Peace with Justice Advocates


Meeting Schedule

 

Regular meetings of the Peace with Justice Advocates Mission Group are held on the second Wednesday of each month (August - June) 10am-12noon at the conference center. All are welcome!


flyer- Compassionate Listening- Oct.-12 Event -at NH UCC Conference Center


Current News 

 

New Hampshire Immigrant Solidarity Network
Sanctuary, Support, Accompaniment & Advocacy.
In light of recent ICE actions in NH, AFSC-NH and the Granite State Organizing Project urge all NH faith communities to discern how we can make an offering of our many capacities to stand in true solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.  Please contact Senators Shaheen and Hassan, Rep. Shea-Porter, and Todd Thurlow, Assistant Field Director of I.C.E., ERO in New England, to express your concern and support for immigrants being allowed to stay.

On-going Interfaith Prayer Vigils for Immigrant Justice are coordinated by AFSC-NH, the Granite State Organizing Project, NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees and many other partners in the work for immigrant justice on a regular basis at I.C.E. (at the Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut St., Manchester) At I.C.E. check-in appointments on August 1st 27 Indonesian individuals were told to come back in September with plane tickets proving that they will leave the U.S. in October. Three Latino immigrants and one Indonesian were held and detained for deportation on the spot. 18 are members of the Maranatha Indonesian United Church of Christ in Madbury, NH.

We would like to make sure that we have at least a small group of faith leaders out in front of I.C.E. each morning that our friends are reporting in. The next Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Justice is Tuesday, September 19 at 8:30 AM at the Norris Cotton Federal Bldg. 275 Chestnut St. Manchester. All are encouraged to be there. 

Prayer Vigils are also planned for September 25, September 29, October 3 (regular check-in day), October 4, October 6, October 10, and October 13.

Contact info for:
Senator Jeanne Shaheen: 647-7500
Senator Maggie Hassan: 202-224-3324
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter: 285-4300
Assistant I.C.E. Field Director, Todd Thurlow: Phone: 629-2800, ToddJ.Thurlow@ice.dhs.gov

For more information contact:
The Granite State Organizing Project: Sarah Jane Knoy 603-668-8250
Or
Maggie Fogarty, Co-Director of the NH Program
American Friends Service Committee
4 Park Street, #209
Concord, NH 03301
(603)224-2407
www.afsc.org/newhampshire

 

P.S. If you observe Just Peace Sunday, please let us know and send us any photos of the service or other activities! Also, if you are Facebook, connect with our Facebook Group of Just Peace advocates.

World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel September 17 -24
The Peace with Justice Advocates Mission Group along with the World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting people across the world to unite in peaceful actions to create a common international public witness for peace in Palestine and Israel. For more info, read the complete article.

The resolution regarding the rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation passed at Synod 31. Learn more in the FAQ document.

The Rev. John Buttrick provides a timely witness on Memorial Day 2017 in his article Study War No More.

The Peace with Justice Advocates commend a poem for our time, "Walls or Hugs" from Red Crearte by Gerardo Oberman, which was adapted and read responsively during Prepared to Serve worship on February 25, 2017.


Mission Statement

 

  • Being inwardly contemplative so as to allow God to disarm our hearts and transform us into people of peace and nonviolence.
  • Being outwardly active in publicly witnessing/evangelizing/ teaching peace, love, and nonviolence in our churches and in the greater society.
  • Being in community with and acting in solidarity with other individuals and groups rooted in peace and nonviolence.

We embrace the nonviolent tradition as our foundation, not because this path makes us one with all Christians, but because it is our way of making us one with Christ.

We embrace the path of nonviolence accepting its strengths and limitations, knowing that whether our journey brings success or failure, it renders us faithful witnesses of God's intention for all humankind and all creation.

We embrace this work of seeking to define and promote the nonviolent path because there are those in our time who seek to promote and propagate the myth of redemptive violence as the basis of national policy, as an acceptable starting point of human relationships, and as a pillar of their gospel.

We invite others to walk with us on this journey because we meet God on this path, embracing us in all our trials and rejoicing and giving us "courage in the struggle for justice and peace."

 


What is a Just Peace Church?


The United Church of Christ declared itself to be a Just Peace Church almost two decades ago. In 1985 General Synod voted a Pronouncement on Affirming the UCC as a Just Peace Church, an action which defined just peace as the Interrelation of friendship, justice, and common security from violence. As a result Susan Thistlethwaite edited a study book for churches entitled Just Peace Church, which includes: affirmation that making peace and doing justice are the task of Christians given to them by God in the shalom vision; places the UCC in opposition to the institution of war, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence, and defines a Just Peace as shalom, underlining the linkage between peace and justice with the phrase Just Peace, insisting that the search for disarmament and conflict resolution must be accompanied by the search for justice, affirmation that all humans have a right to their basic human needs, including food, health care, housing, employment, and education.

