God created humankind and blessed them [Genesis 5:2]. God promised blessing when Israel would observe the Jubilee prescriptions, eliminating the classes of those who would be permanently poor. [Deuteronomy 15:4]. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.." [Matthew 5:9] Jesus' blessing of peacemakers confirms the renewal of God's good creation and the intention that God's creatures would live in just and right relationships with each other and with their Creator. For Jesus to call peacemakers children of God confirms their deepest identity, their original identity. Jesus' blessing of peacemakers assures confidence and security in the hard work of making peace and renewing creation. Christian Peacemaker Teams are nurtured out of the prophetic tradition that culminated in the public ministry of Jesus and his followers.
II. Invitation to participate in CPT
A. Who may wish to participate as church and groups?
Sponsorship of CPT is open to denominations, Christian communities, religious orders, and Christian organizations who wish to engage in all levels of a spiritually-based work of peacemaking based in Jesus' way of active nonviolence. Term lengths are determined by sponsoring denominations/groups. Invited to consider sponsorship of CPT are:
- Spiritual groups who seek to act out the work of Christian peacemaking in the Spirit of Jesus.
- Groups of Christians who have a special call to peacemaking.
- Groups of Christians who are already working to build peace and can gain strength from affiliating with CPT.
- Groups of Christians who lack monetary resources but are blessed with wide margins of talent for creative engagement and are prepared to join in the disciplines of peacemaking.
- Groups of Christians with significant monetary resources whose call is to support those who lack funds but have great talent.
B. What can participating groups do to support CPT?
- Promote CPT among constituent parishes and churches, in publications and meetings.
- Sponsor participants on CPT delegations, the CPT Reserve Corps, the CPT Peacemaker Corps, and the CPT staff.
- Use CPT web resources and e-mail alerts, and respond to prayer requests and urgent actions.
- Provide advice and encouragement during times of emergency when CPT teams are facing difficult decisions.
- Contribute toward the CPT budget and encourage financial support for CPT from individuals, congregations, and organizational units.
- Encourage the ministry of public witness, nonviolent direct action, and, when necessary, civil disobedience.
III. Participation in CPT
CPT is an ecumenical program, founded by representatives of Mennonite, Brethren, and Quaker faith traditions. CPT is guided by a steering committee comprised of members appointed by these churches/meetings and additional members from other sponsoring churches or groups. Churches and church peace fellowship groups formally committed to Jesus' nonviolent way of the Cross are invited to be recognized as "CPT Sponsors" and to nominate persons for appointment to open positions on the steering committee.
A. Opportunities and responsibilities of CPT Sponsors:
- Before seeking recognition as CPT Sponsors, interested groups will sponsor one or more Corps members or Reservists from their group and participate in CPT programs, including special training programs, for at least two years.
- CPT Sponsors are encouraged to reflect on ways peacemaking can be deepened within their groups in such a way as to elicit the personal gifts and financial support of their members at large.
- When a church or group expresses interest in participation as a CPT Sponsor, its financial participation will be discussed and agreed upon as a part of the discernment in its relationship with CPT.
- During the period of discernment concerning the participation of a church or group as a CPT Sponsor, the group may be invited to send a representative to attend a meeting or meetings of the CPT steering committee as a non-voting participant to enhance the church or group's understanding of the work of CPT.
- The status of CPT sponsors will be reviewed every three years.
IV. Extending the Invitation
- After a church or group has been involved in discerning sponsorship of CPT, the CPT Steering Committee will review the church or group's participation, and, subject to the concurrence of all parties, recommend an invitation to join the CPT movement.
Interested in exploring this possibility? Contact Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of CPT at firstname.lastname@example.org