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Meet Dr. Elsa Tamez

Meet Dr. Elsa Tamez

November 1, 2016 | Dr. Elsa Tamez is an internationally respected Biblical scholar and theologian. Born in Victoria, Mexico, Dr. Tamez currently resides in Costa Rica where she is on the faculty of the Latin American Biblical University in San José. She has previously taught at Vanderbilt Divinity School in the field of Latin American Liberation Theology and Harvard Divinity School in the area of World Christianity. Read more »

Views from the Charlotte Streets and Beyond: Race, Tension, and Hope

Views from the Charlotte Streets and Beyond: Race, Tension, and Hope

October 14, 2016 | I was with a group of clergy asked to serve as a buffer between the police and the marchers during some of the recent demonstrations in Charlotte to protest the killing of Keith Lamont Scott. Disruptions had occurred several nights in a row. Tensions were high. A Black Lives Matter (BLM) group and other concerned citizens had gathered in an area in Uptown Charlotte called Marshall Park to prepare for that night’s demonstration. Emotions were on edge but controlled. One of the BLM leaders looked in our direction and said: “Here are the preachers. Could you have a prayer for us?” Read more »

Once Again: A Statement in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives

October 4, 2016 | Once again, and with heavy hearts, in light of the continued violence being perpetrated on Black people by state-sanctioned policing policies, the board members of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz feel compelled to speak out, to cry out in solidarity with the families and communities of Tyre King in Columbus, Ohio, Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, we hold space for the grief and anger that are spilling from our hearts into the streets of Charlotte, the city that houses the main office of our organization. Read more »

Official Statement from the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice

September 22, 2016 | We are clergy serving in Charlotte, a city we love and cherish. It is the place we call home and it is a city that is broken. Let us be clear: the events of Tuesday night did not begin on Tuesday. These events are a part of a long system of racism. This systemic racism denies the humanity of some of our residents and tears at the fabric of our nation. We are no strangers in Charlotte to this violence. We have borne witness to the deaths of Lareko Williams, Janisha Fonville, Jonathan Ferrell, and many more unnamed here. We are leaders representing many faiths, seeking both peace and justice. We know in the words of Ella Baker, “we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.” Read more »

BPFNA Statement on Centering Black Lives in Pursuit of Racial Justice

September 21, 2016 | It is with a profound sense of humility and obligation to “witness to the {lack of} peace rooted in justice” in the light of ongoing attacks on black bodies in the US, that the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America ~ Bautistas por la Paz (BPFNA) stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all those struggling to resist the systemic forces bearing down on black bodies at this time. Read more »

Taking the Next Right Step

Taking the Next Right Step

September 20, 2016 | When the streets of Ferguson were filled with righteous and raw anger over the death of Mike Brown, I lay awake at night on Twitter, following the rise of a new generation of social justice warriors. I watched as clergy colleagues traveled there with delegations from their denominations or spiritual communities. I felt drawn toward what was happening, but... I felt clearly called by God to do the work of racial justice in my own community, a predominantly-white, affluent, too-separated from our nearby city of Hartford suburb in Connecticut--to take whatever looked like the next right step and just keep walking. Read more »

LeDayne McLeese Polaski receives the Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award

LeDayne McLeese Polaski receives the Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award

September 9, 2016 | LeDayne McLeese Polaski, executive director of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz (BPFNA), was the 2016 recipient of Furman University’s Richard Furman Baptist Heritage Award, which “recognizes a Furman graduate who reflects Baptist ideals by thinking critically, living compassionately, and making life-changing commitments…to strengthen, expand, and translate the relationship between faith and learning.”  Read more »

Peace Cannot Be Stolen: A Community “Borders I Cross” Story

Peace Cannot Be Stolen: A Community “Borders I Cross” Story

August 30, 2016 | Earlier this summer Common Street Spiritual Center in Natick, MA (a BPFNA partner congregation) partnered with Maggie Sky, a friend of our community, to support her with what we now call the Rainbow Peace Flag Project. When Maggie first reached out to me, she had already taken the leap to purchase 100 rainbow peace flags to give out around town. She had put one up on her house after the Pulse shooting but felt alienated being the only one on her block flying the flag. In a couple of short months, what began as an inspiration for Maggie Sky to put up one rainbow peace flag after the Orlando Shooting led to a longing for solidarity and is now becoming a movement that is having a major impact on our community. We’re giving people a tangible way to express love, solidarity, and the yearning for peace that so many of us share. Read more »

My Summer Vacation: A Lesson in Discrimination and Hope

August 26, 2016 | Can a 9th grade student be a security threat to his own country? The answer is “yes” if you are an Arab citizen in Israel. I would like to share with you what happened to me during my summer vacation. (This article was originally published on "Come and See: The Christian Website from Nazareth" and sent to us by Dan Buttry. Reprinted with permission from the author and publication.) Read more »

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