Week Thirteen Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Thirteen
April Fool’s Day snow just west of Albuquerque
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52:7

Come to Columbine for our first Year of Action event of 2019!

JOIN US IN COLUMBINE!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF this month! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened at Columbine High School twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, urban violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funeral of one of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative and empowering remembrance.

More details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

COLUMBINE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Friday, April 26
1:00-3:00pm

Iliff School of Theology
2323 E. Iliff
Denver, CO
(paid parking available in south lot B)

Chapel presentation with audience dialogue to include seminarians, faculty, and interested public focusing on underlying causes contributing to violence in contemporary culture.

Panelists include:

The Rev. Kym Lucas, bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado
The Rev. Jasper Peters, pastor of Belong Church, United Methodist
The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Leath, Asst. Prof. of Religion and Social Justice

3:00-5:00pm

Viewing of Bowling for Columbine, the 2002 documentary film written and directed by Michael Moore will be shown for any wishing to remain in the Chapel

Saturday, April 27
11am-1pm

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Over 12 organizations involved in national and local efforts to address gun violence prevention will present their mission and opportunities for participation. Catered lunch provided with RSVP to frbobdav

1-3:30pm

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Educational and Policy Workshops on topics ranging from history of gun violence and gun laws in Colorado; organizing the faith community around gun violence prevention; public health implications of gun violence; keeping kids safe from guns; gun violence contributing to suicide and domestic violence; communicating with others on gun violence prevention.

Workshops will repeat twice from 1:15-2:15, 2:30-3:30 for opportunity to hear two topics

4-5:30pm

Columbine Memorial
Clement Park
7306 W. Bowles Ave
Littleton, CO

Enter park from Pierce Ave between Bowles and Coal Mine, driving west to parking lot closest to memorial (within softball field complex). Take walking path approximately ¼ mile to memorial. During vigil narrators will lead participants in remembrance of the students and teacher memorialized through readings and responses. Opportunity for quiet reflection and hearing readings of hope and inspiration will mark the time of vigil.

6:00-8:00pm

Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church
6724 S. Webster
Littleton, CO
(1/2 mile south of Vigil)

A simple meal will be provided by members of the church during which vigil participants will be invited to reflect on the impact of the vigil, the events of the day and group sharing around hope for a more peaceful future. Music and facilitation will be offered for participants.

Sunday, April 28
10- 11:30am

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Morning worship service to include speaker, the Rev. Don Marxhausen, Lutheran pastor who presided over one of the funerals of a Columbine student and his personal story as a result.

4-5:30pm

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
9203 S. University Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO

A Service of Remembrance and Renewal to offer personal stories from those impacted by gun violence, grounding the faith response to gun violence within the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, and inspiring participants with hope and renewal through music and worship.

Read Episcopal News Service coverage of our event here:
https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2019/04/09/episcopal-groups-plan-gun-violence-action-weekend-in-colorado-20-years-after-columbine/

Stained glass window at St. Thomas of Canterbury, Albuquerque, NM
This week we had a holy, productive time all around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Friday I visited the stunning Cathedral of St. John, where interim dean Rev. Dan Webster, who is also a former EPF National Executive Council (NEC) member, treated me to lunch and a tour of the magnificent church building, including their copy of The Saint John’s Bible (www.saintjohnsbible.org/heritage). In advance of my visit, Dan had already recruited five Episcopalians from around northern New Mexico with hearts for social justice to begin exploring interest in forming a new chapter of EPF. Thanks for your inspiring action and organizing, Dan!

On Saturday, Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, Rt. Rev. Michael Hunn, was having his “Budget Road Show” at St. Francis- Rio Rancho. I attended and had the privilege to hear the DRG’s priorities for 2019-2020, as discerned by the Bishop, the Diocesan Council, and the members of the Diocese, all in concert together, and was heartened to learn that Borderland Ministry is among the top five issues the Diocese feels called to address. When I was able to speak with Bp. Hunn after the meeting, I offered EPF’s partnership in addressing the many issues facing the Diocese along the border, and I look forward to helping to organize the manpower to meet that challenge in the coming months.

Back in Albuquerque, EPF member Anne McCormick, who is deeply attached to our Palestine Israel Network issues, had recruited me to join her in worship at St. Thomas of Canterbury on Sunday. Turns out, Rev. Ted Curtis, interim rector at St. Thomas of Canterbury — who graciously invited me to present EPF to the congregation during their formation hour on Sunday — is also a former NEC member, and has lots of personal reasons to feel connected to EPF, among them his former role as EPF’s landlord for years in Chicago! Thanks for the welcome and lunch, Ted! St. Thomas is a small, mighty group of peace and justice activists, with hearts as welcoming as any I have met. The space in their lovely sanctuary is purposefully accommodating of children, pets, and strangers like me.

Albuquerque surprised me with her already existing vast connection to the social justice ministries of EPF, and it felt like this Year of Action pilgrimage is serving its purposes of reconnecting us to old friends and supporters and expanding our reach. Our week there was pure gold!

Chapel at the Cathedral of St John, Albuquerque,
to which Interim Dean Rev. Dan Webster,
former EPF NEC member,
can trace his call to the priesthood.
Now Dan empowers disciples of Christ
to act on their call to social justice ministry
Natural rock baptismal fountain is a lovely feature of St. Francis – Rio Rancho, NM

Our upcoming schedule:

April 14: St. Bede’s, Santa Fe, NM
April 21: St. Joseph’s, Lakewood, CO
April 26-28:Columbine Commemoration and Colorado EPF Chapter visitation
St.Timothy’s, Centennial, CO
May 6: Calvary, Memphis, TN (tentative)
May 14: St. Ann’s, Nashville, TN
May 16: St. John’s, Knoxville, TN
June 19: Juneteenth event with Fellowship of Reconciliation, location TBD
June 27-29: Washington, DC “Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action”
July 12-13:Big Provincial Gathering, Province V, Kalamazoo, MI
August 8: St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, AL
August 9-10: Commemoration of Jonathan Daniels and Martyrs of Alabama
Visit to Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and
Justice, Montgomery and Hayneville, AL
Sept. 4: Bp. Paul Jones feast day, location TBD
Oct 13-24 Palestine
Nov. 11: EPF 80th Anniversary
Nov. 14-16: Borderland Ministry Summit, Tucson, AZ

