Since the reunion in 1983, which created the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), there has been a lack of clarity about both the advocacy and missional role of the caucuses and their relationship to the denomination at all levels.”
Thank you to all those who donated to the Peacemaking Offering We reached our goal of $400.00
PRESBYTERIAN PEACE FELLOWSHIP BOARD RETREAT
Pastor Monica recently attended the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF) Board Retreat as she is one of 52 people serving from across the country. Over a five-day period engaged in study, restructured itself, added new members to serve on one or more of its existing program/action groups, and put out statements to both the GA, the UN and Congress regarding a variety of wars taking place or about to. It also reviewed the activates and decision of the 2014 GA and began preparations for desired actions at the 2016 GA. Monica is on the Palestine/Israel Committee and Racism Committee.
What is the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship all about?
We are a wide network of peacemakers who engage issues of both national and international import. Our call is to be movers and shakers within the PC(USA) and beyond, encouraging one another to take seriously God’s call to God’s people to participate in God’s nonviolent work of love, peace, and justice in the world.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship started in the 1940s as a group that provided support to Conscientious Objectors to World War II, a war in which objection was quite unpopular. Since our birth we have continued to be a prophetic voice in our church, urging the abolition of war and encouraging our sisters and brothers to enact peace in the midst of our broken world. We have helped lead the PC(USA) to take bold stances in the face of violence.
Actions and programs are organized in the following major categories:
COLUMBIA ACCOMPANIMENT PROGRAM
Nonviolent accompaniers serve in Colombia in pairs for a month at a time, living in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Colombia.
Can you give a month to accompany our Colombian sisters and brothers in the midst of violence?
Leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia are taking great risks in their human rights work and their support of the communities of Colombians who have been displaced by the violence of the forty-year war in their country. They have asked us to act as international accompaniers in order to provide a measure of safety—international eyes—for their work.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship is working with PC(USA) World Mission and the Presbyterian Church of Colombia to train and deploy short-term mission workers to Colombia. To date we have trained over 150 volunteers, over 100 of which have served.
SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS (SOA)
The U.S. Army’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), often known by its former name, the School of the Americas (SOA), is located in Ft. Benning, Georgia. WHINSEC is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers. Many graduates have been responsible for severe human rights violations in their home countries.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) issued a call for the closing of the SOA in 1994. PPF took the lead in putting the overture before the General Assembly that year, and we have continued to take action to close SOA/WHINSEC and change the oppressive foreign policy of the United States that WHINSEC has come to represent. Several members of PPF have served prison sentences as a result of “crossing the line” in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience at the annual event at Ft. Benning.
Friday, November 21, 2014 – Sunday, November 23, 2014
Join the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship at the annual vigil in Columbus, Georgia to close the School of Americas (SOA). As SOA Watch’s 25th anniversary Vigil approaches, we remain committed to converging at the gates of Fort Benning once again to remember the martyrs, and to denounce the continued SOA violence against our brothers and sisters in Latin America.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
And we can help. PPF’s Congregational Toolkit for Gun Violence Prevention is a wealth of resources for conversation, study, and organizing.
The 219th General Assembly (2010) unanimously approved this ground-breaking report, Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.
Broadcasts of World Council of churches Ecumenical Peace Conference; Ecumenical Advocacy Days; Taking action on nuclear disarmament, Central American Migration Crisis, and recommendations to the 218th GA of the PC(USA on Peacemaking and International Issues, concerning the Philippines, Colombia, Conscientious Objectors, and Israel/Palestine:
The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June 2014 to divest itself of its stock in three companies whose business supports or profits from the State of Israel’s Occupation of Palestine. (Young Adult Advisory Delegates voted 65% in favor of the motion, Theological Advisory Delegate over 90%, and Ecumenical and Mission Advisory Delegates 100% in favor of the motion. The Commissioners’ vote was much closer, affirming the proposal to divest 51% to 49%.)
As part of its larger Endowment Campaign, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship has launched an Occupation-Free Fund for donors who do not want to invest in companies that enable or benefit from the Occupation of Palestinian Territories by the State of Israel. On May 28, 2014, the Fellowship’s new Occupation-Free Fund reached $150,000.
It also spent a day and a half reviewing the study guide on Zionism Unsettled prepared by a number of Presbyterian theologians and published through the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN). It will make its recommendation at the next GA.
PEACE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM 2014
As the PPF works to strengthen our witness to Jesus Christ in the PC(USA), we begin a new and exciting partnership with seven intentional peace communities. Because there are many ways across the church to live in Christian community outside of traditional congregational life, we desire to connect with and support intentional peace communities involved in inspiring peace work across the country.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship stands with those participating in non-violent acts for justice. Such as: Faithful Response to Ferguson when PPF members traveled to Ferguson for training and participation in non-violent actions. Members are continuing to participate and report on the activities taking place.