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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.).

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Posts with tag: red hands

September 29, 2014

Hudson River Presbytery says "children should carry toys!"

At the Hudson River Presbytery's "Changing the Conversation Conference", participants traced our hands to raise awareness and send the message that it's not okay to use children under the age of 18 for soldiers. In doing so, the participants joined other Presbyterians who support the Red Hand Campaign that calls for universal ratification and enforcement of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Follow Presbyterian efforts to end the use of child soldiers. Like the Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers Facebook page. Learn more about ...

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February 24, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference: two more member states ratify

On January 15, 2014, St. Lucia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Estonia ratified on February 12, 2014 It is a great start to 2014, as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises to 28 the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians became involved in the Red Hands Campaign. There are still 39 United Nations member states left to ratify.

Every effort counts. Keep your Red Hands ...

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January 27, 2014

How we can make a difference

Reprinted with permission from The Messenger of Catonsville Presbyterian Church with slight editorial changes in relation to photos that appeared in the original article

“Children are children, not soldiers!”

“I liked the UN tour, especially seeing the conference rooms, where the action really happens.”

“I was amazed by the impact that an advocate can have in influencing policy decisions.”

“The Red Cup program impressed me the most because it accomplished three purposes at once: feeding people, providing education, and promoting gender equality.”

These were some of the reflections from the group that traveled to the United Nations on Friday, October ...

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November 20, 2013

The Growing Voice of the Red Hands

by Esther Lee

Red handsIt is our joy to announce that this year, Cameroon (4 Feb 2013) and Zimbabwe (22 May 2013) ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The momentum continues to build. Thanks to all who participated.

The Red Hands made by Presbyterians all over the country are delivered to the permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their governments to sign and ratify the protocol. Though this treaty does not guarantee absence of children in the military forces ...

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May 24, 2013

Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church follows Jesus into the public arena

Why do followers of Jesus work in the public arena - that part of our life where communities and countries and corporations and the nations of the world make policies that shape our common life? What theological principles and Biblical stories call us to and sustain us in such ministry?

How do we witness and work in the public arena?

Cutting out red handsOn Saturday, May 18, I had the privilege to explore these and related questions with an intergenerational group from Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington, Maryland.

Certified Educator Jan Moody, Pastor, the Rev. Kirby Lawrence Hill, and Director of Music John ...

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January 15, 2013

Children are children, not soldiers - 11 years on

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ – Matthew 19:14

February 12, 2013 marks the eleventh anniversary of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Find worship resources, ideas for participating in the Red Hand Campaign, and suggestions for further study for this occasion. Red hands being madeThey may be used at any time.

UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children – boys and girls under the ...

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January 13, 2013

Scouts say "No Child Soldiers"

Scouts make red handsOn 18 December, Boy Scout Troop 351 from Shawnee, Kansas, joined the effort to end the use of children as soldiers around the world.

Each member of the "Purple Chicken" Troop made a red hand print on purple (it is their color!) paper. They added a message of hope and peace.

Thanks to the scouts and their leaders for joining the international Red Hands advocacy effort to build the consensus that will lead to the day when children are children, not soldiers. Troop 351's red hands will be sent to UN missions of member states that have yet to ...

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November 13, 2012

Some ideas for action: World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

World Day of Prayer and Action logoWork to end the use of children as soldiers
The Red Hand Campaign calls for universal ratification and enforcement of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The goal is for every country in the world to ratify the optional protocol by 2012, the tenth anniversary of treaty.

Call President Obama to send the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Senate for advise and consent
The United States has signed, but not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The U ...

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October 23, 2012

Presbyterian Women celebrate UN Day in the Presbytery of Monmouth

O God, who formed creation and made each living thing,
We’ve seen the devastation that war and conflict bring.
We long to stop the violence and end the scourge of war;
We yearn for peace and justice, now and forevermore.

Program cover for PW GatheringOn Saturday, October 20, the Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of Monmouth held their gathering at the First Presbyterian Church of Belmar.

This particular gathering included a celebration, early, of the birth of the United Nations - United Nations Day.

Participants heard a report on the 2012 Churchwide Gathering and had ...

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October 12, 2012

No child soldiers: more steps on the journey

Red Hands from West Virginia PresbyteryAs representatives of the Member States gathered for the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, several important events took place in the effort to create a world  where children are children not soldiers:

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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 ...

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June 11, 2012

Covenant Presbyterian Church holds seminar on child soldiers

By Sophie Beal

Today the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was pleased to host Covenant Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, California for a seminar that covered the current global situation concerning the use of child soldiers in armed conflict and efforts made by the United Nations and others to stop this practice.

Participants in the Covenant Presbyterian Church seminar make red hands

To begin the day, Elodie and I asked the group members to draw a picture of a world in which children do not serve as child soldiers. The responses were wonderfully diverse and provoked a thoughtful discussion about what the lives of child soldiers might be like ...

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June 6, 2012

Summer volunteers work on Red Hands

 

Sophie Beal and Elodie de Bethmann are summer volunteer interns at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.  This is their first week with us, their first blog with us, and their first time getting involved with Red Hands.  Below is the blog from Sophie and Elodie.

More photos are available on our Facebook Page.


The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has taken on two new volunteer interns for the summer. We are both excited to have this incredible opportunity to experience the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Mission Council at the United Nations ...

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December 8, 2011

How to make Red Hands

Red hand being made with paintThe Red Hand Campaign asks nation states to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and make clear their commitment to ending the use of child soldiers.  The goal is for every country in the world to ratify the optional protocol by 2012, the tenth anniversary of when it took effect.

To take part in the Red Hand Campaign:

  1. Create red hand prints on paper (using finger paint, drawing an outline, using red paper, or in some other way) and then add their names, hometowns, and ...

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October 23, 2011

No child soldiers

Red Hands Banner

The group from the Presbytery of Geneva made Red Hands during their seminar.

They also made Red Hands before they came to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for their seminar.

This banner was made by members of First Presbyterian Church in Gowanda, New York.

Thanks to all for their witness to a world in which children are children, not soldiers!

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October 17, 2011

Presbyterian Women say "No Child Soldiers"

They brought Red Hands.

They made Red Hands.

They made plans to create Red Hands in their congregations.

Red Hands displayThe Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of New York City gathered for their Fall Gathering on October 15 at the First Presbyterian Church in Williamsbridge.

Their varied program featured a presentation by the Rev. Kellie Anderson-Picallo on the diverse gifts God gives to us; the Rev. Lynn West on working for a world in which hunger is no more; and the Rev. Rev. Nadine Hundertmark preaching on claiming our voice and serving Jesus. I also had the chance to talk about the ...

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October 14, 2011

Children from Newark, NY say no child soldiers

Red Hands banner

The group from the Presbytery of Geneva made Red Hands during their seminar.

They also made Red Hands before they came to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for their seminar.

This banner was made by the children (ages 3 to 6) and teachers at the Roosevelt Children's Center in Newark, NY.

Thanks to all for their witness to a world in which children are children, not soldiers!

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October 14, 2011

First Presbyterian Church of Horseheads says no child soldiers

Banner with red hands and mittensThe group from the Presbytery of Geneva made Red Hands during their seminar.

They also made Red Hands before they came to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for their seminar.

The Sunday School children of the First Presbyterian Church of Horseheads made this banner. The mittens attached to the banner were made by the church's knitting club.

Thanks to all for their witness to a world in which children are children, not soldiers!

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October 14, 2011

Geneva Presbytery says "No" to child soldiers

Folks on UN TourFrom the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, they journeyed to New York City. Thirty-six in number, of many different ages, the group from the Presbytery of Geneva included a visit to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations as part of their trip. On Saturday, October 8, we met outside the United Nations.

As I came up First Avenue, I saw a group gathered at the entrance. I guessed they were Presbyterians from Geneva, but I was not sure until I saw one of them carrying a stack of Red Hands - addressing the use of children as soldiers ...

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September 22, 2011

Red Hands make a difference

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14)

Red Hands being madeWe moved another step closer a world where children are children and not soldiers today. Presbyterian Red Hands helped make it happen!

Saint Lucia signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children and Armed Conflict.

