I started to write this blog immediately following the news of President Trump's comments about Haiti and Africa. But somehow I lost what I had written. I still think that "Words Matter" and even though one can deny what one said, the sentiment has been expressed. I know that we all have said things in the heat of an argument that we later regret. The words conveyed our emotions at the time, emotions that we live to want to deny. However, part of being an honest Christian is admitting our mistakes, asking forgiveness and seeking to avoid similar responses in the future. Would that all world leaders could truly live that way.
The blizzard and cold that we are experiencing here on the east coast remind me of my childhood in Nebraska. My perspective is vastly different than it was then. I am thinking of all the people who have to brave the weather to provide services for the rest of us; the homeless who have difficulty finding shelter; the migrants and immigrants here and in other countries who have little or no place to stay that is warm. I realize how much my parents and others did for me so that I was warm and fed during blizzards.
Snow drifts block my driveway even though the street has been plowed. The office is here in the house and the electricity has stayed on, so I can continue to provide service to PGJ.
Spring will come!
I'd like to think that the victory of Doug Jones in Alabama was a victory for human rights and especially for women's rights. I think it also shows the power of the minority vote when members of that minority vote. I hope that blacks, Hispanics and others in this country will remember that on the next voting day.
I hope it also shows people that right values will ultimately surface if people dialogue and share honestly. We must not fear freedom of speech but we do need to engage in it in a way that is respectful.
The United Nations has established a new international day: International Day of Living Together in Peace on May 16. I encourage you to note this day and plan some special event or communication - even if it is just with the people with whom you live.
In 2018 we celebrate the 70 the anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to persons that travel to various countries, there are many people who do not know they have any rights. On 10 December, UN Human Rights will observe Human Rights Day by kicking-off a campaign to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The year-long initiative will provide an opportunity to promote, engage with and reflect on the Declaration and its relevance in everyday life. (http://www.standup4humanrights.org/en/index.html)
As we approach the end of 2017, NGOs are working diligently to prepare for the commission meetings that will take place early in 2018. The first such commission is the Commission for Social Development (CSocD). It will meet from January 29 - February 7 with an Orientation to the Commission presented by Eileen Riley, SNND. The theme is "Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”. Now is the time to register!
After returning from the Annual Meeting, I have been taking care of odds and ends from the meeting but also moving forward. PGJ has signed a Global Frackdown letter and a statement to be submitted to the Commission for Social Development(CSocD) which will be held from January 29-February 7, 2018. Actions against fracking are taking place in many, many countries. The grass roots have been energized.
Of course there have been meetings to attend: RUN monthly meeting and JCoR to mention a couple: Religious at the UN and Justice Coalition of Religious. Some meetings I can attend via Zoom. That saves time, energy and, of course, money.
Two groups from Molloy College will be visiting the UN next week. Those interactions are always invigorating. More so than completing the Department of Public Information(DPI) annual report. But that is one of the tasks that must be completed for PGJ to retain its DPI certification!
Next week Partnership for Global Justice members gather for our Annual Meeting. We will be at the Weber Center in Adrian, Michigan and will review the past year, award the Annual Peace and Justice Award; learn about permaculture, the anti-trafficking movement in Michigan, and the continued difficulties in Flint; view the video After the Flood, and enjoy each other's company. It will be a full day and a half followed by a Board Meeting.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Next Tuesday is the last day of the Season of Creation. Even though I said the prayer for each Sunday, it seems the time has been too short. Of course, I can continue to appreciate creation as we move into the colors of autumn.
Pope Francis has asked us to join in a week of prayer and action for forced migrants. I find their situation one that is painful to consider and prayer is truly my only recourse as I feel quite helpless to change it. God bless those who are in a position to assist migrants -- and who take action to do so.
The Partnership for Global Justice
Educating, Advocating, and Participating for a Just World