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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 category: Environment

November 19, 2015

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day

Photo and blog by Matt Cowell:

Happy World Toilet Day!  Since 2013, the United Nations has set aside November 19 each year to shed light on the lack of sanitation that many people around the globe face every day.  Although many countries had commemorated this day in previous years, since 2013 the UN has used the day to raise awareness of the need to ensure proper sanitation for all people.  According to the World Health Organisation, 2.4 billion people lack satisfactory sanitation systems and 946 million do not have any sort of toilet.  According to the World Bank, 38 ...

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November 9, 2015

In ministry with the people of Madagascar: Dan and Elizabeth Turk

by Robert Arrington

Elizabeth and Dan Turk presentingToday the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations had the opportunity to host Dan and Elizabeth Turk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers serving in Madagascar since 1994 at the invitation of the Church for Jesus Christ of Madagascar (FJKM). They met with a group of us and shared what they have been doing with PC(USA) partners to serve the population of Madagascar in its humanitarian efforts. Dan has a Ph.D. in Forestry from North Carolina State University, and Elizabeth a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at ...

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July 10, 2015

The year of soil

by Sarah Holye

The UN has a habit of making everything the “day of” something or the “week of” something. Sometimes these things are vitally important…other times they may leave you scratching your head. But did you know that 2015 is the YEAR of something? It’s something so fascinating, so life-giving, so truly crucial to our ecosystem that we often take it entirely for granted.


2015 has been designated the International Year of Soils.

Soil holds a special place in my heart. My name is Sarah Hoyle. Take the S, add it to Hoyle and you’ve ...

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June 8, 2015

All God's gifts

by Sarah Hoyle
This is a version of the sermon Sarah preached at the Tillman Chapel, Church Center for the United Nations, on 5 June 2015.

Sarah Hoyle preaching Saying grace before a meal is a funny thing in my family. I always like to volunteer to pray, because my dad will often draw it out with a “Blessed be you oh God, Creator of the Universe…” and then sing the “Amen”when I would much rather rush through “God is great, God is good.” Even today, if I remember to pause to give thanks for the meal at all, it’s often ...

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June 8, 2015

Healthy oceans, healthy planet

by Nathan Jumper

Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon recently made a statement on the importance of the world’s oceans to the post-2015 sustainable development goals. He remarked:

Given how critical oceans are to the health of our planet and the prosperity of people, they are an essential element in our emerging vision for sustainable development, including the new set of sustainable development goals now being prepared to guide the global fight against poverty for the next 15 years. Climate change poses a great challenge for the health and productivity of the oceans. The science is ...

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