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Charlottesville: Responses, Resources, and Action Items

Charlottesville: Responses, Resources, and Action Items

August 17, 2017 | As part of our mission to raise the visibility of peace-making, justice-seeking work, we offer these resources from people and groups who are responding to the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA the weekend of August 11-13, 2017. We know there are literally thousands of resources available and so we've sifted through to offer you what we think are some of the best of the best to challenge, push, inspire and equip you and your churches and organizations in your own work against the evil of White Supremacy.  Read more »

Salsa and Solidarity: Reflections from the 2017 Bautistas por la Paz Summer Peace Camp

Salsa and Solidarity: Reflections from the 2017 Bautistas por la Paz Summer Peace Camp

August 14, 2017 | This was a historic gathering and a transformative week of living, learning and worshiping together. All services and workshops were conducted in Spanish with interpreters provided for the non-Spanish speaking attendees. It was an immersion experience for many participants coming from the North. We were invited to consider faith through the lens of a culture that values ‘we’ over ‘I’. Read more »

The Practice of Peace in Deeply Divided Times

The Practice of Peace in Deeply Divided Times

July 14, 2017 | These are hard times to talk about peace for those of us who happen to live in the United States. It has always been hard for Americans with a modicum of sensitivity to join in global conversations of peace with those from other North American and global locations given now more common negative perceptions of the US across the globe. American peace activists and rights workers are used to critiques of US government and culture, because we know where we live, the United States, and the reality of all of us tacitly benefiting from the spoils of empire. We are in even more awkward spaces now, both within and outside of country, in the pursuit of peace. Our usual pithy pronouncements are not good enough. We find them flaccid or arid in the face of current national and global circumstances. What is there to do? Read more »

Lunch with the Law

Lunch with the Law

July 13, 2017 | For three hours every Thursday, a group calling ourselves Mujeres Unidas en Fe (Women United in Faith) gathers at a church on the other side of the mountain from my home in western North Carolina. Ten Spanish-speaking women and an equal number of us English speakers share Bible study, exchange language lessons, and enjoy a potluck lunch. At the first meeting I attended in mid-January, we crowded into the kitchen while Carmela gave us a lesson in making mole verde. Beatriz moved among us with a photo album from her daughter Gabriela’s quinceañera, the 15th birthday celebration that is both religious ceremony and party—a very big event in Mexican culture. Laughter and animated conversation were abundant. A week later, the mood was starkly different. The executive order calling for increased raids against undocumented persons had come out of the White House, and North Carolina was among the states targeted in the crackdown. A sense of terror hung in the air. Read more »

The Paradox of Prophetic Hope in a Distressing Time

The Paradox of Prophetic Hope in a Distressing Time

July 3, 2017 | Humans do not manage the Spirit of God. Our challenge, beloved, is to accept that God’s Spirit is free to work in ways we never considered and do not understand. God’s Spirit is free to move where we never imagined movement would be possible. God’s Spirit is free to call people we haven’t considered “religious” to speak and act with prophetic insight and courage. Whenever traditional people like Joshua become set in our ways, count on God’s Spirit to work through other people to do new things for love and justice. Yes, God sent young people, lesbians and gay men, bisexual, transgender, and queer people who have been considered “outside the mainstream” of religious thought and practice to do the love and justice work we see being done in the Black Lives Matter movement and to challenge congregations and larger religious bodies about the intersectionality of oppression in new ways. Yes, God is inspiring more women and girls and men and boys to throw off longstanding notions of male privilege about who should be leaders – in religious efforts and otherwise. God is doing this love and justice in these new ways because the Holy Spirit is free! Read more »

ABC's Creation Justice Network releases statement in support of the Paris Climate Agreement

June 23, 2017 | American Baptist Churches' (ABC) Creation Justice Network released a recent statement standing in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. "I have been encouraged by the responses of cities, states, and businesses around the [United States] who have pledged to maintain the nation's commitment to the Paris Agreement with or without Washington's support," said Rev. Ian Mevorach, a member of the ABC Creation Justice Network Steering Committee. "As people of faith we have an important role to play in shaping public opinion and empowering people to claim our responsibility as stewards of God's creation." You can read the full statement at this link. Read more »

Pan African Peace Network & U.S. Programs

June 12, 2017 | Through BPFNA's Gavel Fund, we have been able to get to know some incredible peacemakers with the Pan African Peace Network (PAPNET)! Here is a message and slideshow from Dan Buttry on some of the peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation work being done by members of PAPNET. Read more »

Will it Hold Water?

June 7, 2017 | Despite our airplanes and smart phones, it seems we’ve not made much improvement in the last few thousand years in creating structures and societies that truly ‘hold water’...making the good gifts of God available in abundance to all God’s children. It doesn’t take much to know that today we are still in a heap of trouble. At BPFNA's 2016 Peace Camp, one presenter asked us, "Raise your hands if you think the system is broken." Hands flew up all around the room. "It’s easy to think that," he said, "if we don’t know our history. No. This system is not broken: it was built this way." Whether we like it or not, the foundation of our country is cracked and leaky. And perhaps some think that doesn’t matter so much as long as we can be happily, obliviously in love with Jesus, but I don’t think so.  Read more »

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