Weekly Update from Melanie
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Peace Out! Week Sixty-four
Good Friday
Christa Wimmers
Holy Week
Greetings from Sisters, Oregon! This week, we share the Episcopal Church in Colorado’s compelling social justice inspired Stations of the Cross. Click here for an inspiring walk through Jesus’ Passion, focusing on racism, homelessness, the pain of suicide, immigration, and our current pandemic. One more walk before we come full circle.
Eagle’s Moon
Roy Henry Vickers
The Holy Now: Eagle’s Aspect

“This moment humanity is going through can be seen as a portal and as a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the portal is up to you. If they repent of the problem and consume the news 24 hours a day, with little energy, nervous all the time, with pessimism, they will fall into the hole. But if you take this opportunity to look at yourself, rethink life and death, take care of yourself and others, you will cross the portal. Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with the middle body of your spiritual house, all this is synonymous, that is to say the same. When you are taking care of one, you are taking care of everything else. Do not lose the spiritual dimension of this crisis, have the aspect of the eagle, which from above, sees the whole, sees more widely. There is a social demand in this crisis, but there is also a spiritual demand. The two go hand in hand. Without the social dimension, we fall into fanaticism. But without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and lack of meaning. You were prepared to go through this crisis. Take your toolbox and use all the tools at your disposal.

"Learn about resistance with indigenous and African peoples: we have always been and continue to be exterminated. But we still haven’t stopped singing, dancing, lighting a fire and having fun. Don’t feel guilty about being happy during this difficult time. You don’t help at all by being sad and without energy. It helps if good things emanate from the Universe now. It is through joy that one resists. Also, when the storm passes, you will be very important in the reconstruction of this new world. You need to be well and strong. And, for that, there is no other way than to maintain a beautiful, happy and bright vibration. This has nothing to do with alienation. This is a resistance strategy. In shamanism, there is a rite of passage called the quest for vision. You spend a few days alone in the forest, without water, without food, without protection. When you go through this portal, you get a new vision of the world, because you have faced your fears, your difficulties…

"This is what is asked of you. Let them take advantage of this time to perform their vision seeking rituals.

"What world do you want to build for yourself? For now, this is what you can do: serenity in the storm. Calm down and pray. Everyday. Establish a routine to meet the sacred every day. Good things emanate, what you emanate now is the most important thing. And sing, dance, resist through art, joy, faith and love."

White Eagle, Hopi indigenous. March 16, 2020.

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS ARE HERE! LINK BELOW!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. For applications for delegates to General Convention, click here!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

By June 20, 2020, when this important day of advocacy happens, what will the number of poor and low wealth people be? How many more than 140 million? How many will have died by reason of lack of access to health care, to sanitary conditions, decent housing, or adequate wages? Those of us in quarantine can use this time to pray, study and act on the issues that impact the most vulnerable among us, and plan to show up and show out, virtually, on June 20. Demand that our elected leaders lead for the benefit of all of us!

Our upcoming schedule:

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. We are physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while. Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’m doing some administrative chores, getting ready for our Spring National Executive Committee meeting in mid-April, trying to keep in touch with EPF supporters, reading and praying and taking action for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Sunset
Sisters, Oregon
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Peace Out! Week Sixty-four
Rob Burgess, EPF National Treasurer
Benton Harbor, MI
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God’s help.

"Poverty is a Pre-existing Condition"
offered by
Rob Burgess, EPF National Treasurer

For me my busy time extends beyond Lent annually and runs about 90-100 days from early January through mid-April. This is my fourteenth year as a volunteer and twelfth as Coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in two counties in Southwest Michigan. In the past couple weeks, as the coronavirus has taken over the news and Michigan’s Governor has ordered that we all stay-in-place, I have received many calls, texts, or e-mails from or for folks who had appointments to complete their taxes, but since we have closed all our tax sites we had not yet assisted.

The tax payers we assist through VITA are the poor and near poor. Most get a refund this time of year. For some, their income tax refund may be a lifeline that helps them catch up on a variety of past due bills or maybe they think of it as a once a year bonus. Some of our poorest clients don’t even have to file federal taxes, they may be disabled and solely live on $771 monthly they receive from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and possibly some food stamps. Fortunately, the Michigan tax code may provide them some assistance in the form of a renter’s or home heating credit.

But that is at a standstill now. I hear from my fellow volunteer tax preparers throughout Michigan (and, no doubt, other states as well) that most such volunteer sites are closed. Do me a favor. Pray for the poor and near poor who rely on their tax refunds to keep their heads above water.

I have been blessed also to serve on the Boards of two local non-profit organizations. One is financially viable and has adapted to the virus emergency fairly well. The other is financially struggling and may not survive the next several months.

First the good news, at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen we no longer are serving a hot lunch daily (we normally open 365 days). Instead, the church and other groups who volunteer at the Kitchen have been asked to prepare sandwiches and other items suitable for a paper bag lunch to go. I am most thankful this year for our outstanding Soup Kitchen Executive Director who has rallied all volunteer groups to ensure the Kitchen can still provide sustenance to some of the poorest in our community on daily basis.

