Tag Archives: International Day of Peace

21 September 2019

Walk / slow jog. Morningside Heights.
Stretching. The Shire.
September – Earth, Wind & Fire
Peace Train – Cat Stevens
Peace and Power – Joanne Shenandoah
Peace Anthem – Sera
Peace at Last – Will Duncan and Bobby Horton
Peace in the Valley – John Scofield
Paz Y Libertad – José-Luis Orozco
Peace on Earth – U2
Peace Tonight – Indigo Girls
Peace Will Come – Tom Paxton
Peace – Los Lobos
Peace – Sweet Honey in the Rock
Peace Has Broken Out – Eric Bogle
Peace March – Bruce Cockburn
Peace of Mind – Keb’ Mo’
Peaceful … Is the Glen – Clan An Drumma
The Great Peace March – Holly Near

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Filed under Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

Purple flowers – guest collection #17

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Purple flowers for the International Day of Peace
21 September 2015
Thanks to Jeff Geary

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Filed under Friends, Photo

Confronting racism in church and society

I had the privilege of providing the September 4, 2014 message for Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. I focused on our need to address racism within the church and our society. I am grateful to Sara Lisherness, Sera Chung, and Toya Richards for editorial input.

As followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we claim the biblical vision of the day when swords are beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Our faith in Christ compels us to work for a world filled with justice and peace.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, in partnership with other Compassion, Peace, and Justice and World Mission programs, helps Presbyterians witness and work for justice and peace in Syria, South Sudan, Israel/Palestine, and other places that experience conflict and injustice. We commemorate theInternational Day of Peace, September 21, a day the United Nations invites all nations and peoples to take concrete steps to strengthen the ideals and reality of peace.

We respond to Christ’s call, and the message of the International Day of Peace, whenever and wherever we work for justice and peace in the face of brokenness and strife. The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the killings of other African American males, demonstrate the need for such work in our own country.

Such events painfully remind us of the ongoing reality of racism and poverty as well as the impact of the militarization of police forces in our country. Too many African American men have been killed by the police. Too many issues of racial injustice have festered unresolved, leading to distrust and fear, anger and violence. Ongoing disenfranchisement has resulted in hopelessness and despair.

Presbyterians have a mixed record when it comes to responding to race. We have taken important steps on the journey to racial justice. At the same time, we have often failed to sufficiently recognize and repent of our complicity in the creation and continuation of systems and structures that perpetuate racism. We have been slow to undertake the difficult work of dismantling systems of privilege and disadvantage.

This summer, Presbyterians have prayed and stood with the people of Ferguson, Missouri; we have witnessed and proclaimed the good news of God’s love for all in pulpits across the country. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, in partnership with the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy and First Presbyterian Church of Ferguson, is providing support and resources to the church and community through two members of the National Response Team with significant experience in public violence disaster response.

As we give thanks for these and other efforts, we need to continue the journey to justice and accelerate our pace. Resources are available to help Presbyterians confront and address the persistence of racism.

The Season of Peace, which begins on September 7 and ends on World Communion Sunday, provides a time to reflect on, and work for, racial and economic justice and peace. During this season, we receive the Peace & Global Witness Offering that supports peace and justice efforts around the world and in our communities.

A team comprised of staff from the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly has gathered to identify further actions Presbyterians can take to address racism, the militarization of police forces, and poverty. Watch for more information and opportunities for engagement.

As our Brief Statement of Faith reminds us, In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace. May we be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading as we share the good news of God’s peace.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Is this how we want to mark the International Day of Peace?

Without an intervention of some sort, Troy Davis will be executed by the State of Georgia tomorrow – September 21 on the International Day of Peace at 7:00 p.m.

I do not believe in the death penalty. I do not think it makes us safer. It does not bring anyone back. It rips the fabric of society – causing more wounds rather than working healing and restoration. It is rooted in vengeance – a lethal concoction of drugs injected into one’s veins in exchange for murder or rape or other capital crime. Such crimes are heinous. Monstrous. Evil. Unspeakably so. But there has to be another way, other ways, to respond than execution. As my friend Shannon points out, are the countries that use the death penalty really the company I want my country to keep?

All that aside, there is also the question of doubt in the case of Troy Davis. He was convicted, but since then: seven of the nine original witnesses have recanted or changed their testimony; many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements. Courts have ruled that Troy Davis’ innocence cannot be proved. But when does doubt reach the level of being “reasonable?” Does that level change after a person is convicted? Should the fact that the punishment is death affect what constitutes “reasonable doubt?” Does proving innocence trump reasonable doubt after conviction?

The NAACP provides a petition to ask Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm, who requested the death warrant against Troy Davis, to petition the judge to withdraw the death warrant against Troy Davis.

Amnesty International also provides an opportunity to contact the Georgia State Board of Pardon and Paroles.

I have taken both of those actions. In addition, I plan to fast tomorrow evening. And I will pray.

I will pray for Troy Davis and his family and friends.

I will pray for the family and friends of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Officer MacPhail’s brutal murder was the crime of which Troy Davis was convicted.

I will pray for those who are in a position to stop this execution.

I will pray for those who are in the position of having to carry out this execution should it come to that.

I will pray for all people who have had a loved one murdered.

I will pray for all people who have had a loved one executed.

I will pray.

May God have mercy on us all.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Human Rights