Tom Getman Joins Peacemaker International Board of Reference

Thomas Getman is president of a private consulting group that specializes in international, United Nations and Non Governmental Organization affairs and university seminars and workshops on UN Reform and humanitarian interagency partnership building.  He was World Vision’s executive director for international relations with tenure until March 1, 2009.  In this role, he managed World Vision’s liaison activities with the UN and the World Council of Churches and was responsible for diplomatic relations with UN government member missions in Geneva and with countries on sensitive tax, staff and protocol negotiations.

He served until 2009 on the board of principals for the UN Deputy Secretary General for Emergency Relief in the UN Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and as chair of a premier NGO consortium the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).

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Religion and Politics: The Responsibility of Citizens to God and State

Thomas Jefferson once asked the rhetorical question:

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?”

In the 18th Century, on both sides of the Atlantic, there would likely have been a consensus that the answer was self-evident – our civic responsibility is but the outworking of our higher responsibilities to God. When the same revolutionary spirit infected the North American Colonies as it had France, it became a more debatable question there also. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which Jefferson helped write, provided one solution – separate church and state. Originally this was intended to protect the church from the state. But since 1947, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted it to mean that religion and government must stay separate for the benefit of both. Not so today. In an increasingly secularized world, most Americans and many Europeans believe the Church should keep out of politics.

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An Open Letter from Christian Clergy from the Bethlehem Area

“Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed.” (Jeremiah 22:3)

We are writing this letter in our capacity as spiritual leaders of various Christian communities in the Bethlehem Area. The Israeli Government is planning to annex more occupied Palestinian land. According to the information they have released, this process could begin on July 1st. For Palestine, Bethlehem and particularly for its Christian population, this new process of annexation will be particularly catastrophic.

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THIS IS THE HOLY LAND (Exodus 3:5). IT NEEDS JUSTICE AND ONLY JUSTICE

A Statement by three former Heads of Churches in Jerusalem on the Israeli Annexation plans

“Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ. Greetings from the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine.

The Holy Land is in fire, in a situation of war, and needs to be restored to its holiness. It is full of human sufferings, because justice is absent. The land of God calls on all churches, governments, and people of good will, to act and put an end to this tragedy. All believers are responsible. 

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Surfers Not Street Children

Twenty years ago in 2000, Christ Church, Virginia Water funded Tom Hewitt to enable him to launch the street child charity, Umthombo in Durban, South Africa. Now twenty years on, Peacemaker Trust is pleased to promote his continuing work with Surfers not Street Children. In the light of the devastating impact of Covid-19, Tom has written,

“I could never have imagined that within the space of a few weeks our programmes would completely change and a number of our longstanding donors around the world would be struggling financially. It is heart-breaking.” Tom Hewitt MBE

Surfers Not Street Children has faced many challenges to ensure that street-connected children have access to safe play and development through surfing, mentorship & care in South Africa & Mozambique. 

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Peacemaker Spring Update

If you are anything at all like me, you are not finding this lockdown easy to live with. I am an activist raised on Bible verses such as  “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Through this time of confinement, the Lord is teaching me to depend on him in new ways, knowing “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). What is God teaching you through this time of isolation? I would love to hear from you.

Having to put on hold projects we had planned with partners in Ireland, East Africa and the Middle East, as well as locally in Southampton supporting asylum seekers, has been very frustrating. More so, since the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated already unbearable levels of suffering and injustices in many of the world’s trouble spots.

For a summary of recent projects and initiatives, please read the latest Peacemaker News. To receive the occasional Peacemaker News directly, please sign up here.

There is no mercy without love nor kindness or tenderness: Bishop Atallah Hanna

Beloved sisters and brothers,

God being merciful means God is love. John the apostle tells us that God is love. There is no mercy without love nor kindness or tenderness. The most beautiful thing that we discover together in the glory of lent, and at the height of the bleak and terrifying circumstances that we are going through, is probably God’s kindness and tenderness with the abundance of
love that flows like fresh water of God’s blessings and generosity; a love that cleanses our sins, purges our diseases, and grants us strength and steadfastness.