In addition to these planned stops, we will be traveling north from Sante Fe, where we are right now, through Taos and Los Alamos, then up through Colorado Springs on our way to Denver for the Columbine events. Want a visit? Just shout! epfactnow

Until next time,
power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Among the diversions during our time in Albuquerque was
a visit to Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation
How can we support EPF while Melanie is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Week Twelve Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Twelve
In the Name of Love
“At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.”
Quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
as imagined by a fifth grader in Dallas, Texas,
displayed on the wall near the Texas Book Depository Building in Dallas,
from which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Remembering impactful leaders killed by gunfire
in this ruthless gun culture we allow ourselves to live in.
Coming to you (again) from the inspiring Diocese of the Rio Grande in beautiful Albuquerque, NM.

Rev. Brad Landry, quoting Rev. Tim Schenck, this week: “We’re officially in that little known season of the church year known as ‘I’ll deal with that after Easter’.” Says Brad, “He’s not wrong.” I am acutely aware of the truth of that, since I am frequently a last minute requested addition to a church’s already very busy Lent leading into Holy Week season. I am hearing, “Can you wait to come here until after Easter?” For the moment, I’m not sorry for the seasonally imposed short break from my impromptu visitations, as I still have a lot to learn about my job as Executive Director of EPF, and we have some other priorities that need to be elevated to the top of the list.

First and foremost at the moment is our first Year of Action event for 2019 — our Remember and Renew Event in Denver, CO commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Columbine massacre. I’ve been promoting this pilgrimage in my weekly blog, but I am taking this opportunity to highlight it and to invite you to consider coming. Many of you, like me, are deeply concerned about the overwhelming incidence of gun deaths and injuries in our culture. Our events the weekend of April 26-28 are in large measure a chance to educate ourselves about how we can be effective advocates in favor of gun control (there, I said it) as much as to grieve those killed and injured at Columbine High School and in the outrageously frequent killings and woundings before and since. The links to our event are below in this email. A trip to Denver is a chance to take active measures to do something about gun violence on both the grass roots and the national level. Join us, and help make gun violence a thing of the past.

In addition to preparing for Columbine and my own observance of Holy Week and Easter, I’m getting ready for my first National Executive Committee meeting — a chance to get to know some of the NEC members I have yet to meet, and to talk about expectations and priorities. Please keep us in your prayers as we discern our purposeful path forward, advancing peace and justice and moving the Church toward her call to become the Peaceable Kingdom.

Other priorities for me include bringing our website current, encouraging our Peace Partner parishes and chapters to plan action events to mark our 80th anniversary, continuing to schedule visitations around the country, and looking for fresh ways to find resources to enable us to do the work we are called to do. Got ideas? Let me hear them! epfactnow

I am looking forward to our other 80th anniversary events, including our participation in the commemoration of Jonathan Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama, along with a pilgrimage to the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama. I hope the Alabama trip will include an evening event at my home parish of St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, to recruit peace partner parishes in the Diocese of Alabama. As well, I am eager to attend the Province V Big Provincial Gathering in Michigan, our PIN trip to Palestine in October, and EPF’s 80th anniversary celebration around November 11. Is your Diocese having some event for which you wish EPF to have a presence? Let me know and maybe I or an NEC member can attend.

Plan to join EPF on our Year of Action pilgrimage to Alabama in August.
Among the stops will be a visit to the
National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.

For the hanged and beaten.
For the shot, drowned, and burned.
For the tortured, tormented, and terrorized.
For the abandoned by the rule of law.
We will remember.

With hope because hopelessness is the enemy of justice.
With courage because peace requires bravery.
With persistence because justice is a constant struggle.
With faith because we shall overcome.

Our upcoming schedule:

April 8: St. Thomas of Canterbury, Albuquerque, NM
April 14: St. Bede’s, Santa Fe, NM
April 21: St. Joseph’s, Lakewood, CO
April 26-28:Columbine Commemoration and Colorado EPF Chapter visitation
St.Timothy’s, Centennial, CO
May 6: Calvary, Memphis, TN (tentative)
May 14: St. Ann’s, Nashville, TN
May 16: St. John’s, Knoxville, TN
June 19: Juneteenth event with Fellowship of Reconciliation, location TBD
June 27-29: Washington, DC “Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action”
July 12-13:Big Provincial Gathering, Province V, Kalamazoo, MI
August 8: St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, AL
August 9-10 Commemoration of Jonathan Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama
Visit to Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and
Justice, Montgomery and Hayneville, AL
Sept. 4: Bp. Paul Jones feast day, location TBD
Oct 13-24 Palestine
Nov. 11: EPF 80th Anniversary!

REGISTRATION FOR COLUMBINE

PILGRIMAGE EXTENDED TO APRIL 8!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF this month! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, urban violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funeral of one of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

COLUMBINE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Friday, April 26
1:00-3:00pm

Iliff School of Theology
2323 E. Iliff
Denver, CO
(paid parking available in south lot B)

Chapel presentation with audience dialogue to include seminarians, faculty, and interested public focusing on underlying causes contributing to violence in contemporary culture.

Panelists include:
The Rev. Kym Lucas, bishop-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado
The Rev. Jasper Peters, pastor of Belong Church, United Methodist
The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Leath, Asst. Prof. of Religion and Social Justice

3:00-5:00pm

Viewing of Bowling for Columbine, the 2002 documentary film written and directed by Michael Moore will be shown for any wishing to remain in the Chapel

Saturday, April 27
11am-1pm

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Over 12 organizations involved in national and local efforts to address gun violence prevention will present their mission and opportunities for participation. Catered lunch provided with RSVP to frbobdav

1-3:30pm

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Educational and Policy Workshops on topics ranging from history of gun violence and gun laws in Colorado; organizing the faith community around gun violence prevention; public health implications of gun violence; keeping kids safe from guns; gun violence contributing to suicide and domestic violence; communicating with others on gun violence prevention.

Workshops will repeat twice from 1:15-2:15, 2:30-3:30 for opportunity to hear two topics

4-5:30pm

Columbine Memorial
Clement Park
7306 W. Bowles Ave
Littleton, CO

Enter park from Pierce Ave between Bowles and Coal Mine, driving west to parking lot closest to memorial (within softball field complex). Take walk path approximately ¼ mile to memorial. During vigil narrators will lead participants in remembrance of the students and teacher memorialized through readings and responses. Opportunity for quiet reflection and hearing readings of hope and inspiration will mark the time of vigil.

6:00-8:00pm

Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church
6724 S. Webster
Littleton, CO
(1/2 mile south of Vigil)

A simple meal will be provided by members of the church during which vigil participants will be invited to reflect on the impact of the vigil, the events of the day and group sharing around hope for a more peaceful future. Music and facilitation will be offered for participants.

Sunday, April 28
10- 11:30am

St. Timothy Episcopal Church
1401 E. Dry Creek Rd
Centennial, CO

Morning worship service to include speaker, the Rev. Don Marxhausen, Lutheran pastor who presided over one of the funerals of a Columbine student and his personal story as a result.

4-5:30pm

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
9203 S. University Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO

A Service of Remembrance and Renewal to offer personal stories from those impacted by gun violence, grounding the faith response to gun violence within the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, and inspiring participants with hope and renewal through music and worship.

See you in Denver!

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Flashback to Memphis, TN, in January of this year. Steven and I were on the way to the Lorraine Motel to view the site of the martyrdom of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. I was stopped in my tracks by Jacqueline Smith, well into her 30th year of protesting the conversion of the Lorraine into the National Civil Rights Museum. Read more about Jackie here: www.fulfillthedream.net. Jackie convinced me to boycott the museum. I admire her activism.
How can we support EPF while Melanie is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Week Eleven Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Eleven
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Pslam 29:11

GRAND GRACE
It is impossible for me to look onto the majesty of the Grand Canyon without remembering a sermon Rev. Francis X. Walter, former rector of St. Andrew’s-Birmingham, Alabama, gave almost thirty years ago. I won’t do it justice from memory, but it went something like this: Five-year-old Sam was told by his mother that they were planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon. He did not quite understand what that meant, but he gathered from the excitement of his parents and brothers and sisters that it was wonderful and something to look forward to. They drove and drove to get there, and when they all piled out of the station wagon at the parking lot not far from the rim, Sam was the last one out of the car. He followed his family to the near edge of the canyon, but his view was blocked by the back sides of his family who were looking outward in amazement, Sam’s eyes fell on a pile of rocks nearby, and supposing that to be what he had come to see, he said, “Wow! Would you look at that.” Sam’s father, hearing Sam’s exclamation and looking back to see that poor Sam was mis-appreciating the experience, scooped Sam up into his arms and, lifting him to see the great view, said, “No, Sam — not the rocks — this is the Grand Canyon!”

Father Francis likened us to Sam — when we finally get a glimpse of the true measure of God’s grace, it’s like seeing the Grand Canyon after not knowing what it might be. What we formerly thought was gracious plenty, is but a mere fraction of the truth of it: wide, vast, limitless, unfathomable, immeasurable favor and love for us. Grand grace, indeed.

This week began for us in Cottonwood and Sedona, Arizona, where Steven and I took the opportunity to visit the remarkable Chapel of the Holy Cross built high in the stunning red rock buttes in Sedona. Breathtaking views invite contemplation and inspire a grateful heart.

Friday, at the invitation of Rev. Monica Whitaker, I walked the Way of the Cross with St. Andrew’s-Sedona. The lovely service incorporated the meditations of Joan Chittister and icons by Janet McKenzie from The Way of the Cross: The Path to New Life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013. One of the church’s resident lizards joined us, and I was glad for the chance to share EPF’s mission with yet another parish which was previously unaware of our peace work.

On Sunday night, I worshipped with the Episcopal Campus Ministries of Northern Arizona University at Canterbury Chapel. Though freshly back from their Spring Break, a dozen students showed up for worship and supper afterwards. Rev. Brad Eubanks serves as Chaplain to both the Episcopalian and Evangelical Lutherans at NAU, and their Eucharistic liturgy is a refreshing blend from both traditions.

One of the things I am most proud of about Episcopal Peace Fellowship is our Young Adult Network. Being with campus ministries when I can gives me the chance to tell our college students that they are invited to apply to be a delegate for EPF to General Convention in Baltimore, MD in July, 2021. EPF pays for interested young adults to attend General Convention as ambassadors for EPF. The deadline is usually early April of the year of General Convention. Please spread the word about this remarkable opportunity for young adults age18-30 to be of service in this unique way, and help us recruit the next generation of peace and justice disciples.

Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministries in Flagstaff, AZ
Altar at St. Andrew’s-Sedona

REGISTER FOR OUR COLUMBINE PILGRIMAGE!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, urban violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming schedule:

We plan to leave lovely Arizona and move back to New Mexico for the remainder of our time between now and Easter Week in Columbine. We are eager to be with EPF partners in Albuquerque and Santa Fe after putting them off because of the cold weather for so long. Are you in New Mexico and interested in a chance to talk about peace and justice work? Let me know! www.epfactnow.

On the “wish I could be there” list, please consider these EPF PIN events later this week in Southern California:

Join Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) staff member Alison Glick as she hosts a conversation with Obada Shtaya from the One Voice Movement and Suzann Mollner of Beirut and Beyond, about peacebuilding and advocacy related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We’ll discuss realities affecting the Palestinian refugee community and the importance of advocating for human rights in Israel, the Palestinian territories, and with refugees throughout the Middle East.

