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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: Peace

April 21, 2015

Pillars of the Church program fosters commitment to peace and justice ministries

reprinted from the Presbyterian News Service
story and photo by Rick Jones

In a world of change and uncertainty, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is growing a loyal group of supporters to keep its peace and justice ministries thriving. Church leaders announced a new program called “Pillars of the Church” at Compassion, Peace and Justice (CPJ) Training Day in Washington, D.C.

“It is about encouraging a sustaining and generous community of donors who are deeply committed to the commandments of Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves,” said Sara Lisherness, director of CPJ. “Becoming a ...

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January 7, 2015

Security Council Press Statement on terrorist attack on French newspaper

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations issued a letter expressing our prayer and condolences to Ambassador Delattre.

The Security Council issued the following press statement regarding today's attack in France:


The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack against the headquarters of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, France, on 7 January 2015, causing numerous deaths among journalists, media professionals and associated personnel as well as of two policemen.

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this intolerable terrorist act targeting journalists and a newspaper.

The members of ...

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November 19, 2014

A Ministry of Presence

Listening to and hearing voices that may otherwise be unheard is the experience of those who are called to ministry. Often those voices end up beating in our eardrums and actually touching our own hearts and we too are transformed in our listening and hearing. For many of us, coming to South Africa has been transformational and we have a sense that God’s purposes are being fulfilled in us.

At God’s own time, we came to South Africa from across the U.S. on a variety of flights. Many of us had never met each other, yet it ...

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November 18, 2014

Apartheid May Belong in a Museum, but its Ramifications Persist

The following was written on Friday, November 7 while in Johannesburg, South Africa

A system, Apartheid, had a nation divided black from white.  Nelson Mandela, a hero for freedom and forgiveness, draws me from the largest city in the United States to the largest in South Africa – Johannesburg or “Jo Berg” as they say here. The question, Why?

The ruling elders of the church I serve, although blessing my participation last July, wondered why?  On the Tuesday before I was to board a plane, they asked me a strange question. A New York doctor had been recently infected with the ...

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November 14, 2014

The Modern-Day Hope and Reconciliation Process Taking Place in Worcester, South Africa

I am not sure exactly how one describes what we have experienced thus far, and then especially on Monday. One of the group described the experience as “whiplash”, and the more I sit with the idea, the more I realize that the analogy is very close to the reality of the stories of South Africa as well as the Worcester community.

Just after the 1994 election on Christmas Eve in 1996, a grocery store where the less privileged community shop was bombed by Afrikaner white radicals. Four people lost their lives and 78 were injured. Out of this pain grew ...

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