However, Emergency Shelter Services (ESS) of Benton Harbor is struggling. Our Executive Director resigned without notice a few weeks back. Unfortunately, our finances were already stretched as we operate a family shelter which primarily serves women and children who would otherwise remain homeless. In addition, part of our services are Rapid Re-Housing and Rental Assistance for those who may be or are at-risk of homelessness. With the virus problem wreaking havoc on unemployment in our country, I am afraid this is the worse possible time for ESS to be financially struggling. The other favor I would ask is to pray for the women and children we serve at ESS and for the dedicated employees who assist them.

Having more than 40 years of financial experience, I have seen Michigan go through many difficult ups and downs. I often have found myself the last few weeks praying the Serenity Prayer and hoping that our decisions as a Board at ESS will be in the best interest of the homeless we serve.

Beyond that, I try to practice social distancing and am thankful for the Internet, e-mail, texting and video chat like Zoom or Google Hangouts which make it a little easier. Technology allows me to keep up with my son who lives just outside of New York City as we are saddened that his Alma Mater, the Michigan State Spartans, won’t have the chance to make a long run in March Madness this year.

Still, I have taken joy in watching my grandson (and myself) play with the new puppy beagle that we have recently brought into our household. And as a lover of music, I often find myself turning to my favorite radio station which has a tag line “Motown and More”. I look forward to this summer, when I hope life will return to normal because I think we all are ready for a brand new beat:

Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

– Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

While our actual pilgrimage for EPF is on hold by reason of the COVID-19 pandemic, several members of EPF’s National Executive Council have offered to write inspiring messages for us each week in Peace Out! I am grateful to Rob Burgess for this week’s mediation, and for Bob Davidson’s from last week, which was later picked up by The Episcopal Cafe (you can read that here). After Rob sent me this week’s offering, he followed up with this message:

"A woman who has been a tax client of mine from the volunteer tax assist program for quite a few years contacted me because her tax appointment was cancelled. She always has been "hands on" in terms of needing more attention than most.

"Her husband has had significant health issues for more than a year and lost his job last year and almost one of his legs.
He’s always been something of a curmudgeon, although as a fellow veteran we somehow relate.

"The two of them now rely on her fast food worker income. She is especially anxious to get in whatever income she can. So, remotely she was able to get documents needed for their tax return. Between text messages and emails, I was able to submit her return just today.

"My Governor is on the View right now. (Hon. Gretchen Whitmer, photo above.) I have tears in eyes right now as she just called "poverty a pre-existing" condition. A few years ago, she made a heart felt speech as a state senator about her sexual assault in college, during a debate about severe restrictions on abortion by our legislature.

"I am so glad we have a compassionate and capable leader in our state at this time."

You can see why many of us on the EPF NEC find Rob to be a compassionate inspiration; a pace car to which we wish we could catch up. If only each of us could do for our neighbors a fraction of what he is able to do for his, we could change the world. If only we could use this time in the wilderness to find the cure for indifference, we could improve the lives of our brothers and sisters across the globe.

On a video call of the Prophetic Council of The Poor People’s Campaign last night, one of our bishop leaders (Yvette Flunder — Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries) made the point that when we are inoculated for various diseases, we are actually given a little bit of the germ that causes the disease. It is by getting a little bit of the poison that we become immune. Maybe all this physical distancing and minimal deprivation the privileged among us (I count myself in that category) are experiencing is the "little bit of the germ" that we need to become inoculated against indifference to the suffering around us. By God’s grace, let us be transformed into vessels of care and compassion; instruments of justice and peace.

Do you follow EPF on Facebook? If so, please look for us to offer a virtual pop-up Compline service on Facebook Live in the next several weeks while we are all physical distancing. Join us!
Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS ARE HERE! LINK BELOW!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. For applications for delegates to General Convention, click here!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

By June 20, 2020, when this important day of advocacy happens, what will the number of poor and low wealth people be? How many more than 140 million? How many will have died by reason of lack of access to health care, to sanitary conditions, decent housing, or adequate wages? Those of us in quarantine can use this time to pray, study and act on the issues that impact the most vulnerable among us, and plan to show up and show out, virtually, on June 20. Demand that our elected leaders lead for the benefit of all of us!
Last Friday, in our Lenten mailing, I introduced Tommy McGlothlin’s EPF inspired chaplet. The link to the Etsy shop in that mailing was defective, which I regret. But, here is the correct link. Please take a look at Tommy’s Anglican rosaries. Designated proceeds from each EPF chaplet go to the benefit of EPF’s Lenten campaign. Thank you Tommy, for your generous love for EPF and for using your talent to create such a beautiful instrument for worship!

Our upcoming schedule:

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. We are still in rural Nevada, but probably headed north to stay with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine in Oregon for a little while. Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’ll be doing some administrative chores, trying to keep in touch with EPF supporters, leading Compline, reading and praying and taking action for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Battle Creek, MI in bloom last summer
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Peace Out! Week Sixty-three
The Reverend Robert (Bob) Davidson, EPF National Chair
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God’s help.

Are Peace and Justice Essential Services?
The Rev. Bob Davidson, National Chair

My daughter is a medical social worker in the Intensive Care Unit of a large hospital in the Denver, Colorado area. Recently she was given a statement to have on her person from the hospital in case she was stopped on the road designating her as an essential worker. Some would say that only the medical providers (doctors, nurses, and other providers) are the essential health care workers and not social workers, chaplains or support staff.

This got me to thinking during this time of our international response to COVID-19 and the upheaval of movement and services are PEACE and JUSTICE considered essential services to our communities, our congregations, our country and the world. When we are being asked to participate in the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s 40 Days of Peace and Justice throughout Lent how do we balance giving to the EPF with vital outreach to homeless, the hungry and the isolated where we live?

During times of national and global crises, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship has maintained a vital and indispensable voice that addresses many of the root causes of inequities and imbalances regarding who is vulnerable, who has access and who is being marginalized. While COVID-19 reinforces the truth that, “Death is the Great Equalizer,” this pandemic exposes the structural disparities and racism that cry out for voices of PEACE and JUSTICE.
When communities are locked down during governmental orders, we see the privileged able to maintain greater normalcy due to the benefits of stronger technology, financial resources and networks of families and friends. Those having to maintain low-paying jobs for fear of being laid off in nursing homes, custodial and domestic work, and other high exposure positions know this inequality only too well. Inadequate access and coverage of health care sheds light on a glaring deficiency during this crisis but one which will exist in the future. The poor and uninsured always have a higher morbidity rate due to lack of treatment, medication and time to recover.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the Episcopal Peace Fellowship is working to combat the stigmatizing of communities of Asian descent by proclaiming the respect and dignity of all human beings. EPF is addressing gun violence prevention as the sale and possession of firearms escalates in the illusion of self-protection. EPF is speaking out for historic shutdowns and occupation without proper access to health care services in Palestine and indigenous communities. EPF carries on our decade’s long opposition to capital punishment and the disproportionate risk to those incarcerated in correctional settings.

As you work within the needs of your own locality for direct services to the most vulnerable, will you also help us sustain the essential voice for PEACE and JUSTICE through your support of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship during these forty days of Lent. Our goal has been to raise $10,000 to enable the important work of our Executive Director, Melanie Atha, and her pilgrimage across the country along with the ongoing work of our Action Groups and the work of our elected National Executive Council. Please consider a gift today here. (or, copy this link into your browser: https://www.classy.org/give/274361/#!/donation/checkout

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!

EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

By June 20, 2020, when this important day of advocacy happens, what will the number of poor and low wealth people be? How many more than 140 million? How many will have died by reason of lack of access to health care, to sanitary conditions, decent housing, or adequate wages? Those of us in quarantine can use this time to pray, study and act on the issues that impact the most vulnerable among us, and plan to show up and show out, virtually, on June 20. Demand that our elected leaders lead for the benefit of all of us!

Our upcoming schedule:

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. We are in rural Nevada, probably headed further south as it is sill COLD here! Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’ll be doing some administrative chores, reading and praying and taking action for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Julian of Norwich
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Peace Out! Week Sixty-two
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God’s help.

From the chaos of our current situation, I’m feeling a call to action. But that call feels more like an effort to reconnect with my roots — the basics of my call as a baptized Christian.

I’ve struggled in the last few days with whether the message of EPF ought to be put on hold, especially since my ability for in-person visits with parishes is about to be curtailed. Plus, I was noticing that my own bandwidth seems to have contracted — it is as if the only thing I have space for is worry about the containment of this COVID-19 coronavirus, and how I can keep myself and those I hold dear, especially those at risk, safe and healthy. Surely, everyone else is having this same concern?

On the other hand, I think the direness of this social distancing and quarantine might create in us a capacity for some new compassion, some new advocacy. I’m particularly remembering our EPF visit to Gaza last October. My Palestinian friends there live in lockdown. They have no freedom of movement. Clean water is scarce. Access to electricity is randomly denied to them. Their sewage treatment plants have been destroyed by Israeli bombs. Services are limited. There is no work for many. Decent healthcare is scarce. They are shot at and bombed. Two million people, half of them under the age of 18, caged in a 25 mile by approximate five mile strip of land, with no end to the occupation in sight. To live there is to live in perpetual terror and scarcity.

Here, the store shelves are momentarily without bottled water and toilet paper. The lucky among us are asked to stay in our comfortable homes for a few weeks, with power, reliable internet access, heat and air, and running water. Many of us have access to health care if we do get sick. Of course, not everyone will weather this plague without lasting effects — people will die or may suffer ongoing problems even if they get sick and recover; small business will struggle or close; people will lose their livelihoods. For all of them — for all of us — I have great compassion. But I am wondering if in this moment we can also find a place of compassion for and connection to the human beings to whom we have pledged to God we will respect, and strive for their justice and peace. And, having found that compassion, can we take steps to make that connection a permanent part of our prayer life and advocacy.

