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Mel Duncan to receive peaceseeker award

Date: June 5, 2010


Minneapolis, MN - The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship announces that Presbyterians Bill Galvin and Mel Duncan will receive the 2009 and 2010 PeaceSeeker Awards at the Peace Breakfast on Wednesday, July 7, held in conjunction with the meeting of the 219th General Assembly of the PC (USA) in Minneapolis. These once-in-a-lifetime awards celebrate Galvin’s ministry with Conscientious Objectors to war and Duncan’s pioneering work as co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce. A national community of over 3,000 Presbyterians, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship presented its first PeaceSeeker Award in 1970 to Stated Clerk William P. Thompson for his work on behalf of Presbyterian Conscientious Objectors during the Viet Nam War.


Mel Duncan, a deacon at Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN, transformed an 18 month academic fellowship into the creation of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which trains and deploys approximately 200 unarmed civilian peacekeepers in situations of violence around the world.

“Strategic disciplined nonviolence,” says Duncan, “is effective at protecting civilians and creating the space needed for local peacemakers in a country to lay a foundation for lasting peace. There is creative and courageous work for peace and human rights going on all over the world, in the most violent of places, often headed by women. Only when invited by such local groups, we intervene with unarmed, nonviolent strategies to protect and assist in their efforts. Nonviolence comes from our faith values, it is effective and it is far less expensive in every way than war.” 

Co-founding the NGO with Quaker David Hartsough, Duncan served as its first Executive Director. Nonviolent Peaceforce maintains administrative offices in Brussels, with the support of 65 international member organizations, working closely with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Projects include 50 peacekeepers in Sri Lanka for over six years, a deployment of 70 peacekeepers in the Mindanao region of the Philippines (which will grow to 110), and a project in Guatemala. A new project will prevent violence and protect civilians in the period before and after a scheduled referendum for independence in S. Sudan after a 54 year war. For more information, see www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org. 

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship was formed in 1944, near the end of WWII, by Presbyterians who believed that they were called by Christ to support Conscientious Objectors to war in the Presbyterian family. Since then it has grown to a national non-profit organization of Presbyterians who hear the still small voice of conscience as a call to find alternatives to violence and war--- and to stand against the use of violence and war by any nation or group. Based in Stony Point, NY, other PPF programs include the Christian Peace Witness and the Colombia Accompaniment Program, the latter in conjunction with PC (USA) mission-related programs. Past PC (USA) General Assembly moderator Rick Ufford-Chase, himself a conscientious objector, serves as Executive Director.


The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship - Trusting the Nonviolence of Jesus Christ Today

17 Cricketown Road, Stony Point, NY 10980  845-786-6743       www.presbypeacefellowship.org

CONTACT: Jan Orr-Harter, Co-Editor           [email protected]  817-291-3952

Rick Ufford-Chase, Executive Director          [email protected]

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