General Assembly News Roundup

As the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA) comes to a close, we offer a quick roundup of articles from GA that report on some of the issues PPF was watching and advocating on most closely.

Briefing Papers for GA Overtures: A PPF Resource for Commissioners

PPF has published these brief documents that lift up key issues and analysis of overtures before the General Assembly that pertain to peacemaking and nonviolence. Please share these documents widely with commissioners and others at General Assembly.

Call to Presbyterians: Submit Your Own Overtures on Immigration!

Grace and Peace to you all, Sisters and Brothers of the Presbyterian Church (USA):

The Challenge Before Us:

Immigration questions increasingly impact Presbyterian congregations and ministries throughout our country, that are :

  • coping with rising anti-immigrant sentiment fostered by media and political campaigns ,
  • dealing with consequences of federal border-enforcement strategy,
  • finding that common services provided by our congregations’ ministries – shelter, food programs, access to health services, counseling, transportation – are being declared illegal by anti-immigrant legislation in the states,

March on the U.S. Southern Command

Join us on October 8-9, 2011 in Florida and converge on the new headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command outside of Miami, Florida.

The march will draw attention to the increased proliferation of U.S. Military Bases in Latin America.

Click here for more information

Live Video Streaming from International Ecumenical Peace Convention

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will be web streaming the plenary sessions and special events of the upcoming International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC). The video streams will be live from the Mona campus of the University of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, where the convocation is being held, beginning Wednesday 18 May.


Congress on Urban Ministry: Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence

The 2011 Congress will EQUIP you to:

  • FIGHT the systems that create poverty
  • CONFRONT violence with the GOSPEL

Ecumenical Advocacy Days

Training Day: March 25th. Special training for Presbyterians:
Compassion Peace and Justice: Church Models that Work

Location: New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC

General Assembly and Beyond

by Marilyn White

Dozens of volunteers from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship attended the 219th General Assembly in Minneapolis this summer to help make PPF's GA witness stronger than it has ever been before. We were present at General Assembly in four significant ways: with our exhibit hall booth, at the Peace Breakfast, through advocacy for peaceful perspectives in General Assembly committees, and through our communications outreach to the wider church during and after the meeting.

GA made significant and substantive statements on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Colombia, and Gun Violence. But perhaps the action of most consequence was the decision to begin a four-year study to “Seek clarity as to God’s call to the church to embrace nonviolence as its fundamental response to the challenges of violence, terror, and war.” The GA urged that the steering committee in charge of the study develop a broadly participative process. We certainly look forward to engaging in such a study and learning more about nonviolent alternatives to war.

Reducing Gun Violence Report Passes Overwhelmingly - "We Await Results"

By Jan Orr-Harter

With resounding support, the Report 11-06, "Gun Violence, Gospel Values," passed in the final Assembly vote by a show of hands. PPF has supported this, and through PPF National Committee member Jim Atwood, played a critical role. The General Assembly News reported that Rev. Catherine Snyder, Presbyterian Campus minister at Virginia Tech, wept openly as the committee passed the report. Snyder counseled and consoled students and families following the horrific handgun murders committed there by a disturbed student, killing 32 persons in 2007.

Can We Love Like Jesus?

By the Rev. Shannan R. Vance-Ocampo

I need to confess to you this morning that it was very hard for me to not get depressed, deflated, and dejected this past week. So much of what went on in the world around us, let alone the individual suffering I know about in people’s lives as a pastor left me feeling this week as though I was out of emotional and even spiritual steam. Like many of you I find myself watching the increasingly negative information about the catastrophic oil spill that continues without an end in sight with horror.