To be sure, you don’t have to look to the other side of the globe to find people needful of your prayers and action. I’m thinking of those who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence — a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a dear friend — or who have been shot themselves. I’m thinking of those who are condemned to die at the hands of a racist, retribution-driven, corrupt criminal justice system. I’m thinking of those still locked in for-profit cages for the crime of wanting a safe life of freedom in our country. I’m thinking of those living in the midst of the ravages of war. I’m thinking of those without a safe home, adequate health care, or meaningful work. I’m thinking of those disenfranchised in any way because they have been labelled "other," despite the abiding truth that there is no other — only us.

My prayers are with all of you in this hard, uncertain, scary time. If I’m looking for Jesus to be with me during this pandemic, I know I will find him right where he always stands — with the oppressed, the sick, the outcast, the lonely, and the prisoners. I say thank God that this outbreak is happening during Lent — a time when many of us were already flexing our heart muscles in an intentional way to reconnect with the Fount of our Being. Please join me in praying, studying, and taking action to do the work we are called to do.

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!

EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

Our upcoming schedule:

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. For the moment, we will be camping in some remote area of California until this threat passes, and rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’ll be doing some administrative chores, reading and praying for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

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Weekly Update from Melanie
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Peace Out! Week Sixty-one
SLO-CAL

God of the hungry, make us hunger and thirst for the right, till our thirst for justice has been satisfied and hunger has gone from the earth.

New Zealand Prayer Book

Sometimes, even a blind hog can find an acorn. It felt to me as though I had stumbled into a particularly holy spot on Sunday, when I appeared, virtually unannounced, at St. Stephen’s in San Luis Obispo, CA. We’ve been making our way up towards the Bay Area and I was really just looking for a peaceful place to worship after a particularly busy week of networking. But Steven and I were warmly welcomed by Rev. Ian Delinger and his lively congregation, and we were invited to share our origin stories with others present for the Eucharist. It was a delightful morning of unexpectedly finding connection and hope in an otherwise challenging week.

One of the events St. Stephen’s is endorsing is The Yvon Ron Ensemble Concert for Unity and Peace, set this Saturday, March 14 in San Luis Obispo. Formed in 1999, The Yuval Ron Ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the people of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. The ensemble includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide. You can learn more about this inspiring musical group here. In addition to supporting peace and unity, St. Stephen’s feeds the hungry, promotes environmental stewardship, and supports a remarkable program called "Get on the Bus," which makes it possible for children to visit their parents in prison.

We had a couple of EPF informational forums in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, last week at Trinity Episcopal Church. Art Fisher, co-convenor of Trinity Middle East Ministries, arranged for us to have an evening meeting at Trinity on Wednesday, and then on Thursday arranged for us to meet for coffee on Stearns Wharf to talk about EPF and our trip to Gaza last fall. It was great to be able to share news with people who are already attuned to the issues of Palestine-Israel about the particular plight of the Gazans.
One of Art Fisher’s projects though his Rotary Club is Unite to Light, a remarkable venture that provides solar powered lights for people who live in places without reliable access to electricity. Think of what a difference such a product would make in places like Gaza and the West Bank, which are routinely randomly deprived of electricity. An easy way to support this effort is with their buy one-give one promotion, through which when you purchase a light for yourself, the group provides one free of charge to a person in need.

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!

The Episcopal Networks Collaborative has published “Vote for Justice” for use by Episcopalians and congregations as they meet with candidates for public offices during this election year. The Collaborative is a coalition consisting of the Union of Black Episcopalians, the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, and the Episcopal Ecological Network. “Vote for Justice” consists of nine short essays on economic, social, and ecological justice issues and provides suggested questions to ask local, state or federal candidates. “As you read the papers” says Deacon Phina Borgeson, biological scientist and one of the authors, “you will see that while each explores one key issue, none can be addressed in isolation. There are many areas of overlap and intersection, on our concerns.” Topics included are the wealth gap and inequality, health care, climate change, human migration due to climate change, immigration policy reforms, climate change and agriculture, community investing, voter suppression, and mass incarceration. Find “Vote for Justice” at:
http://www.enej.org/assets/pdfs/EpiscopalNetworksVoterGuide2020.pdf
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

“I admire the Good Samaritan, but I don’t want to be one. I don’t want to spend my life picking up people by the side of the road after they have been beaten up and robbed. I want to change the Jericho Road, so that everybody has an opportunity for a job, education, security and health.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

EPF is pleased to support The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Part of bringing justice is helping to make sure that the voices of the 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country are heard. This is the goal of Mass Poor People’s Assembly set for June 20, 2020 in Washington. Learn more here.

