This date burns in our hearts with memory of terrorist attacks on our own soil, and the great and terrible losses we experienced as a nation on this date 12 years ago.
Last night President Obama laid out his case for a targeted military strike in Syria in response to their August 21st use of horrific chemical weapons on its own civilian population which killed over 1000 people, many of them children. Even as he explained the administration's rational for military response, moves to find a political solution to this standoff are developing which involve Russia, the US, and UN Security Council securing international oversight of all Syria's chemical weapons, with immediate destruction of these weapons and capacities to deliver them.
In the midst of all this rhetoric our primary concerns as people of faith lie squarely with a moral response to the 6 million Syrians who have been displaced and traumatized-the 4 million homeless within Syrian's borders and the additional estimated 2 million who have left their homeland altogether, crossing into Jordon and Lebanon and now live as impoverished and wounded refugees. The human suffering is staggering.
As we join in prayer and fasting with people of faith everywhere we beg our government and others to "count the cost", to discern what actions will further peace and which will deepen the crisis and usher in even more destruction.
Many of our denominations have issued study statements to inform and call us to right thinking, biblically-based and compassionate thinking as we discern a faith response to these weighty matters that hold our conscience and engulf our hearts.
Below is a link to the strong statement issued by the National Council of Churches. I commend it to all of us as we engage in collective prayer, dialogue with our legislators, and live into the call of Jesus Christ to be peacemakers of the first order.
The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. NH Peace Action is hosting an Art Festival in honor of the UN's International Day of Peace. Artwork in all genres and from all ages is welcomed. The theme is "What Does World Peace Look Like to You?" Please bring your artwork and bring your family and friends! Please submit an entry form to NH Peace Action, 4 Park St., Suite 210, Concord, NH 03301 before September 15, 2013. Artwork should be brought to the Festival. If you cannot attend, you may deliver it to the address above. Entry/submission forms may be downloaded here: Art-For-Peace Submission Form.
Crop Walk and Multicultural Festival
on Saturday, September 21
The Concord area CROP Hunger Walk will take place on Saturday, September 28. Help spread the word--pick up posters and other materials at Concordia Lutheran Church--call Kris at 224-0277. To find out more or to get your congregation or group involved, call Gene Taylor, at 219-8396. If you are looking for one close to home-visit CROP Walk.
After the Walk is over, the 8th annual Multicultural Festival will happen on the State House lawn from 3pm-7pm. For more information, vist their site.
Director of International Prison Reform Organization to speak in Concord
Charles Sullivan, co-founder and executive director of International CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) will be speaking from 2 to 4 pm on Thursday, September 26, at the NH Citizens Alliance office in room 304B at 4 Park Street in Concord, NH.
CURE is a grassroots organization of people who have loved ones incarcerated. Its goals are two-fold: use prisons only for those who have to be there and provide all the rehabilitative that prisoners need to turn their lives around. Mr. Sullivan will
talk about Congress and the prison national reform movement.
All are welcome. For more information contact Chris Dornin, founder of Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, at 603-620-7946. For more information, visit CURE.
Road to Repeal 2014 Seacoast Area Meeting
September 26th, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
200 High Street -- Hobbs House Center
Hampton, NH 03842
This meeting will be the first meeting after the repeal legislation is announced to the public at the press conference on September 18th. We move from an informational meeting to an action step meeting. We will ask volunteers to help with moving the repeal effort forward, with calls to legislators, letters to the editor, setting up educational and information meetings, as well has setting up tabling efforts.
We will have members of the NH Coalition Board and Campaign staff present as well as members of legislature. Drinks and snacks will be provided beginning at 6:00 PM. If there are questions or if you are willing to volunteer for any action steps please feel free to contact Ray Bilodeau at Rbilodeau@nodeathpenaltynh.org With your help we can make the death penalty a thing of the past in New Hampshire.
Faith and Innovation Summit at
Rivier University -- Friday, October 4
A one-day Faith and Innovation Summit, recognizing a new generation of faith leaders will be held on Friday, Oct. 4 at Rivier University, 420 South Main Street in Nashua, N.H.
Experience dynamic and passionate talks by some of the most pioneering innovators in the faith-based world, as well as practical seminars on the major technological issues facing organizations and individuals.
Speakers include Erik Goldschmidt, Director of the Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College; Mikel Steadman of Christian Life Fellowship; Errik Anderson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at biotech firm Adimab; Paul Reynolds, CEO of FableVision; New England based artist Jennifer Lamontagne; Associate Editor of The Jesuit Post Sam Sawyer; and more. Workshops will be held on social media, public relations, fundraising and going mobile.
Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the Summit begins at 9:30 a.m. The $25 registration fee includes lunch. For event details, including a full list of speakers, and online registration, visit www.faithandinnovation.com.
Pastors and Leaders Practicum
with Wayne Cordeiro
Saturday, October 5, at Grace Capital Church, Pembroke. Wayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 11,500 in weekend attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most innovative churches in America with Outreach Magazine. Wayne has authored twelve books, including such classics as Doing Church as a Team, Dream Releasers, The Divine Mentor, Leading on Empty, and The Irresistible Church. He is also the author of the Life Journal, which is being used by thousands of churches worldwide, is bringing people back to the Word of God. Lunch will be provided, Cost: $15. Register and learn more at Grace Capital Church.
1269 Cafe - Manchester, NH
The 1269 Cafe is currently in the process of organizing our Thanksgiving Outreach. This year the outreach will run over 4 days; November 22, 23, 25 and 26. Saturday November 23 is the day where we will equip homeless with things to keep them warm. Each of the 4 days will offer a high quality Thanksgiving meal and a powerful life changing special service each day. In order to make these events successful we need your help. Here are some items you may consider donating for the 11/23 outreach:
Boots, coats, hats, gloves, reading glasses, warm socks, canned goods, blankets, scarves, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, and deodorant. We ask that these items be new. Any used coats should be lightly worn. The rule of thumb is if you would not wear it, do not donate it! You can also help by purchasing a Thanksgiving meal for someone in need at a cost of $10.00 per person or simply making a monetary donation for the purchase of items. (We have each day catered in more of a fine dining atmosphere.) Financial Donations can be made to: The 1269 Café, P.O. Box 6131, Manchester NH, 03108
Thank you for your help and May the Lord richly bless you. Sincerely,
Jerry Goncalo Pastor, 1269 Café (603) 845-8887
ADVENT PREACHING WORKSHOP &
November 2, 2013
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Grace Capitol Church, Pembroke
The NH Bible Society NH Council of Churches Bread for the World
The Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Keynote speaker
Rev. Forbes is a former professor at Union Seminary and Senior Pastor at The Riverside Church, NYC.