Weekly Update from Melanie
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Seventy-two
The Rio Grande, as seen from Boquillas, Mexico
LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS
Offered by Rev. Michael Wallens
Co-Chair of Rio Grande Borderland Ministries
Alpine, Texas

For our migrant friends along the border, the pandemic is one more layer of complexity to their already tragic and unjust circumstances in cities, shelters and tent cities. For the church along the border, it is not only seeing, immersing and advocating for migrants; it is about being in relationship with them. On the border, as people who work with our sisters and brothers, we answer the invitation to participate. What we have found is a transformation that does start within oneself and has ripple effects on those we are close to. Our friends have taught us that it is not enough to support a shelter and provide food; they need friends who become their network and support.

As heavy and as difficult as the pandemic is for so many, it is also an opportunity for all of us to create a better world, one where every person can live in peace and dignity. It has never been clearer that access to healthcare, food, clean water, shelter and economic security are human rights. With the clarity that often emerges from crisis, we can work together to create transformative change and come out of this a stronger and more just society. Let us begin with prayer as requested along the border:

• Some of the migrant camps inside the Mexican border have experienced heavy rains and flooding. Please pray for those experiencing these additional hardships and the organizations making sure they have proper water drainage channels, tents, and other basic needs.

• Pray for the immigrants with legal status who have been working and paying taxes and have lost jobs like so many other Americans during this crisis. With the complexities and recent changes of immigration law, many are confused and fearful about the renewal of their green cards and so are not applying for much-needed unemployment insurance benefits.

• Please pray for all those living in limbo as they await immigration hearings. Immigration courts already have a backlog of more than 1 million cases and can take years for an asylum applicant to get a final hearing. With the pandemic shutdown, the courts will be facing effects that last for years to come.

O God, Creator of all people,
help us to travel through the barren borderlands
that separate us from others.
Teach us to willingly explore relationships with people
as we offer a compassionate response to those who cross our paths around our borders.
Open our hearts to new companion’s needs so that
everyone eats,
everyone is clothed,
everyone has a safe and healthy habitat and
everyone knows they are loved by You, O Lord,
through our actions and struggles for justice and peace.
Grant us the vision to notice how each step we take together
moves us closer to the promised land
where all souls grow in hope and love.
Let us go forth this day
In harmony with You,
Compassion in our hearts
Gratitude in our thoughts
Generosity in our deeds
Justice as our passion
Let us go forth
carrying God’s image
Into our hurting world along our border.
AMEN+

Border Crossing, 1989
Luis A. Jimenez, Jr.
Sante Fe Museum of Art
Love God, Love Neighbor: Episcopal Month of Action
June, 2020

In the month of June, 2020, EPF will join The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and Episcopal Migration Ministries for Love God, Love Neighbor: Episcopal Month of Action, a series of webinars to learn and advocate with and on behalf of immigrants, DACA recipients, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Newcomers contribute greatly to U.S. communities, enriching our common life, strengthening the U.S. economy, and bringing joy as they join and reunite with families and friends. And yet, immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees face a wide array of challenges, including federal policies and legislation that are outdated and do not address the realities of immigrants in America today. As the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement, we are called to advocate with and for our siblings seeking safety and a better life in the United States.

June 7-13: Episcopal Action on DACA Week
WEBINAR: June 9, 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time

June 14-20: Episcopal Action on Resettlement Week
WEBINAR: June 16, 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time

June 21-27: Episcopal Action on Asylum Week
WEBINAR: June 23, 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time

Participants may choose to attend one or more of the webinars offered. Registration is required here.

About the Office of Government Relations:

The Office of Government Relations represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. We aim to shape and influence policy and legislation on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church.

About Episcopal Migration Ministries:

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) lives the call of welcome by supporting refugees, immigrants, and the communities that embrace them as they walk together in The Episcopal Church’s movement to create loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships rooted in compassion. EMM’s desire to honor the inherent value of human connection brings communities together to love their neighbors as themselves.

On the web:
Love God, Love Neighbor: Episcopal Month of Action

Something more you can do to support our neighbors in detention: help get these women out to avoid becoming sick with COVID 19! Call the Irwin Detention Center and demand their release. (404) 893-1210
Video Women in Detention Irwin Detention Center
Do you want to learn how to write an effective Op-Ed? Join me and other social justice advocates for a primer in persuasive written advocacy here on Saturday, June 6, 2020: "Write to Change the World" virtual workshop.
Learn more at: www.TheOpEdProject.org
David Paulsen of Episcopal News Service did an in-depth report on the case of Abu Ali, one of the many condemned on whose behalf EPF advocates against their death sentence.