Our upcoming schedule:

March 15 Church of the Good Shepherd, Salinas, CA

March 29 All Soul’s, Berkeley, CA

Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? One-on-one coffee is not out of the question! Just shout! To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Faith, hope and love are the very nature of God, and thus the nature of all Being. Such goodness cannot die. (Which is what we mean when we say, "Heaven")… These are the ubiquitous gifts of the Christ Mystery, hidden inside of all that has ever lived, died and will live again. Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ.
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Peace Out! Week Sixty
Stained glass detail, St. Cross-Hermosa Beach, CA
BY YOUR HOLY CROSS, YOU HAVE REDEEMED THE WORLD!

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

You can hear the big waves crashing on the shore of the Pacific from the parking lot at St. Cross in Hermosa Beach, CA. St. Cross has been an EPF peace partner for some time, and I happened to be visiting on the Sunday before a group of them were preparing to leave on their Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the Deep South. They have planned stops in Atlanta (where they will be greeted by Rev. Ed Bacon and his wife, Hope), Birmingham (at the Civil Rights Institute), Montgomery (at the Equal Justice Initiaitive’s Legacy Museum and Memorial for Justice and Peace), and Selma (at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the National Voting Rights Museum), among much else. I’m inspired at their level of commitment to social justice issues, and hope that they will return home transformed by the experience of being proximate to the hard issues of our ongoing legacy of hateful enslavement of our people of color to help bring true and lasting reform and repair to our country. St. Cross’s promotional literature for the Hermosa Beach Chapter of EPF quotes Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Without justice, there can be no peace. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it." The group has an annual retreat where they seek God’s help in their ministry to find renewal for their work. They are no stranger to holy pilgrimage.

Besides the pilgrimages, St. Cross evidences it’s commitment to justice by providing asylum, housing and support to a refugee Russian family; they offer book studies, film series and speakers on issues of peace and justice; they promote voter registration and non-partisan election forums; and they promote environmental sustainability programs and projects. They participate in "Family Promise of the South Bay," which helps homeless families get back on their feet, Laundry Love, Habitat for Humanity, and feeding meals to the neighborhood hungry through a program called "Neighbor to Neighbor." St. Cross describes the congregation’s approach as such: "We believe that how we live our lives is the best witness for our beliefs. Our approach is to make the love of Jesus Christ known to those around us — not by preaching, cajoling, browbeating or marginalizing those with whom we disagree — but through inclusion, peacemaking reconciliation and respecting the dignity of all in our work, political and personal relationships." They are quite a fine example of servant leadership.

Earlier in the week, I had the good fortune to be with the ambitious Committee to End Gun Violence at All Saint’s-Pasadena following their noon Ash Wednesday service. To say they are active in their own efforts, and in partnering with the local Mom’s Demand Action, is an understatement. Their agenda was full and their minutes reflected lots of purposeful activity, from tabling at the annual Black History Month Parade and Festival and giving away gun safety locks; to sponsoring and participating in the nationwide viewing on February 12 of "After Parkland;" to preparing for their June 6 "Wear Orange for Gun Violence Prevention" events; to working on their periodic newsletter and website presence and recruiting new GVP disciples. My biggest takeaway from my time with them was the inspiration to try to find a way to share "After Parkland," a compelling documentary about the profound loss and trauma in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I’m hopeful that EPF can find a way to partner with the film producers to have another round of showings in theaters across the country, perhaps in conjunction with "Wear Orange for Gun Violence Prevention" events with our Peace Partners in June. Watch this space for progress on that.

Just steps away from the Pacific, the worship space at St. Cross embraces the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. Behind the altar, Jesus walks on water. Elsewhere, there are crashing waves in stained glass, quilted fish, Jonah and the whale — one feels submerged in love and reassurance.

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!

A golden light is in our midst.
It burns as peace, as love,
as hope, as God.
Feel its healing presence pass
through you.
Send it to another with a kind
and loving thought.
Know this: as it heals the inside, so it can heal the
outside;
for the world is but a reflection
of what lies within.

Steve Myrvang

From "Peace Pole Prayers," St. Cross, Hermosa Beach

EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

Our upcoming schedule:

March 4 Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, CA

March 5 Trinity Middle East Ministries, Santa Barbara, CA

March 15 Church of the Good Shepherd, Salinas, CA

April 17-19 St. Matty-Joe’s, Detroit, MI: EPF NEC meeting

Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Blooms in Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, CA
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Peace Out! Week Fifty-nine
Stained glass detail, St. Luke’s-Long Beach, CA
Lent: The Morning Star Rises

First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy even came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:21

When Steven and I pulled up into the parking lot at St. Luke’s, Long Beach, CA, on Saturday afternoon, the place was spilling over with activity. We arrived on shower ministry day — where many of the nearly two thousand (!) homeless souls who call Long Beach home can get a hot shower, either breakfast or lunch, and even some clean clothes and amenities. (Just think for a moment about how many people two thousand is — way more people than are members of the average Episcopal congregation!) On this day, the volunteers were also beginning the holy work of helping to get folks registered to vote, an effort that will go on for a while yet. St. Luke’s also provides Manna Meals, two Saturdays a month feeding their hungry neighbors a hot meal, provisions for which in part come from their own teaching garden — a project which shows people how to garden and grow fruits and vegetables, and how to compost. The needs of this Long Beach community are great, but the generous hearts of the parishioners are atuned to those needs, and, remarkably, they feel that they have the capacity for MORE action! On Sunday, St. Luke’s held EPF informational forums after both the 10:00 service and after the 12:30 Spanish language service, which were well attended and during which we had deep conversations about how the parish can expand their social justice ministries, including returning to activism around the issues of the Palestine-Israel conflict.

