A note from Shawn McConaughey, NWYM Associate Superintendent Global Outreach and Pastoral Care
Friends, as you well know, people in our world continue to be displaced, harmed, killed and oppressed. As Biblical people we recognize and affirm that violence, oppression, and war are not the answers that God calls us to. We pray and strive to act in ways that we hope will help bring about peace. We recognize that it is Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who is the source of true peace. There are many conflicts that are raging in our world. We have chosen to highlight two: The conflicts in The Congo and the heightened conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. Here is a brief description of the conflict in The Congo. (And here is a January 2009 update of that situation).
We have chosen to make a list of resources that can be utilized by individuals and congregations to both gain understanding of the conflict and to offer aid. We recognize that some of these organizations may represent political positions that may be different from your own. We certainly don’t all agree on the politics, but we feel compelled to invite you to consider the needs of those who are in harm’s way, whether they be innocents or perpetrators. The harm inflicted on them or by them does damage that is contrary to God’s intent for humankind.
These and other organizations all offer opportunities to donate as well as some information about the conflicts. Use what is helpful and set the others aside. We will try to update this list from time to time. We do not intend to list every organization that is at work in these places, but hope to offer a variety of ways to give. Watch for some other creative ways to help and for more information, as well as view our Active Peacemaking resources, that relate to the larger issues involved.
- Friends of Sabeel: News and ministries in Palestine.
- Mercy Corps: Ministry in both Gaza and The Congo providing food and clean water among other things.
- World Vision: Sending aid to both crisis. Allyn and Holly Dhynes (West Hills Friends Church, in Portland) serve in the Jerusalem office.
- Christian Peacemaker Teams: CPT has ministries in The Congo and Palestine.
- Friends Committee on National Legislation: Offers Resources on the Gaza Crisis.
- Mennonite Central Committee: News from Gaza Opportunities to donate.
- Open Doors: Articles about the persecuted Church in Gaza and Congo .
- Food For the Hungry: Offering food and water in The Congo.
It is our hope that each individual and congregation will consider what it means to be followers of Christ in the context of the larger world. It is a difficult task and often frustrating. If you would like to share stories of ways you or your congregation have attempted this, please email them to me. We would be happy to make the rest of the YM aware, making them available at Global Ministries of NWYM Churches . This may encourage others.
NWYM Associate Superintendent
Global Outreach and Pastoral Care