Read it here.

Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort. Please use #WearOrange for all your social media posts!
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.

In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.

That’s why Episcopal Peace Fellowship is proud to join the Poor People’s Campaign as a mobilizing partner for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering, on June 20, 2020. Register to attend as a member of EPF here:
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington?source=epfnational

Our upcoming schedule:

Steven and I have just left Sisters, Oregon where we have been sheltering in place with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Close Erskine. What a happy and holy experience to live with such lovely, generous people. I can’t imagine a more fruitful and fulfilling experience — we made protective masks for the local hospital, planted a garden, worshipped God, broke bread together, enjoyed the lovely Cascade mountains, and learned how to oust a demagogue (see David Domke’s Common Purpose: www.commonpurposenow.org) among much else. With the weather moderating, we hope to see some more of beautiful Oregon and maybe to make some safe physical distancing visits as we travel. No news yet on when our EPF parish visits will resume. We are playing it safe and watching closely for our next opportunity! See you on the road!

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

View behind the altar, Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Sisters, Oregon
Photo credit, Steven Atha
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Weekly Update from Melanie
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Seventy-one
Thurgood Marshall, commemorated on May 17
Hon. Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was a devoted Episcopalian and he is commemorated by our Church on May 17. An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from October 1967 until October 1991, Marshall was the Court’s 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

Before becoming a jurist, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court and particularly for his victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a decision that desegregated public schools. His impact on our social fabric is profound. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

Marshall was an active member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem, serving on the Vestry, as Senior Warden and as Deputy to the 1964 General Convention, before moving to Washington to serve on the Supreme Court.

Eternal and ever-gracious God, you blessed your servant Thurgood Marshall with grace and courage to discern and speak the truth: Grant that, following his example, we may know you and recognize that we are all your children, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CREDO

I believe in God
who created the world not ready made
like a thing that must forever stay what it is
who does not govern according to eternal laws
that have perpetual validity
nor according to natural orders
of poor and rich,
experts and ignoramuses,
people who dominate and people subjected.
I believe in God
who desires the counter-argument of the living
and the alteration of every condition
through our work
through our politics.
I believe in Jesus Christ
who was right when he
“as an individual who can’t do anything”
just like us
worked to alter every condition
and came to grief in so doing
Looking to him I discern
how our intelligence is crippled,
our imagination suffocates,
and our exertion is in vain
because we do not live as he did
Every day I am afraid
that he died for nothing
because he is buried in our churches,
because we have betrayed his revolution
in our obedience to and fear
of the authorities.
I believe in Jesus Christ
who is resurrected into our life
so that we shall be free
from prejudice and presumptuousness
from fear and hate
and push his revolution onward
and toward his reign
I believe in the Spirit
who came into the world with Jesus,
in the communion of all peoples
and our responsibility for what will become of our earth:
a valley of tears, hunger, and violence
or the city of God.
I believe in the just peace
that can be created,
in the possibility of meaningful life
for all humankind,
in the future of this world of God.
Amen
 -Dorothy Soelle

Watch this space! Coming soon, your opportunity to see a filmed version of the stage production of "On The Row." EPF National Executive Council member Kathy McGregor will make this impactful film available to our Peace Partner Parishes and Chapters as soon as travel restrictions imposed by reason of the pandemic are alleviated.

Have you been graced with a COVID-19 stimulus check? And are prayerfully pondering how you might share this money in an impactful and much needed way? Please consider sharing your stimulus check to help stimulate EPF’s efforts to eradicate the death penalty with this ambitious new initiative! We plan to focus sharing this "On the Row" film in jurisdictions which have execution as a penalty still on their books, yet have not executed a condemned person in years. Oregon is an example — they have the death penalty, yet no one has been executed since 1962. Jurisdictions like Oregon seem particularly ripe for effective advocacy against the death penalty, and we are hoping to have news of the abolition of this barbaric practice by reason of EPF’s inspiring work towards this goal. Your donation here will support this effort and our other criminal justice reform advocacy initiatives. Thanks for your consideration!

About The Prison Story Project: The Prison Story Project offered incarcerated women and men an opportunity to explore their truths through poetry, creative writing, literature, song-writing, and visual art. Their work was then curated into a staged reading performed by actors and presented first to those on inside prison, and then outside to the community.

