Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Swords Into Plowshares

Reflections from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Microcosm of Conflict; Moment of Peacebuilding

Day 7, Part 1: A Microcosm of the Conflict As we boarded the bus from the Manger Square Hotel, the ingredients appeared to be coming together for rain.  A slight wind blew over the hills as clouds gathered overhead. After a third day in Bethlehem, we had heard and seen how the ingredients came together… Read more »

Irreconcilable “Facts”

Mosaic of Peace, Day 6 Today we were confronted with incompatible narratives. After worshipping at Christmas Lutheran Church in the morning, we visited the Tent of Nations—a small olive tree-covered  mountain owned by the Nassar family, which consists of Palestinian Christian farmers. The Nassars are a rare case—they have ownership papers going back to the… Read more »

“Gerrymandering” Jerusalem

Mosaic of Peace, Day 5 After three and a half days staying in and exploring the Old City area of Jerusalem, yesterday we took a bus tour of East Jerusalem with an Israeli guide named Yaniv Mazor—a former tank commander in the IDF who, after serving three years of mandatory service, cut short his time… Read more »

Listening for the Still, Small Voice

Mosaic of Peace, Day 4 When I was quite young, (exactly how many years ago, I prefer not to share), my grandmother toured the Holy Land. I remember caressing the olive wood trinkets, looking through the pictures with her, and deciding that one day, I too would go to this holy place and walk where… Read more »

A Brief Flashback: Talking Trump in Tel Aviv

Mosaic of Peace, Day 3 Editor’s note: It is always interesting to get a snapshot of what people in other countries think of the United States and its politics. As we have stayed in Jerusalem, issues of displacement vs immigration have had a different tinge than in the United States. It is the Jewish people,… Read more »

Finding the Name of Peace

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day 2 What is in a name? It depends on the name. Our identity, our history, our future, our value—all the pieces that help form the narrative of who we are.—are tied to names. When we name our children, when we name our friends, when we name the places most special… Read more »

Our Feet Are Standing Within Your Gates, O Jerusalem!

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day 1 May 1, Jerusalem “What does it mean for us to be here, in Jerusalem?” It’s a question that has as many answers as the diverse peoples who inhabit or visit this many-faceted city. Our first full day in the Old City of Jerusalem falls on May 1st: May Day,… Read more »

Come and See!

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day “0” To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed is to be a pilgrim. –Mark Nepo April 30, Jerusalem—Today we came from many places, from many denominations and vocations, to join in building a… Read more »

Environmental Education in Action in Madagascar

Dan Turk shared with us today about the Environmental Education Program, a part of the Developmental Department of the FJKM church.  Dan described four main elements of the program: Student pastors at the Ivanto Seminary are trained in the garden, orchard and fruit tree nursery, part of the Seminary campus. In addition there are annual… Read more »

Protecting the Resources of Madagascar

We have been deeply impressed by the rich cultural heritage of the Malagasy people and the tremendous natural resources and the great biodiversity of this unique environment where 90% of the plants and animals on the island of Madagascar can be found nowhere else on earth. Sadly, the resources of this nation are at a… Read more »