Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) blogs

Swords into plowshares

Subscribe to this blog feed icon

About this blog

Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

Recent posts



See all PC(USA) Blogs

PC(USA) Home

Posts with tag: advocacy

December 8, 2015

UN Human Rights Day observed December 10

from Gregg Brekke of the Presbyterian News Service

Human Rights Day, observed each year on December 10, commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign called “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” The campaign recognizes the 50th anniversary of two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Dec. 16, 1966.

The ...

Read more

October 1, 2015

YAV attends UN General Assembly

Matt Cowell, our YAV attended his first UN General Assembly this week. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is accredited to the United Nations and through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations advocates and engages the United Nations. Read his blog below:


Greetings from the United Nations!  The General Debate of the seventieth session of the UN General Assembly is in full swing here.  During this pivotal week at the opening of the debate, every member state and permanent observer state makes speeches focusing on the various issues of the day—196 speeches over the course of six days ...

Read more

April 8, 2013

Global discipleship on food and hunger

Ryan leading workshopLast week, I hosted a workshop at the Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day in Washington, DC.  The workshop focused on global discipleship and food and hunger advocacy within the international community.

Participants looked at three critical global issues around food and hunger policy: soil, water and land grabbing. 

Participants talked about ways in which their congregation could change US based policy and have an influence on global policy.  The theme of acting locally while thinking globally recurred in small groups.

Small groups talked about what is happening in their communities and how others can get involved.  Supporting local produce ...

Read more

November 27, 2012

Opposing violence against women - a prayer

This prayer of the day for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was composed by The Rev. Sarah Henkel and offered at the White Plains Presbyterian Church. It originally appeared on Pastor Jeff's Blog.

It is reprinted here with permission and in the hope that others will use or adapt the prayer as we work for an end to violence against women.

Creator God,

You are God of hope and new life; God of healing and restoration.  You are the beginning and the end, the One who walks with us through all of life and for ...

Read more

August 4, 2012

Why are the hands red?

"Why are the hands red?"

The children's summer program from the First Chinese Presbyterian Church of New York City had come to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations to learn about child soldiers and to participate in the Red Hand Campaign.

Due to the size of the group - 74 children and 12 counselors, we met at the Church of the Covenant. As always, we are grateful to our partners there.

After words of welcome and opening prayer, Elodie de Bethmann and Johnstuart Winchell started the day with singing. The counselors followed with another song. Great energy and enthusiasm ...

Read more

March 20, 2012

Women share stories of hope at the United Nations

Women make up the majority of the world’s poor. The reality of the world today is that women are disproportionately affected by poverty, due to unequal access to resources and opportunities, discriminatory land and inheritance laws, and unequal distribution of household resources. Violence against women persists, particularly in regions ravaged by war and natural disasters.

Meeting So begins Allie Naskret's reflection on the process and experience of the 56th Session of the Commission of the Status of Women. A student at Princeton Theological Seminary, Allie serves as a field education student with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations ...

Read more

February 27, 2012

Closing song from Monday morning worship

Ecumenical Women's worship this morning was led by the Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Here's a clip from the closing song.

Read more

February 26, 2012

Welcome to the Commission on the Status of Women

H.E. Marjon Kamara, Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations and Chair of the fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women welcomes everyone to this year's session.

Note that the volume appears to be low.

Read more

February 26, 2012

Giving thanks for the community of advocates

Harriet Tubman. Eleanor Roosevelt. Maggie Kuhn. Naomi Rose. Merdine T. Morris.

On this day - who are the women who have served as advocates for whom you give thanks?

Advocacy took central stage at the Ecumenical Women's Orientation. The afternoon workshops focused on advocacy (with Presbyterian leadership in each of them: Allie Naskret, Margaret Anderson, Ryan Smith).

The did so with good reason.

The "agreed conclusions" will be the primary outcome of the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. The 45 Member States of the Commission will create a set of concrete, action-oriented  recommendations for action by ...

Read more

February 8, 2012

It is time for the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Urge President Obama to send the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the United States Senate for ratification.

The CRC sets the standard for children’s welfare around the world. The United States played a major role in drafting the CRC. However, the United States and Soma­lia are the only countries that have not rat­i­fied the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child The United States signed the con­ven­tion in 1995, indi­cat­ing its sup­port and its inten­tion to pur­sue rat­i­fi­ca ...