I opened this newsletter with the scripture from Sunday’s epistle reading because the people of St. Luke’s seem like spirit-filled prophets to me — both clergy — Rev. Jane Gould, Rev. Nancy Frausto, Rev. Dn. Steve Alder and postulant Benjamin Galan (who graciously served as my interpreter for our Spanish forum) — and the many lay leaders who greeted and fed us, asked probing questions about the resources of EPF and shared the details of their ministries — and they all so generously want to do MORE with their time and gifts to address the great needs of their community and their world. I came away inspired and invigorated!

St. Luke’s has been a peace partner parish for some years, dating at least back to the time when Rev. Gary Commins was serving as their rector. Gary+ was on the EPF National Executive Committee for many years, and even continued to serve as a special consultant to the NEC after his retirement. A call to Gary+ was one of the first phone calls I made when I began this work for EPF, eager for insight into the history of the leadership of EPF and for his advice. Gary+ has been generous with his time and vision, and that same spirit seems to permeate the family of St. Luke’s. We are fortunate to have such a partnership for peace and justice work with St. Luke’s — a rising star and beacon of hope for the people of God!

Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!

Make me an instrument of peace: A guide to civil discourse: Link here

From our friends at EPPN: Peacebuilding involves learning from and working with others, while also sharing different perspectives with humility and vulnerability. Civil discourse helps us to understand how we can engage with people who have different views from our own and lays out the value for doing so. This guide to civil discourse curriculum aims to enhance our ability to learn from and understand one another, and to apply that practice to public policy conversations.

EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

It’s not too soon to be thinking about General Convention, which will take place June 30-July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland! Are you or your parish interested in helping EPF plan for our time in Baltimore? If you are in or near Maryland and wish to serve on our ad hoc committee to plan and make arrangements for our time at GC, please let Melanie Atha know. epfactnow. We’d love to have your energy, vision and connections to help our leadership have an effective and inspiring presence next year!
If you believe, as did Dorothy Day, that peace begins when the hungry are fed, you will want to know about the June 20, 2020 Poor People’s Campaign rally set for Washington, DC — just after the Presidential primaries and before the major party conventions — to highlight the Moral Agenda of the poor which much be addressed in this country. Details at www.June2020.org. Major cities within eight hours of Washington will be holding mobilization events in March, so keep a lookout for ways you can become involved!

Our upcoming schedule:

Feb. 26 All Saint’s, Pasadena, CA (Ash Wednesday)

March 1 St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA

We’ll be heading towards San Francisco and the bay area on March 2! Details about our schedule coming soon!

April 17-19 St. Matty-Joe’s, Detroit, MI: EPF NEC meeting

Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the rest of winter in California and then move into Oregon and Washington. I will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Orange flower, Orange County, CA
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Peace Out! Week Fifty-eight
"Icon of the Black Christ" by Rev. Canon Warner Traynham, former rector of St. John’s, Los Angeles, on display as part of an exhibition of his work at St. Paul’s Commons, 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA now through March 31, 2020. The icon has its permanent home at the Cathedral of St. John in Los Angeles.
From Outrage to Compassion:
A Proposed Lenten Journey

"Anger that leads to right action might well be a prerequisite for the spiritual life in our age." Sara Jolena Wolcott

Around the turn of the new year, one of my Facebook friends asked folks to post their "Word for 2020." There were lots of inspiring posts, like "thankfulness" and "merriment" and "fulfilled" and "ardent," and some funny ones like "again?" and "git ‘er done" and "schwifty," but the only word that came to my mind and stuck was "outrage". Outrage. I was then, and am now, feeling such anger at all the injustice I see in the world, that "outrage" was the only word I could feel in my heart. So, I thought I had better live with that reality for a while and see what I could do with that feeling in this new year. How could I do something constructive with all that rage and despair?

As luck would have it, this pilgrimage I am on for EPF had taken Steven and me through Albuquerque, NM, last spring, where we made a stop at Fr. Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. There, I picked up a copy of the publication "Oneing: An Alternative Orthodoxy, Vol. 6 No. 1" which focuses on anger. As an Enneagram 1, self-righteous anger is my sin of default. Finding this collection of essays on how to turn my anger into something holy and useful was providence.

