Peace Out!

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Peace Out! Week Sixty
Stained glass detail, St. Cross-Hermosa Beach, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Myrvang

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

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

Click HERE to give to our campaign!

Our upcoming schedule:

March 4 Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, CA

March 5 Trinity Middle East Ministries, Santa Barbara, CA

March 15 Church of the Good Shepherd, Salinas, CA

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

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

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!


Blooms in Descanso Gardens, La Canada Flintridge, CA
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