Canada

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

CPTnet

15 May 2017

COLOMBIA: Leveling the playing field. Women Walking Together in Faith

by Shirley Redekop

Viewpoints 

The saying goes, “There are two gifts we should give our children: one is roots, the other is wings.” My husband and I encouraged our children to fly and prayed we gave them roots.

One day in a sermon my husband said, “I believe in what Christian Peacemaker Teams [CPT] does, but I also fear one of our sons will join them,” referring to its placing of teams in communities confronted with situations of life-threatening conflict.

Well, it turns out it is our daughter Hannah who is now a long-term CPT volunteer in Colombia. She’s been there for four years now, walking with farmers who are at risk of being forcibly displaced from their land, and learning about the challenges women face in that setting.

My roots are in Pennsylvania, growing up on a farm with two older brothers. I was expected to help with outside work as well as in the house. My dad also taught me to shoot a hunting rifle and ride a motorcycle. But I realized my brothers were not expected to help with housework and were given cars for their 16th birthday. I felt they had an unfair advantage.

Now as I’ve mothered the next generation, I pondered what message I passed on to our only daughter. After reading an article Hannah sent me about an experience she had at a women’s regional peacebuilding meeting, I found my answer.  Here’s what she wrote:

 “The most impacting moment for me [at the first meeting of women from northeastern Antioquia] was a fireside conversation around apple sugar-cane tea. The women gathered around holding hands and introduced themselves, then moved into small groups to share their experiences: ‘When did you realize you were a woman?’ ‘What have your struggles been?’ ‘What is the role of women in your society today?’

Hannah, su familia, un compañero de ECAP y una de las mujeres de la región.

Pictured from left to right: Maria Angela Peinado; Hannah, Fred and Shirley Redekop; Maricela Jimenez; and Pierre Shantz. (Photo courtesy of Shirley Redekop)

CANADA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Walking for Indigenous Rights.

CPTnet 

12 May 2017 

CANADA AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY: Walking for Indigenous Rights.

by CPT Canada 

The black and white Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights flag waves beneath the sky-scrapers in down-town Toronto. A group of approximately 30 people have been walking for nearly a week. Battling rain, cold, sun and traffic, and ranging from 11 months to 86 years, the walkers bring on looks and questions from folks passing by. Toronto is not foreign to demonstrations or actions, yet there is something different about this group. Its steady focus and determination draw the attention of a local freelance journalist who spontaneously joins the walk for an hour. “What are you folks walking for he asks?” 

The Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights, organized by CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity and Mennonite Church Canada, is a 600km walk from Kitchener to Ottawa in support of the full adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).  While the Canadian government signed onto UNDRIP in 2016 there has been few changes in regards to federal policy or material conditions on the ground. 

Bandera del peregrinaje 

Prayers for Peacemakers. 10 May 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 10 May 2017

On the first day of May most countries commemorate the International Worker's Day or the Labor Day. Millions of people take to the streets and march for their rights. They demand better and just conditions to carry out their jobs. 

When we sit at the table, when we get dressed, when we go to bed, when we go to our places of study, work or worship, when we buy food, when we feel sick and need a doctor, even when we make banners for a protest... Many people have worked hard to make these activities possible. And how many of them have been exploited, abused or forced by people or circumstances to do it?

Let us pray for each and every worker on this planet. Let us pray for respectful and just conditions for all to carry out their work activities. Let us pray, and work for change, for a fair wage and for the end of all forms of slavery. Let us pray for all mothers to be able to receive adequate maternity leave. Let us pray for all children so that they can enjoy their childhood instead of exploitative work. Let us pray for both women and men so they can receive equal salary for same work and thus overcome the economic gap.

Psalm 128:2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Misael Payares, a leader of the farming community of Las Pavas' nonviolent resistance

Misael Payares, a leader of the farming community of Las Pavas' nonviolent resistance. Photo credit: CPT Colombia.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 27 April 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 27 April 2017

Today let us lift in our prayers those who "pray with their feet" and advocate for the rights of the Indigenous peoples. On 23 April, a group of mainly Christians has set out on a 600 km (around 375 miles) long pilgrimage through the Canadian province of Ontario. CPT Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team co-organizes the pilgrimage.        

Let us pray that the eyes, ears and hearts of lawmakers and settlers of Canada and around the world be opened and embrace that to which God calls us: truth, reconciliation and justice.  

Pilgrimage 2

Learn more about the pilgrimage and ways to join and support it.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 19 April 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 19 April 2017

In the last three months the government of the United States of America bombed Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. Tensions in the Middle East, Russia, North Korea and around the world escalate rapidly. The numbers of killed civilians grow everyday. We need to do something! 

