Ekklesia Christmas Appeal - Help us make the Truce permanent!

By Virginia Moffatt
November 10, 2014




REMEMBERING ISN'T JUST FOR DECEMBER, ITS FOR LIFE

How we remember the past is crucial because it influences the decisions we make about the future. In the season that we recall and celebrate the coming of the one Christians call the Prince of Peace, and at the end of a year dedicated to remembering the victims of the First World War, this is crucial. Will you help us change the way war is remembered and work for alternatives?

For too long the national events marking Remembrance have tended to glorify and celebrate war. At Ekklesia we are working to change this. We wish remembrance to be honest and purposeful...to mourn the dead - both civilians and military - on all sides of all campaigns, and to make tangible commitments to building peace.

In this season of Advent and Christmas, and moving into the New Year, we intend to continue to put these issues firmly on the public agenda.

These are exciting times for Ekklesia, with the establishment of a new office and a growing staff team. We are continuing to "punch above our weight" as a think-tank producing fresh ideas about important issues, particularly in this area. We have been contacted by people around the world who have been taking up our suggestions about how remembrance can be re-imagined. (You can find all our developing work on Remembrance here.)

But we want to do more. Just as we need to transform conflicts beyond violence to bring about genuine engagement between those involved, so we must change the focus of remembrance. We need to move beyond the acknowledgement of suffering and heroism, towards the bravery and ambition needed for making peace in a world that still sees war as a solution.

In the year ahead we wish to further our work on remembrance in the following ways:
• To flag up the concept of ‘peace chaplaincy’ as a prelude to a fresh initiative in 2015 and beyond.
• To publicise the work of Ekklesia’s associates and partners in conflict transformation, war resistance, alternatives to militarism and peace building in situations of conflict.
• To create a culture of positive peacemaking integral to remembrance for Christians and many others.
• To refocus remembrance as an act of sorrow and repentance rather than glorifying the nature of war.
• To promote the message that remembering well means resolving differently, in the context of looking towards the centenary of the ending of the First World War in 2018.
• To encourage churches to make both red and white poppies available annually from now on.

However, to assist us to develop our project and policy work in this area we need your help.

You can help the work of Ekklesia in the area of remembrance by sending a donation, marked “annual appeal” to Ekklesia, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC1H 8EP or by donating via our PayPal account on the link above.

We are very appreciative of your support, which is vital to keep the work of Ekklesia going.

Many thanks - and a very happy Christmas and New Year to you!

Simon Barrow (co-director), Jonathan Bartley (co-director), Henrietta Cullinan (administrator), Virginia Moffatt (chief operating officer)
Your Ekklesia Team

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.