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Swords into plowshares

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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.

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Posts with tag: nelson mandela

July 11, 2014

How will you use your 67 minutes?

by Christina Gore

In November of 2009 the United Nations General Assembly declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day. Nelson Mandela International Day is a day honoring the memory of the great president of South Africa for his contributions to peace and freedom all over the world.  The United Nations has issued a call for individuals to spend 67 minutes helping others.  Each minute represents a year that Mandela spent serving others.


Nelson Mandela once said, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference. “ It is in all ...

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July 1, 2014

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

by Christina Gore

Monday marked the start of a seven daylong discussion on sustainable development at the United Nations. This forum focuses on finding an integrated approach to developing in a way that is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. This may seem like an impossible task, but as Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” Most of the panelists and delegates who spoke today about the post 2015 development agenda were positive in regards to the outcome of this forum. Many noted that this is a pivotal moment in which we can help to create ...

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December 9, 2013

Ambassadors sing for peace: a tribute to Nelson Mandela

by Esther Lee

The four ambassadorsOn December 5, the Salvation Army in New York hosted a delightful holiday concert, presenting four singing Ambassadors. Little did anyone know that it would fall on the day one of the most revered men who symbolized unity and freedom would pass away. The news of Nelson Mandela’s death grieves us all. It made the concert even more meaningful, as he had committed his life to fighting for freedom and peace, which were precisely the messages that the Ambassadors promoted.

The Ambassadors who sang were:

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December 5, 2013

Giving thanks for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela at UN General AssemblyThe Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins the people of South Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the international community in giving thanks for the life and witness of Nelson Mandela.

We express our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, to the weavers of dreams, to the practitioners of compassion, the pursuers of peace, and the seekers of justice, to all who grieve at his death.

Nelson Mandela's steadfast pursuit of justice, his enduring commitment to South Africa and all its people, his understanding of the possibilities opened by forgiveness, and his willingness to look beyond ...

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June 27, 2013

Acting on our Responsibility on Nelson Mandela Day

Mandela Day logby Grace Bickers

On July 18 communities and organizations around the world will celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day in order to “take action and inspire change” through “service to one’s fellow human.” Sharing the date of Mandela’s birthday, the day commemorates his over 67 years spent fighting for human rights by taking seriously his charge for a new generation of leaders to take responsibility for making the world a better place. Volunteers participate in locally-organized activities for 67 minutes, showing that small actions can be the first steps to making a meaningful difference.

Nelson Mandela Day began after ...

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July 18, 2012

Every Day a Mandela Day

by Elodie de Bethmann

Today is the Nelson Mandela International Day, which the United Nations honored by holding an Informal Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. The gathering was both a celebration of Mandela’s 94th Birthday and a commemoration of his long-time commitment to serving humanity. In observation of this day, individuals are urged to spend 67 minutes (1 minute for each year of his service) helping others, through various forms of community service. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, in light of Mandela’s great work, is for us to better serve the world: “take action, inspire ...

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July 11, 2012

Nelson Mandela International Day: Take Action! Inspire Change

Nelson Mandela International Day LogoOn 18 July, you are invited to give 67 minutes to help others as a way to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day.

This year brings Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday. To mark the occasion, the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

Find 67 ideas for marking Nelson Mandela International Day. You can ...

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July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela

Today is Nelson Mandela's birthday!

Thanks be to God for his life, witness, and service.

Nelson Mandela International Day

Take Action! Inspire Change (from the UN)

Mandela Turns 93, World Called to Serve (from The Christian Post)

How will you observe the day?

How will you make every day a Mandela Day?

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February 11, 2010

The walk continues

Before he could be elected president, Nelson Mandela had to be freed. Or perhaps I should say, before he could be elected president, Nelson Mandela's body had to be freed. His body may have been imprisoned, his spirit and his...

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January 4, 2010

An Unconquered Soul

I saw Invictus over Christmas. While set against the backdrop of South Africa's amazing, improbable win in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, it is really not a sports movie. It is a tale of pain and possibility, of moving forward...

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