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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weekly Wire for January 4, 2012


Happy New Year!



We’re having a Canadian National Conference on June 16th 2012!

Find out about the topics that will be discussed, get the tools to help you with your decision making process and find out which satellite location is nearest you. Apostle Susan Skoor will present you with a new thought each month until the conference begins so you can make informed decisions and make your voice heard.

See Apostle Susan Skoor’s new video ‘Facilitators’


The videos will be available in both .MP4 and .flv formats. You may have to wait a moment for the videos to load.

Watch for a new video coming soon!

“Get in on the conversation”

Follow us on Facebook at Community of Christ – Canadian National Conference

and Twitter at cofccnc



Click here to see the Fall 2011 publication of

"What’s Up…in the CWM”  online.



Peace and Justice  --  Human Rights

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome to this issue from the “In The Forefront” mailing list.  To alter your profile, follow the steps at the end, where your profile is listed. 

Within the next day a new calendar year will begin.  As with previous year-end newsletter editions, this one will skip most overall 2011 reflections since they can be found both on traditional news sources and via the internet (plus this won’t be sent until early in the New Year anyway). 

However again I do want to pause to THANK all who have taken action during the year.  As noted in several e-mails it has made a difference! 

Secondly I wish again to raise the notion of HOPE -- one of the driving influences in life.  It is the acknowledgement that we are not so prescient as to know the future with certainty, combined with the belief that life-giving dynamics will eventually prevail over the grotesque distortions and misuse of life.  And when hope moves from being an unattached, vague feeling, to a firm resolve, then it can anchor us to maximize life’s possibilities for the poor and marginalized around the world.  May we make 2012 a well-anchored, hope-filled year!

This newsletter is short, containing a single action and one brief piece.


Pour la traduction française: cliqueter ici; et cliqueter alors le bouton de traduction sur la page Web.

Para la traducción española: clic aquí; y entonces hace clic en el botón de traducción en la página web.



The conflict in Darfur has been going on for almost nine years now.  For those new to this newsletter Darfur was selected as our longitudinal focus – you can read the reasons for that choice at:  As mentioned last month both Darfur and Sudan in general have slipped below the media’s radar for some time, even though atrocities continue.  The most notable change since last month was that the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – Kahlil Ibrahim – was killed on December 24.  As with most rebel leaders he was no angel, having reportedly fought briefly in Libya for Gaddafi.   But because JEM had become the most powerful rebel group and a successor to him is unlikely to command the same influence, this has the potential to shift the power dynamics and not likely in a positive way.

It does however reinforce the need for the international community to recalibrate its policy and focus as was mentioned last month.  In fact the one action for this month is actually a repeat from last month.  It has been extended due to these changing dynamics as well as the continued bombing and clashes by the Sudanese government on its southern border.  So if you didn’t take the action last month, due to its very tight time frame, please consider taking the action now.

Specifically you can add your voice for a revised U.S. policy by signing the following petition.  The petition arose after 62 members of Congress sent a letter to US President Obama, asking him to recalibrate the US policy on Darfur and Sudan.  As noted last month, with Sudan’s debt and other financial problems, there is definite leverage possible:

Sign petition (if you did not last month):



I want to end this newsletter reinforcing in a tangible way the notion of hope.  Basil Al-Sayid, a 24-year-old Syrian, was in many ways a very ordinary person – a carpenter by trade (or maybe worked in an aluminum plant). But he also worked as a citizen journalist, shooting video of the Syrian crackdown on its own people.  He knew the dangers but also knew that with Syria’s lock on power and information, the only way for the world to know about the violence of the regime was to take video himself (along with a network of others).  He reportedly produced hundreds of hours of footage.  Unfortunately the last time his camera was on, he was shot by a sniper and later died in hospital. 

The reported footage of his final clip is below.  I include it as a tribute to all such courageous people around the world (I also include it because there is no blood and gore – it is as if he tripped and fell – life simply ended, a tragedy).  I hope every time I see grainy footage of such scenes I will remember the risk that was taken to capture the film.  And of course alongside Basil are the more than 5000 Syrian protestors who have been killed in the crackdown.  And behind that are all the others who have been detained, tortured, disappeared in Syria and in all the other conflict areas around the world.  Life does inch forward but in far too many places it is by agonizing lurches.

Yet when listening to people talk of Basil or listening to other people like Basil, whether in Syria or elsewhere, they remain tenaciously hopeful – they realize their struggle could be long and they may not even prevail this time.  But their eyes burn with the assurance that someday better conditions shall prevail.  That is well-grounded hope.

Final Video Clip from Basil Al-Sayid:

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An archive is kept at:

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In appreciation and support,

  Rod Downing

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