Peacebuilding Initiatives

Dear EPF supporter,

Thank you for your dedication to EPF.  We have a lot of good work to do, and our ability to do it depends on your generosity and support.   With this appeal, we are inviting you to contribute $400 from COVID relief checks or other sources to a Peacebuilding Initiatives fund.  As this horrific COVID plague winds down, how do we prepare to deal with the inequities which have been laid bare by our government’s fumbling and delayed response, the violence that has always defined our American culture, and our Christian call to try to find hope and solutions that will bring the Beloved Community? How might we who are privileged with the means to do so ensure that a next generation of peacemakers will rise up as instruments of peace? 

EPF is gearing up to focus on providing resources to those who would ground themselves for activism in cultivating a culture of nonviolence.  Under the leadership of our new National Executive Committee Chair, the Right Rev. Dan Edwards, our nonviolence action group is undertaking a new Peacebuilding Initiative. 

Your generous support will enable EPF to launch a Peacebuilding Online Project. Monthly online presentations will be offered from diverse resources pertaining to building relationships across divides of race, religion, and political ideology. A wide range of nationally recognized peace activists will be featured as presenters. Other exciting peacebuilding efforts will engage local EPF chapters, Peace Partner Parishes and individual members in the work of non-violence and civil discourse.

We ask for your prayers for this initiative, and for our ongoing work through our several action groups.  We ask that you consider educating yourself by joining in our Peacebuilding Intitiative, in addition to the social justice advocacy to which you may already be called.

EPF is inviting 50 supporters to invest $400 each to seed the work of our PEACEBUILDING INITIATIVES.  Many who have received stimulus checks may want to direct a portion of these funds for the critical work of PEACEBUILDING.   After all, these stimulus funds are intended to help us recover from the horrors visited on us by reason of the pandemic, including an astonishing surge in violence.  It is inarguable that the divisions in our country, which disproportionately affect our indigenous communities, our black and brown brothers and sisters, and the poor, the uninsured and the disenfranchised, result from the violence of our public policies.   These policies need to be addressed, and EPF is leading the way towards empowering us to do this holy work.   With your support, we can begin to pave the way towards a Kingdom where the Peacemakers are said to be Blessed.

Make your contribution here: https://www.classy.org/give/331944/#!/donation/checkout

and when you do, thank you!  

In the work of Peacebuilding,

The Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, National Chair          Melanie Atha, Executive Director

Summer Peacebuilding Institute: A great opportunity for EPF from a trusted partner in peace.

The Center for Justice & Peacebuilding of the Eastern Mennonite University Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI), due to the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be online this year. Courses run (May 17 - June 18, 2021) For information, including courses, costs, and scholarship opportunities, click here. To apply, click here.

Trauma Awareness

·       Sexual Harms: Changing the Narrative

·       Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 1

·       Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 2

Restorative and Social Justice

·       Building Resilience for Challenging Systemic Racism

·       Circle Processes

·       Digital Peacebuilding and PeaceTech: Understanding Social Media, Conflict and Online Violent Extremism

·       Economics for Emancipation

·       Restorative Justice: Principles, Theories & Applications

Leadership and Management

·       Conflict Coaching

·       Peacebuilding Management Essentials

·       Project Cycle Management: Improving Impact for Practitioners (professional development only)

·       Transformational Leadership for Organizational Change

·       Transforming Community Spaces through Equitable Collaboration

Conflict Transformation Skills

·       Analysis: Understanding Conflict (credit only)

·       Formation for Peacebuilding Practice (credit only)

·       Process Design for Conflict Transformation

Nonviolence Action Group Interest Survey

Dear EPF Members interested in the EPF Nonviolence Action Group,

Thank you so much for your membership in Episcopal Peace Fellowship and your interest in contributing time and talent to the Nonviolence Action Group. 

I invite you to participate in two of our projects and to offer input on others. The two undertakings we have in mind so far are are: 

Peacebuilding Online Project

Radicalization, extremism, violence, and conspiracy theories are connected to personal isolation, social alienation, and feeling disrespected. So, how can we engage people whose views are wildly different from our own, perhaps immoral from our perspective? How can we be true to our own characters and still build relational bridges? 

We hope to present a series of online offerings related to this challenge from diverse presenters -- e.g., people from Parker Palmer's Center For Courage & Renewal, from the Episcopal Public Policy Network civil discourse program, broad based community organizers who bring people together across ideological divides to work for pragmatic solutions to community challenges, perhaps experts who can help us understand the radical right without agreeing with it; etc. We will promote this series to dioceses and congregations. 

We need a small planning group to meet online to offer input into the content, format, and timing of our program, considering not just what our people need to know but what our dioceses and congregations are apt to actually watch and engage. The questionnaire below is a way to volunteer for the Planning Task Force. Once the program is ready to go, we'll need all of you to help promote it in your dioceses and parishes.

Nonviolent Book Club

The books we read and the conversations we have about them can change consciousness. We'd like to read a few key books together and meet online to discuss them once a month. Examples might include Lederach's The Moral Imagination: The Art & Soul Of Building Peace; Wink's Jesus & Nonviolence: A Third Way; Hochshild's Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger & Mourning On The American Right; Hughes's Who Shall I Fear: Urgent Questions For Christians In An Age Of Violence; Parker Palmer's Healing The Heart Of Democracy, just to name a few possibilities.

People could sign up for one book, then pass on the next, and perhaps come back to read the following one, and so on. 

The Ask

Please see the survey below, Nonviolence Working Group Questions, mark your answers, save it as a Word Document (or print and scan it), and send it back so we know how you want to be involved. Note that we welcome your suggestions for other projects and any objections to or concerns about our present plans that you are willing to share. 

Thank you again for being part of this effort to inject nonviolent social conscience in a time when it is so desperately needed. With God's help, we can make a difference. 

Blessings always, 

The Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards (Nevada, Retired)

EPF National Chair

NONVIOLENCE WORKING GROUP QUESTIONS

If you need any help with this, including having a Word version emailed to you, please let Melanie Atha know at epfactnow@gmail.com.

Are you willing and available to work on the Planning Task Force for the Peacebuilding Online Project (POP)?

    Yes  ____                        No _____

If you can work on the Planning Task Force, when are you likely to be available for zoom meetings?

      Weekday afternoons       _____             Weekend afternoons       _____

      Weekday evenings   _____             Weekend evenings   _____

      In what time zone do you reside?

Are you interested in participating in our Nonviolent Book Club from  book to book?

      Yes  ____                     No _____

If you are interested in the NBC (Nonviolent Book Club), when are you likely to be available for zoom meetings?

      Weekday afternoons       _____             Weekend afternoons       _____

      Weekday evenings   _____             Weekend evenings   _____

      In what time zone do you reside?

Do you have book or author suggestions for the NBC?

In addition to the Peacebuilding Online Project and the Nonviolent Book Club, do you have suggestions for other activities or projects for the Nonviolence Working Group?

Do you have objections to or reservations about either of the proposed activities? Please share.

The Right Rev. Dan Edwards – Invitation to Nonviolence, November 2020

Read, listen, or view this sermon using the links below:

DOWNLOAD PDF

AUDIO