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Jan 11, 2017

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its poetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral and spiritual authority. If the church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and for economic and racial justice, it will forfeit the loyalty of millions and cause people everywhere to say that it has atrophied its will. But if the church will free itself from the shackles of a deadening status quo, and, recovering its great historic mission, will speak and act fearlessly and insistently in terms of justice and peace, it will enkindle the imagination of mankind and fire the souls of men, imbuing them with a glowing and ardent love for truth, justice, and peace. People far and near will know the church as a great fellowship of love that provides light and bread for lonely travellers at midnight."
(From a sermon published under the title ""Why Jesus Called A Wise Man A Fool" and in two books of King's sermons as "A Knock at Midnight" -- in Strength to Love, 1963, and later in a book with the title, A Knock at Midnight.  The sermon appears on page 51 and 61 respectively.  The reference of the final words is King's text, Luke 11:5-6.   An annotated version of King's notes was compiled for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, as well as a brief description of its writing and the first time King preached it for the Youth Sunday Services of a Baptist convention in Sept., 1958. It also includes footnotes on many of King's references. Here's the link:
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/primarydocuments/Vol6/14Sept1958AKnockatMidnight.pdf.
King used all or parts of it in other settings and later expanded it for publication in his book of sermons, Strength to Love as noted above.) Audio excerpts are available at:
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/kingweb/publications/sermons/multimedia/KAM.htm


From the LPF website:

Martin Luther King's Works -- talks, sermons, letters (including early drafts & mark-ups) etc. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change has opened an online digital archive of Dr. King's works.  http://www.mlkonline.net/

Two great articles:

Occupy: Resurrecting Rev. King's Final Dream
by Leo W. Gerard
International President, United Steelworkers

How to Learn Nonviolent Resistance as King Did
by Mary Elizabeth King
also distributed by Common Dreams

Check out the trailer for "Selma" which is getting rave reviews:



One of Dr. King's great speeches:



Jan 1, 2017

Epiphany

Migrants and Refugees

Now when they had departed, behold,( an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. (Matthew 2:13-15)

National Migration Week 2015 will be held from January 4-10 with a primary theme of "We are One Family Under God." As a child, Jesus himself experienced migration when he had to seek refuge in Egypt together with Joseph and Mary in order to flee the threats of Herod.

How we treat migrants, refugees, and undocumented people in the USA is a hot topic today. Pressure to migrate due to global economic problems, conflict, and climate change mean this will remain a hot topic. Here are a list of websites and resources for understanding the issue from a Christian perspective:


Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
ELCA Message on Migration



Dec 21, 2016

Help a Mobile Generation Take the Tools of Justice and Peace and Put Them into Action

Right now, a new generation is fired up and ready to act for peace and justice. These future leaders have no shortage of passion and energy. What they need--what we’d all benefit from--is an easy to use, mobile-friendly, responsive LPF website. This will help bring us all together and help equip us for meaningful action.
Click here to help us take a big step forward: An all new website using the latest technology will create access for people using cell phones and tablets. We are committed to providing an easy to navigate, platform neutral website that will automatically respond to the window size on any smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. This will allow us to deliver the content in an easy to read and easy to navigate format without resorting to zooming or delivering reduced content to mobile devices.
https://www.gofundme.com/funding-for-new-lpf-website

Dec 19, 2016

The Joys of the Season

Sometimes it comes as a sudden glimpse, or an
insight emerging in a thoughtful moment: 
 “Why not a simpler, more meaningful
Advent and Christmas?” 

Of course, what we’re getting is commercialization of the season -- and at record-breaking levels.
The good news: there’s a growing movement and a variety of resources and support for simplicity and sustainability. Indeed, there are deeply gratifying ways to prepare for and celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace -- outside our culture's distorted, materialistic ways.
LPF offers you a great resource on the subject:
"Reclaim the Season! Peace & Justice Living and Giving at Christmas and Throughout the Year."
It’s one of our popular ‘Peace Points’ series, geared for individual and youth or adult group use.
It offers a variety of alternative gift ideas, sources of fair trade gifts, ideas for discussion, and a great resource section with website and print materials.

Nov 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is America’s time to gather with friends and family to share a delicious feast. It involves giving thanks for having enough food to eat and having people with whom one can share love, reflections and good company.
One would think that in a country of such enormous abundance and wealth that everyone would be able to share and enjoy plenty on this national holiday. But according to these statistics, nearly one out of every six American families have had trouble getting enough food in recent years. While we can certainly attribute this fact to the recent economic downturn and rising unemployment, this study showed that even before the recession began, more than two-thirds of families with children who were defined as “food insecure” under federal guidelines contained one or more full-time workers.

LPF offers the following free online resources to raise awareness of and take action to end hunger in America, and throughout the world:

Hunger Resources

Hunger Awareness Meal - This experiential meal illuminates hunger and poverty in the world.

Hunger advocacy: Here´s how you can make yourself heard, and how to send your message to your representative

Hunger and Development Links

Advocacy Alert: 2012 Farm Bill

This Thanksgiving, LPF is thankful as ever to you, our supporters. We give thanks for God and for you!

Nov 14, 2016

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children - November 20


What if all the religions of the world devoted one day a year to prayers and visible actions to promote the well-being of children? It would make an enormous difference for peace, and send a potent message worldwide.

This international movement is already happening! In 2008, Arigatou International launched the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children. Every November 20, people of faith and secular partners organize a community festival at a house of worship or public place. They follow up with a concrete project that will improve the lives of children in their area. See www.dayofprayerandaction.org for more info.

World Day Convening Chair Kul Gautam gives a video message. He is standing at the UN Assembly Building in New York City, in front of a monument to non-violence donated by Luxembourg.




UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake says, "Peace and security are the foundation of a world fit for children. Wars not only kill children, they breed disease and destroy economic hope. And in the end, real peace is not found in a piece of diplomatic paper. It is found in the secure and healthy lives of girls and boys." Mr. Lake played a key part in shaping policies that led to peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland, among other hotspots. (From

Nov 4, 2016

St Martin of Tours - Feast Day


St Martin of Tours is known as the first conscientious objector and a great peacemaker in the Christian church. His feast day of 11 November (or the nearest Sunday) which is also observed as Remembrance Day for remembering those killed in wars (it was called Armistice Day following the First World War).
Lutherans have had a long history of responding to the gospel call to be peacemakers. One of the initial motivations for the formation of a Lutheran peace movement in the US was the need to support those resisting the draft through conscientious objection to military solutions to conflict. LPF traces its roots to this movement dating back to 1940.

For more contemporary information on current issues relating to the military service, see LPF's resource: Youth and the Military

For further information on St Martin of Tours, here are several links:

Martin of Tours

St. Martin's Day

St. Martin — patron saint of conscientious objectors

Nov. 11 St. Martin's Day

SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS BISHOP, CONFESSOR—316-400