The program will be presented at 3 locations over two days, so choose the one most convenient to you!

Friday, March 29, 2019, 6:30pm
St James Episcopal Church – Fellowship Hall
1325 Monterey Road
South Pasadena, CA 91030
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Randy at rheynlamb

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 9:30am
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
4400 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Randy at rheynlamb

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 6:30pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
1500 State Street
Santa Barbara CA 93101
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Art Fisher at afisher100

Ample parking available, light refreshments served prior to the presentations. Suggested donation of $10 helps defray speakers’ travel costs. No one turned away for lack of funds.

This ecumenical/interfaith program is sponsored by the Middle East Committee of the Program Group on Global Partnerships in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the Right Reverend John H. Taylor, Bishop Diocesan.

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Sunrise on the south rim of the Grand Canyon
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
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Peace Out: Week Ten
Top of the World, Arizona
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

Matthew 5:9

MARATHON OF HOPE

I am back in Arizona after a fruitful diversion to Chicago this week. On Thursday, National Executive Committee member Ellen Lindeen and her husband, Ric, hosted a dinner party in their charming Barrington, Illinois home for their parish, St. Michael’s, to celebrate their commitment to the social justice ministries of EPF. St. Michael’s has a robust peace and justice agenda: they support a Syrian refugee family with love, community and resources (www.refugeeone.org/stmichaels); they host an educational film series on issues of peace and justice; they invite speakers to educate the rest of their parish and the community on issues of social justice; and have social events featuring the art and music of peace and justice. Thank you, Ric and Ellen, for your leadership and hospitality, and for introducing me to your faithful Peace Partner Parish. EPF is sustained by your dedication and generous sharing of your time and talents!

On Friday, EPF’s Palestine Israel Network leadership team gathered at the Cenacle Retreat in Chicago for three days of reflection and planning for the future of their important mission, and I was honored to be invited to be a part of it. We got a lot done, but the worship on Sunday was particularly memorable. Noted author and scholar Kathy Christison preached, and our liturgy was taken from “Contemporary Way of the Cross: A Liturgical Journey along the Palestinian Via Dolorosa.” The service included readings from the opening and closing of the Karios Palestine Document (www.kairospalestine.ps), as well as this moving poem by exiled Guatemalan, Julia Esquivel:

They have threatened us with Resurrection

There is something here within us
which doesn’t let us sleep, which doesn’t let us rest,
which doesn’t stop pounding deep inside,
it is the silent, warm weeping
of women without their husbands,
it is the sad gaze of the children
fixed there beyond memory,
in the very pupil of our eyes
which during sleep, though closed, keep watch
with each contraction of the heart
in every awakening…

What keeps us from sleeping
is that they have threatened us with resurrection!
Because at each nightfall,
though exhausted from the endless inventory
of killings for years,
yet we continue to love life,
and do not accept their death!
Because in this marathon of Hope,
there are always others to relieve us
in bearing the courage necessary
to arrive at the goal which lies beyond death…

Accompany us then on this vigil
and you will know what it is to dream!
You will then know how marvelous it is
to live threatened with resurrection!
To dream awake,
to keep watch asleep
to live while dying
and to already know oneself resurrected!

I understand that Kathy’s sermon will be posted on the EPF Palestine Israel Facebook page shortly. If you want to go deeper on current issues related to this conflict, I highly recommend that you “like” and follow that page, which is thoughtfully and regularly curated by PIN stalwart Donna Hicks. Thank you, Donna, for your commitment and devotion to getting the word out about the plight of the Palestinian people so effectively.

Sanctuary: Cenacle Retreat, Chicago

REGISTER FOR OUR COLUMBINE PILGRIMAGE!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, urban violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming schedule:

Unsure! Hope to be moving to Sedona for a few days and to have an opportunity to worship with St. Andrew’s. We are still dreaming of weather warm enough to move back into New Mexico to be with EPF partners in Albequerque and Santa Fe. I am especially eager to get to Santa Fe now that I have have become friends with Catherine Willmott and Kathy Christison of St. Bede’s. Looking for a pilgrimage to art installation at Meowwolf, ladies! (www.meowwolf.com)

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Facade of Mission San Xavier, Tohono O’odham Nation
Day trip with Anita and Peter Rowlands, Saint Michael and All Angels, Tucson, AZ
Thanks for the tour, friends!
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Week Nine Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Nine
Sunrise over vineyard outside of Anthony, New Mexico
From El Paso, Texas to Tucson, Arizona
The Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:26

Week nine of our journey has moved us deeper into the desert wilderness, appropriate for the beginning of Lent. Steven and I were welcomed to a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper at St. Alban’s — El Paso by EPF stalwart Francesca Wigel. After dinner and fellowship, Rev. Dr. Lin Lilley took us into the courtyard for the burning of the palms, a service which I had never been a part of. It was particularly meaningful as I would worship with them again for their noon Ash Wednesday service before Steven and I pulled out of El Paso headed for Tucson. St. Alban’s is deeply committed to welcoming the stranger, and except as they were interrupted by an unexpected need for a pastoral hospital visit, they had been planning to go to the bus station to take provisions and resources for displaced migrants. They do a lot with very few resources — fishes and loaves.

We took our time moving through southern New Mexico and Arizona, camping in vineyards as part of our Harvest Hosts (www.harvesthosts.com) membership and stopping in Sierra Vista, AZ to drop in on St. Stephen’s parish and to see my long-time friend and former work colleague, Melissa Mitchell, and her family.

We arrived in Tucson in time for a quick visit to the Saguaro National Park (highly recommended, especially this time of year when the weather is mild) and were astounded at how other-worldly and full of life a saguaro forest is. On Sunday, I worshipped at Grace-St.Paul’s, where EPF member Rev. Steve Keplinger is rector. Fr. Steve had a remarkable social justice sermon (I’m told that that is a regular thing!) and the liturgy he co-creates is among the most unique and beautiful I have encountered. (See further below for a small sample). His message reminded us of the challenge of Lent: to practice turning the pain of our own lives into a chance to improve the lives of others. Sounds like EPF work to me.

