Justice and Peace

Last updated: 
June 20, 2018

Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, and there are events scheduled in many different locations in Canada.

I wonder if those who began World Refugee Day could have imagined the state of our world today. They must have been people of foresight who did have some sense of what lay ahead for our world, and wanted to shape a better future.

Europe is in turmoil as people migrate (or try to migrate) from places of violence and danger to countries seen as peaceful. The words in...

Last updated: 
June 18, 2018

World Refugee Day on June 20 is a call for communities around the world to work toward peace and security for all, remembering especially the millions of people who are displaced or forcibility uprooted from their homes.

Is your community of faith ready to help displaced people as they seek to rebuild their lives? Learn more about sponsoring a refugee.

I have worked with refugees, both as a volunteer and as the Refugee Resource Person...

Last updated: 
June 4, 2018

“It is time to shout: The era of peace is coming."

We echoed the cry of KoEun KwangSoon of Peace Mothers of Korea last week, as we walked alongside 1,200 South Korean women mobilizing for a peaceful resolution to the Korean conflict. I was representing the United Church as part of an international women peacemakers delegation of 30 peace activists. Led by Nobel peace laureate...

Last updated: 
June 4, 2018

“Today, 80 million hearts across the peninsula are broken.”

That was the reaction of Korean partners, representing Women’s Peace Walk, a coalition of more than 30 South Korean women’s peace organizations to the shocking news of the American cancellation of the June 12 summit planned between U.S. President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea.

But together, we lost no time in declaring that the momentum toward peace is unstoppable, driven forward by the deep yearning of the Korean people...

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May 23, 2018

Maximum engagement for peace in Korea.

That was the commitment of the International Women Peacemakers Delegation made at the end of the January 2018 Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula co-hosted by Canada and the U.S. Nothing like the U.S.-led focus on “maximum pressure” and increased sanctions against North Korea. Instead, we wanted to maximize efforts to reduce tension, promote people-to-people contact, and enable humanitarian and sustainable development efforts in North Korea. I was in Vancouver, representing...

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May 16, 2018

On Sunday (May 20), Venezuelans will elect a president and other local officials. It will be the fifth presidential election and 25th election of any type to take place in Venezuela since 1998, when Hugo Chávez was elected. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, is the front-runner in the current campaign.

I work as Latin America program coordinator at The United Church of Canada, and I am getting ready to travel to Venezuela and to serve as an election observer. Given U.S. (and...

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May 10, 2018

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

—Margaret Mead

I have heard this quote often. So often that when I hear someone starting to say it I begin to think, “Oh no, isn’t this a bit of a cliché?” But I don’t completely go there—because I still believe there is truth in it. Indeed, a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens change the world (or their world) in the direction of love, justice, and mercy; this has happened more times than we will ever know.

On the...

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May 4, 2018

The silence of the streets is eerie. Everywhere that we have gone in Palestine has been busy with people, traffic, and commerce as well as the ubiquitous military presence. Not so in the old city of Hebron. Hebron reflects a microcosm of the conflict in this ancient land. Generations of peoples have struggled here each claiming land and the right to exist on it. Violence can break out at any time and it has often done so.

Cell phone connections have been made with our guide from the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment...

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April 27, 2018

From April 25 to 27, I and other United Church and Mennonite Central Committee colleagues are going to Ottawa to meet with members of Parliament, senators, and government officials. We are privileged to have as part of this delegation Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories (Michael is a Canadian and Professor of Law at the University of Western Ontario), as well as Brad Parker, who is International Advocacy Officer and Attorney with Defense for Children International—Palestine (DCIP). DCIP is a Mission & Service partner of...

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March 21, 2018

Last summer, I spent three memorable hours in prison. I had not been arrested.

That July morning, colleagues from one of our partners, the KARAPATAN alliance in the Philippines, picked me up at my hotel for a two-hour drive out of Quezon city. With our Mission and Service partners the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the United Church has long been engaged in human rights advocacy in the country and in mitigating the...