Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Path of Hope

Saturday, May 12th, the House of Peace and Reconciliation from the Emmaus Lutheran Church in the city of Medellin led a public event called “Path of Hope”. We went to a nearby public library, where we had attained permission to use the entire entrance area to hold the event.

The “Path of Hope” is a historical timeline of important events and people that have been examples of nonviolent action and resistance throughout the world, (The idea was motivated by the Lutheran Peace Fellowship).

Members of the House of Peace and Reconciliation setting up their timleine at the local public library. Photo by Curtis.
The House of Peace and Reconciliation is currently holding a course called “Peace-builders” and the students of the course were each given the responsibility of a section of the timeline. They then studied the events and people in their section, so they would be able to tell interested passersby about the history of nonviolence in the world. The goal is to develop a consciousness of the possible and a hope that we can build a different world.

Pastor John Hernández with a group of interested library-goers, discussing some of the earlier examples in history of non violent resistance. Photo by Curtis.
They explained the well-known like Gandhi , Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela; as well as less well known history like in 1845 when the Lutheran Franckean Synod in New York, declared themselves abolitionists in no uncertain terms, arguing “with courage and clarity against this great and heinous national sin”. They declared that communion was impossible with any “ecclesiastical body that tolerates, apologizes for or remains silent on the subject of slavery”. Or, the Indigenous Nasa People of Colombia and their Indigenous Guard, a non-violent force trained to protect their communities from the different armed actors in Colombia’s conflict.

Members of the House of Peace and Reconciliation explaining the origins of Mother's Day as an anti-war protest by mothers who refused to send their children to war. Photo by Curtis