Eleven of the thirty-four men on Arkansas’ death row participated in the Project. Six actors and a musician were brought back to Varner Prison’s death row to present the staged reading of “On The Row” to the men. Three months later, the state of Arkansas announced it would execute 8 men over 10 days just after Easter 2017. Four of the men set to be executed were participants in the Project. Two were executed and two received last minute stays.

“On The Row” has been touring the country since 2017. Last year the Whiting Foundation for the Humanities awarded The Prison Story Project a substantial grant which has allowed us to create a filmed version of the staged reading as well as creation of a comprehensive teaching guide to share with other arts organizations interested in replicating our work. EPF looks forward to making this powerful film and the teaching guide available to you in the near future.

Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort. Please use #WearOrange for all your social media posts!
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.

In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.

That’s why Episcopal Peace Fellowship is proud to join the Poor People’s Campaign as a mobilizing partner for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering, on June 20, 2020. Register to attend as a member of EPF here:
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington?source=epfnational

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!

Our upcoming schedule:

Steven and I are still physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. 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, 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

Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Sisters, Oregon
Photo credit, Steven Atha
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Weekly Update from Melanie
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Seventy
Bishop Paul Jones, Episcopal Peace Fellowship founder
and conscientious objector
CROSS BEFORE FLAG
Every year on May 15th, we remember those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill, both in the past and today. Hundreds of people across the world are imprisoned or forced to flee their home countries for refusing to join the armed forces. This Friday, May 15th, we stand in solidarity with them, as well as celebrating the memory of all those throughout history who have resisted conscription, including EPF’s beloved founder, Bishop Paul Jones. Find ways to observe International Conscientious Objector Day and read more here.

The Episcopal Church is not a historic "peace church," but the Church does support those who believe that bearing arms in war is unchristian and against their convictions. EPF was founded as a way to support conscientious objectors and to encourage the Church to move towards being a church of peace. For young adults who are pacifists, the time to first consider CO status in an official capacity is before one registers for the draft. Although the Selective Service does not have an official way to register for CO status, there are ways to establish a record of your beliefs. In addition, the Episcopal Church maintains an official registry of those wishing CO status. We have a packet with information on how to do this. Active military personnel who now feel called to be conscientious objectors can also register. More information is available here.

Read Cross Before Flag: Episcopal Statements on War and Peace here.

From our founder, Bishop Paul Jones, to our current leadership, Rev. Bob Davidson (National Chair) (left) and Rev. Will Mebane (National Vice Chair) (right), EPF is proud of the courage and convictions or our prophetic leaders who conscientiously objected to being conscripted into violent armed service. To support EPF work in support of conscientious objectors and against war, click here.
Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort!
Poor People's Campaign Virtual March On Washington
Click the video above to learn about EPF’s support for the Poor People’s Campaign. Register to attend the virtual Moral March on Washington as a member of EPF here.
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.

In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.

That’s why Episcopal Peace Fellowship is proud to join the Poor People’s Campaign as a mobilizing partner for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering, on June 20, 2020. Register as a member of EPF here:
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington?source=epfnational

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!

Our upcoming schedule:

Steven and I are still physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. 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, 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

Bishop Paul Jones — Orange back drop in support of gun violence prevention!
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Sixty-nine
Jessica Jew, MPH, is a member of EPF’s
National Executive Council.
She attends St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral
in Los Angeles, CA.
Last September, while browsing the shelves of Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, OR, I picked up a book that I continue to quote and refer to months after I finished reading it. Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead is her latest reflection on what it takes to “rumble” with shame and learn new ways of stepping out in courage in the workplace. One major finding from her research is that vulnerability is required for daring leadership – strong leaders aren’t infallible – in fact, these leaders recognize that they have many faults but take steps to learn from their teams rather than putting on armor to hide their weaknesses. I’ve used Brene Brown’s vocabulary on several occasions to help me articulate difficult conversations with my manager.

“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else” Galatians 6:4

Over the course of this Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve struggled to continue to work remotely while having my 1-year old Emile at home. Luckily my husband has been able to provide some much needed support, but sometimes my role as “Mom” comes into direct conflict with my role of “Employee.” Sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I set out to do. I must recognize that we are all living under extraordinary circumstances and it is unreasonable to expect that I’d be able to continue to do everything normally. I hold on tightly to the counsel found in Galatians, that instead of comparing myself to others and feeling badly, I must simply do the best I can with what I have been given.

“Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait til the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” 1 Corinthians 4: 1-5

I also must recognize that my worth does not come from my annual performance review or the amount of money in my paycheck – while these are both important, they aren’t the only things of value. Sometimes I am my own worst critic and pass very harsh judgement on myself that often is skewed or unfair. I must take care to distinguish between criticism and judgement – otherwise I will be forever chasing after approval from others. Criticism is someone’s opinion that I can choose to hear or discard, while judgement is typically associated with a judicial decision or God’s divine and omnipotent appraisal. Instead of tearing myself apart worrying about other people’s criticism, I need to keep my eyes fixed upon the only one who can actually see me completely clearly.

Jessica Jew

Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort!
We invite you to join our partner in ministry, Episcopal Migration Ministries’, new initiative: Connecting Neighbors.

Connecting Neighbors allows individuals and congregations to fill the gap and directly support refugee families resettled by EMM. EMM’s network of 13 refugee resettlement affiliates continue to serve newly resettled refugee families and in very difficult circumstances.

Several needs top the list right now:

  • Direct support to affiliates through their websites.
  • Material goods to support refugee families. Items are detailed on Amazon WishLists.
  • Digital devices. Most importantly, affiliates need donations of gently-used digital devices – tablets, smartphones, laptops – so they can continue providing services and support to refugee families.

Contact Allison Duvall, Manager for Church Relations and Engagement, who will help you make arrangements to donate. aduvall

Thank you for your steadfast support! On Giving Tuesday, EPF raised more than $500 to support our ongoing justice and peace initiatives. It’s not too late to show your dedication to living into your baptismal promises by giving here. We appreciate your generosity!
Evening Prayer
What are you doing later this evening? EPF has published a service of evening prayer over on our Facebook page. Video above, content of prayer appears below the video, and the link to the written service is here.
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!
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.

In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.

That’s why Episcopal Peace Fellowship is proud to join the Poor People’s Campaign as a mobilizing partner for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering, on June 20, 2020. Register as a member of EPF here:
https://actionnetwork.org/forms/rsvp-for-june-20-2020-mass-poor-peoples-assembly-moral-march-on-washington?source=epfnational

Our upcoming schedule:

We are physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. 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, 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

Daffodils, Sisters, Oregon
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Sixty-eight
Mosaic detail, St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, Santa Fe, NM
Deep in our hearts, the fire of justice burns; a vision of a world renewed through radical concern. As Christians we are called to set the captives free, to overthrow the evil powers and to end hypocrisy. This is our task today to build a world of peace; a world of justice, freedom, truth, where kindness will increase; a world free from hunger, a world where people share, where every person is of worth, and no one lives in fear. We take the step of faith, and leave the past behind and move into the future’s world with open heart and mind. By grace we work with Christ as one community, to bring new hope and fuller life to all humanity. AMEN

Evening Prayer, Church of South India

Melanie Atha, Executive Director of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship
A message from EPF’s National Executive Council
about the work of EPF. Give here to support our mission!

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship is an inclusive community rooted in active love. Her members endeavor to follow Jesus into the world, bearing witness to injustice, while striving for justice, and prayerfully expecting that peace will follow. We offer resources to help form human beings who understand that our call to be Christ’s hands and feet compels us to live into our Baptismal promise to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every person. We cannot imagine our lives as followers of Christ without doing the work of social justice advocacy. We are about using our prophetic voices for radical peacemaking. Our places are marked by our dedication to non-violence, and to creating peace even with those with whom we deeply disagree. Our movement is ever toward the immovable cornerstone, Jesus, who can always be found standing beside the other, the stranger, the oppressed, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the condemned, the victims of a broken justice system, the displaced and those who are alone or who have lost hope.

Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Do you have great ideas how we can do this virtually? Let us know, and send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort!
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:

We are physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. 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, 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

STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Weekly Update from Melanie
EPF LOGO clear small
Peace Out! Week Sixty-seven
Mount Washington. Photo by Steven Atha
EARTH DAY:
Called to protect and restore
It’s Earth Day, and on this day The Episcopal Church commemorates naturalist and writer John Muir (1914) and Episcopal priest and environmentalist Hudson Stuck (1920):

Blessed Creator of the earth and all that inhabits it: We thank you for your prophets John Muir and Hudson Stuck, who rejoiced in your beauty made known in the natural world; and we pray that, inspired by their love of your creation, we may be wise and faithful stewards of the world you have created, that generations to come may also lie down to rest among the pines and rise refreshed for their work; in the Name of the one through whom you make all things new, Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Washington National Cathedral has a lovely interdenominational Earth Day service that you can access via their website. Prayers from the service include these, which invite us to gratitude for the earth, our island home; lament for our destruction of her and her creatures; and commitment to her healing:

All humankind is one vast family,
This world, our home.
We sleep beneath one roof, the starry sky.
We warm ourselves before one hearth, the blazing sun.
Upon one soil we stand, and breathe one air, and drink one water, and walk the night beneath one luminescent moon.
The children of the Universe are we, family of one blood,
Members in one worldwide family, this Earth, our home.

