Friday, September 7, 2018
Friday, September 7, 2018
The Peace and Justice Support Network exists to support, encourage and strengthen peace and justice across Mennonite Church USA. How that happens takes many forms. PJSN produces resources: Sunday school lessons, Peace Sunday materials, PeaceSigns, the PeaceLab podcast, and more. We offer Spread the Peace grants to support your peace and justice work. PJSN also collaborates with other peace groups and Mennonite organizations like Christian Peacemaker Teams, Dove's Nest, the National Peace Tax Fund. There's more I could write about, but you get the idea.
I am proud of the work we do, enabled by your prayers and financial support. But none of the resources we create, or opportunities we offer, matter much if they aren't meeting the needs of peacemakers in our church.
I like to think we have been meeting those needs. But we are in an especially volatile time as a peace church and peacemakers. It's always been this way to some degree, but the number of urgent peace and justice issues seems to have exploded in the past year.
Domestically, we are all more aware of the injustices that plague our nation. The scourge of sexualized violence, the epidemic of mass incarceration, the renewal of White supremacy groups, increasing environmental exploitation, scandalous treatment of immigrants—the list is long and painful.
And while these issues grab our hearts and minds, our nation continues to wage war abroad. The perpetual wars we have been engaged in since 2001 continue, yet our appetite for more conflict only grows. We continue to threaten the use of violence to solve international conflict.
All this is happening while we fragment as a nation. Formerly cherished ideals like civility, collaboration and compromise have been replaced by a toxic tribalism that punishes attempts at unity and understanding.
Surveying this landscape, it's difficult to know where to focus our attention and resources. It feels that no matter what issue or topic we work on, we will be leaving out equally deserving ones. But I'm reminded that our mandate isn't to work independently on these things; our goal is to support, strengthen and encourage peacemakers in our church.
So in this issue of DoveTales, I'm seeking your input—how can PJSN be most helpful in supporting your peace and justice efforts? Please take a moment to respond to the questions inside and return them to us. I guarantee you that this isn't an empty exercise. I will use your feedback to shape how PJSN works in the months and years ahead.
Thanks for continuing to allow me to serve with PJSN, and to serve our church in this way.
Peace and Justice Support Network
I need your help
By Jason Boone
<img alt="Dove tales" src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2018/PJSN_DoveTales_C18-094_Cover.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />