Category Archives: Peacemaker Trust

Jerusalem Day Rally: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

View my short presentation at the Jerusalem Day Rally held in Whitehall, London, here. The text is below.

What does the word Jeru-salem mean? It means “city of peace” In the Psalms we are told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Why are we told to pray for the peace of the city of peace? Perhaps because God knew people would interpret the word “peace” in contradictory ways. That is why the prophet Jeremiah warned “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).

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Southampton Peace Rally for Gaza and Palestine

Do you remember the film Miss Congeniality staring Sandra Bullock who plays a police officer. There’s a scene in which she enters the Miss USA beauty pageant. Each contestant steps up to the microphone to answer the question, “What’s the most important thing our society needs?” They each smile and give the same cliched answer – “world peace“. All except Sandra Bullock who replies, “Harsher punishment for parole violators”. The crowd goes silent and Sandra Bullock realises they don’t share her enthusiasm for justice, so she adds, “And world peace” and the crowd goes wild.

Although the scene makes light of ‘world peace’, Sandra Bullock is making a point, “If we all believe in ‘world peace’, if we all want ‘world peace’ why, oh why, is it so elusive? Because peace begins, for exampole, by holding parole violators accountable. That is why the prophet Jeremiah warned “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14). 

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Palestine and Global Peace

I wonder if you can remember the comedy film Miss Congeniality staring Sandra Bullock. There’s a scene in which she appears in  the Miss USA beauty pageant. Each contestant steps up to the microphone to answer the question, “What’s the most important thing our society needs?” They each smile and give the same cliched answer – “world peace”. All except Sandra Bullock who replies, “Harsher punishment for parole violators”. When the crowd goes silent and Sandra Bullock realises they don’t share her enthusiasm for justice, she adds, “And world peace” and then the crowd goes wild.

Although the humorous scene makes light of ‘world peace’, implicitly, it raises the question, “If we all believe in ‘world peace’, if we all want ‘world peace’ why, oh why, is it so elusive? I suggest the clue lies in Sandra Bullock’s unpopular reply, but lets leave that for now and come back to it later.

When we turn our attention from fiction to reality, and in particular to Gaza, we recognise peace is a serious, urgent, vital, not just need, but demand. There are people living and breathing in Gaza today who will be dead by tonight, or who will die tomorrow or on Thursday and on Friday.. In a very real sense, Palestine is the litmus test, or as Revd Dr Munther Isaac said this week, “Gaza is the moral compass” of the world order. If the international community cannot, or will not, apply international law and binding UN resolutions, and stop the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, if the highest court in the world, the ICJ will not hold Israel accountable for genocide, then there is no hope for peace anywhere else in the world. All we have is anarchy, the law of the jungle, the survival of the strongest. Ironically Sandra Bullock was right in Miss Congeniality. World peace begins by holding parole violators accountable because there will be no peace without justice.

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Peacemakers: Celebrating 2023 and Vision 2024

If you are like me they you probably find January a challenging month. After the highs of the Christmas season, the short-lived New Year resolutions, long dark nights, and typically cold weather, we can easily become discouraged or demotivated. 

In my former parish, just after Christmas I would invite the whole church family to reflect upon the previous year and identify their personal ministry highlights. Having collated their answers, we gave a copy to every church member encouraging them to keep it in their bibles and use it in their daily prayers, giving thanks for God’s abundant blessings in the year that had gone. Each January we found this really strengthened our faith and raised our expectations of what the Lord could accomplish in and through us during the year ahead. 

I have done the same in what follows, highlighting an event or initiative for each month of 2023. I have also appended news of two exciting new initiaitves in 2024. Thank you for making this all possible, through your prayers and support. We look forward to partnering with you in the year ahead. 

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Greenbelt Festival 2023

It was a delight to attend the 50th anniversary Greenbelt Festival held at Boughton House, near Kettering in August. I was part of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) team sharing a marquee with the Action around Bethlehem Children with Disability (ABCD). During the Bank Holiday weekend, I interviewed several speakers and participants.

Daniel Munayer is the Executive Director of Musalaha, a faith-based organization that teaches, trains and facilitates reconciliation mainly between Israelis and Palestinians from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, and also international groups, based on biblical principles of reconciliation. Daniel spoke at Greenbelt sponsored by Embrace the Middle East. In this short interview he shares his vision for the future in Palestine. 

Linda Ramsden is the founder and director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD UK) which is dedicated to resisting apartheid and building a shared democracy from the River Joran to the Mediterranean Sea. 

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Archbishop Mouneer on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams for Egypt

In this interview, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of the Episcopal Anglican Province of Alexandria discusses a new initiative in partnership with the Rose Castle Foundation and Centre of Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership, helping to train teams of Christians and Muslins to form Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams to serve in Egypt.

The first team of Muslim and Christian leaders have now been trained and begun to initiate peace building projects. The need is great, especially in Upper Egypt.

The plan therefore is to train five further teams in 2023. The budget for this is modest – $16,000. If you would like to support this exciting project you may do so through the Friends of the Anglican Province of Alexandria (specifying your gift is for the Peace Building Team).

You can make a donation by bank transfer in UK Sterling directly to the FAPA account: Account No: 00018311 Sort Code: 40-52-40

Peacemaker trust is delighted to promote this exciting peacemaking project and hope that you will also.

In May 2022, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, First Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, launched the Centre for Christian Muslim Understanding and Partnership at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. The vision is to promote peace and harmony between faith communities through more understanding of faiths, cultures and through working together for the common good. Read more here.

The Peacemaker Spring E-News

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Previous Editions

03/09/2023 – A Spring Update from Stephen @ Peacemakers
01/23/2023 – Celebrating 2022 & Vision 2023
12/12/2022 – Christmas Blessings from Peacemakers
11/16/2022 – Peacemakers in Action
10/11/2022 – Stephen’s Autumn News from Peacemakers
08/01/2022 – Your Summer News from Peacemakers
06/11/2022 – Celebrating Peacemaker’s 5th Anniversary
04/25/2022 – Stephen’s May News @ Peacemakers
02/24/2022 – Spring update from Stephen @ Peacemakers
12/13/2021 – Christmas News from Stephen @ Peacemakers