October 7th, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 7, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 7, 2015

Pray that the nation of Canada will repent of its cruelty, and stop denying 169 First Nations communities access to clean drinking water.

*Epixel for Sunday, October 10, 2015 
 5:7 Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!

5:10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

5:11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.

5:12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins-- you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

October 6th

COLOMBIA: Two big reasons for celebration, two opportunities for prayer


A Las Pavas farmer looks for his name on the roster.Community members rotate
  turnsin guarding the communal house which has been attacked multiple
 times over the last few years. 

We rarely get opportunities to update you about positive developments. These last two weeks though, have brought the kind of news that inspires us.  News that promises  that one day peace may arrive in Colombia, that just maybe, justice will be done, and mercy shown.  Apart from political or judicial developments that once in a while turn in favor of the communities we accompany—that allow us to celebrate— we listen to stories of children, women and men to who despite life threatening risk, chose dignity; these are the people, the stories, and acts of courage that give us hope.

Earlier this week, the Constitutional court amended the Agrarian Law propelling forward about two hundred land cases around the country. Las Pavas, a farming community that we accompany, will benefit greatly by this decision granting them access to return to their land. Today, out of more than a hundred and fifteen families only twenty-four live on the farm, the rest live in a state of continual displacement. Up to this day since their return in 2011, after three displacements—once in 1996 by Emilio Escobar, uncle of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, the second time by the AUC (Self-Defence Forces of Colombia), a highly organized and brutal paramilitary group, and in 2009 by a corrupt local Police inspector, whose eviction order the Constitutional court overturned— the community continues to suffer attacks to their person and property by armed guards or thugs hired by the palm oil company, Aportes San Isidro. Read about the court’s ruling to understand why this is so significant in their process, and why we celebrate. We'll take every small bit.   Read here >>



Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia shakes hands with Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, or more popularly known as Timochenko, the Supreme Commander of the FARC-EP as Raul Castro, President of Cuba, the brother of Fidel Castro encourages them. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

On 24 September,  the image above dominated the news all around Latin America, you might have even seen it on your local media outlet. The day before, in Havana, Cuba, the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC-EP) agreed to the last of the six agenda items, concerning Transitional Justice after three years of negotiations. Both parties have committed to signing the final agreement and implementing the accord within six months. This will bring an end to one dimension of fifty years of armed struggle. Here are some articles that further explain the agreement.

October 5th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT-Palestine September Newsletter 2015

The day after Hadil was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers, the Hebron community marches to her funeral in public lamentation.

Hadil: Palestinian teenager fatally shot in Hebron


Hadil (18) was shot dead by Israeli forces at Shuhada checkpoint in occupied Hebron on 22 September. Hadil was a member of a Palestinian family from the H1 region of Hebron, and was in her first year as a student at Hebron University. It was as she was passing through one of the many checkpoints of occupation in H2 Hebron - checkpoints that divide one Palestinian neighborhood from another - that Hadil was so brutally killed.

October 2nd

COLOMBIA: Constitutional Court ruling changes the game in favour of Las Pavas

Yesterday, the Colombian Constitutional court removed two significant articles from the Agrarian Law. Large landowners who have acquired land through illegal means have been using these articles to prevent the Colombian state from recovering these lands. From now on, the courts cannot suspend the rulings of INCODER—the Colombian institute that regulates land titling—in the event of an appeal for revision.

An Aportes San Isidro palm oil worker tends to recently planted palm trees that surround young yucca and plantain trees.

 Two years ago, INCODER ruled that the disputed territory of Las Pavas belonged to the state, through a process of imminent domain. (The Las Pavas community had been working the land for more than thirty years.) Aportes San Isidro, the palm oil company, appealed this ruling before the Consejo del Estado, the highest administrative court, where the revision of this ruling remains stuck to this day and the implementation of INCODER’s ruling suspended.

October 1st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos, 23-29 September 2015


Love amidst Hate  

Pictured here: Two Palestinian girls smile and make a heart as Palestinians pass through Israeli checkpoints to reach Ibrahimi mosque for Friday prayers. There is so much hatred here in occupied Hebron, but love is also ever present. As Leonard Cohen says "there's a crack in every thing, that's how light gets in". 


