GA Update: Peacemaking Issues

By Jan Orr-Harter

The long-awaited GA plenary session on Peacemaking and International Issues came and went, with excellent results, but not quite as we expected the process to go. We'll take the results.

GA Update: Middle East

By Jan Orr-Harter

Some of the toughest items were up today, Committee 14 on all issues related to the Middle East.

Update: Lots of good news as Peace Overtures leave committees for plenary

By Jan Orr-Harter

The committees have all finished their deliberations and have forwarded their proposals to the GA plenary for final votes.

Briefing Document on GA Overtures now available

PPF has compiled an analysis of peace related overtures before this year's General Assembly.

Click here to download the Briefing Document

Collatoral Murder? A soldier speaks out

The sensational video "Collatoral Murder" has been circulating widely online, showing U.S. troops in Iraq firing on civilians. Josh Stieber was a member of Bravo Company 2-16 and remembers the incident portrayed in the video.

If you call this a heartless murder, I think that you’re being overly self-righteous. If you question the very nature of the machines that we trap ourselves in and our goals for doing so, then we can learn something from this video.

Consultation and Encounter: the Presbyterians of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

You are invited to travel on a mission trip to Lebanon and Syria this fall to meet fellow-Presbyterians from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This venture is organized through the Iraq Partnership Network and the Syria-Lebanon Network of the PC(USA) and is sponsored and facilitated by The Outreach Foundation. The church governing bodies in the region, namely the Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in Iraq and the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon have worked closely with the networks to finalize and bless these plans.

Riding the bus as social commentary

Beth Pyles is a Presbyterian Pastor who serves with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.

Riding the bus the other day, I was struck by how different worldviews play out in the smallest, as well as largest ways (you decide which is which). In the U.S., you enter the bus from the front, bringing you face to face with the driver and your obligation to pay the fare - maybe there's a machine you drop your coins into; maybe the driver takes your money himself; maybe there's a ticket you've already bought . . . but however it works, the very first thing you do is pay your money. No money, no entrance.

Now don't misunderstand - in Iraq, you must pay as well. But how the transaction takes place is instructive:

A Statement on Behalf of the Oppressed Iraqi Christian Community

We, the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus, are grieved by the barbaric bombing of 8 churches in Iraq (7 in Baghdad, 1 in Mosul) on Sunday, July 12, 2009. We denounce the cowardly aggression of militants against innocent and peaceful Iraqi civilians. We emphatically deplore all violence, in particular violence in the name of religion or political ideology, targeting Christians and minority groups, and all hostilities aimed to dehumanize, terrorize, persecute, and murder people in the name of God or any political cause.

Pentecost in Iraq

And how is it that we hear . . .? --Acts 2

It is Pentecost. The Team gathers for prayer and leaves the apartment to conduct a training in non-violence and reconciliation with people from the Kurdish and surrounding governorates. They have come from Tikrit and Mosul and Kirkuk. They have lived in Baghdad and the villages of Kurdistan. A few speak English, most Arabic, and some Kurdish, and one of us, Cantonese.