Below is a letter being sent to all churches of the Pittsburgh Presbytery on behalf of the Peace Making Ministry Team of the Presbytery. I wrote the letter and we had it unanimously approved by the Executive Committee of the Presbytery. I'm proud of the leadership in the Pittsburgh Presbytery and their willingness to stand with Water Protectors and the Sioux Indians of North Dakota. While the pipeline is now being fast tracked and oil will being flowing in the few weeks the legal struggle for hundreds of Water Protectors continues and the legal struggle against the federal government for the unjust completion of this pipeline are still in need of financial support. Please read the letter and consider financial support through our Presbytery.
February 7, 2017
Churches of the Pittsburgh Presbytery
Attn: Clerks of Session and Mission Committee Chairs
Greetings in Christ
Indigenous peoples all over the world have faced injustice and oppression for hundreds of years at the hands of colonizing nations. Our history in the United States consists of repeated and ongoing marginalization of Native Americans. As the struggles of the Sioux nation at the Standing Rock Reservation have garnered indigenous, grass-roots support from all over the world many non-native people have desired to support their cause. In November of 2016 Rev. John Creasy was able to visit and participate at the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp just north of the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. His time there was rich and extremely meaningful.
As you may know, Energy Transfer Partners has been funded with billions of dollars from thirteen international banks to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. Just north of the Standing Rock Reservation the 30 inch pipeline is to be constructed under the Missouri River. Indigenous peoples from all over the country, and in fact the world, have joined together to resist against the construction of this pipeline. The Sioux people have shown that the pipeline will put their water and land at risk. Though the pipeline had been halted by the Obama Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers, an executive order by President Trump signed on January 24th will fast track the pipeline.
The Peace Making Team of the Pittsburgh Presbytery believes that the construction of the pipeline should be stopped at the request of the Sioux people. We also believe that further investment in high-risk fossil fuel infrastructure will lead our nation toward a high-carbon future and continued dependance on fossil fuels, leading to greater social and ecological damage from climate change and degraded water and air quality.
The struggle of the Sioux people will continue into 2017 as they work to keep the oil of the fracking fields in the ground. This will largely be a legal struggle. Even if the pipeline is completed we desire to support those who have participated in this struggle and their legal expenses. Will you consider a donation to the Pittsburgh Presbytery designated toward their ongoing work? The Peacemaking Team will match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to our resources of $2500. We hope to raise more money with your help, which will all be given for legal defense and the legal struggle with Energy Transfer Partners and the policies being put in place to fast track pipeline construction. If you cannot give financially, please pray for the Dakota and Lakota people of Standing Rock South Dakota and their continued struggle against oppression.
Please send checks before March 30th. Make checks out to the Pittsburgh Presbytery with “Standing Rock Sioux” in the memo and mail to the Presbytery office attn: Ayana Teter. Funds will be sent to The Synod of Lakes and Prairies to be given for the legal needs of the Standing Rock Sioux.
For more info on the Pipeline and Rev. John Creasy’s experience at Standing Rock please visit. johncreasy.blogspot.com.
With Hope and Peace,
Pittsburgh Presbytery Peacemaking Ministry Team:
The Rev. Mr. John Creasy, Member of the Peacemaking Ministry Team
Dr. Ronald Stone, Coordinator of the Peacemaking Team
The Rev. Ms. Ayana Teter, Staff to the Peacemaking Team