G-SP parishioner Larry Washburn is a long time member of EPF as well, (he was drawn to us by our work in abolition of nuclear weapons some decades ago at All Saints-Pasadena) and Larry is committed to reviving the EPF community in Tucson. Praise be!

On Monday, former EPF National Executive Committee member Ila Abernathy pulled out all the stops and had a multi-parish meeting of those interested in EPF at her home parish, St. Michael and All Angels-Tucson. Thanks to Ila getting our meeting into the local newspaper, we had virtually all of the Episcopal parishes in Tucson represented at our informational meeting, as well as a couple from Appleton, Wisconsin, who want to take our message home with them. Ila is an inspiring and motivated activist, heading up St. Michael’s social action committee and the community’s Guatemala Project. She is active in Tucson Samaritans, a healing presence along the border (www.tucsonsamaritans.org). Read more about St. Michael’s remarkable social activism here: Things to Do in Lent – News from St. Michael’s

Ila’s work was recently featured in an article which appeared in Vogue magazine focusing on the work women are doing along the border to provide life-giving aid to migrants. Read more about this important work here: https://www.vogue.com/projects/13549020/arizona-borderlands-aid-workers-women-crisis/

Thanks to the energy and vision of EPF members like Ila and Larry, it looks like Tucson will have a multi-parish EPF peace partnership established in short order. Please keep them in your prayers as they organize to empower others to live out their call to serve God’s world.

Sanctuary: St. Alban’s-El Paso
The dust that shapes the journey,
the cross that guides it,
the color that surrounds it,
the light that fades through it,
the word that foretells it,
the wilderness that invites it.

This Lent,
and into its wilderness
God calls us.

Come, sisters and brothers
Jesus is heading for Jerusalem,
and so are we.

(from opening to the liturgy for the First Sunday in Lent,
Grace St. Paul’s – Tucson, AZ)

The beautiful mission style sanctuary of St. Michael and All Angels-Tucson. Interior ceiling is made of saguaro, original adobe walls. Elegant and breathtaking in its simplicity, made more lovely in the
sparseness of Lent.

REGISTRATION FOR COLUMBINE PILGRIMAGE!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, gang violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming schedule:

Later this week I fly from Phoenix to Chicago for the EPF Palestine Israel Network leadership retreat. Steven and Miranda will spend their Spring Break in Prescott while I am away, and will meet me back at the airport in Phoenix when I return on Monday. Where to after that depends on the weather and the Holy Spirit! I am dreaming of weather warm enough to move back into New Mexico to be with EPF partners in Albequrque and Santa Fe, but still unsure.

If you are in the Phoenix area and want a visit early next week, let me know and we will see what can be arranged! epfactnow.

Finally, in the wish I could be all the places, all the time, category this week: Caroline Stevenson of Little Rock, Arkansas invites us all to join their ecumenical faith and community organization led peace pilgrmage on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. : www.pilgrimageforpeace.com

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

"I was thirsty, and you gave me drink."
Water station outside of Grace-St Paul’s, Tucson. Just one icon of many of this socially active parish’s dedication to being Christ’s hands and feet.

See also No More Deaths:
http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/en/

How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
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Peace Out: Week Eight
Borderland experience:
El Paso’s magnificent welcome
and extraordinary need
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Two months out and we are still in Texas, y’all. And El Paso is showing off in terms of radical hospitality! On Sunday, I worshipped at the Episcopal parish closest to the Mexico/US border: St. Christopher’s-El Paso (www.stchristopherelpaso.org). Rector Rev. J. J. Bernal was kind enough to spend some time educating me on how he works closely with Rev. Hector Trejo, who serves three Anglican parishes in Juarez, Mexico (directly across the border from El Paso) providing safe harbor to displaced people in search of asylum. Fr. Bernal explained that with the three church buildings in Juarez, they have space for housing and serving immigrants who are waiting for asylum in the U.S., but what they lack are the human resources to staff such a facility. Because the Anglican Church in Mexico, unlike the Roman Catholic Church, does not have a ministry set up for migrants, the Episcopal church is trying to help from across the border.

Fr. Bernal laments that his small parish of 50-75 can’t do more, though he personally crosses the border several times each week offering pastoral presence and help as he can. Fr. Bernal explained that St. Christopher’s partners with Annunciation House, a Roman Catholic ministry ( https://annunciationhouse.org/ ) to try to make an impact.

Annunciation House offers "Border Awareness Experiences" so those of us who want to get proximate to the issues of immigration can see for ourselves what conditions at the border are like. It is estimated that two thousand people are released by INS in El Paso alone each week, and Annunciation House provides shelter, food, and care packages to these folks, helping them to contact family in the US to arrange travel while they await decisions on asylum. Annunciation House has been doing this critical work for forty years, and recent US policy has made life miserable for immigrants and those serving them along the border.

Fr. Bernal expressed hope that the Episcopal Church, and EPF, can give "voice to the voiceless" by creating awareness and offering human resources. As I mentioned last week in "Peace Out," the Diocese of the Rio Grande is trying to expand its immigrant ministry through Borderland Ministries. I’m hoping EPF can find a way to connect parishes who need support in responding to their call to serve these strangers – these Children of God – to the resources they need within and outside the Episcopal Church. Join me in offering prayers for those fleeing and those ministering to them as we continue to look for creative and compassionate ways to raise money and awareness to help, and to advocate for the policy changes that will eliminate these extraordinary, dire needs.

I love to think of every flowing stream, every waterfall,
and every river as “baptizing” the physical universe,
washing away its inability to know how glorious it is.

