The co-author of a powerful eight-week study on the genocide occurring in Darfur has issued a plea to concerned UMs to make “a simple phone call” as the first step toward helping to end that – and all – genocide.
Bill Mefford is Director of Civil and Human Rights for the General Board of Church and Society and, with Greg Leffel, is co-author of a Christian Companion to Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle. He urges UMs to participate in free weekly informational conference calls, beginning September 10 at 5 p.m. PDT.
Hosts for this first call will:
· provide updates on the situation in Darfur, from experts and those directly affected
· mobilize churches and communities to bring this senseless atrocity to an end
· discuss the 8-week study, Christian Companion to Not On Our Watch
The Christian Companion provides theological reflection; brief stories from Darfurians, peacekeepers, and activists; discussion questions; and specific steps groups can take together.
GBCS General Secretary Jim Winkler says, “As part of a larger interfaith campaign, we are asking as many churches as possible to participate in this study for September and October.”
Mefford and Leffel will be among the conference call hosts, along with representatives of the Enough Project, the Rev. Richard Cizik (Vice President for Governmental Affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals), and Darfurian refugee and author Daoud Ibrahim Hari.
Mefford says, “I encourage you to pre-order your copy of the Christian Companion to Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond today. Use the Companion to lead a study with your church, Sunday school class, youth group, or campus ministry. Learn what you can do to bring peace to the people of Darfur and all of Sudan.
“I also hope you will sign the petition to urge the President and President-Elect to use their power and influence to bring the genocide to an end.
“There is much to do to address genocide and mass human rights atrocities, but through your commitment to this campaign we can help bring an end to the genocide in Darfur and peace to the people of all of Sudan.
“On September 10th at [5 p.m. PDT], I look forward to sharing thoughts on the Companion and ways to mobilize our communities!”
The weekly conference calls will continue through October.