Anglican Peace and Justice Network to celebrate 25 years of communion-wide advocacy

March 11, 2010

When the Anglican Peace and Justice Network meets in Geneva, Switzerland, from March 14-20, it will celebrate a major milestone -- 25 years of service to the Anglican Communion in addressing issues of global injustice.

Some 35 members of the APJN representing more than 20 countries are expected to attend the meeting, during which they will "learn more about making their voices heard within the U.N. system in Geneva," a recent announcement said, noting that the participants will be introduced to U.N. policies and programs to inform their own work on peace and justice issues worldwide.

Facilitated by the Anglican U.N. Office in Geneva, each day will be grounded in Bible study and include presentations and panel discussions on a range of topics such as social justice, indigenous rights, displacement in urban settings, education, the human rights of internally displaced persons and migrant workers, gender-based violence, reproductive health, and freedom of religion.

Throughout the week, APJN members will be asking what are churches and faith-based organizations currently doing and what can they do about the issues being addressed.

APJN members will meet with the Rev. Dr. Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, to learn about the justice, peace and human rights work of the WCC, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Student Christian Federation.

The meeting will commence on March 14 with an opening service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Geneva, during which the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Anglican Communion secretary general, will preside, and Dr. Jenny Te Paa, APJN convener, will preach.

The APJN "has a long history of assisting the communion to place peace and justice in the center of mission, and providing a space where Anglican provinces can bring forward local issues of peace and justice and gain access to the wider communion for partnership and joint witness," Te Paa, dean of the College of St. John the Evangelist in Auckland, New Zealand, said in her letter of invitation to the meeting. "APJN has also provided resources to enable provinces, dioceses ad congregations to educate and advocate, wherever there are injustices."

Ethan Vesely-Flad, a member of the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Anglican & International Peace with Justice Concerns, will attend the meeting as the provincial delegate for the Episcopal Church.

Anglican networks represented at the meeting will include the Anglican Francophone Network, the Anglican Health Network, the International Anglican Family Network, and the International Anglican Women's Network.

The Anglican Indigenous Network will be represented by Sarah Eagle Heart, the Episcopal Church's program officer for Native American/Indigenous Ministries. Canon Margaret S. Larom, the Episcopal Church's team leader for global partnerships and program officer for international justice and peacemaking, will serve as secretary, and the Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, former director of peace and justice ministries for the Episcopal Church, will attend as secretary emeritus and an ex officio member of the APJN steering committee.

Founded in 1985, the APJN is an official network of the Anglican Communion and includes more than 40 members from around the Anglican Communion.

In her invitation letter, Te Paa said that, as the APJN celebrates its 25th anniversary, "we look forward to strengthening our bonds of friendship with colleagues from across the Anglican Communion and to deepening our participation in God's mission."