GRACE Pilgrimage 2010 - Hope for Colombia
“Ending Violence, Creating Models for Peace”
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
We are on a pilgrimage for a future without war. We are peace workers from many countries; from Colombia and Brazil, from Europe, the US, from Israel-Palestine. We do no come in the name of a religion or an ideology, but in the name of GRACE - in service of reconciliation, opening and support. We are part of a global movement for a free earth – it does not wave a flag nor does it belong to an organisation. Instead it grows from the international solidarity and cooperation of all those who are today determined to leave the system of violence and to create models for a new culture of peace.
The current economic system of globalisation unroots the whole humanity from its anchor. The ecological and military destruction in the outside corresponds to a boundless misery inside the human being. Humans are taken away their home and original embedding in the world. Values of truth, trust and mutual support are destroyed. The destruction of community caused a deep wound in the human civilisation. This results in the wars of our time - like the war in Colombia - which are waged in a feverish frenzy of killing and destruction.
We can no longer overcome the globalisation of violence by moral appeals or political protests. We need places where the original wound of humanity is healed exemplary in a model and living systems are developed that reconnect with the original values and the universal source of community on a new level.
The Peace Research Village Tamera in Portugal is such a place. Here social, ecological and technological research compiles into a concrete vision for a future life. To carry the results of this research into the world and to connect it with other initiatives, the “Global Campus“ was created. It is a kind of world university with bases on all continents in which the fundament for a global peace culture is researched, learned and applied. Such a base could also be built in Colombia. For years, Tamera has been cooperating with the peace community San José de Apartadó to establish the Global Campus.
San José is a rural community with 1500 inhabitants living in the North of Colombia (Urabá), who are severely threatened. That's why we want to set an example of solidarity with the peace community San José in this years' pilgrimage. The community came together 13 years ago in order to create an alternative of peace. Since then they have not cooperated with any of the armed groups, they do not tolerate any weapons and they are connected in an unswerving ethics of peace. However, the peace community is subjected to massive persecution. In the last 13 years they lost almost 200 members who were killed by the military, paramilitary and guerilla. In the mass media, they are accused to cooperate with the guerrilla and to be terrorists. The international community, on the contrary, appreciates the commitment of the peace community very much. In 2007 they were awarded the Aachen Peace Price and nominated for the Nobel Peace Price. Many of us international participants of the pilgrimage have already visited San José several times. Due to the long-term cooperation with the peace community we know that the slanders are not justified. Colombia should be proud to have such a courageous and internationally known initiative. By now the peace community has become a white hope for the numerous suppressed and threatened forces in the country – and far beyond its borders.
The power of community that we have seen and experienced in San José not only gives an answer to the situation in suppressed countries but it concerns all of us, because we all have forgotten what it means to live in community, solidarity and charity. In addition to the open violence in the crisis areas of the world there is the – mostly hidden – human misery in the Western societies which all live on the exploitation and suppression of the poor countries. We are all equally challenged to again understand and embrace the power of community in its essence as a global source of healing.
Today all over Latin America the forces of a profound change are sprouting. The creation of models for peace could now become the trigger of a powerful, non-violent revolution on the whole continent – a revolution without losers.
We invite you: Help that such models become known and therefore get the protection they need. Help that the truth about San José becomes known. Help to save lives. On the 9th of November we will join for the “Global Grace Day”: People from all over the world will connect in solidarity with this growing movement in South America. We invite you to participate on the 9th of November. We thank everyone who will be part of it.
The sacred matrix, the universal order of love and union of all beings, still shines behind all the pain. The goal of our work is to connect worldwide with the powers of the sacred matrix and to make a new human civilization possible. May the blessings of God rest upon our work!
In the name of our children and in the name of all creatures.
GRACE – Movement for a Free Earth
on the Grace Pilgrimage
This year's Grace Pilgrimage is a cooperation between the Grace Foundation and the peace community San José de Apartadó and will be led by Sabine Lichtenfels, Padre Javier Giraldo and Benjamin von Mendelssohn.
Under the motto 'Ending violence, creating models for peace' the Pilgrimage is intended to attract international attention, presence and protection to the current situation of the peace community San José de Apartadó and other peace communities in Colombia who are dedicating their lives to peace. Every individual who takes part in the Pilgrimage is taking a stand for a South America that no longer sees violence and conflict as a daily occurence.
The Pilgrimage will take a snake-like route in and around Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia and will combine the spiritual practice and training of a Grace Pilgrimage together with presentations of the peace community in Universities, solidarity groups and political organisations.
More information will be posted here when confirmed.
Sabine Lichtenfels, the leader of the Grace Pilgrimages, is the director of the Grace Foundation and author of many books. She is a member of the Portuguese contingent of the Swiss initiative "1000 Women for Peace," which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price in 2005, and she is a founding member of the international Peace Research Center Tamera. She spends much of her time travelling around the world as consultant and teacher in all aspects of creating living models of peace, including in the Global Campus.
Padre Javier Giraldo, a Jesuit priest, sociologist, human rights expert and founder of the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission. He spends his time with communities in the most violent regions of the country, providing them with legal advice and giving voice to their accusations.
He also runs the Human Rights and Political Violence Databank of the Centre for Popular Research and Education (CINEP) and is a past recipient of the Humphrey's Award for Human Rights.
Link to an interview with Padre Giraldo in IPS News: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=37578
A vital element in creating peace models is how we perceive and position money. The present economic system is used as a pillar of power for up-holding a system of violence that has devastated the earth's body and millions of its inhabitants. The extreme conflict situation in Colombia is just one example of this.
The shift towards a system of peace will mean a great shift in our conscious relationship to money. Financial investment will no longer rely on quick returns but instead on profound, sustainable and complex models that up-hold the truth, dignity and respect for all life on earth.
In this sense, we ask each participant of the Pilgrimage 2010, to commit a contribution of 1,000 euros to take part.
We can all support the process of humanising money by learning to ask for money. All those who want to participate are invited to take part in the adventure of asking sponsors to support the pilgrimage.This money will go towards the organisation of the Pilgrimage and the Global Campus in general.