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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: Syria

December 7, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 13: Cross-Cultural Vocational Training and Reducing Gender-Based Violence

by Paul Olson

One strategy in the fight against gender-based violence is to bring women and girls from different cultures and age groups together in vocational and entrepreneurial training. UK Aid  is supporting the work of UNICEF by reaching out to Syrian and Lebanese girls and offering free workshops. The Syrian girls are refugees in Lebanon. While their cultures and upbringing may be different, their shared experience as women and girls in difficult circumstances fosters understanding and hope. The workshops foster friendships and solidarity for women and girls who live in refugee camps or transitional communities.

How can you work ...

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December 3, 2015

We Choose Welcome at the Church Center for the United Nations!

CCUN Choose WelcomeOur Stated Clerk, the Reverend Gradye Parsons invited Presbyterians to take a selfie with a banner saying “We Choose Welcome,” responding to fear of Syrian refugees. This week, my colleagues at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville joined together in the chapel to choose welcome themselves.

As I sat in my office in New York, across the street from the United Nations, I thought about welcome. I thought, as Rev. Parsons reminded us of the innkeeper not welcoming Mary and Joseph. I thought about our recognition of World AIDS Day and was reminded that it wasn't until 2009 that HIV ...

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December 1, 2015

An invitation to "Choose Welcome"

reprinted from the blog of the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent Christmas in my own home as an adult. We have shared that day with grandparents and other family. In a pre-Amazon era, we hid presents among the luggage and spent those days on the road just like Joseph and Mary. But of course I knew that my bed was there to welcome me when it was all over.saint mark presbyterian church holding a sign saying we choose welcome

Right now the United Nations says there are more than 60 million people displaced ...

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November 12, 2015

Our sisters and brothers on the run

Manshi Metha of U.S. Fund for UNICEF tells the group about children in SyriaHumanitarian crises such as the one in Syria do not have humanitarian solutions; they have political solutions.

Almost 60 million men, women, and children displaced by crises around the world.

Children make up over 50% of our displaced sisters and brothers.

More than 4 million Syrians have become refugees since 2011.

Over 7 million Syrians are internally displaced.

Refugees generally want to return home; the average refugee experience is 17 years.

These were some of the challenging realities discussed by a seminar group from the Presbytery of Long Island. An intergenerational group of about 60 Presbyterians from at least 8 ...

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April 10, 2014

Join in prayer with Syrians

Map of SyriaOur staff will join young adults and people of all ages in Syria and around the world in prayer for peace tomorrow.

From the Presbyterian News Service:

A group of young adults from churches across Syria are calling for the world to join them in kindling the candle of peace by praying together simultaneously on Friday, April 11, at 9:00 p.m. GMT (5:00 p.m. EDT).

The call comes from the Syrian Multimedia Youth Team:

The Syrian Multimedia Youth Team works for positive change within Syrian society by using modern media and technology to encourage local development ...

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