pressrelease-ahowtoguide

EPF Press Release – A How to Guide

  • I have an idea for an EPF press release!
  • Determine who is the sponsor of the press release (EPF, EPF PIN, EPF Action Group…)
  • Contact the appropriate EPF Action Group, if there is one
  • Draft press release
  • Executive Director & NEC Chair approve language, specifically quotes attributed to them
  • Release is circulated to the sponsor (EPF, PIN, Action Group) for final review
  • Release is sent to Executive Director and NEC Chair for final approval
  • Bob Kinney circulates press release, in consultation with the sponsor,  to appropriate contacts

chris sabasNEC member Chris Sabas, who served with Christian Peacemaker Teams from 2011 – 2016,

working with and on behalf of Indigenous People’s Solidarity in Canada, shares her response to unfolding events in Standing Rock:

Watching the events unfold in Standing Rock this week, with the violence used against nonviolent demonstrators, was quite difficult for me…. no doubt for you too.  I was transported back to the Elsipogtog campaign, where I and so many others experienced varying degrees of brutality because of the RCMP raid of that barricade/encampment. Here’s a 2 minute video I filmed that day (FYI ‘R” rated with some of the language): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAWPSv2Vfkw&t=5s

In any event, I wanted to pass along some book suggestions that perhaps you and folks in your parish(es) may find useful, as people digest not only the raid, but perhaps why the Episcopal church is taking a public stance in support of the protectors:

For a general sense of appreciation, I highly recommend Neither Wolf Nor Dog- On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder https://www.amazon.com/Neither-Wolf-nor-Dog-Forgotten/dp/1577312333

Focusing more on the Sioux, I suggest people turn to The Heart of Everything that Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud An American Legend https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Everything-That-Untold-American/dp/1451654669

Finally, selfishly, I recommend Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry.  The author is CPT Reservist Steve Heinrichs of the Mennonite Church of Canada, a friend of mine.  I also personally know several of the contributors and depending on the edition, you’ll see my name on the back cover as I was honored to write a review: https://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Shout-Salmon-Cry-Conversations/dp/0836196899

Onward!

Chris

t-d-rowShow your solidarity with EPF of Pensacola. They will be wearing these T-shirts at Friday’s vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty. Available from EPF for $15 – to order call 312-922-8628 or email epf@epfnational.org

The National Executive Council of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship joined by the fellowship’s Palestine/Israel Network, is proud to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter Movement in unequivocal support of its ”Vision for Black Lives” issued on August 1.

“The policy demands listed in the platform cover a wide variety of intersecting issues, all of which are also important to the mission of Episcopal Peace Fellowship and our mission to oppose war and violence in all its forms,” said EPF Executive Director the Rev. Allison Liles. The platform accurately describes the connections between colonialism at home and abroad and courageously advocates for the rights of all God’s people.

In pledging our support and solidarity, we do so motivated by our Baptismal vow to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” And we do so from our own long history of acting with others to give voice to those denied dignity and justice and subjected to oppression and dehumanizing conditions by the powers-that- be, be they in Ferguson, Baltimore, Haiti, Honduras, or Palestine.

In this regard, the EPF National Executive Council and Palestine/Israel Network applauds the platform’s recognition of the commonality of the civil rights struggle of American blacks and black and brown people everywhere, most notably Palestinians, who, for too long, have labored, without adequate voice in this country, against the daily indignities of an oppressive Israeli occupation. In reiterating the need for Black/Palestinian solidarity and courageously endorsing boycott, divestment, and sanctions as a legitimate non-violent economic tool aimed at bringing about an end to occupation, the Black Lives Matter Movement has joined a growing coalition of organizations giving voice to those everywhere who seek liberation and self-fulfillment. The Episcopal Peace Fellowship is proud to be part of that coalition.