All humankind is one vast family,
This world, our home.
We acknowledge the damage to our roof, the starry sky.
We recognize the rising heat which harms our seas, our plains, our forests, and the life therein. We lament the painful consequences of our choices on the sacred soil, and air, and water.
The children of the Universe are we, family of one blood,
Who bear responsibility for the hurt we cause each other and this Earth, our home.

All humankind is one vast family,
This world, our home.
We pledge our care to all the life beneath one roof, the starry sky.
We honor all who seek the warmth of blazing sun.
We will remember that upon one soil we stand, and breathe one air, and drink one water, and walk the night beneath one luminescent moon.
All children of the Universe are we — creatures of the land, and sea, and air,
All life that lives upon, within, this Earth, our home.

Sunrise, Kenya. Photo credit Jack Erskine
EPF NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
SPRING MEETING
On Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18, EPF’s National Executive Council met for a series of ZOOM conference calls instead of our annual Spring meeting, which was slated to happen in Detroit and which was reorganized by reason of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among much else, EPF leadership discussed our plans for General Convention and our Young Adult Delegation presence in Baltimore in 2021, including the legislation that we will endeavor to advance; revival of our Conscientious Objector registry and Action Group; and plans for sustaining our work as THE social justice ministry network of The Episcopal Church, focusing on ways EPF can advance justice around the vast inequities and vulnerabilities which the coronavirus pandemic has made more conspicuous than ever, particularly including health care, racism, and job insecurity. We approved a budget for 2020 with a deficit of just under $15,000, and remain grateful for your ongoing financial support, social justice action, and prayers for our work together. Please donate here to help reduce our deficit, and thank you!
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day
is today, Wednesday, April 22nd
Thanks to our friends at
Interfaith Action:
SW Michigan Peace and Justice Collaborative

The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. (www.earthday.org)

The Green Faith working group has put together a list of climate change video resources to explore in honor of Earth Day. Feel free to share any others you find with your community!

NASA’s Research on Climate Change | Above and Beyond- January 2020 – 6.03 minutes – Shows dramatic change in the world using data from NASA satellites
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rvl6z80baI

Causes and Effects of Climate Change | National Geographic – Aug 2017 – 3.05 minutes – Good description of cause and effect of global warming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4H1N_yXBiA

Global warming — fact or fiction? | David Bromwich | TEDxColumbus – Oct 2013 – 16.07 minutes – More in depth description of global warming and its impact on the earth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zXz4UJb5WM

The American Denial of Global Warming – Perspectives on Ocean Science – Dec 2007 – 58.36 minutes – In depth discussion of global warming starting with the first recognition of global warming in 1930.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Impact On Pollution And Climate Change | NBC News – March 2020 – 4.49 minutes – Shows change in warming as a result of less use of green house gases.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PKoF4GqFBA

The River and The Wall – 2019 – On Amazon.com – 1 hr, 46min – Five people travel 1200 miles along the Rio Grande River to learn about the impact of a wall on immigration and on the environment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lp9SA2tnjU

Remember
Joy Harjo
America’s Poet Laureate
Member of Mvskoke Nation

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away tonight.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.

Please Tell Your Senators to Support Funding for Vote-by-Mail in the Next COVID Relief Bill. Reach your Senators by clicking here

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/50836/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=26651

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!

May peace radiate in the sky as well as in the vast ethereal space everywhere.
May peace reign all over this earth, in water and in all herbs, trees, and creepers.
May peace flow over the whole universe.
May peace be in the Absolute Reality.
And may there always exist in all peace and peace alone.
Aum! May our environment be peaceful. May the external forces be peaceful. May we all have inner peace.
Aum! May the Absolute protect all
May the Absolute nourish all
May we work together with great energy,
May our studies be vigorous and effective;
May we not not hate one another
Aum! May our environment be peaceful. May the external forces be peaceful. May we all have inner peace.

Hindu prayer for peace

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:

We are physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. 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, 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

Cherry blossoms
Descanso Gardens, CA
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Weekly Update from Melanie
EPF LOGO clear small
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
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
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
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
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
STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram
EPF LOGO clear small
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

STAY CONNECTED
Facebook Twitter Instagram