I've been feeling for several years like I feel called to actually put feet to my jabber about peacemaking. This I can hopefully do at home (both literally in my home, as well as in my neighborhood and surrounding area), but I also talk a lot about the fact that we should solve problems in other ways than waging wars. So for two weeks this May and June I'm going to begin trying to help resolve conflicts using nonviolence in a place where there has been an ongoing war for decades, and off and on for much longer. I'm going on a delegation with Christian Peacemaker Teams to Israel/Palestine!
The way CPT does things, first you go on a delegation, see what they do, and see if you fit in well with the way they do things. If you feel like it's a good fit, you do a month-long training in nonviolent conflict resolution and direct action, etc., and then you can be a full-time member or a reservist. My plan is to do this delegation this summer, then do the training next summer, and then become a reservist, working with them for a few weeks per year for the rest of my life. (By the way, if you're from the US Northwest, I'm thinking about trying to get enough people for a training to happen in the Northwest in the summer of 2009--we'd need 10-15 people. So let me know if you're interested! You'd probably have to go on a delegation first, and you'd have to be sure that you were going to be a reservist or full time member of CPT.)
I'm really excited about this opportunity to go on a delegation! To me it's part of walking the talk--can you imagine if all members of "peace churches" would make this kind of commitment? It's like being in the army reserves, only you work proactively to prevent war instead of being in a reserve position in case war becomes necessary.
So those of you who know me personally will likely receive a letter in the mail about this, but for those I don't know personally, I would appreciate your support as I go through this also! Please pray for me/hold me in the Light as I prepare to go, as I'm there, and for my son and husband who will stay home. If you feel so inclined you can also support me financially. You can donate online and put my name in the designation section, or you can send a check to CPT with my name in the memo line. Their address is:
PO Box 6508
Chicago, IL 60680-6508
Finally, if you want to hear about the trip (although I'm sure I'll post blog entries, too), you can be on my email list. Just drop me a comment with your email address and I'll put you on my list, or go here and click on "Apply for group membership."
Stay tuned for more info over the next few months...
Now I'm going to bed to get a good night's sleep before my first day of classes tomorrow.