Read more

January 16, 2012

Compassion, Peace and Justice Training and Ecumenical Advocacy Days

March 23, 2012
Presbyterians and Economic Justice

Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day
New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
Washington, D.C.

Register now to join the Office of Public Witness and all the ministries of Compassion, Peace and Justice for a training day in Washington, D.C. Participants will have a full day of practical, church-based training and investigate the role Christians must play in today’s changing society, particularly on issues of economic justice. Plenaries and workshops on faith-based community organizing, practical tools for simple living, justice as discipleship making, social responsibility through investing and many more! The staff ...

Read more

December 10, 2011

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Year in Review ~ 2011

Presbyterian Ministry at the UN logo - gun sculpture and flagsIn 2011, your gifts to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations helped Presbyterians advocate for peace and justice in the name of Jesus Christ, based on policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assemblies, to the United Nations.

The ministry participated in working groups on the following issues:

Public presentations were arranged for PC(USA) partners from:

Introductions to UN programs ...

Read more

September 29, 2011

How Faith-Based Organizations Change the World at the UN


Panel- Photo by Carlos Yordan

Yesterday,  I had the opportunity to sit on a panel hosted by Drew University title “How Faith-Based Organizations Change the World at the UN.”  On the panel with me were Liberato Bautista, from the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Bruce Knotts from the Unitarian Universalist Association at the United Nations and Andrew Tomlinson from the Quaker United Nations Office.

This event, a first for Drew University included an audience from the Drew University semester at the United Nations as well as United Nations Church Center and Ecumenical colleagues.  In ...

Read more

July 13, 2011

US statement on children in armed conflict

Below are remarks from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice on the open debate on children in armed conflict held yesterday in the United Nations Security Council:

Thank you, Mr. President. We’re grateful to you, Mr. Minister, as well as to Ambassador Wittig and the German Mission for hosting this important debate and for your leadership as Chair of the Security Council Working Group. We also very much appreciate the important statements by the Secretary General, Special Representative Coomaraswamy and UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake.

Mr. President, abuses against children in armed conflicts do not just tear at our hearts ...

Read more

July 11, 2011

A visit to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Rev. Balázs ÓDOR, Ecumenical Officer for the Reformed Church in Hungary visited the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations on Friday.  We had the opportunity to share how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Reformed Church in Hungary are engaging in faith and public policy advocacy. 

The Reformed Church in Hungary engages the European Union on advocacy issues driven by their faith and policy.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with the World Communion of Reformed Churches advocates at the United Nations in New York and in Washington, DC.

Presbyterians can trace the joining of public policy ...

Read more

July 1, 2011

Big Tent - Day 2 - looking ahead

Day 2 of the Big Tent, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathering in Indianapolis, will see Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations staff involved in several ways.

We will help lead a workshop on involvement in public life and advocacy. Our colleagues in the Office of Public Witness will be our partners in this effort.

We will lead a conversation on our ministry and help lead a conversation on Sudan.

Taking part in the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference and the World Mission Matters Conference will fill our day.

Watch here and Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Read more

June 28, 2011

July 17 - International Justice Day

International Justice Day - July 17 - marks the birthday of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Faith and Ethics Network of the International Criminal court suggests several ways congregations could observe this day:

• Discuss the importance of the ICC;

• Draw attention to ongoing atrocities where the ICC could make a difference.

Learn about the ICC.

• Encourage the United States to join and ratify the ICC.

The 211th General Assembly (1999) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) passed the following resolution supporting the creation of the ICC and encouraging the United States to sign on to and ratify the ICC:

  1. Commend ...

Read more

June 21, 2011

Ask your representative to sign letter on Colombia Free Trade Act

From our partners in the Presbyterian Hunger Program:

The Obama Administration has announced that it wants to push the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) through Congress before August, so we’re getting down to the wire. Our allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to stop this trade agreement, but they need your help.

Click here to ask your representative to sign the congressional letter against the FTA!

Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) has written a strong letter to President Obama explaining how devastating the Free Trade Agreement would be for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities already at risk ...

Read more

June 6, 2011

Prayers for Sudan- in New York City!

