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21 Ways for Teens to Work for Peace
Lutheran Peace Fellowship


Learning

1

Pray. Read the Bible. Develop a worship life that includes a vision of peace, justice, and wholeness for a warring world.

2

Keep a journal. Talk to parents, teachers, and friends about their perspectives on war and peace. Study the lives of peacemakers: Jesus, Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothy Day, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ruth Youngdahl Nelson, Oscar Romero, Aung San Suu Kyi...

3

Nourish yourself by reading publications that cover peace and justice issues from a Christian faith perspective. Subscribe to periodicals like Fellowship, The Other Side, PeaceNotes, and Sojourners.

4

Learn a foreign language. Live or travel in a foreign culture. By learning how other peoples live and see the world, you can serve as a bridge of understanding. Contact the Center for Global Education, Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55454. 612/330-1159

Educating Others

5

Raise peace issues at school. Organize activities, establish a school club, use open assignments as opportunities to study and present issues of war and peace. Contact Educators for Social Responsibility, 639 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 01239.

6

Ask your church youth group to focus on peace issues. Study biblical and church teachings on war, peace, and conscientious objection. Ask members of your church, local peace activists, and veterans to speak.

7

Help plan a worship service on justice and peacemaking. Use your talent for art, theater, song, or poetry to express your views about peace and to educate others. Create a peace and justice display and a resource center at your church.

8

Encourage your congregation to help its families and committees to improve peace skills. Use resources from the Families Against Violence Network, Institute for Peace and Justice, 4144 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. 314/533-4445.

Advocacy

9

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper giving your viewpoint on a peace concern. The chance of your letter being published is greater if your letter refers to a topic recently in the news, is concise, legible, and deals with one issue.

10

Be a thoughtful consumer. Research the practices of corporations that make the products you buy. Support businesses that are committed to communities and reflect your values. Support public boycotts to change a company's practices or to protest their involvement in producing weapons.

11

Participate in lobbying efforts of groups like Lutheran Peace Fellowship, Bread for the World, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Friends Committee on Legislation, and Peace Action. Join others in vigils, rallies, actions and marches for peace with justice.

12

Increase your media literacy. Protest war toys or excessive violence in movies, television, or video games. Help others with videos from the Center for Media Literacy, 1962 S. Shenandoah St., Los Angeles, CA 90034. 800-226-9494

In the Political Sphere

13

When you become eligible, vote. Vote and campaign for candidates who will work for peace, promote justice, human rights and environmental responsibility.

14

Keep up on current legislation and the position of your elected officials by joining the legislative alert networks of peace and justice groups and the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, 122 C St. NW, Wash., D.C. 20001-2172. A number of states also have Lutheran Offices of Public Policy offering support for activity on state-level peace and social justice issues.

15

Write letters, call, and meet with your elected officials. Express your opinion on specific issues, such as votes on military spending, arms control agreements, and funding for human services and social justice. Be in touch while an issue is being debated in committee or before a key vote.

Personal Peacemaking

16

Be a peacemaker in your relationships with family and friends. Recognize that conflict is inevitable and can be a source of growth and change. Learn about alternative methods of conflict resolution. Contact the Alternatives to Violence Project, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.

17

Volunteer for social justice. Work in a soup kitchen, shelter, AIDS ministry, or other service. Help start or strengthen a chapter of Bread for the World, Lutheran Peace Fellowship, or Amnesty International.

18

Simplify your lifestyle. Consider the relationship between over-consumption in the U.S. and poverty, injustice, and war in the Third World. Lowering consumption can reduce your need to compete and increase your ability to share.

19

If you are a female or male considering enlistment for military service or ROTC or a male nearing the age of 18 and facing the decision of registration for the draft, think carefully about your faith and these decisions. For information, contact the National Youth and Militarism Program, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102. 215/241-7176, www.afsc.org/youthmil.htm

In the Working World

20

Give prayerful consideration to where you want to work. Consider studying or working in a field related to international understanding or social justice. Think through how you feel about working for companies connected with violence in the media, or to the defense industry.

21

Consider a short-term volunteer experience before you move on to a long-term job or more school. For example, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) provides youth opportunities to give a year of full-time urban service for social justice, while also offering a supportive community living situation. Contact LVC at 1333 North St. NW, Wash., D.C. 20005. 202/387-3222.

Lutheran Peace Fellowship can provide you with additional information on the ideas and issues presented here. LPF publishes Peace Notes newsletter and has developed resources on such topics as the biblical basis of peacemaking, youth and the military, global peace issues, conflict education for youth, racial and economic justice, and peace and justice movements and heroes through history. LPF provides 120 speakers and workshops for national, synod, and congregation events each year..

See also: LPF Resources for Youth Leaders, LPF Youth Website, Peace Education, Peace Links

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