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SUMMER 1998: v3i2 INDEX

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SUMMER, 1998: Volume 3 Issue 2

CPT Meets in Canada

The Christian Peacemaker Teams Steering Committee met March 26-28 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they were warmly welcomed by friendly Canadians. With worship, song and discussion, the following decisions were made: The proposed budget of $300,000 was approved. A balanced budget is possible in part because of staff’s commitment to simple living and very modest salaries. Within the balanced budget, the organization is growing.

CPT’s greatest effort now is in Hebron. The Campaign for Secure Dwellings seeks to match North American congregations with Palestinian families whose homes are targeted for demolition by Israeli soldiers. It has made a number of matches with more pending. By September, CPT hopes to have fifty congregations matched with families and to increase the matches to one hundred by December.

The newest CPT effort in North America is in Canada where CPT has opened  an office in Ontario. The plan is to work with native peoples in the area.

CPT is sending delegations to Chiapas every three or four months. The  Catholic Diocese of Chiapas has invited CPT to have a continuing presence  there. Other delegations go regularly to Hebron (about one every two months) and to Haiti (one this year). For more information about dates for delegations, see Volunteer Opportunities.

Programs in the US include working on a liturgical response to violence in Richmond, Virginia, and developing an organizing packet on how to do a  public witness against violent toys. CPTers have also participated in  work to close the School of the Americas.

In part in response to CPT’s work in Muslim areas of the world, non-Christians have expressed interest in working with the organization. In consultation with CPT field personnel the Steering Committee is working on a draft of a document that affirms CPT’s Christian roots and grounding and is also welcoming to non-Christians. The tension in this discussion is around the issue of remaining true to the vision of a Christian peacemaker corps while expressing a degree of openness to others whose faith is different, or for whom nonviolence is a technique for social change.

The Hebron team responded to death threats they received in late January with calm, courage and a news conference. The CPT office in Chicago received similar death threats in early April. The office notified the press and the authorities. COPRED (the Consortium on Peace, Research, Education  and Development) presented its Social Courage Award to CPT in April, especially noting the work of CPT in Hebron.

The Steering Committee committed to a goal of expanding the Corps from twelve to eighteen through the recruitment of four minority members and two Canadians by the year 2000, with the first such individuals expected to participate in the 1999 training.  The January, 1998, training in Chicago included ten reservists and  one full time corps member. In Boulder, Colorado, eleven reservists were trained in the Fall of 1997. A spring training in Ontario has fifteen participants scheduled. CPT is developing the concept of local support groups and local training of reserve corps members in communities where there is a commitment of twelve persons to be trained for the reserve corps.

The Christian Peacemaker Congress is scheduled for September 24 -27, 1998, at Joyfield Farm in North Manchester, Indiana. The Congress is sponsored by CPT and New Call to Peacemaking. The title of the Congress is Getting in the Way and the principal address will be by Ched Myers, Biblical scholar, author and teacher from Los Angeles, California. For more information about the Congress or about CPT, see Volunteer Opportunities.

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