Richard Rohr

(Stained glass window detail St.Christopher’s-El Paso)

Warm sunset over the desert in Anthony, New Mexico, just west of El Paso.
Something to celebrate this week with passage by the U. S. House of Representatives of HR 8 and HR 11! Thanks be to God for our Bishops United Against Gun Violence (co-sponsors of our Columbine Pilgrimage) for their effective witness and advocacy in lobbying in favor of these laws on Capitol Hill.

Also proud of my hometown, Birmingham, AL, for this week rightly declaring gun violence a public health nuisance. Read more here: http://s.al.com/K7t1fll .

REGISTRATION FOR COLUMBINE PILGRIMAGE!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, gang violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming schedule:

We are bound for Tucson, AZ, trying to stay south and warm, and looking to worship at Grace-St. Paul’s later this week. I’ll also spend some time with those at St. Michael and All Angels, discussing how EPF can support their ongoing social justice ministries. Any other Peace Partners or EPF members want to get coffee while I am in Tucson? Let me know! epfactnow.

I usually draft this blog early in the week, so while it’s not captured here, by the time you read this we will have eaten Mardi Gras pancakes at St. Alban’s – El Paso and will be planning to attend the noon Ash Wednesday Eucharist there as well. Thanks to Francesca Wigle, formerly of St. Hildegard’s in Austin, for reaching out to me to make these experiences possible!

Backing up a bit, Steven and I did get to watch 1948: Creation and Catastrophe (available on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes) last week. Very informative for those of us wanting to understand the origins of the current conflicts in the region. From the IMDb site:

Through riveting and moving personal recollections of both Palestinians and Israelis, 1948: Creation and Catastrophe reveals the shocking events of the most pivotal year in the most controversial conflict in the world. It tells the story of the establishment of Israel as seen through the eyes of the people who lived it. But rather than being a history lesson, this documentary is a primer for the present. It is simply not possible to make sense of what is happening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today without an understanding of 1948. This documentary was the last chance for many of its Israeli and Palestinian characters to narrate their first-hand accounts of the creation of a state and the expulsion of a nation. Hear stories from the Israelis and Palestinians who personally lived through events in Haifa, Jaffa, Dayr Yasin, Acre, Jerusalem, Ramla, Lydda and more. These shocking and dramatic events reveal the core of what drives the conflict today.

THIS WEEK! EPF’s Pensacola, Florida chapter still has room for pilgrims on their trip to Africatown on March 9-10. Please reach out to organizer Bill Sloan (850.748.2314 or wmsloan35) if you are interested in going with them.

Wish List:

Does anyone have a jewelry caster they can recommend? We still need to replenish our stock of EPF logo necklaces so we have plenty on hand for our anniversary year. If you are such an artisan or know one, please let me hear from you!

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

We’d like to hire a jewelry caster to craft more pendants and lapel pins, like this!
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Week Seven Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Seven
Our pilgrimage continues in celebration of EPF’s 80th year
as I walked the stations of the cross in Boquillas, Mexico this week.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

This week I went to church with my husband, Steven, in Big Bend National Park. Fair is fair, right, as he went with me last week to St. Paul’s in Marfa. Steven’s church is the great outdoors, and as worship goes, we had a fine “walk in love” out to the Window in the Chisos Mountains, five miles out and back, with an elevation gain and loss of more than a thousand feet. This week we have seen javelina, eagles, muskrats, rabbits, antelope, blue jays, deer, road runners, herons, coyotes, and vermillion flycatchers. We actually saw all the way to heaven last week at the McDonald Observatory, which is out in the middle of no-where, Texas. The night skies have been breathtaking everywhere out here. Peace is in every view and in each part of creation we have enjoyed sharing.

We went to Boquillas, Mexico and I walked the Stations of the Cross at Nuestra Senora Del Carmen. (I understand from reading Marfa for the Perplexed by Lon Taylor (parishioner at St. Paul’s- Marfa) that Bishop Kelshaw of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande once had a confirmation service here — an abandoned Roman Catholic church.)

I found myself standing on the banks of the Rio Grande wishing I could take President Trump by the hand and show him this amazingly beautiful home to wildlife and humanity and commerce and peace and tranquility. I feel like if he could take off his shoes and put his feet in the cold brown water and listen to the bray of burrows and call of children, his heart might change about this border wall. Peace is contagious, right?

The Rio Grande, as seen from shore of Boquillas, Mexico.

REGISTRATION FOR COLUMBINE

PILGRIMAGE AVAILABLE NOW!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, gang violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming schedule:

I’ve had some amazing invitations this week, including the chance to daydream about my trip to the Holy Land which will happen in October. Those of you who have been and have had transformative experiences, please send me recommendations (epfactnow) of must see holy sites. Kathy Christison of our Palestine-Israel Network has recommended that I see the film1948: Creation and Catastrophe (available on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes). If you watch it and can give it a favorable review, please do that on Amazon.com. Now that we are back in civilization, Steven and I can stream it this week.

Next up for visiting is El Paso. I will be worshiping with St. Christopher’s on Sunday on the invitation of their rector, Rev. JJ Bernal. I know I can learn a lot about ministries in support of immigrants from him and his flock.

We will be looking for other meaningful encounters with groups ministering to those in crisis at our border with Mexico while I am this far south. Ethan Vesely-Flad has recommended both Annunciation House: https://annunciationhouse.org/ — and its executive director, Ruben Garcia, and Hope Border Institute: https://www.hopeborder.org/ — Camilo Perez-Bustillo their director of advocacy, leadership development, and research as possible new connections for us, and I have reached out to both to see what we can make happen with our borderland parishes.

Last but not least, EPF’s Pensacola, Florida chapter still has room for pilgrims on their trip to Africatown. I’m still regretful that I cannot be all the places I want to be during our Year of Action. High on that list of places I can’t go — but wish I could — includes this opportunity to travel to north of Mobile, Alabama on March 9-10 to see the town where freed slaves from the Clotilda made a home. They still have some places left, so please reach out to organizer Bill Sloan (850.748.2314 or wmsloan35) if you are interested in going with them. And, let us know if your EPF group has a pilgrimage arranged this year so we can help promote that as well!

