20 years ago, many of you were involved in “the largest pre-emptive peace movement in history” as we – the community of St. Joan of Arc - resisted U.S. war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our fears were realized in what has seemed to be endless war, and our fears are being realized anew as we witness the suffering of the Afghan people in the midst of the chaos that has engulfed the country as U.S. forces withdraw.
Longtime friend of SJA Kathy Kelly has kept us apprised of the situation in Afghanistan through her work with Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the Afghan Peace Volunteers. She and Medea Benjamin of Code Pink – Women for Peace were interviewed this week by The Indypendent (indypendent.org).
For info on volunteer, advocacy and donation opportunities at this time, please go to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (lirs.org). There are also many groups dedicated specifically to the rights of Afghan women and children, who are especially at risk.
I urge you to contact me at the parish center to sign up with our Welcome the Stranger ministry, for continued opportunities to serve refugees in our community – and to advocate for refugee resettlement here in Minnesota. Also, we invite you to join our SJA WAMM/Peacemakers ministry as we continue to resist war and militarism in all its forms.
And make sure to attend our SJA service this Friday, August 27 at 6pm at the Basilica of St. Mary, when we will gather at the Angels Unawares statue currently on display on Hennepin Avenue. We will pray and sing for refugees throughout history, and for all of God’s people who are displaced today.
Thank you, SJA.
Julie Madden, Peace and Justice Ministries Director
jmadden [at] stjoan.com, 612.823.8205x228