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« Ep. 99: Jay Moses—How a Local Church Invites in Multiple Faiths to Influence One Another | Main | TCGP 98::John Dear, part 2: Making Nonviolence Stronger in a Culture of Violence »

8/15/18::Grace Gyori: From Christian Imperialism to Liberation for All—A Missionary’s Journey


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Over the years, religious missionary endeavors have too often proceeded alongside the the imperialist and colonialist impetus of nations. But many missionaries and missionary agencies have changed completely away from such entanglement of faith with colonialism or imperialism. This podcast tells how those changes came about in the life of Grace Gyori. Grace was born to parents of missionaries to China. They were incredibly adventurous, oriented to the service of humanity, and also unconscious of the larger colonial and imperial geopolitical picture. She married Tom Gyori and the two became missionaries with the Presbyterian Church USA in Guatemala.

Lee got to know Grace Gyori in the 1990’s. She and Tom were early founders of Jubilee Economics Ministries. Tom died in 2016. In Guatemala, Grace and Tom were not there to evangelize but to work alongside of the local leaders. Their spirit was not imperial, but liberationist, seeking justice for all, giving up the notion that one had to be Christian or that others were inferior. Instead, they understood that a missionary was a cross-cultural bridge engaging in important faith-based minististries, participating in mutual benefits as all people and all species are to be treated with respect.

Also Mentioned

Common Good Feature–National Geographic: Teaching the Common Good

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Previous Episodes

John Dear, Author and Peace/NonViolence Activist

Do we believe that nonviolent peacemaking is more powerful than violence? If we don’t, it’s likely that our understanding of nonviolent peacemaking needs more attention. John Dear is just the person we need to listen to.

Fr. John Dear serves as NonViolence Outreach Coordinator for Pace e Bene, which is organizing Campaign NonViolence Week of Action in mid-Sept. Pace e Bene’s  means “Peace and all good!”

He is the author of numerous books, the most recent, “They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and NonViolence in a Time of Climate Change.”

Founded in 1989 by the Franciscan Friars of California, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service is now an independent, nondenominational 501©3 organization.

John Dear, Part 1—Responding to Hate, Guns and Bombs with Peace & NonViolence

John Dear, Part 2—Building NonViolence in a Violent Culture

ALSO Mentioned

TCGP Episode 94: Time for Healthcare for All—the Majority Want It and California’s Nearly There

Bill Ryerson of Population Institute and Population Media Center

Part One: Crises Caused by Exploding Population

Part Two: Reducing Human Population through Methods That Work

LEE: Here’s a reminder of the enormous explosion in numbers of humans that have arrived on planet Earth recently. Today, Homo sapiens are by far the top predators on the planet. Our numbers have doubled since 1970—just 48 years ago. During the 20th century, world population grew from 1.65 billion to 6 billion. In this 21st century, the rate of growth is going down, but we’re at 7.6 billion and still going up. Still, in some countries population is going down. What are those countries doing differently? And just what are the most effective ways we’ve found to reduce human population? What would be a healthy, sustainable balance of humans with all other species?

JERRY: I wrote an essay recently called Options to Curb the Two Primary Drivers of the Climate Crisis: OverPopulation and OverConsumption. I began the overpopulation conversation with my interview of John Seager, head of the Population Connection, formerly Zero Population Growth. PART 1 // PART 2

Grace Gyori: From Christian imperialism to Liberation for All—A Missionary’s Journey

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