“As the platform so eloquently articulates, we have a shared struggle with all oppressed people – collective liberation will be a product of all of our work,” Liles said. As part of that larger coalition of Christians, Jews, and those of other faith and none, we firmly reiterate our profound love and concern for all the people of the Holy Land, both Israelis and Palestinians, and reject attempts by opponents of the Movement’s Platform to equate honest and legitimate criticism of unwise policies of the Government of Israel with anti-Semitism.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has championed peace, nonviolence and social justice issues since its founding on Armistice Day in 1939.

Read more about EPF here.

Rev Bob Davidson - Bob Kinney PhotoClaysburg, Pennsylvania – The Rev. Bob Davidson of Loveland, Colorado, is the new chair of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s 21 member National Executive Council.

Davidson, a member at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Estes Park, Colorado, is a hospice chaplain and social worker in the northern Colorado area.  Davidson served as the convener of the Colorado EPF Chapter from 2010 -2015.

“We are pleased to welcome Bob to EPF’s leadership. Bob’s father the late Bishop William Davidson of the Diocese of Ohio was NEC chair from 1986-1989 – that’s a wonderful EPF Family Circle,” said the Rev. Allison Liles, EPF’s executive director.

I am a member and Chair of the NEC of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship because I rely on EPF to challenge me at a global level with its prophetic witness in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, efforts to curb gun violence, abolishing the death penalty and empowering Young Adults to become peacemakers. It is the constant feeding from the presence of EPF in so many peace initiatives that compels me to live out my baptismal covenant of striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being.

A 1978 master’s degree graduate of the University of Kentucky, Davidson has served his whole ordained ministry in the Diocese of Colorado since 1981. Davidson has served as a Deputy to General Convention seven times beginning when he was eighteen in 1970 in Houston, Texas.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has championed peace, nonviolence and social justice issues since its founding on Armistice Day in 1939.

Read more about EPF – http://epfnational.org.

 

For Immediate Release:

Claysburg, Pennsylvania – The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) vigorously affirms President Barack Obama’s call to ban the sale of assault weapons following the worst mass shooting in US history at the Pulse – an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida – early June 12. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others injured.

“Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds all victims of the Pulse massacre in prayer, while urging our membership toward action,” said the Rev. Allison Liles, EPF executive director.

“Homophobia, bigotry and racism exist around the world – however in the United States persons with these ideologies of hate have legal access to AR-15s. Assault rifles have no place in civilian society and EPF calls our members to contact legislators, imploring them to pass sensible gun laws such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks on all private sales and legislation preventing suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns,” she said.

Bishop Gene Robinson, Chaplain to EPF’s National Executive Council, added – “This is a wake up call that the LGBT community remains vulnerable to bias and hatred, and that despite progress in achieving marriage equality, the necessary, reconciling work of changing hearts and minds continues.”

“Sadly the Orlando slaughter occurred just days before the first anniversary of the killings in Mother of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina,” Liles said.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has championed peace, nonviolence and social justice issues since its founding on Armistice Day in 1939.

Read more about EPF – http://epfnational.org.

contact – Bob Kinney – bob.kinney@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to download Spring 2016 EPW

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Editor’s Note: EPF member Linda Gaither reflects on boycott actions and free speech and how it’s all interpreted and acted on when she compares the boycott movement affecting North Carolina around HB2 and the New York legislature’s attempt to stifle action around Palestinian civil society’s call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

 

It is interesting to watch the nation-wide response to North Carolina’s divisive new LGBT law, HB2. We’ve seen multi-billion-dollar companies like Paypal and Google Ventures withdrawing investments, while economic developers and even some state legislatures attempt to lure long-established companies away from the Tar Heel State.  For example, a bipartisan group of legislators from Connecticut have invited Bank of America to move to a state that shares the bank’s social values, supporting its LGBT workforce. Deutsche Bank has withdrawn from a facility upgrade in N.C. and 170 small businesses have signed a petition to repeal HB2.  Vacationers are canceling travel plans to N.C., as well.

There is a blossoming boycott of cultural and sporting events in the state.  Major artists and performing groups – Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco, Ringo Starr, Cirque du Soleil – have canceled appearances. A coalition of U.S. Senators is pressuring the NBA to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte. Most important to Episcopalians, the bishops of the Diocese of North Carolina have published a letter of support to members of the LGBT community and their supporters on this issue.