Local congregations, as the fundamental unit of peacemaking within the life of the UCC, need to organize and train themselves to make a difference on issues of Just Peace both within and beyond the walls of the church. In their worship, education, outreach, and funding efforts, local congregations help to build the community of agents and advocates of Just Peace and help support the efforts of those at other levels.

Congregations should be encouraged to develop a Just Peace covenant, which lifts up the various elements of Just Peace as they relate to worship, prayer, Bible study, education, organizing advocacy, and financial support. This covenant can be renewed annually to give specific expression to the peacemaking tasks the congregations sees before it each year. The question how does what we do together reflect the Just Peace vision of shalom for all creation should be ever before the congregation.

The Justice and Witness Ministries of the National Church prepared the manual Imagine Another World Is Possible: Building a Peace with Justice Movement in the UCC. This is not a curriculum, but rather an invitation into a lifelong journey of responding to God's gift of peace and Jesus call to love our neighbors as ourselves. None of this can be accomplished overnight or by following a proscribed course of action. To help deepen one's understanding of what it means to be a Just Peace Church, studying Susan Thistlewaite's book Just Peace Churchis highly recommended. In addition, Thistlewaite offers a self-directed course Introduction to Just Peacemaking via the Chicago Theological Seminary, which is very helpful and suggests both reading Just Peace Church as well as Glen Stassen's book Just Peacemaking, and a next level study Interfaith Just Peacemaking, with responses by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, which are very illuminating.

The NH Conference mission group Peace with Just Advocates is available to help churches with understanding what it means to be a Just Peace church.

 


10 Steps to Declaring Your Church a Just Peace Church

 

  • Establish a team at your church to address becoming a Just Peace Church. Build this team from a wide variety of congregants who can commit to about six hours of team work a month. Depending on the schedule this process can take 8 to 12 weeks to complete.
  • Use Just Peace Church edited by Susan Thistlethwaite(1986) and Just Peacemaking: the new paradigm for the ethics of peace and war(1998) by Glen Stassen as curriculum. Have copies of these available for team members and interested parishioners not on the team.
  • Define areas where your congregational already works for Justice & Peace.
  • Write a Just Peace Statement.
  • If necessary rewrite your general mission statement to include a Just Peace element.
  • Present your work, the Just Peace Statement and Revised Mission Statement to your congregation. Move to accept the Just Peace Statement and Revised Mission Statement in a congregational meeting. A formal vote is required to declare yourself an official Just Peace Church.
  • Publicly declare yourself a Just Peace Church with:
    • Signs
    • Marketing\
    • Stationary/Printed material
    • Write a press release for the newspapers
  • Report this action to your Conference Ministers to be on the record as declaring yourself a Just Peace Church.
  • Go forth and act on behalf of Justice and Peace. Revisit the Just Peace Statement regularly to stay focused and on track. The act of becoming a Just Peace Church should influence every church decision and commitment from here forward.


Articles

 

My Turn: By Giving Military Aid to Israel, U.S. is Supporting Injustice by John Buttrick. Published in the Concord Monitor, April 8, 2017.

My Turn: Border Safety and Human Dignity by John Buttrick. Published in the Concord Monitor, December 28, 2016.

My Turn: I am the Maker of Bombs by Gray Fitzgerald. Published in the Concord Monitor, April 17, 2016.

My Turn: As Christians, we must come to terms with the log in our eye, by Gray Fitzgerald. Published in the Concord Monitor, March 29, 2016.

My Turn: Citizens Bank supports the pipeline, so I cannot support Citizens Bank, by Gray Fitzgerald. Published in the Concord Monitor, February 17, 2016.


Reviews of Helpful Reading

 

On the Brink by Alice Rothchild
A compelling collection of blog posts written by physician Alice Rothchild during a visit to the .west Bank and Israel in the pivotal last weeks of June, 2014. On the Brink presents a collection of vignettes that is lively, honest and extremely informative.

Broken Promises by Alice Rothchild
Rothchild tells of her experiences as a Jewish American doctor working within Israel and the Occupied Territories focusing on the complexity of Jewish Israeli attitudes and the hardships of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.

The End of War by John Horgan
John Horgan teaches and directs the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ. He writes regularly for Scientific American, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the BBC Knowledge Magazine, and other publications.

A Review of The End of War by John Horgan
--Reviewed by Ellen Lankhorst

Prayers from Various Faith Traditions

 


Contact the Peace With Justice Advocates Mission Group

 

Please feel free to contact any of our members listed below:
Janet Zeller, Chair
Dawn Berry
John and Faye Buttrick
John Gregory-Davis
Gray Fitzgerald
Betsy Kelly
Janet Simmon
Gary Schulte
Richard Slater
 


Helpful Links:


UCC Advocate for Justice
Global Ministries - Justice and Advocacy
Join the UCC Network for Justice and Peace Action
NH American Friends Service Committee
NH Peace Action
Pace e Bene