Archives for Mar 2012

Kumi Conflict Transformation Training

We were honored to have Brandon Sipes and Jim Weigel with our Arizona staff team last week. They belong to a group of people who developed the Kumi method. What is Kumi? It's an approach to conflict transformation that developed out of the issues in Israel-Palestine and is now being used around the world in many types of conflict. We wanted to hear from Brandon and Jim about their work and see how it could help us with our own work of peacemaking.

Praying Peace: Women Speak to God and the World

The year from spring 2011 to the coming spring of 2012 has been a year full of women proclaiming "Peace!" at the top of their lungs. Not quiet wishes for tranquility or ease, but bold pushes toward equity and right-ness, even as they are buffeted in the process. Faced with such conviction, I wonder if their demands don't carry the same weight we assign to formal "prayer": an act moving people beyond themselves in acknowledgement of Something bigger, Someone more gracious and powerful. Across boundaries of age, economic status, nationality, and religion, women are reaching for more. Praying.

A Muslim and Christian Holistic Approach to Poverty

As people of faith, both Christians and Muslims, God calls us to face this issue head on from both the macro level (thinking about the poorest of the poor worldwide) and the micro level (what we can do locally). God also expects us to work simultaneously on long-term solutions, tackling systemic injustices globally, nationally, and even locally; and on short term poverty alleviation, that is, assisting victims of floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.

Palestine: A Two-Sided, Not a Two-State Solution

You are already aware of what comes to mind when people think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: young Israeli soldiers with machine guns. Palestinian boys throwing rocks at these machine gun-toting Israelis. Palestinian suicide bombers blowing up buses of Israelis. The massive cement wall snaking its way through this divided country bringing "security" to Israelis and "oppression" to the Palestinians. I just spent 10 days in the un-holy land and I, too, picture all of the scenes above. But I now have a new way of seeing the threats upon Israelis and the occupation of the Palestinians.

Brit Milah, A Rabbi's Kiss, and The Birth of Multi-Faith Friendship

This week I made my second-ever visit to a synagogue and for the first time participated in a brit milah, the Jewish circumcision ritual. Rabbi Eric Solomon and Rabbi Jenny Solomon, of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, recently welcomed their son into the world, and they honored me immensely by inviting me to join other friends and family at the ceremony.

Anthems of Peace

No tomorrow? This morning on the radio I heard a song with the words, "Let your little light shine like there's no tomorrow." It got me wondering: are believers called to live as though there's no tomorrow, or are we called to live towards a better tomorrow? Let me put it like this: are we to live in apocalyptic fear or in resurrection hope? Pessimism, realism, optimism? Is there another option?