God of the hungry, make us hunger and thirst for the right, till our thirst for justice has been satisfied and hunger has gone from the earth.
New Zealand Prayer Book
Sometimes, even a blind hog can find an acorn. It felt to me as though I had stumbled into a particularly holy spot on Sunday, when I appeared, virtually unannounced, at St. Stephen’s in San Luis Obispo, CA. We’ve been making our way up towards the Bay Area and I was really just looking for a peaceful place to worship after a particularly busy week of networking. But Steven and I were warmly welcomed by Rev. Ian Delinger and his lively congregation, and we were invited to share our origin stories with others present for the Eucharist. It was a delightful morning of unexpectedly finding connection and hope in an otherwise challenging week.
One of the events St. Stephen’s is endorsing is The Yvon Ron Ensemble Concert for Unity and Peace, set this Saturday, March 14 in San Luis Obispo. Formed in 1999, The Yuval Ron Ensemble endeavors to alleviate national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the people of the Middle East into a unique mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. The ensemble includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim artists who have been actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of various faiths and ethnic groups worldwide. You can learn more about this inspiring musical group here. In addition to supporting peace and unity, St. Stephen’s feeds the hungry, promotes environmental stewardship, and supports a remarkable program called "Get on the Bus," which makes it possible for children to visit their parents in prison.
We had a couple of EPF informational forums in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, last week at Trinity Episcopal Church. Art Fisher, co-convenor of Trinity Middle East Ministries, arranged for us to have an evening meeting at Trinity on Wednesday, and then on Thursday arranged for us to meet for coffee on Stearns Wharf to talk about EPF and our trip to Gaza last fall. It was great to be able to share news with people who are already attuned to the issues of Palestine-Israel about the particular plight of the Gazans.
One of Art Fisher’s projects though his Rotary Club is Unite to Light, a remarkable venture that provides solar powered lights for people who live in places without reliable access to electricity. Think of what a difference such a product would make in places like Gaza and the West Bank, which are routinely randomly deprived of electricity. An easy way to support this effort is with their buy one-give one promotion, through which when you purchase a light for yourself, the group provides one free of charge to a person in need.
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!
The Episcopal Networks Collaborative has published “Vote for Justice” for use by Episcopalians and congregations as they meet with candidates for public offices during this election year. The Collaborative is a coalition consisting of the Union of Black Episcopalians, the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, and the Episcopal Ecological Network. “Vote for Justice” consists of nine short essays on economic, social, and ecological justice issues and provides suggested questions to ask local, state or federal candidates. “As you read the papers” says Deacon Phina Borgeson, biological scientist and one of the authors, “you will see that while each explores one key issue, none can be addressed in isolation. There are many areas of overlap and intersection, on our concerns.” Topics included are the wealth gap and inequality, health care, climate change, human migration due to climate change, immigration policy reforms, climate change and agriculture, community investing, voter suppression, and mass incarceration. Find “Vote for Justice” at: http://www.enej.org/assets/pdfs/EpiscopalNetworksVoterGuide2020.pdf
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 EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"
“I admire the Good Samaritan, but I don’t want to be one. I don’t want to spend my life picking up people by the side of the road after they have been beaten up and robbed. I want to change the Jericho Road, so that everybody has an opportunity for a job, education, security and health.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
EPF is pleased to support The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Part of bringing justice is helping to make sure that the voices of the 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country are heard. This is the goal of Mass Poor People’s Assembly set for June 20, 2020 in Washington. Learn more here.
Our upcoming schedule:
March 15 Church of the Good Shepherd, Salinas, CA
March 29 All Soul’s, Berkeley, CA
Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? One-on-one coffee is not out of the question! Just shout! To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.
Until next time,
power to the peaceful!
Faith, hope and love are the very nature of God, and thus the nature of all Being. Such goodness cannot die. (Which is what we mean when we say, "Heaven")… These are the ubiquitous gifts of the Christ Mystery, hidden inside of all that has ever lived, died and will live again. Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ.