Record of EPF Annual Meeting, held on 01/30/2021 at 1:00 pm Eastern time over Zoom 

[44 attendees] 

Welcome - Bob Davidson, National Chair 

Introductions 

[each participant was invited to state their name and location] 

A Litany for Peace and Justice 

Led by Bob Davidson and Lynn Huber, the link is HERE

Qualification of voting members and quorum - Bob Davidson 

Melanie Atha, Executive Director, certifies that a quorum is present

Our EPF pledge reaffirmed:

In loyalty to the teaching, and person of Jesus Christ, my conscience commits me to the way of redemptive love: to pray, study, and work for peace, and to renounce, as far as possible, participation in war, militarism, and all other forms of violence.

In fellowship with others, I will work to discover and create alternatives to violence and to build a culture of peace. I urge the Episcopal Church in accordance with our baptismal vows “to renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God”, and to wage peace across all boundaries, calling upon people everywhere to repent, to forgive, and to love.

Greetings from Anglican Pacifist Fellowship - Sue Claydon, APF 

Presentation of NEC slate by Nominating Committee - Bob Davidson

Accepted unanimously; congratulations to our new NEC!

Link to members and bios HERE

Recognition for work of Melanie Atha, Executive Director - Bob Davidson 

Recognition for Outgoing NEC leaders - Melanie Atha

Bob Davidson, chair; Will Mebane, vice chair; John Floberg, NEC member 

Action Group reports: 

Palestine Israel Network - Harry Gunkel notes that Israel has a high rate of covid-19 infection, but also a high rate of vaccination: 20%. But not a single Palestinian has been vaccinated, though international law requires occupying nations to provide such medical care. Linda Gaither reports that The Episcopal Church has divested from several companies that do business in the occupied territories, and established a Do Not Buy list. 

Young Adults Network - Cody Maynus (cemaynus@gmail.com) says we will have a delegation for the 2022 general convention, and will spend the year before in study and prayer for the work.

Gun Violence Prevention - Bob Lotz (bob.lotz.epf@gmail.com) explains that the group, like the EPF as a whole, is a network for those seeking to get involved, or for those already involved to share their activities. A lot of GVP work is done in this country, but not a lot is from an explicitly Christian perspective. We emphasize our Gospel call to love our enemies and reconcile all people to each other and to God, to wage peace based on a militantly non-violent perspective. 

Death Penalty Abolition - Kathy McGregor (tellervision@gmail.com) says her Prison Story Project has been folded into her Arkansas parish and the EPF. The project has received an evangelism grant to share the film, “On The Row,” across the country. She asks NEC members to suggest to dioceses and congregations that they sponsor a free showing. A study guide has gone to the printers and will be a available. 

Anti-War/Conscientious Objectors - Bruce Freeman (freeman.bruce@gmail.com) reports that this is a new group, though it speaks to the whole history of EPF. The group will have resources available on the EPF website. The co-convener, Dana Grubb, has prepared an essay on Just War theory for the website. They are also planning to show the film, “Hunger Ward,” on the war in Yemen. 

Non-Violent Conflict Resolution- Dan Edwards (bdantedwards@gmail.com) tells us that this group is only a month old, but the Exec Committee has asked for a peace-building project, and this will be it. He projects offering educational material such as webinars and workshops to teach skills such as those taught by Mennonites and Parker Palmer. He is in touch with these groups as well as members of other Episcopal bodies. He asks that EPF members email him if they are interested. 

Immigrants and Refugees - Mike Wallens (michaelwallens@gmail.com) reports that the Remain in Mexico policy is being lifted; 15,000 people near him (in Texas) have been stuck by reason of this policy. Now he and others are working to assist shelters to prepare for those recently freed. from this policy. There is a lot of work to do in advocacy and education. He is working with Episcopal Migration Ministries. 

By reason of shortness of time, Committee Reports were omitted from the meeting agenda. Link here to our EPF Committees, NEC leaders and their charges.

Peace Partner Parishes and Chapters - Melanie invited 3 of our many peace partners to present today:

North Dallas Chapter - Ron Damholt, convener, says that they are based at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, and have many activities, including film showings. They also meet monthly between Sunday services to offer a “Peace Post,” a chance to write, call or email elected officials, with 3 focus issues selected for each month. The idea came from the OGR and the Friends Committee, and has become popular, with full clergy support. 

Trinity Cathedral, Diocese of Ohio - Debbie Hunter, co-convener, reports that the history of EPF in Cleveland goes back to 1988. Their work has included their “Cross of Nails” project, Bonhoeffer education, and erecting Peace poles. Their core issues have been human trafficking, death penalty abolition and the war in Yemen. 

St. John’s Cathedral, Diocese of LA - Jessica Jew, convener, tells that, following the visit of Executive Director Melanie Atha to the cathedral last February, they became a Peace Partner Parish, and then the pandemic struck. Their core issues are homelessness, which is epidemic in LA, and racial justice/ending white supremacy. 

All Peace Partner Parishes and Chapters are encouraged to look at their listing on the EPF website to confirm that their leadership is correctly identified and that their other information is current. www.epfnational.org

Closing Prayer was offered by outgoing national Vice Chair, Will Mebane

Meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

Following the Annual Meeting, a National Executive Council meeting was held, at which time the following were elected to leadership:

The Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, Chair

Kathy McGregor, Vice Chair

Bob Lotz, Secretary

Rob Burgess, Treasurer

A deficit budget was passed, committee leadership was selected and plans for our next meeting on April 9-10, 2021 were initiated.

EPF Committees are comprised of volunteers who do the administrative work of EPF. These committees are led by members of the NEC but are open to all.

Communications: Establish a communications strategy for EPF; provide Executive Director (ED) content for website, social media, and Constant Contact communications; look at website for adequacy for our needs; manage social media platforms and “comments”; blogging; volunteer to help with virtual office details. (NEC leadership: Bruce Freeman, OH; Rob Burgess, MI; Cody Maynus, SD; Randy Heyn-Lamb, CA)  

Sustainability: Develop a multi-year diversified development plan and goals for EPF; help with fundraising, budgeting, determining long range financial needs and campaigns; help consider how EPF money should be managed; determine electronic banking needs and look at bank investments to determine suitability for managing EPF’s money. (NEC leadership: Kathy McGregor, AR; Chris Sabas, MD) 

Membership:  Create the requirements and commitments for EPF membership for individuals; recruiting member initiatives; help look at donor and contact database management; chapter and peace partner recruiting. (NEC leadership: Rev. Christy Close Erskine, OR: Rev. Richard Wineland, TN)

Programming: Help with resources for missions of EPF (curriculum, materials, speakers’ bureau, etc.) and pilgrimages (urban pilgrimages and special events); consult on management of EPF virtual store; help plan for 2022 General Convention, review and expand partnership with other peace organizations. (NEC leadership: Bob Lotz, MI; Rev. Mike Wallens, TX; Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, CO)

Siblings in Christ: God commands us through Jesus Christ to love one another. In baptism, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being. Let us now honor those vows and pray for our nation in this season of crisis of pandemic and racial oppression, for wise and just leaders, and for the needs of others throughout our country and the world. 

We pray for your guidance on all peacemakers, on leaders who value peace, and on everyone who promotes nonviolent solutions to conflict. We pray for a speedy end to all violence and conflict around the world. 

God of peace and gentleness, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the strength of heart and mind to look beyond ourselves and address the needs of our siblings throughout the world; for the rural and urban poor; for the rebuilding of
our communities; and for an end to the cycles of violence that threaten our future. 

God of generosity and compassion, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all nations, that they may live in unity, peace, and concord; and that all people may know justice and enjoy the perfect freedom that only God can give. 

God of liberty and freedom, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray that the Holy Spirit may embrace the most vulnerable members of our society; we pray also for an end to the growing disparity between the rich and poor; and for the grace and courage to strive for economic justice. 

God of all gifts and blessings, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for an end to prejudice throughout our country and the world; that we will respect all people as precious children of God; and that racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination will be forever banished from our hearts, our society, and our laws. 

God of fellowship and equality, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for a reverence of creation; that we will have the tools and the will to conserve it; that we will use its bountiful resources in the service of others; and that we will become better stewards of all that has been entrusted to us. 

God of nature and the universe, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all immigrants, refugees, and pilgrims from around the world, that they may be welcomed in our midst and be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. 

God of outcasts and wanderers, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the sick, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic, for all you are suffering, the aged and the infirm; for those with physical or mental disabilities; that all may have access to proper health care; and that God's loving embrace may be felt by all who suffer. 

God of comfort and healing, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all prisoners and captives; that a spirit of forgiveness may replace vengeance and retribution; and that we, with all the destitute, lonely, and oppressed, may be restored to the fullness of God’s grace. 

God of absolution and mercy, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all children and families, and particularly for the orphaned, neglected, abused, and those who live in fear of violence or disease; that they may be relieved and protected. 

God of children and families, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for the reconciliation of all people, and for the Church throughout the world, that it may be an instrument of your healing love.

God of outreach and restoration, 

Hear our prayer. 

We pray for all who have died as a result of violence, war, disease or famine, especially those who died because of human blindness, neglect, or hardness of heart. 

God of eternal life and resurrecting love, 

Hear our prayer. 

Almighty God, you have promised to hear what we ask in the name of your Son. Watch over our world now and in the days ahead, guide our leaders and all leaders, guide them in all knowledge and truth and make your ways known among all people. In the passion of protest and reform, give us all open and receptive spirits; in the complexities of the issues we face, give us courageous hearts. Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ. 

AMEN. 

Adapted from the Episcopal Litany for Social Justice (https://episcopalchurch.org/library/article/episcopal- litany-social-justice) 

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