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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: war

February 17, 2016

Presbyterian Ministry at the UN hopeful for political solution in Colombia

Map of ColombiaOn January 25, 2016, the United Nations Security Council acted to "to set up a United Nations political mission in Colombia, approving a team of international observers to monitor disarmament should the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) reach a final agreement to end Latin America’s longest armed conflict."

We welcome this step toward peace and give thanks for our partners in Colombia, particularly in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and the United States and elsewhere who have worked, and continue to work, for a just peace for our sisters and brothers.

Thanks ...

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September 4, 2013

PC(USA) church partners support call for no military action in Syria

From the Presbyterian News Service:

The General Secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, a longtime church partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), sent a letter to the PC(USA) yesterday, expressing appreciation for PC(USA)’s “prophetic stand against all kinds of violence in Syria and your condemnation of the use of chemical attacks no matter who was the user.” He also affirms the Synod’s opposition to the use of force by the United States or any international power as it “will only multiply the suffering,” and warns that “what happened in 2003 ...

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June 10, 2013

To Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War

by Anna Folz

On June 6, 2013, I attended a briefing titled, “Determined to Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War”. The title comes from the opening line of the UN Charter.

There were four speakers on the panel and each touched upon different aspects of war. Before the speakers started a video was shown. The video contained actual footage of the aftermath of war. The video showed the suffering of women, children dying, footage of men who had been shot. The video gave the viewer an opportunity to actually witness the human and environmental impact of war. The ...

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June 21, 2012

War and peace in Afghanistan

Map of AfghanistanThe 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved an overture “On the War in Afghanistan.”

Through this overture, the General Assembly directed that “materials appropriate for studying the effects of the present war in Afghanistan and of non-combative actions the United States might take in pursuit of the region’s stability, prosperity, and peace” should be made available to presbyteries and congregations. Such materials and resources include:

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March 13, 2012

Praying and acting for wisdom and creative alternatives to war with Iran

What should be done about Iran and their nuclear capability? While some advocate bombing Iran, Presbyterians and other followers of Jesus call for restraint.

On Feb. 21, General Assembly Stated Clerk, the Rev. Gradye Parsons, wrote to President Obama expressing concern. His letter notes that:

“The Christian tradition we share urges us to seek limits to violence and, therefore, requires us to oppose any rush to initiate another war in the Middle East.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness, joined colleagues from seven other churches and faith-based ...

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November 11, 2011

Women, War & Peace film series

Written by Grace Bickers

As a human rights student at Columbia University, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to volunteer with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations this fall. My particular interests concern international education and development after times of conflict, and I was excited to attend a film screening and panel discussion last week at the United States Mission concerning the role of women in war.

Women, War & Peace is series of five documentaries produced and broadcast by PBS that shares the stories of women living in conflict zones all over the world. The main purpose of ...

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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 ...

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June 27, 2011

Aid, Not War in Afghanistan: An Open Letter From Religious Leaders to President Obama

The Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Gradye Parsons, joined other religious leaders in sending an open letter to President Obama calling for “aid, not war, in Afghanistan.”

The letter begins:

As your target date to begin U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan approaches, we are compelled by the prophetic vision of just peace to speak. We represent a diversity of faith communities — ranging from just war to pacifist traditions. As leaders of these communities, some of us initially supported the war in Afghanistan as a justified response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on ...

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April 21, 2011

Get home safe

It happens almost every night. I shut off the computer, turn out the light, and leave the office. I walk down the hall to the elevator and push the call button. When the cab arrives, I push "1" and head...

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December 15, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 15, 2010

Scripture - Luke 3:7–14 I was nineteen years old when I first encountered the reality of modern warfare. I was standing on the deck of a troop ship as it entered the harbor of Le Havre, France. As we threaded...

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October 13, 2010

Sudan: Peace is possible; war is not invevitable

Presbyterian United Nations Ministry Gracious God of peace, you break the bow; you snap the spear asunder; you make wars to cease. We pray that you will touch the hearts, the minds, and the spirits of the leaders of Sudan...

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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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June 30, 2010

Truth Commission on Conscience and War: Testimony

On March 21-22, 2010, the Truth Commission on Conscience and War explored the concept of "selective Conscientious Objection," the objection to participation in a particular war based on just war principles. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has supported selective Conscientious Objection...

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June 27, 2010

The Wounds of War: The Church as a Healing Community

Presbyterians observe June 27 as Disability Access/Inclusion Sunday. Presbyterians for Disability Concerns have chosen to focus on "The Wounds of War: The Church as a Healing Community." They have produced resources to help the church be a community of healing...

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May 10, 2010

A prayer for Memorial Day

Holy God, your love is stronger than death, and your life-giving power has no end. We commend to your eternal care all who have died in the service of others, even as we lament the violence of war. Comfort and...

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April 30, 2010

Oración por la tragedia humana que esconde el problema migratorio

Many thanks to our colleague in ministry, the Rev. José Luis Casal, General Missioner of Tres Rios Presbytery for sharing this prayer. Santo Dios, Tu presencia trasciende todas las fronteras creadas por los seres humanos pero tu amor cruza por...

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April 30, 2010

A prayer for the human tragedy behind immigration

Many thanks to our colleague in ministry, the Rev. José Luis Casal, General Missioner of Tres Rios Presbytery for sharing this prayer. Holy God, Your presence transcends all human made borders and your love crosses all boundaries. Help us join...

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January 4, 2010

Happy Christmas

I am still listening to Christmas music - at least until Epiphany. This morning's songs included "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)," by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. It was a bittersweet listen - gratitude for the...

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June 27, 2009

Conflict minerals - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo In January 2008, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) reported that almost five and a half million people have died as a result of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since...

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October 9, 2008

Soldiers of Conscience

The 218th General Assembly (2008) encouraged “the Peacemaking Program to produce and identify study guides and discernment materials for individuals, congregations, and presbyteries to help church members and their friends be able to articulate God’s calling on their lives in...

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August 13, 2008

Faith Community Speaks on Georgia

The World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches have issued a statement on the situation in Georgia. The statement calls for prayers and assistance for those affected by the conflict.

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August 2, 2008

Soldiers of Conscience

I showed the video Soldiers of Conscience yesterday at Ghost Ranch. This award-winning full-length documentary film focuses on our soldiers, serving in Iraq as the face the most difficult moral decision of their lives: to kill or not to kill....

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July 10, 2008

Talk, Not War with Iran

The dangerous climate created by the current tensions between the United States and Iran could lead to war. Both governments need to commit to diplomatic talks to ease the tensions and reduce the likelihood of armed conflict. Seymour Hersh reports...

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