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A Statement and Request for Prayers

from the Fellowship of Reconciliation

Please join us in prayer supporting the good work of our friends at FOR-USA. All the staff mentioned here have BPFNA connections -- Gretchen is a member of our young adult group and frequently attend Peace Camp, Sekou served on staff at BPFNA Partner FBC-Jamaica Plain and will be one of our preachers this summer at Peace Camp, and Ethan attends BPFNA Partner Circle of Mercy.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) has been asked by clergy and community leaders on the ground in Baltimore to bring to that context the same de-escalation and nonviolent resistance trainings that we have been doing in Ferguson. FOR Fellow Rev. Osagyefo Sekou was in Baltimore last weekend and has now returned, and we will be sending additional staff including FOR Training Coordinator Gretchen Honnold and Director of National Organizing Ethan Vesely-Flad to support.

It is clear that we are in midst of a new movement not just for civil rights, but truly the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The uprisings in Ferguson, Oakland, Baltimore and other cities around the country are the visible manifestation of the toxin of racism and impacts of structural violence being released.

Some have questioned the role of nonviolence in the struggle over these last nine months. But nonviolence is not un-violence; it is not simply refraining from physical attacks, rock throwing or property destruction. It is a disciplined way of life for courageous people, such as the protestors in Ferguson have shown themselves to be. It recognizes that means must be consistent with ends to achieve a truly just and ultimately reconciled outcome. It is a philosophy that eschews further the inflicting of any further harm. Nonviolence acknowledges that anyone committing violence, even if it is response to decades of violence and oppression, experiences further harm by participating in a cycle that does not lead to life and freedom.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is committed to the transformation unjust and oppressive realities through the methodologies and philosophies of nonviolence. The struggle in Ferguson, in Baltimore and around our nation continues as new young leaders on the ground persevere in leading us to become the country of free and brave people we were envisioned to be.

Thanks so much for your prayers. We do covet them.

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