Feb 23, 2014

LPF Launches "Women Nurturing Peace" Action Guide to Celebrate International Women's Day

Who are the special women in your life, past and present, who you hold in your heart with the highest esteem? And when they have faced hurtful, unjust experiences, which issues have most compelled you toward prayer and action?

Lutheran Peace Fellowship's Women's Initiative was created in Fall 2013 to support people of faith who want to protect and affirm women and girls. For March 8, International Women's Day (Theme: Inspire Change), LPF has launched among its Women's Resources a new action guide, "Nurturing Peace: the Gifts of Women." Ideas, quotes, and many weblinks are offered to honor and inspire action with faith-based and community groups.

International Women's Day, a time to honor all women, began during the Industrial Revolution as labor movements rallied for women's rights. (In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay and the right to vote.) By 1911, marches and strikes in Austria, Denmark Germany and Switzerland led to the founding of the Day.

Later the movement took on the cause of peace as well as women's rights. When a demonstration was organized in 1915 in Bern, Switzerland to urge the end of World War I, women on both sides of the conflict turned out.

In 1975, the United Nations began sponsoring International Women's Day. (Theme: "Equality for women is progress for all.") Issues of focus have included rape as a weapon of war; sexual assault; domestic violence (603 million women live in countries where this is not considered a crime); and physical/sexual violence (up to 70% of women in the world reporting this in their lifetime).

Please join us to inspire change, stop violence and nurture peace with women.

-- Lily R. Wu, LPF board member for the LPF Women's Initiative

Feb 5, 2014

February 14: One Billion Rising in 200 Countries To End Violence Against Women

What three words first come to mind when you think of February 14, Valentine's Day? You'd have plenty of company if you said "hearts, flowers, and chocolate." Heart-shaped cards and special gifts are a wonderful way to show our enthusiasm and appreciation for loving relationships.

Now, what if we also celebrated the day by finding ways to express loving support for a world of peace, focusing on "women, survivors, and justice"? What if we added to our observance of Valentine's Day our support for these much-needed efforts?

For example, playwright Eve Ensler and activist Kimberlé Crenshaw tell in a Democracy Now interview about One Billion Rising, a growing movement worldwide to stop violence against women and girls. On February 14, events are being organized in 200+ countries to focus on "justice for all survivors of gender violence and the impunity that protects perpetrators all over the world."

Here is a startling statistic: one in every three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. What's your reaction to this statement? Whether we feel disbelief, anger, or a range of other emotions, the fact remains: women and girls are widely subject to violence in many forms. It is also a fact that there are many efforts organized and being organized to stop it -- efforts that will be stronger if more people join in to help.

Anti-violence work focused on women and girls is sorely needed. The reasons why are spelled out in One Billion Rising, Lutheran Peace Fellowship Women's Peace Resources, and many other places. Such work will also be good for men, boys, families and communities, because promoting peace instead of violence will result in a better world for everyone.

The One Billion Rising video is one of several in LPF's new "Women's Video Gallery." LPF also put together an action guide for churches: "Stopping Violence Against Women and Girls." Please share with us what your congregation has found helpful in LPF's Women's Peace Resources. Let's boost one another's efforts to end violence, especially against women and girls.
 Lily Wu and Alan Forsberg

Feb 4, 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer´s Birthday

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) is known for his leadership role in the Confessing Church, efforts on behalf of peace and justice, opposition to antisemitism, and writings on theology and ethics that have been influential far beyond his German Lutheran context.
He was was hanged by the Nazis on April 6, 1945 in the Flossenburg concentration camp.

Check out  LPF's resources on this Lutheran Hero at:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Resources