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  • Congo travel-study seminar - Reflection 8

    Published February 8, 2016

    We have been amazed by the incredible language skills of the women of East Congo, who speak to us in French, Swahili and English, and occasionally in Lingala or other local languages. Our hosts have been consistently gracious and tolerant about the more limited fluency (and unintentional gaffes) of some members of our team of “ambassadors.”

    But there is much more to effective communication than words alone. Everyone also conveys messages through gestures and body language. While our lack of proficiency in local languages is sometimes a drawback, it has never obscured the delight with which we have been received ...

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    From Reconciliation

  • Souls of White Folks

    Published February 8, 2016


    Change context, and you change people
    What I learned about the socially constructed nature of racism in the United States by going to Ethiopia

    by Jeffrey A. Schooley

    From December 30 to January 13, I had the opportunity to represent and serve Washington (PA) Presbytery as a mission partner representative to the Southwest Bethel Synod of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). Washington Presbytery and the Southwest Bethel Synod have had a nearly quarter-century long partnership centered on prayer, encouragement, and the sharing of resources.

    As part of the covenanted partnership, every three years the covenant must be reviewed ...

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    From Presbyterians Today Blog: One Church, Many Voices

  • Boycotting berries

    Published February 8, 2016

    While the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is not currently boycotting Sakuma Bros. farms, we serve on the board and financially support the National Farm Worker Ministry, which is boycotting Sakuma Bros. in solidarity with Familias Unidas por la Justicia and along with several Presbyterian Hunger Program grantee partners from around the country. Last month, the president of Farm Worker Ministry Northwest, Gabriela Raquel Ríos, PhD, met with Danny Weeden, the CEO of Sakuma Bros. The dialogue will continue this Friday when National Farm Worker Ministry board members, including a PC(USA) representative will meet with Mr. Weeden and John Erb, vice president at Driscoll's in Washington DC.

    Gabriela gives her account of the day below and this video gives the highlights.

    Following the National Farm Worker Ministry’s endorsement of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) called boycott of Sakuma Bros., Driscoll’s berries and Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream, we have been urging farm worker supporters to sign postcards to the companies.  We have thus far received postcards from 750 people of faith and conscience around the country.  A delegation from our partner Farm Worker Ministry Northwest agreed to deliver your postcards in person to Sakuma Bros. CEO Danny Weeden.  What follows is the report of that delivery attempt.  While Mr. Weeden would not accept your postcards, know that the message you – a supporter of justice for farm workers – wanted to send was heard by the company.

    Sakuma CEO Danny Weeden Asks for “Dialogue” But Refuses to Accept Your Cards

    by Gabriela Raquel Ríos, PhD, President, Farm Worker Ministry Northwest

    Dr. Rios reports to the crowd waiting outside of Sakuma offices, including FUJ President Ramon Torres (center) and Tirso Moreno, General Coordinator of Farmworker Association of Florida (left) about her meeting with Mr. Weeden. Debi Covert-Bowlds connects the NFWM national office via her phone.

    On January 8, I and Farm Worker Ministry-Northwest (FWM-NW) members, Debi Covert-Bowlds, Carla Shafer, Kristen Barber and Mike Betz traveled to Mt. Vernon in hopes of meeting with Sakuma Bros. CEO, Danny Weeden in support of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ). Such a meeting, we later discovered, has not been granted to any FUJ member.

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    From Food and Faith

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