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/the-episcopal-bishops-of-north-carolina-on-the-anti-lgbt-law-in-that-state/

We are witnessing a back-lash that is quintessentially American. When state houses, the federal government or any other entity is deaf to the appeal of constituents, it is a time-honored tactic, reaching back to the colonial era, to use nonviolent economic pressure to leverage change. It is free speech in action to boycott a law that excludes LGBT people from state anti-discrimination protections, blocks local governments from expanding LGBT protections and bars all workplace discrimination lawsuits. Not to mention dictating by law what restroom individuals may choose. This is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, as American as apple pie.

It is therefore ironic that our own New York State House in Albany is considering curtaining the very freedom of speech that is effectively pressuring the North Carolina State House on behalf of basic human rights. Bill A8220A, under consideration by the Government Operations Committee, prohibits activity intended to limit  “commercial relations” with the State of Israel or territories controlled by Israel. Groups that engage in such activity – defined as a boycott – would be barred from bidding on contracts with New York State, and would be subject to other financial and economic sanctions.  The Bill directs the state finance commissioner to publish a black list of organizations that support such boycotts.

The New York Civil Liberties Union has this to say about A8220A: “The proposed legislation is outside the bounds of federal and state law; its proscriptions reach far beyond what is constitutionally permissible. The Supreme Court has clearly established that First Amendment protections apply to politically-motivated economic boycotts aimed at influencing public policy and advancing social change. The Court has also ruled that the Constitution prohibits government from conditioning eligibility for public contracts upon the political affiliation of those bidding for a contract”.

 

The freedom to boycott on behalf of human dignity and social change is guaranteed by the First Amendment. A founding symbol of this freedom is the Boston Tea Party: a boycott on behalf of the Patriot’s slogan, “no taxation without representation.” Over $3 billion in our U.S. tax dollars are going to the State of Israel each year in military aid alone.  As tax-payers, we must defend our freedom to protest the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the State of Israel, enabled by our tax dollars. No state house anywhere, in Raleigh or Albany or Tel Aviv, should be able to silence our individual or corporate voice on behalf of universal human rights.

Palestine Israel Network News Release

 

Claysburg, PA – The Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network (PIN) commends the recent request by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy – as well as supporters in the House of Representatives – to Secretary of State John Kerry for an investigation into reports of extrajudicial killings by specific military personnel and units in both the Israeli and Egyptian armed forces. For nearly 20 years the Leahy Law has been applied uniformly around the world, in response to substantiated human rights abuses, to suspend U.S. military aid when recipient governments fail to punish those responsible.

The Palestine Israel Network bases our support for Senator Leahy’s request on long-standing Episcopal Church policy, most recently reaffirmed in the second and third resolves of Resolution A105 (2012):

Resolved, That the General Convention reaffirms Resolution 1991-A149, Urge a Full Accounting of the Use of Foreign Aid in the Middle East,adopted by the 70th General Convention, and calls on the President of the United States for a full accounting of how United States foreign aid, including military aid, is used in the Middle East and North Africa, in recognition that transparency is critical for requiring accountability from aid recipients; and be it further

Resolved, That the 77th General Convention calls upon the President of the United States to seek accountability for those policies and practices of recipients of United States aid that contradict and undermine core democratic principles, as well as those United States laws and statutes that define legal uses of United States funding.

The Palestine Israel Network calls on the Episcopal Church’s Office of Governmental Relations to articulate this Episcopal Church policy to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee and to all members of Congress.  PIN also requests the OGR to support action by the State Department to investigate these incidents.  In taking this action, EPF’s Palestine Israel Network joins our voices with 12 other national Christian groups who, on February 22, 2016, urged the Department of State to investigate Israeli human rights abuses.

Organized in 2010, the Palestine Israel Network advocates for a more robust Episcopal Church witness for an end to Occupation and a just peace in Palestine and Israel.