The following article appeared in the September-October 2013 issue of NewsNotes
1) Farmlandgrab.org: This website contains news reports about the rush to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy to secure basic food supplies or simply for profit. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring or researching the issue, particularly social activists, non-government organizations and journalists. The site is updated daily, with all posts entered according to their original publication date. It was originally set up by GRAIN as a collection of online materials used in the research behind Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security, a report issued in October 2008. GRAIN is small international non-profit organization that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for food sovereignty. Farmlandgrab.org is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing the site further.
Photo of Indonesian farmers from Farmlandgrab.org
2) Peace journey with Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP): CMEP will lead a "dual narrative" tour of Israel-Palestine from Oct. 14-25, with both Palestinian and Israeli guides. Cost is $2,652 per person. Visiting with Israelis and Palestinians is essential to understanding how the ongoing conflict undermines the lives and livelihoods of both peoples, and to being an advocate for an end to the violence and better futures for both people. For more details and registration go to CMEP’s website: http://www.cmep.org, or contact CMEP at 202-543-1222.
3) Repackaged, renewed JustFaith Catholic: The JustFaith adult faith education program will now be flexible and adaptable for busy adults and parish communities. The program consists of four phases, each with six sessions (two hours each, with group dialogue and prayer) and an immersion experience (participants are asked to commit to all four phases). It includes opening and commissioning retreats; intriguing books and videos that expose the deeper implications of poverty in the world; and a small faith-sharing group that is connected by sacred listening, dialogue, and trust. After the program graduation, there is a recommended three-week discernment period for continued individual and group mission exploration. Learn more at www.justfaith.org or call 502-429-0865.