On Ascension Sunday, I attended morning service at Broadway Presbyterian Church in New York City. I was moved when in the prayers and concerns, I noticed the Season of Prayer with the People of Sudan listed as a specific prayer request.  Broadway Presbyterian Church has asked its members to join us in the season of prayer.

In the United States, we will be praying at 11:00 a.m. (EST).  We have invited our sisters and brothers in Sudan to pray with us wherever you are; pray individually or gather with your community or an ecumenical community of an interfaith ...

Read more

March 12, 2011

Advocacy resources on Libya and Côte d'Ivoire

Reports from Libya and Côte d'Ivoire tell of violence and displacement. Ecumenical Women at the United Nations — an international coalition of church denominations and ecumenical organizations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — has developed tools to encourage women and...

Read more

November 21, 2010

Standing with the Malagasy people in challenging times

Many Presbyterian congregations and organizations across the country have mission partnerships in Madagascar – and now our friends and mission partners, indeed the entire Malagasy people, are facing extremely challenging times. Attached is an Action Alert calling for prayer and...

Read more

March 23, 2010

30 ideas for 30 years

Download 30 Ways to Mark 30 Years to find 30 ideas to celebrate 30 years of peacemaking. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Peacemaking: The Believers’ Calling, the General Assembly statement that called for a new emphasis on peacemaking...

Read more

March 22, 2010

Dr. Nelson goes to Washington

From the Presbyterian News Service: The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, a third-generation Presbyterian pastor, has been named the new director of public witness for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office. Nelson has 25 years of experience in congregational...

Read more

January 19, 2010

Hunger Justice Leaders

Two years ago, 75 young leaders came to the nation’s capital for intensive training in advocacy for hungry and poor people. Since then, they have served as powerful agents of change in their communities. Now Bread for the World is...

Read more

December 6, 2009

Register now for Ecumenical Advocacy Days

2010 Ecumenical Advocacy Days March 19-22, 2010 - Washington DC A Place to Call Home: Immigrants, Refugees, and Displaced Peoples Register NowMarch 19 - 22, 2010 in Washington D.C. "and Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of...

Read more

November 13, 2009

Plan for World AIDS Day - December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day, December 1, is the one day of the year when individuals, churches and organizations from around the world come together to remember that all our lives are touched by AIDS, especially those living with HIV and AIDS....

Read more

August 11, 2009

Presbyterians Invited to Participate in Washington Office Review

In 2008, Rev. Eileen Lindner, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor, presbytery executive and social research specialist, was engaged to lead a study of the role and purpose of the Presbyterian Washington Office. Presbyterians are now invited to provide feedback and...

Read more

July 1, 2009

Addressing gun violence - PC(USA) efforts

As on many issues, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a mixed record when it comes to working on gun violence. Good statements have been made; we have not always lived up to those statements, but some good work has also...

Read more

January 8, 2009

Urge Immediate U.S. Efforts to End Gaza Violence, Restore Cease-Fire

The Presbyterian Washington Office provides an opportunity to advocate with our elected officials urging them to call all the parties to the violence in Gaza to restrain from using force and, rather, to trust a diplomatic process.

Read more

November 12, 2008

A Day of Witness to End Torture

The National Religious Coalition against Torture offers an invitation to participate in a National Day of Witness on Wednesday, November 12 from your own home or office. More than 50 delegations of religious leaders will visit Members of Congress in...

Read more

August 4, 2008

Write for Human Rights in the Philippines

Here's another chance to help implement the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s General Assembly policy. The 218th General Assembly (2008) adopted a resolution on human rights violations in the Philippines. The Uniting Church in Australia has initiated a letter-writing campaign on behalf...

Read more

April 12, 2008

Reauthorize PEPFAR

Written by Jean Schneider As we were traveling through clinics in South Africa, I remember seeing posters referencing PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. This initiative has been a major source of funding for HIV prevention and...

Read more

February 19, 2008

If You Are Going to Washington, D. C. . . .

. . . be sure to know your Representative's name. Sign up now to attend Ecumenical Advocacy Days. March 7-10 in Washington, D.C. Explore the meaning of true security. Pray. Worship. Visit your Congressperson. Learn. Network. Take part in a...

Read more