the IHFFC and Doctors Without Borders continues to speak out against the hospital bombing.


.http://www.msf.org/article/msf-kunduz-attack-ihffc-awaits-us-afghanistan-consent-proceed-independent-investigation

DETROIT: Conversation as Action-CPT Goes to the Source

photo: Hayden Abene
CPT Detroit Delegation gathered at Source Booksellers for a presentation and conversation on food, faith, and sustainability.  Pictured (from left) delegate Cate Desjardins, delegation leader Sarah Thompson, delegate Ian Sawyer, and bookstore owner Janet Webster.

Plato described it as finding your way out of the cave; social activist Grace Lee Boggs spoke about the evolution of our thinking; Jesus said to know the truth is to become free. They, and so many others, observed that our minds are often limited by illusions. Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) takes great care to place ourselves in the path of individuals who can help us more clearly see the truth of what is happening in our world and the way we are attached to false narratives. Having given ourselves into the ongoing work of freeing our hearts and minds, we also seek to create conditions that bear public witness to the search for truth. None of us can leave the cave of internalized oppression on our own. We need people who have experienced the joy of this journey to invite, walk with us, hold us accountable, and celebrate with us.

Often times, actions that bear witness to truth in the context of entrenched oppression take the form of protest, transgression of unjustly drawn boundaries, or creative venues for speech. But for our Detroit Delegation action, CPTers went directly to the Source. Source Booksellers is a small independent bookstore specializing in the kinds of books that awaken consciousness and support people and communities seeking truth together. Storeowner Janet Webster Jones collaborated with delegation leader Sarah Thompson to host a conversation focused on food, faith and sustainability. Members of the delegation presented stories guided by the five principles outlined by Mennonite and writer Doris Janzen Longacre in Living More with Less (1980)—a practical guide for living in sustainable ways that are mindful of both the future of the planet and the plight of the poor: