Acting in Faith

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How a community heals: A conversation with Denise Altvater

Denise Altvater is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has worked for AFSC for eighteen years.  She has been instrumental in developing the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission between a sovereign Tribal Nation, the Wabanaki, and a U.S. state, Maine, to address hurts caused by the foster care system. The commission will be seated on February 12, 2013.

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Denise Altvater and siblings

Denise Altvater and siblings

Denise Altvater (far right)and siblings weeks before they were taken from the reservation and placed in a non-native foster home by the state of Maine.

Working at the Root: An audio documentary

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Nob Hill Market, May 2012

Nob Hill Market, May 2012

Farm trainee Joseluis Ortiz selling produce at farmer's market.

Connected to creation: Addressing the spiritual roots of climate change

How do we—as Quakers, as humans—address climate change? It’s a broad question about a multi-faceted issue, I know—and one that I’m certainly not ready to answer in 500 words or fewer.  But Quakers around the country are gathering in their local meetings and churches to ask this question, consider answers, and work with others to speak about and advocate for the solutions they propose. 

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Religious leaders, Sri Lanka

Religious leaders gathered in Sri Lanka to discuss climate change.

Love all the children: Disarming our hearts after the shootings at Sandy Hook School

In the Liberian version of the Christmas story, “Every Man Heart Lay Down,” retold by author Lorenz Graham, God is frustrated.

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Candle

Candle

Candle

Another way of life is possible: Reflections on the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

Note: I sent Max Carter a note about an unrelated matter and he sent me these reflections about the recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., which he posted on the Guilford College Friends Center Facebook page yesterday.  - Lucy

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The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks at the National Gallery

The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks at the National Gallery

"The Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks at the National Gallery

Climbing to Hell

Note: I've been receiving regular updates on Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo from David Zarembka, Coordinator of AGLI of the Friends Peace Teams, for the past few weeks. They are insightful, sensitive and heart-breaking. I invited David to write a reflective post about the situation there, and he sent me this, powerful words to consider carefully, and to remember that we are connected via our Quaker brothers and sisters to the situation there.

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Displaced people from Masisi who were in the Mugunga IDP camp near Goma

Displaced people from Masisi who were in the Mugunga IDP camp near Goma

Displaced people from Masisi who were in the Mugunga IDP camp near Goma

Change the story, change the world: A common Quaker project?

“Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do — every one — our share to redeem the world despite all [the] absurdities and all the frustrations and all [the] disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as if it were a work of art.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

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San Francsico Friends Meeting/AFSC Peace Vigil

San Francsico Friends Meeting/AFSC Peace Vigil

San Francsico Friends Meeting/AFSC Peace Vigil

Finding the courage to work for peace

Listen to David Niyonzima, founder and director of the Trauma Healing and Reconconiliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, on how his faith influences his peace work.  David leads workshops on trauma healing and providing community spaces for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation.

This audio is an excerpt from a longer interview with David Niyonzima, conducted by Friends Liaison Lucy Duncan and Friends Relations Fellow, Madeline Schaefer.  As well as being the director of THARS, David is also a Quaker pastor and member of Burundi Yearly Meeting.

Called to Relate: An interview with David Niyonzima

On a beautiful morning in 1993, Burundian David Niyonzima found himself caught in the middle of a violent ethnic conflict. Although he escaped unharmed, 25 people, including eight of his students at a local Quaker pastoral training school, were shot and killed. David spent the next few years fearing for his life and the safety of his family. But after a transformational experience of learning to forgive his attackers, David became committed to working for peace in his war-torn country.

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David Niyonzima

David Niyonzima

David Niyonzima

From the Archives: AFSC and Quakers

Bayard Rustin and Walter Nagele

Bayard Rustin and Walter Nagele

Bayard Rustin and Walter Nagele

Check out these documents from the AFSC archives on the history of the organization's relationship with Quakers.  The relationship has always been a bit rocky, but scattered throughout these documents are a consistent, genuine spirit of reconciliation and love.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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