Among the essays in the Anger issue of "Oneing" is an inverview with Sara Jolena Wolcott, whose quote opens this blog. "Anger that leads to right action might well be a prerequisite for the spiritual life in our age." How comforting to know that my outrage could be a door to spiritual transformation! I commend the Anger issue, especially the Wolcott essay, as help for you if you share in my outrage at the state of things.

So, my plan for Lent is to be quite intentional about feeling my indignant rage and then using it to try to do something about what I am so overwrought about.

In the way that these things seem to always happen, I was astonished when, during worship at St. Andrew’s-Irvine last Sunday, Vicar Rev. Peter Browning held up a copy of Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan’s "Living the Way of Love: A 40-day Devotional," which St. Andrew’s is providing for all members of their congregation (and visitors) to read and use as a Lenten discipline. Mary Bea is a priest in the Diocese of Alabama, an associate rector at St. Luke’s-Birmingham, and she and I were Cursillo Pilgrims together in 2015. I knew her devotional book to be a profound support for living a Jesus-centered life, a life which compels us to side with the oppressed and the marginalized.

I’ll be using Mary Bea’s book as a tool for Lenten reflection, and I’ll be modifying another Lenten practice of mine: I always read the Lenten Meditations collected by my home parish of St. Andrew’s-Birmingham each day during Lent, then I write and mail the author (almost always members of St. Andrew’s, or former clergy or someone otherwise deeply connected to us) a personal note to tell them what their offering meant to me, and how I will use their wisdom on my Lenten path. This year, I’ll use each meditation as a launching point to write political and religious leaders about some issue on which I wish to urge their compassionate action. I’ll be taking a play from the playbook of EPF chapters like the "Peace Post" at Church of the Transfiguration, in Dallas, and Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, which empower church members to advocate for "right action" all year long by giving them compelling talking points and the names and addresses of elected leadership to whom petitions should be address. I am imagining letters to Governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, asking her to stay an execution or two (ye gads!); writing Mitch McConnell to ask him to do something about gun violence; writing to Andrew Wheeler, the head of the EPA, to do something about the climate crisis (maybe a thank you note to Greta Thunberg); writing any and all presidential candidates to ask them to examine their positions on Palestine, and to ask them to do more to promote peace and justice (in concrete ways) in the decades old conflict between the Palestinians and Israel; and writing to ask who knows who about God only knows what other fresh hell will manifest and need addressing during these forty days.

Finally, I want to share with you one inspiring idea for a Lenten study group which comes from our friends at St. Bede’s in Santa Fe, NM. They are taking the "Contemporary Way of the Cross: A Liturgical Journey along the Palestinian Via Dolorosa" and meditating on the fourteen Stations of the Cross over a dozen or more in-person meetings, where they will read and reflect on the search for God in the midst of the oppression and torture being suffered by the Palestinians. I regret that I will be far enough away from Santa Fe that I cannot join them for these meetings, but EPF PIN education committee leader Kathy Christison has offered to share a written tutorial for us to use this resource in time for our own parishes for next year’s Lent. Get your copy of "Contemporary Way of the Cross" here.

So, how about you? What will you take on (on put down) for Lent? If you take on "right action", let us know what you are up to, and how you are inspiring others to do likewise. If you put down something, especially something that has a cost attached to it, consider giving what you might have spent on your guilty pleasure to EPF. We promise to put the money to more "right action" on behalf of the children of God who live in the shadows, who are persecuted, marginalized, and abused.

Rev. Peter Browning, Vicar at St. Andrew’s-Irvine, endorses Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan’s book of mediations, "Living the Way of Love" as an accompaniment on your Lenten journey. You can purchase the book here.

The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. Click here to donate, and thank you!

The Office of Government Relations of TEC continues to advocate for further federal criminal justice reform. The vast majority of incarcerated people are at the state and local levels, so we encourage you to find out how your community and state have invested in diversion programs, restorative justice, and other innovations to focus on rehabilitation rather than just long-term incarceration. EPF has long advocated for meaningful criminal justice reform, including abolition of the death penalty, and we invite you to join us in this holy work.
Click here to learn more about
what the Church is doing.
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

It’s not too soon to be thinking about General Convention, which will take place June 30-July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland! Are you or your parish interested in helping EPF plan for our time in Baltimore? If you are in or near Maryland and wish to serve on our ad hoc committee to plan and make arrangements for our time at GC, please let Melanie Atha know. epfactnow. We’d love to have your energy, vision and connections to help our leadership have an effective and inspiring presence next year!

Our upcoming schedule:

Feb. 23 St. Luke’s, Long Beach, CA

Feb. 25 St. Andrew’s, Irvine, CA (Shrove Tuesday pancakes!)

Feb. 26 All Saint’s, Pasadena, CA (Ash Wednesday)

March 1 St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA

We’ll be heading towards San Francisco and the bay area on March 2! Details about our schedule coming soon!