Wish List:

Does anyone have a jewelry maker they can recommend? We need to replenish our stock of EPF logo necklaces so we have plenty on hand for our anniversary year. If you are such an artisan or know one, please let me hear from you!

With Ash Wednesday next week, I am thinking about how to have a Holy Lent on the road. I picked up a copy of “Lenten Madness” while I was at St. Paul’s–Marfa, and will play along . I also have asked that my home parish, St. Andrew’s-Birmingham, send me their daily Lenten meditation booklet so I’ll continue to feel connected to home. Any other great ideas? Send them on — particularly if they involve opportunities for promoting peace during this holy season.

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Sunset reflected off the Chisos Mountains,
Big Bend National Park, a thin place if ever there was one!
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out: Week Six
Peace Ambassadors of West Texas, a multicultural study group, meets once week at Emmanuel-San Angelo, Texas. I was privileged to spend a few hours with them last week. Shown here with their patron father of three faiths — Islam, Judaism, and Christianity — Abraham, are members Ara Rahman, Becky Benes and Valerie Queen. The group was formed in 2004 to facilitate conversation between persons of different faiths about living together peacefully in the world we share. Their table is a place of compassion and understanding, and a model of living gracefully in a divided nation. If San Angelo is an oasis for West Texas, this group is a headwater from which that radical hospitality flows.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:13

This week the Holy Spirit moved us from lovely San Angelo westward to Fort Stockton, Alpine and Marfa, Texas. I had the opportunity to share what EPF can do to support parishes and peace partners with St. Paul’s-Marfa with their adult Christian Education class, and then to preach at their Sunday morning Eucharist.

One of the downsides to preaching is that when I am talking, I am not learning anything. I’ve learned a whole lot by being quiet and listening as I have been on the road since Epiphany Sunday, including that there is a season for nonviolence, and that we are in it, right now. It seems that in 1988 the Association of Global New Thought (www.agnt.org) declared the days between January 30 and April 4 (the dates of the martyrdom of Mahatma Ghandi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr) to be the Season of Nonviolence. It’s not a liturgical season that we recognize in the Episcopal Church, but it seems worthy of mention here. I hope it’s a season we can adopt for purposeful action in the coming years through EPF.

What I did manage to learn at St. Paul’s is that this progressive community is interested in and committed to finding ways to show hospitality, kindness and life-giving support to those struggling to find safe harbor in our country. In fact, St. Paul’s vicar, Rev. Mike Wallens, has already participated in the Border Ministries Summit (comprised of representatives from all the Episcopal Dioceses which border Mexico) held in El Paso last November, and has frequent opportunities to minister to both immigrants and law enforcement. In addition to trying to connect St. Paul’s with resources to empower them to advocate for compassionate immigration policies and to offer hospitality, I hope that I can secure a way for EPF to participate in the 2019 Border Ministries Summit, which will happen in Tucson, AZ this November. I am grateful to St. Paul’s for their warm welcome and generous hearts.

The west Texas parishes of St. James — Alpine, Santa Inez –Terlingua, and The Chapel of St. Mary and St. Joseph — Lajitas Resort are part of the Big Bend Mission in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Shown here is the lovely banner for the Mission displayed at St. James – Alpine.
The VERY effective welcome sign which sits in front of St. Paul’s — Marfa. They understand grace!

REGISTRATION FOR COLUMBINE

PILGRIMAGE AVAILABLE NOW!

Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-2), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, gang violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Our upcoming travel schedule:

We’ll be heading to Big Bend later this week, then on to El Paso. But first, we will drop by the McDonald Observatory for a star party, and tour the Davis Mountain scenic drive. www.missingpersonsrv.com will have photos, for sure. I hope to visit the ghost town of Terlingua while we are in Big Bend, particularly the parish of Santa Inez. We will be looking for a meaningful encounter with groups ministering to those in crisis at our border with Mexico while I am this far south. El Paso awaits!

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Fr. Will Wauters, vicar at Sante Fe Episcopal Church in San Antonio, TX
and his wife, Ana, showed Steven and me
an amazing night out, including a stop for a photo
with this mural at Mi Tierra, the most colorful and captivating
Mexican restaurant in Market Square.
This wall evokes “all the company of heaven,”
if you ask me, and I love that we blend right in!

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice unto God.

Ephesians 5:2

This last week in San Antonio was fruitful. I had an opportunity to spend a good bit of time with two people important to EPF — Harry Gunkel and Rev. Will Wauters. Harry is responsible for our Palestine Israel Network activities and Fr. Will is a past NEC Chairman. Both showed Steven and me amazing hospitality and graciously spent time sharing their passion for our work.
Fr. Will is currently the Vicar at Santa Fe Episcopal Church in San Antonio. We met at the church for a few hours and he shared two wishes for EPF’s future: first, that we would recommit to focusing on efforts to bring about nuclear disarmament; and second, that we would renew our energy for environmental justice. I concur, and with this note ask any and all with passion for these missions and connections to impactful organizations with which we might partner will reach out to me. We have a history of good work for these issues and can easily mobilize to make an impact again. Let me hear from you, please!
Santa Fe is one of those small, yet mighty, parishes that does a whole lot of good with very few resources. Just by way of one example, Fr. Will and the parish were responsible for identifying the fact that many of the social ills afflicting their community were caused by the lack of access to decent wages. They organized a public-private consortium and raised $6 million dollars to start a skills training project that is now self- sustaining and is responsible for raising wages and the standard of living. If you are in San Antonio, visit this inspiring parish, and see what can be done with a little thoughtful reflection and a whole lot of prayer and hard work.
San Antonio is an amazingly compassionate city. Fr. Wauters took us to see Haven for Hope, a community created for the care of the county’s homeless citizens. www.havenforhope.org. Social services and health care and other resources needed by this vulnerable population are all located on the campus, including a kennel for pets. I wish every community could replicate this model.
The podcast featuring Steven and me and missingpersonsrv finally dropped. You can listen to both parts of our interview (part one deals with collaborative law work, and part two features EPF and our life with Miranda.) Check it out at www.shilohcoleman.com or search for #purposeintheprocess @applepodcasts @spotify or @google. Thank you Shiloh Coleman, collaborative lawyer in Austin, for having us on.
Steven and me on the Shiloh Coleman “Purpose in the Process”
podcast on MLK Day.
EPF member Bill Graham in Danvers, MA sent us this lovely peace offering. Last autumn, the Danvers Middle School students participated in the annual Lions’ Peace Poster Contest. The artwork from 11-13 year olds was amazing. The theme was “Kindness Matters”. The top dozen were all displayed at the Martin Luther King day event put on by the town’s diversity committee. This art is by First Place Winner Kailey Bettencourt.