September 30th

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 30, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, September 30, 2015

Pray for Christian Peacemaker Team Colombia partner Carlos Morales, who was arrested, along with five other people affiliated with Cahucopana Nordeste.  The police have accused Juan Guillermo Rojo, Morales’s bodyguard, of homicide. Cahucopana Nordeste strongly denies these accusations against Carlos Morales and others. They demand that all held in custody receive a fair trial, and that the authorities and the media treat the accused with the presumption of innocence.  

*Epixel for Sunday, October 4, 2015 
 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Psalm 26:1
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

September 29th



Larry Morrisette

“I am not sick. I am not a victim. I have been colonized. I am a member of a strong and resilient people. The effects of being colonized have made me sick. I have been victimized but that is not who I am. I have been healed, and continue to heal, by the traditional ways and medicines of my ancestors—given to them by the Great Spirit.” (A paraphrase)

Larry Morrissette of Winnipeg’s Bear Clan (one clan among many) explains how colonization has attempted to destroy his culture and eradicate his people’s claims on the land we call Canada. 

Larry is the founder and president of Medicine Fire Lodge Inc., an Indigenous organization involved in cultural revitalization through education and training. He teaches at the University of Winnipeg. One day, he tells us, he showed up to give a lecture and a security guard stopped him and asked him if he was looking for the Food Bank.

He says this kind of thing can trigger memories of abuse suffered in the residential school by “mean” nuns. His hope is that the young people—including his children and grandchildren—who learn the traditional teachings and use the medicines of their people will be better able to protect themselves from such attacks on their personhood.

“They thought we’d be gone by now—but we’re still here.”

September 25th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian teenager fatally shot at Shuhada Checkpoint

Hadil Hashlamoun (18), a first year student at Hebron University, was shot dead by Israeli forces at Shuhada checkpoint in Hebron on Tuesday morning (22.09.15). She and her family lived in the H1 region of Hebron.

Fawaz abu Aisheh (34), a resident of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood was attempting to usher children from the scene, while translating the orders shouted in Hebrew by the Israeli soldiers at Hadil.  

He explained, “They were screaming at her, “Move back! Move Back!” I knew she couldn´t understand so I intervened in Arabic …She was terrified…She listened to me immediately when first I spoke with her, but they moved me away and continued to scream at her in Hebrew which she obviously didn’t understand.”

Official Israeli military reports state that Hadil attempted to stab a soldier, which all eyewitnesses refute.

Abu Aisheh said, “She was covered completely, there was no knife showing at any time. Even if she did have a knife he could have arrested her so easily. I was there… I could have talked to her; she cooperated with me in that very first moment. I asked her to move, and she moved. But after that I begged [the soldier] to let me talk to her, but they took me away from her, and started pointing their weapons at me. After they shot her more, and more soldiers arrived, there were still three or four kids a few meters from the checkpoint, so I moved the kids away. ”

September 24th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Privilege in Palestine and Pennsylvania

A month ago I visited Israel and Palestine for the first time to learn about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Instead, I learned about the United States. That place, seven hours ahead of my home time, made me feel like I was living in an America past.

When I rode past the barrier separating Israel from the land outside, I wondered about the origins of Wall Street in New York City. When I saw Palestinians get off the bus at a checkpoint to have their documents reviewed while the border guard hopped on the bus to glance at my U.S. passport, I couldn’t help thinking of Rosa Parks. When I heard stories of how Palestinians lost their homes to demolitions, evictions, arson and unemployment, I thought about the Lenape who used to live where I live in central Pennsylvania—but over the course of decades were pushed to reservations in Oklahoma.

The guns are different, the land is different, but the ideologies are the same. People with power—people like me—use any means to take what we want. We talk a good line about laws and rights, but deep down we’re selfish, and fearful. We’re afraid of strangers, afraid of scarcity, afraid of death, and we do everything in our power to keep those fears at bay.

September 23rd

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.