April 17-19 St. Matty-Joe’s, Detroit, MI: EPF NEC meeting

Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the rest of winter in California and then move into Oregon and Washington. I will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

the snow does not give a soft white damn whom it touches.
e e cummings
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Peace Out! Week Fifty-seven
Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network speaks out against the U.S. "Peace to Prosperity" plan, which normalizes the oppression of the Palestinian people and does nothing to make Israel more secure. Read the full statement here.
Welcome sign at St. Ambrose-Claremont, CA, movingly lettered in Spanish, English, Arabic, and on the reverse, also in Vietnamese and Chinese.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,
LOS ANGELES and
THE INLAND EMPIRE

We missed publishing a "Peace Out" last week because my computer screen died and I was without a laptop on which to do a lot of my EPF work. No matter, the actual work of EPF went relentlessly on — that being of showing up, speaking out and sharing the empowering light of Christ to urge our Church on towards justice and peace.

On February 1, I was grateful to be at Christ Church in Coronado, CA, for the Diocese of San Diego’s Diocesan Service and Justice Coalition’s winter meeting. EPF PIN leader Jill Henderson of Escondido, CA, made this possible for us. Jill’s leadership in EPF, her diocese, and in her home parish of St. Bartholomew’s-Poway gives her a unique platform from which to advance the social justice ministries that are important to Southern Californians. By reason of her work and witness, and that of her Coalition, the Diocese of San Diego has ambitious plans for expanding their border ministry work in advance of hosting the Borderland Ministry Summit in 2021, among much else.

On Sunday, February 2 we were welcomed at St. Ambrose, Claremont by Rev. Jessie Smith, a former EPF National Executive Committee member, for worship and an informational EPF forum. St. Ambrose is in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which is in discernment as to whether or not it will become an EPF Chapter. Our time in Claremont included a Super Bowl viewing/birthday party at the home of St. Ambrose parishioner Jullie McCurdy, to which we were graciously invited and enjoyed enormously.

On Saturday, February 8, the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John in Los Angeles hosted the Diocese of Los Angeles for an informational breakfast as part of their inquiry into becoming an EPF Chapter. EPF National Executive Committee member Jessica Jew, who worships at St. John’s, made this happen, and we are grateful for her leadership and witness. EPF PIN leader Randy Heyn-Lamb of All Saint’s-Pasadena joined us and is eager to be a local resource for the social justice work that is blooming in the region. I was struck to learn that 24% of the homeless in America live in Los Angeles, a staggering reality. The needs are just overwhelming, and St. John’s, situated in the heart of the city, and as a heart for the city, does its part to respond.

On Sunday, February 9, I was honored to be asked to preach at St. John’s. The Gospel for the day was from Matthew, where Jesus names us "the light of the world" and exhorts us to let our lights shine — a ready message for those of us called to strive for justice and peace. The audio for the sermon is here

After worship on Sunday, St. John’s hosted another EPF forum and luncheon for members of the congregation to learn more about the work of EPF, and to define their goals for social justice work. The tables were full and the earnest conversations around the church’s need to "be light" culminated in a decision by the congregation to become an EPF Peace Partner Parish. My prayer is that this new partnership between St. John’s and EPF will provide a way to turn our anger and outrage at the vast injustice in the world into right and effective action, which will alleviate the suffering of oppressed and the disenfranchised, ultimately bringing justice and peace. May God continue to bless St. John’s with compassionate hearts and the resources to be the light Jesus calls us to be in this dark and divided world.

Clergy and members of different churches in the Diocese of Los Angeles met at the Cathedral of St. John’s in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 8 to learn more about the work of EPF and to consider becoming an EPF chapter.
Sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. John

Show EPF some Valentine love! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. Click here to donate, and thank you!

How will you honor Absalom Jones, abolitionist and America’s first black priest, on his feast day, February 13? If he were alive today, would he think we had done all we could to set one another free?

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, congratulates Episcopal Peace Fellowship on 80 years
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

It’s not too soon to be thinking about General Convention, which will take place June 30-July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland! Are you or your parish interested in helping EPF plan for our time in Baltimore? If you are in or near Maryland and wish to serve on our ad hoc committee to plan and make arrangements for our time at GC, please let Melanie Atha know. epfactnow. We’d love to have your energy, vision and connections to help our leadership have an effective and inspiring presence next year!

Our upcoming schedule:

Feb. 23 St. Luke’s, Long Beach, CA

March 1 St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA

We’ll be heading towards San Francisco and the bay area on March 2! Details about our schedule coming soon!

April 17-19 St. Matty-Joe’s, Detroit, MI: EPF NEC meeting

Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the rest of winter in California and then move into Oregon and Washington. I will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

I was honored to preach the Gospel at the Cathedral of St. John in Los Angeles on Sunday. With me, from the left, Deacon Margaret McCauley, The Very Rev. Canon Daniel Ade, The Very Reverend Canon Mark Kowalewski, and subdeacon Karen Uhler.
Photo credit Victor Eichhorn, Cathedral of St. John.
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