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“Peace is the Fruit of Justice”

By Sher Davidson

At a time of unrest and fear, when our Latin American friends are feeling threatened by the new US president’s stance on immigration, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship welcomes Salvadorian peacemaker José “Chencho” Alas to this Sunday’s service.

UU Service
“Peace is the Fruit of Justice”
By José “Chencho” Alas
Sun, Mar 12, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15
Free

In a talk titled “Peace is the Fruit of Justice,” Chencho shares his views on the prerequisites for peace. With the mounting violence in El Salvador and its neighbors, Honduras and Guatemala, many are fleeing to the border, not as immigrants but as refugees, seeking safety and peace. Unable to find an adequate definition of peace, Alas formulated his own within the context of principles inherent in Christianity and all religions. “Peace is the constant re-creation for harmony between the body and the spirit at the personal and community levels, within a good and beautiful ecological, social, economic, and political environment.”

José Alas was born one of ten children in 1934 in Chalatenango, El Salvador. He was a Catholic priest for many years, a friend of Archbishop Óscar Romero, and an advocate of peasant rights. During the 1980s, while exiled in the US after being tortured for preaching liberation theology, he continued working on behalf of the poor of Central America through a variety of different institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank and Capp Street Foundation. In 1990, Alas received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award for bringing the social gospel to base communities in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The signing of the Peace Accords in 1992 brought an end to El Salvador’s civil war. Jose returned to El Salvador to help found ITAMA, the Institute of Technology, Environment, and Self-Sufficiency. In 2000, the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding awarded Alas its Peace Activist Award “in recognition of his dedication to human rights, and notably for his efforts to preserve peace in El Salvador during the violent aftermath of its civil war.”

Alas currently directs the Foundation for Sustainability and Peacemaking in Mesoamerica and travels back and forth to El Salvador from Texas where he lives with his wife, Gladys. Special music will be provided by Mexican vocalist/guitarist Yoremem Jocobi.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for hospitality and discussion afterwards. Wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit uufsma.org.

 

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