Dec 22, 2012

Responding to the Newtown Tragedy

As we try to make sense of the unbelievable tragedy and incomprehensible violence in Newtown, we must come together to heal and take the opportunity to make the changes needed to keep this from happening again. The following resource offers prayers, analysis, and possible actions we can take:

Dec 17, 2012

Merry Christmas

It is not always “simple” to live and work for simplicity and sustainability in our world. This is especially true during the holiday season when consumerism is working overtime.
LPF's Peacepoints: Reclaim the Season provides ideas about the way we live, the gifts we give, the time we share, and the ways we prepare to receive the Prince of Peace. Check out a lot more resources and videos to learn about simple living, and here's a poignant piece by Jim Wallis: The Real War on Christmas ... by Fox News

Dec 3, 2012

LPF Winter Update and Advocacy Alert,

. . . Urgent Advocacy Update

Dear friend of peace with justice,
Please respond to -- and pass on -- this Urgent Alert. We have also created a version that is easy to print/copy formatted 3 to a page for sharing in the congregation. That version is at the end of the Winter Update that explores a few other timely topics. 
Blessings and Peace! Glen Gersmehl national coordinator, Lutheran Peace Fellowship. Please also see the following related links:

Peace is Knowable!

In her Aeon magazine essay on December 6, "What Is Peace?", anthropologist Margaret Paxson tells how she wanted to study communities that were "resistant to violence, persistent in decency." She asks, what if peace could be "defined within a regular, real kind of social world" rather than milk and honey at the end of time? What if peace was something we could really know?  She tells the rich story of a cluster of villages in France that rescued thousands of Jewish people during WWII.  She went to visit -- and learned that peace is knowable.    

Be a social scientist for a moment.  Read this intriguing, very readable essay and get a "handle" on peace in a new way.  It's just the kind of thinking we love to lift up at Lutheran Peace Fellowship, to inform and inspire us all for action in the name of the Prince of Peace.   See

Thanks to Don Johnson for having found this essay and sharing it as he did.  Don is the director of Project Connect, an initiative of the Eastern Cluster of ELCA Seminaries for young adult vocational discovery. 

A note about the website update:

LPF's website is undergoing a major overhaul aimed at making it easier to find resources and more user friendly. Please bear with us as we finish the process in the coming weeks. Check out these helpful new index pages:

Bishop Herb Chilstrom´s

Advent Letter to LPF members, supporters, and friends  (pdfhtml)

Human Rights Day - December 10

This year's theme is: 
"Inclusion and the right to participate in public life."

"Where we come from does not determine who we can become. What we look like places no limits on what we can achieve. We should all have the right to express ourselves, all have the right to be heard, all have the right to be what we can be: To reach for the sky and touch the stars. No matter who we are, no matter whether we are man or woman, or rich or poor:
My voice, my right. My voice counts." 
Desmond Tutu, a key figure in the defeat of apartheid in South Africa, Nobel Prize Laureate, first black Archbishop of South Africa.


Celebrate Human Rights!

Lutheran Bishop Herbert Chilstrom and his wife, Minister Corinne Chilstrom, understand the importance of marriage -- for everyone. They support their brothers and sisters in Christ, and that's why they urged fellow Minnesotans to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to write man-woman marriage into the constitution and essentially ban gay marriage in the State. The amendment was defeated. (see the Bishop's Advent Letter to LPF members, supporters, and friends  (pdfhtml)


UN sites:

Human Rights (UN website)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Human Rights Day 2012

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights.

Related sites:

Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Defence for Children International

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

Lutheran resources:

Addressing Racism: Challenge for Peacemakers


Lutheran Human Relations Association

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Reconciling Works


ELCA Commission for Multicultural Ministries

Human Dignity and Human Rights

Human Rights and Family  - Journal of Lutheran Ethics - February 2009 issue

Human Rights - CSR program