Saint Lucia received Red Hands from Presbyterians asking them to sign and ratify the Prototocol. Signing takes the crucial first step; Saint Lucia still needs to ratify the ...

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July 22, 2011

Red Hands at work

What difference do Presbyterian Red Hands make?

A display of Red Hands with the message that children are children, not soldiersThis year three states: Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Chad recently signed an action plan to end the use of children by the country’s security forces.

Clearly the international consensus that "Children are children, not soldiers" is building.

Presbyterians are playing a part. The Red Hands made by Presbyterians are delivered to permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their ...

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July 21, 2011

Red Hands say no child soldiers

Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
Matthew 19:14

Peng Leong stuffing envelopes with Red HandsRed Hands, made by Presbyterians across the church, were sent to the permanent missions of 26 member states of the United Nations today. The Red Hands, in a variety of styles, all bear the same message: "Children are children, not soldiers."

With the Red Hands went a request that the state sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in ...

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July 2, 2011

Red Hands being made

A collection of Red HandsThere have been a number of opportunities to learn about and participate in the Red Hand Campaign to call for an end to the exploitation of children as soldiers. The Pathways program made Red Hands. The conversation on human trafficking included a segment on ending the use of child soldiers. Folks who came by the Peacemaking Booth in the exhibit hall had the opportunity to made Red Hands and take information to participate at home.

Photo by Ryan Smith.

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June 15, 2011

The writing was on the wall

Writing on white boardActually it was on the white board.

And it was pretty cool.

Love God
Love yourself
Love others

It has been a while since the board in our conference room has seen such creativity.

A group of six high school students (one of whom has actually graduated is "still a high schooler at heart") from Medina Presbyterian Church arrived on Monday for a seminar. Immigration in the United States was the topic they selected.

We adapted the order of the seminar a bit as thye arrived. We began by talking about the situation in South Kordofan, Sudan. Ryan Smith, Presbyterian ...

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April 30, 2011

Thursday night in Queens

"You have the coolest job." That was one of the closing comments to my time at the First Presbyterian Church in Whitestone. Pastor Andy James had invited me to visit during Lent and share about the Presbyterian Ministry at the...

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March 31, 2011

Red Hands in Fort Wayne

Sent from United Faith Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, IN to the Office of Child Advocacy (in August - we are behind but catching up!): Several weeks ago, our congregation signed "red hands" in support of the "No Child Soldiers"...

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February 15, 2011

Where did the Red Hands go?

Red Hands were recently sent to a number of missions of member states at the United Nations asking them to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed...

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February 11, 2011

Mailing Red Hands

Here's a photo album on the Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers Facebook page taken as packets of Red Hands were assembled to send to missions at the United Nations urging them to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on...

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December 30, 2010

Red Hands continue to work

Congo agrees to treaty that bans child solders; Ethiopia signs In late July 2010, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mailed drawings of red hands and messages to the Mission of Congo and the Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations as...

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September 7, 2010

Making Red Hands

Participants in the 2010 Presbyterian Youth Triennium made Red Hands to call for an end to the use of children as soldiers around the world. Their simple message has been delivered to a number of countries. Here's how they made...

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August 6, 2010

What happened to all those red hands?

The first batch of red hands and letters has been delivered. Over 800 red hands were created by participants in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, They had the simple message: children should be children, not soldiers. Participants wrote some 200 letters...

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July 23, 2010

Why should children not be soldiers?

This was a question posed at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Participants created red hands with answers - red hands that will be delivered to world leaders to call them to put an end to the practice of using children as...

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July 22, 2010

Almost two a minute

117 Red Hand cards were made today at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium - in one hour. That's almost two messages every minute to be sent to world leaders to tell them that children are children, not soldiers! Thanks to all...

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July 21, 2010

Red Hands at Triennium - Day 1

Over 250 participants in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium created Red Hands to carry the message to world leaders that children are children, not soldiers. Some amazing messages were written: Stop the use of child soldiers: what if it was your...

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March 7, 2009

Red hands in San Antonio

As part of the Red Hand Campaign to end the use of children as soldiers, participants in the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators conference in San Antonio had the opportunity to make red hands. These were among the 250,000 red...

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