world peace

My delicious little nephew Hudson has a bib that says "Give Peas a chance". It's awesome. I love peas, particuarly if they have Hellmans mayonaise on them. Anyway, I think about peace a lot at the moment. Here are some random thoughts.
My main point of reference for peace is that inner sense of "it's all good", it is not a tangible thing.
That sort of inner peace is one of those things that you don't think much about until it is not there.
For millions of people in the world, peace or the lack of it, is a very tangible, loud, visual, solid thing. People in Iraq, Darfur, and a hundred other places ripped apart by conflict that don't make it to the headlines, I suspect would have peace as one of their highest hopes yet it constantly eludes them.
My dad did a series on the Beatitudes in Luke and one of his points in the "Blessed are the peace makers" bit was that it is "peacemakers" not "peaceful" or "peacelovers" but creators of peace.
An ancient Nun I used to visit last year said that global peace starts with peace in your own personal life. I don't know what i think about that. What do you think about that?
At the Parihaka peace festival (a big secular music weekend in NZ) on the wall where all the timetable was pinned up someone had scrawled a yellow post-it note saying "Jesus: Prince of Peace" and for the first time that name for God stunned me.
I think peace might be the consequence of social justice. Or are they both ends in them self?
One day I would like to own a battered old army helmet and I will plant a beautiful tree in it as a statment.


routine violence

“I see a man of around 50, coming back from his work in the City of London.It’s a soft summer’s evening, so there’s no need to put the car in the garage.
He can hear the sound of his children’s voices coming from the garden, and he feels an acute sense of wellbeing as he walks around the side of the house, only pausing to smell the exquisite scent of the white roses he planted last year. Earlier that day, the man, a senior accountant at one of Britain’s leading oil corporations, had presented the final spreadsheets in the report which determined that a coastal area the size of Scotland in southern Nigeria would soon be developed. He cannot connect this fragrant evening in leafy north London with his work earlier that day. He cannot, or perhaps will not allow himself to, connect his life in London with the lives of those in Nigeria about to be devastated by his tapping at a keyboard.
Who was the senior accountant who looked at the spreadsheets for this project?
Who at the merchant bank dealt with the finance capital?
Who authorised the project to go ahead?
Who decided that they wouldn’t negotiate with the Ogoni villagers?
Who telephoned the Nigerian Government to ask for the mobile police force to be sent?
How are we to show the violence of a spreadsheet?
How are we to show the violence of a set of minutes?
How are we to show the violence of an idea?"
From the performance of Killing Us Softly
I like this... although it is intended to speak specifically to Oil and bureaucracy etc, I think it also portrays the power of an individual to impact the world for good or bad (in extremes, sometimes) as well as highlighting the potential violence of some very mundane, everyday procedures (Buying that latte from Starbucks from example!)

Come on and celebrate clap clap

So New Zealand has just finished a succesful Fair Trade Fortnight, hurrah. AND... drumroll... the Auckland council has decided to make Auckland a Fair Trade city, on track for being NZ's first. Yahoo!(You may remember our chinwags with the mayor from last year on this mission)


sharing the love...

We needed a cheer up meal tonight so googled our local Wagamama and found this 2 for 1 offer. Can't really go wrong with that bargain.


the great black spill

You may have been reading in the paper in the last few days about the Niger Delta; local militants have been reaking havoc (kidnappings, bombs) on the oil companies in protest of the corruption and oppression they have bought to the people of the Niger.
Since I read this article a month ago in the Observer about the Niger Delta, oil, corruption and poverty I have been captured and have spent hours reading about oils role in politics and poverty. It is a horrific picture. I went along to a conference last week called Oil and Politics, a bunch of papers presented by proffessors, covering a whole range of issues, some were a bit abstract but most held stories and stats of devestating injustice...
A snapshot:
*Poor countries who are rich in oil are more likely to experience corruption, war, dictorial governance and wide spread poverty. (This is called the Resource Curse)
* the resource curse is best exemplified by Nigeria who have been exploiting oil for half a century and have Africas largest oil resource yet still 88% of people live on less than $1 a day and there is 1 doctor for every 150,000 people, with figures like these growing more dire every year.
*During the 90's resourse driven conflict killed more than 5 million people and displaced 11-15 million people in their own countries.
*Literacy and life expectancy at birth has increased more for non-oil economies than oil economies.
*1% of the revenue from the global oil industry would be enough to meet the water millenium development goal
This Christian aid report explores a lot of the major issues around poverty, human rights and oil. It is worth the long read! It also has recomendations at the end which I really feel we (the public, the church, the salvation army) should grab hold of.


whatsa goon on

We have been in England for coming up to 2 months now. Tim has been busy supply teaching and applying for jobs... Meanwhile I have been um.. sort of er... Doing Stuff. I am in a bit of a space where I am sussing out where I want to be heading... the sphere of social justice without a doubt but whether local ( policy/ inclusion etc) or global (development and global politics) I just can't pin it. Last year I had the freedom in both my roles to have my thumb in both plums. (Did I make that phrase up)
So while I figure this out I am basically spending my time on Facebook and Blogger. Just kidding (for the most part). I have also been doing some art for a couple of ventures, been a committed Aunty to Hudson Taylor, attended any radical event I can (today and tommorrow it is an Oil and Politics Conference), been a long lost friend to my London pals, and next Tuesday I am joing Oxfam in their London office as their Campaigns Outreach Coordinator 2 days a week. I am real amped about this- the campaigns at the moment include stuff like Climate Change, Arms Control, Debt, education for all amongst others, and it is basically growing awareness of the subjects, empowering current campaigners and inspiring the public to action. Yeha, can't wait.
So, thats the haps, if you were curious and all that!


A weekend in Southport

We have just spent the weekend at a Salvation Army conference, Roots. It began 13 years ago in the wopwops of Wales, so I was 11 years old at the first one. I can really only remember two things- the pink denim shorts I wore constantly and one time walking past a big tinted window, curiously pressing my face up to it to see what lay behind and then being well embarrassed when I realised I was peering into the Adult main session from the window just above the stage. Eek. In hindsight I suspect the shame was unnecesary seeing as they were probably far too busy with the Holy Spirit to notice little freckle face up there. (This was the momentous meeting of The Salvation Army and the Toronto Blessing.)I loved that weekend, for the first time in my life God was close and exciting.
From its umble charismatic beginnings Roots has quickly burgeoned into an institution in itself, with people attending in their thousands.
This was my first one for six years and Tim and I were on the Engage Team in the Youth Venue. Our thing was to hang out in the campsite and outside the venue, trying to connect with the young people that for whatever reason weren't into the meetings. Our mission was to make sure that every young person that came along to Roots, whether they got involved or not, went home with a corner of an idea about how much God loves them. We chatted our socks off, played vortex, cracked jokes and drank bucket loads of tea and it could be up there with one of the best conferences I have been to in 13 years!
Lifelong friend and ministry tool of the Roots Engage Team.


Be encouraged oh creative tissue inside all of you

Peter Sellars says Artists should be at the centre of society keeping alive a utopian vision, because society will not improve if the people envisioning a better society are politicians.
So I am thinking of the artists- or simply those that have let the creative bit of them out- who have been faithful to a picture of a better world...
Top three I am celebrating in no particular order are....
Hannah More
C.S Lewis

They are all writing types. Sorry about that. Please add your own and make it a more diverse crowd. Definately some musicians need to make it on the list.