by Bob Cooke, Pax Christi International


The nascent Christian Peace Witness for Syria and We Refuse To Be Enemies Interfaith group’s face to face day long planning meeting will be held on Friday, February 5th at the Methodist Building in Washington D.C. There will also be capability for people to join us for all, or part, of the day long meeting via teleconference.

So we hope you, or another member of your group, who is interested in helping to plan around the following will be able to join us that day:

  • What things are U.S. Christians and interfaith partners not doing as well as we would like concerning the war in Syria and the humanitarian devastation it is causing?
  • What things can U.S. Christians and interfaith partners do to offset the damaging narratives in both the Middle East and in the U.S. that the “other” is the enemy?
  • What can be done to stop the growing Islamophobia we are seeing in the United States?

From discussions that some of us were involved in December at an Advent Christian Peace Circles Retreat and a subsequent interfaith phone conference later that month, we do believe there are niche places,, despite the great work many faith and secular based groups are already doing on these subjects already, that can use even more voices and action to help the Syrian people, stop Islamaphobia, and turn around the narratives that indicate that the “Christian West” and “Muslim Middle East” are locked in a conflict where each side wishes to destroy the other.

So please try to join us for this planning meeting. Also, please invite others in the interfaith arena, especially Syrians, who should have a voice in deciding what we should do in regard to the questions noted above.

Time and Place – The face to face meeting will start at 8:30 am, and the teleconference at 9 am at the United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 (walking distance from Union Station, Metro Red Line). The meeting will finish by 6 pm (or earlier).

RSVP – If you will be attending in person, please let us know by e-mailing and letting us know your name and any relevant organizations that you belong.

If you would like to join us by teleconference, please let us know if you will be available for the full day or part of the day and provide us with your name, relevant organization affiliation and whether you have access to Skype. E-mail with this information also.

There will be a lunch served and some light snacks and drinks during the day. If anyone would like to make a donation to help cover these expenses, please let us know.

We hope this meeting will result in fruitful new contributions to the important subjects noted above. We hope you can join us. Please invite others who you think would be interested.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the above.

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