Get ready to Walk In Love in April! We are still working on details for our Columbine pilgrimage to commemorate that horrible massacre which happened twenty years ago, and to rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence. This will be our first Year of Action event for 2019. I hope all who are reading this and who are concerned about gun violence in our culture will try to attend (April 26-28 in Denver). Details and registration soon at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Upcoming schedule:

I am writing this post from charming Fredericksburg, Texas. We spent the last weekend in Aggieland with family, and worshiping at St. Thomas-College Station. We enjoyed a stop in Johnson City yesterday and had a chance to remember some of what LBJ did to advance health care, civil rights, and environmental protections, and to erase poverty. We will be here for a couple of days before we head up to San Angelo.

If only I could be in all places! Our Peace Partners in Pensacola, Florida are taking a pilgrimage to Africatown March 9-10, 2019. http://bridgethegulfproject.org. If you are in the Gulf Coast area, you won’t want to miss this. Make Pilgrimage reservations with Bill Sloan, wmsloan35@gmail.com, 850-748-2314.

In March I will be in Chicago for the Palestine Israel Network Retreat from March 14-18. Here’s hoping that Punxsutawney Phil was right and the weather moderates soon!

Want a visit? Let me know!

Until next time, power to the peaceful!
Melanie
Rev. Angela M. Cortinas of St. Thomas – College Station celebrates Holy Eucharist surrounded by the children of the parish on the first Sunday of each month. It’s a holy sight to behold!
Miranda, our RV, is repaired! Thanks very much to Harry Gunkel for letting us hang out with him in San Antonio while we waited for her window to arrive.
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?
  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking “Miranda”, her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
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Peace Out: Week Five
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12: 13, 15, 18

Episcopal Peace Fellowship lost a strong advocate this week with the death of Ronny Clemmons. Ronny was the founder of our EPF chapter at St. Paul’s in Murfreesboro, TN. Ronny died on Monday after a brief illness. He was a shining example of chapter EPF leadership in his advocacy for many prisoners, spearheading local work on prison ministry and for abolition of the death penalty in Tennessee. Because of Ronny’s work and witness, many men in prison had a friend on the outside sustaining them through prayer, letters, phone calls, and visits. Ronny also curated the chapter’s very effective Facebook page, which I encourage you to look at and try to emulate in your own peace work. Ronny will be greatly missed by his family, his fellow parishioners, and the larger EPF community. Though I did not have the pleasure to meet him, Ronny was one of the first EPF members to reach out to me when I was hired as ED, inviting me to visit with them in TN when I am there this May. I look forward to being with his chapter and to supporting them in their ongoing efforts to create a more just world. St. Paul’s, we share your grief at this unexpected loss.
This week moved us westward from Fredericksburg to San Angelo, Texas. I was invited by Rev. Matt Rowe of Emmanuel Episcopal Church to meet with parishioners at an impromptu coffee hour prior to worship. Emmanuel is actively empowering their youth to answer their baptismal call by shepherding them to Navajoland to build community. I enjoyed sharing what EPF is doing with this mission driven parish and was gratified by their warm welcome and challenging questions.
In the "what a small world we live in" news of the week, while worshipping at Emmanuel-San Angelo, TX, on Sunday, I met Rev. Bill Wright and his wife, Pat, who are chaplains to Retired Clergy and Spouses in the Diocese of Northwest Texas. While serving in the Diocese of Alabama a few decades ago, Fr. Bill served at Trinity-Demopolis, which included occasionally leading worship at St. Michael’s-Faunsdale, my hometown, population 90. What grace to find the home team out here near the desert!
From hometown to far flung, on a chance meeting in the H-E-B parking lot, Steven found new friends Dave and Robyn Klenk of Klenk Family Vineyards in Fredericksburg. The Klenks invited us to park Miranda in the vineyard and to share supper, which we did, where we enjoyed meeting Robyn’s mother, Rev. Dyana Orrin, canonically resident in the Diocese of Alaska, who still preaches and celebrates occasionally at St. Barnabas-Fredericksburg. The Holy Spirit (our pace car) keeps leading us to the most lovely and gracious of people and places.

Get ready to Walk In Love in April! We are still working on details for our Columbine pilgrimage to commemorate that horrible massacre which happened twenty years ago, and to rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence. This will be our first Year of Action event for 2019. I hope all who are reading this and who are concerned about gun violence in our culture will try to attend (April 26-28 in Denver). Details and registration soon at https://give.classy.org/epfcolumbine.

Upcoming schedule:

We’ll be heading to Fort Stockton, Alpine and Marfa, Texas this week as we make our way towards Big Bend National Park and the ghost town of Terlingua, which also has an Episcopal presence (Santa Inez). I’m preaching at St. Paul’s-Marfa at the 10:30 Eucharist this Sunday, February 17 so please join us!

After Big Bend, we are heading to El Paso for a border visit before we move into New Mexico.

Want a visit? Let me know!

Until next time, power to the peaceful!

Melanie

How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
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