Baptists urge support for Norman Kember - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
December 31, 2005

Baptists urge support for Norman Kember

-31/12/05

The head of the Baptist Union of Great Britain has urged his own denominationís local churches, alongside those of other traditions, to pray and express solidarity for Dr Norman Kember and the other Christian Peacemaker Teams activists still held captive in Iraq after one month.

The call came over the Christmas and New Year season from the Rev Dr David Coffey, who is also a senior figure in Free Church, evangelical and ecumenical circles.

Speaking after a visit to Dr Kemberís wife, Pat, last week, along with the Rev Graham Sparkes, head of the Baptist Unionís faith and unity department, Dr Coffey declared: ìI want to encourage all our Baptist churches to stand in solidarity with Norman and Pat and the family.î

He added: ìI hope they will be in our prayers as there is as yet no resolution to the situation faced by Norman and his fellow-captives, who were in Iraq on a mission of peace.î

Mrs Kember, said Dr Coffey, speaking to the Baptist Times newspaper, had been moved by the many supportive letters and cards she had received.

Dr Coffey and Mr Sparkes took part in a recent service at College Road Baptist Church in Harrow, which is the home church of the Kembers.

The service was also attended by the Rev Dr Pat Took, regional minister and team leader for the London Baptist Association.

ìThe church at College Road has been deeply grateful for the hundreds of expressions of support it has received from all over the world, and I know that our Baptist family will want to uphold them too in our prayers,î said Dr Coffey.

Weekly silent prayer vigils will also continue for Norman Kember in central London. They are organised by Pax Christi and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, established Christian peace organisations to which Dr Kember belongs, and are also supported by Muslims.

The other captives currently held captive by the Swords of Truth Brigades in Iraq are Tom Fox, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden. Nothing has been heard of them since 8 December 2005.

Ekklesia is an associate of Christian Peacemaker Teams UK.

[Updated complete chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 31 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, CAFOD, Advent inc. Iraq); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq); Watching and waiting with the Christian peacemakers in Iraq (Lee McKenna duCharme). Updates: FaithInSociety; News - Baptists urge support for Norman Kember 31/12/05; Vigils go on for Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages in Iraq 30/12/05; Iraqi and Palestinian Christians seek an end to violence 28/12/05; Radio messages sent to captors in Iraq 27/12/05; British Muslims in fresh plea for Norman Kember 25/12/05; New appeal for release of Iraq peace workers 24/12/05; Churches Urged to pray for Iraq hostages this Christmas 24/12/05; United Church of Canada calls for an end to detention and occupation in Iraq 21/12/05; Christians and Muslims show continued support for Norman Kember 21/12/05; Christian Peacemakers say they will carry on their work 18/12/05; Lack of evidence for Iraq negotiator abduction claim 17/12/05; Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator 16/12/05; Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 13/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

Baptists urge support for Norman Kember

-31/12/05

The head of the Baptist Union of Great Britain has urged his own denomination's local churches, alongside those of other traditions, to pray and express solidarity for Dr Norman Kember and the other Christian Peacemaker Teams activists still held captive in Iraq after one month.

The call came over the Christmas and New Year season from the Rev Dr David Coffey, who is also a senior figure in Free Church, evangelical and ecumenical circles.

Speaking after a visit to Dr Kember's wife, Pat, last week, along with the Rev Graham Sparkes, head of the Baptist Union's faith and unity department, Dr Coffey declared: 'I want to encourage all our Baptist churches to stand in solidarity with Norman and Pat and the family.'

He added: 'I hope they will be in our prayers as there is as yet no resolution to the situation faced by Norman and his fellow-captives, who were in Iraq on a mission of peace.'

Mrs Kember, said Dr Coffey, speaking to the Baptist Times newspaper, had been moved by the many supportive letters and cards she had received.

Dr Coffey and Mr Sparkes took part in a recent service at College Road Baptist Church in Harrow, which is the home church of the Kembers.

The service was also attended by the Rev Dr Pat Took, regional minister and team leader for the London Baptist Association.

'The church at College Road has been deeply grateful for the hundreds of expressions of support it has received from all over the world, and I know that our Baptist family will want to uphold them too in our prayers,' said Dr Coffey.

Weekly silent prayer vigils will also continue for Norman Kember in central London. They are organised by Pax Christi and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, established Christian peace organisations to which Dr Kember belongs, and are also supported by Muslims.

The other captives currently held captive by the Swords of Truth Brigades in Iraq are Tom Fox, Jim Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden. Nothing has been heard of them since 8 December 2005.

Ekklesia is an associate of Christian Peacemaker Teams UK.

[Updated complete chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 31 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); A culture of Christian citizenship (Pat Gaffney, CAFOD, Advent inc. Iraq); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq); Watching and waiting with the Christian peacemakers in Iraq (Lee McKenna duCharme). Updates: FaithInSociety; News - Baptists urge support for Norman Kember 31/12/05; Vigils go on for Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages in Iraq 30/12/05; Iraqi and Palestinian Christians seek an end to violence 28/12/05; Radio messages sent to captors in Iraq 27/12/05; British Muslims in fresh plea for Norman Kember 25/12/05; New appeal for release of Iraq peace workers 24/12/05; Churches Urged to pray for Iraq hostages this Christmas 24/12/05; United Church of Canada calls for an end to detention and occupation in Iraq 21/12/05; Christians and Muslims show continued support for Norman Kember 21/12/05; Christian Peacemakers say they will carry on their work 18/12/05; Lack of evidence for Iraq negotiator abduction claim 17/12/05; Fears 'unfounded' over Iraq hostage negotiator 16/12/05; Search goes on for missing Christian peace workers 16/12/05; UK envoy remains hopeful on Iraq captives 16/12/05; Muslim envoy to Iraq returns as al-Jazeera publicizes mercy pleas 14/12/05; Christian peacemakers demand entry to Guantanamo Bay 14/12/05; Canadian churches pray for missing peace activists 13/12/05; Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers; Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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