Last weekend, the Christian community celebrated Easter: Jesus has risen defeating death. Following the example of Jesus, let us arise and take action for peace and to stop death. Let us support or take part in peacemaking initiatives and organizations. Let us advocate for all who seek refuge from bombs. Let us pray for all who suffer in the wars in Syria and other countries. Let us pray for each one of us and that our creativity and strength would persist.

bombing hurts please stop

Galatians 6: 7-9

A person harvests whatever he plants: The person who sows through human means will harvest decay from human means, but the person who sows in the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

Prayers for peacemakers. 29 March, 2017

Prayers for peacemakers. 29 March, 2017 

Water is life. Water is revitalizing energy. Water is a right. Every year on March 22, millions of people celebrate the World Water Day and raise awareness about the waste of water, the importance of preventing deforestation, protection of the paramos (unique ecosystems that produce high amounts of water), the need to control production of carbon dioxide, and other fundamental issues.

However, many people with specific interests prefer to make profits from extraction of oil, gold, coal and minerals, which destroys and endangers water sources in different parts of the world.

Today we invite you to pray for the guardians of water who despite the difficulties continue their struggle.

Hand of Leader of the Guardians of Water.

Hand of José Domingo, Campesino and guardian of water in Cajamarca, Colombia. This photo was taken on  March 25th, the day before the referendum. The mountain in the back, La Colosa, is the place where Anglo Gold Ashanti wanted to extract gold. Photo Credit: Hanna Thiesing.

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 23 March 2017

This week in Prayers for Peacemakers we lift up a prayer of great thanksgiving for a successful Sabeel conference two weeks ago, and Steering Committee meetings, last week. Paraphrasing Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when teammates sit together in unity!" Sabeel, an ecumenical center for liberation theology in Jerusalem, is a partner of Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine. Together in unity, we affirm the prophetic call of the Gospel to renounce violence and dominative power. 

We also give thanks that Steering Committee meetings took place in Hebron so that board members who could travel here had the chance to meet teammates and participate in the work of the Palestine team on-the-ground. With the context in mind they deliberated over matters in order to build an organizational culture of justice, inclusion, mutual respect and welcome (CPT Faith Identity statement). We thank God for this good and pleasant opportunity to be together, even in the intensity of the context of Israeli military occupation.

CPT Reservist, Administrative Staff, and Steering Committee members

CPT Reservists, Administrative staff, and Steering Committee members from 5 countries joined the Sabeel conference, and the work of the team on the ground in Hebron/Al-Khalil.

CANADA: Rally to end Islamophobia

in:

CPTnet

20 March 2017

CANADA: Rally to end Islamophobia

by Rachelle Friesen

I am deeply humbled to stand beside all of you today, as we continue to confront Islamophobia, fascism and white supremacy - in all its manifestations.  Yet, I also recognize who I am, and the land on which we stand.

I am white. I am a settler. And I was born in a country that exists because of the genocide of Indigenous people and the dispossession of Indigenous land. I recognize that, today, we gather on that stolen land. Land that has never been willingly given up nor ever been relinquished, despite what white historians may tell us.

And as we gather here today, it is important to remember this land’s history, and the country that was built on it, it is important to remember its history especially when there are so many who work to rewrite it. It is important to remember this country’s history so we can one day stop repeating it.

This country was never built on values of freedom for all. Rather, it was built on the genocide of Indigenous inhabitants and the oppression of racialized people. It was built on sexual violence against women and built on the exploitation of the worker. This is this country’s history but it is also acutely felt and experienced in its present. 

Rally to end Islamophobia 

Photo Credit: Murray Lumley.

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 15 March 2017

Last week the world commemorated the International Women's Day. Also we would like to acknowledge the power and leading role of women in struggle for justice and peace all around the world.

Let us pray for all women members of the CPT projects, for all the women in the Administrative team and all our women partners around the world. Each and every one of them does amazing things in order to build a better world. Let us pray for all girls around the world. Let us pray for a better future for them.

Girls plain in the river. Colombia

Let us pray for men as well, because they need to overcome sexism and work as allies of women in their struggles. Let us pray and work together for a better world where all women, men and every individual have the same opportunities, same access to justice, education and social securities, and freedom to live in peace and for peace. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers 1 March 2017

Created, Guided, and Delivered for Liberation: A Prayer for Times Like These. 

by Chris Knestrick 

Creator God, 

 You created us for right and just relationships.

 You have called your people back to your embrace

                  To that garden of equality and mutuality

                   To healthy relationships based on respect and love

                   To be laborers that harvest life. 

Creator God, You created us.  

Children painting