Peace Out: Week Eleven

Week Eleven Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Eleven
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Pslam 29:11

It is impossible for me to look onto the majesty of the Grand Canyon without remembering a sermon Rev. Francis X. Walter, former rector of St. Andrew's-Birmingham, Alabama, gave almost thirty years ago. I won't do it justice from memory, but it went something like this: Five-year-old Sam was told by his mother that they were planning a vacation to the Grand Canyon. He did not quite understand what that meant, but he gathered from the excitement of his parents and brothers and sisters that it was wonderful and something to look forward to. They drove and drove to get there, and when they all piled out of the station wagon at the parking lot not far from the rim, Sam was the last one out of the car. He followed his family to the near edge of the canyon, but his view was blocked by the back sides of his family who were looking outward in amazement, Sam's eyes fell on a pile of rocks nearby, and supposing that to be what he had come to see, he said, "Wow! Would you look at that." Sam's father, hearing Sam's exclamation and looking back to see that poor Sam was mis-appreciating the experience, scooped Sam up into his arms and, lifting him to see the great view, said, "No, Sam -- not the rocks -- this is the Grand Canyon!"

Father Francis likened us to Sam -- when we finally get a glimpse of the true measure of God's grace, it's like seeing the Grand Canyon after not knowing what it might be. What we formerly thought was gracious plenty, is but a mere fraction of the truth of it: wide, vast, limitless, unfathomable, immeasurable favor and love for us. Grand grace, indeed.

This week began for us in Cottonwood and Sedona, Arizona, where Steven and I took the opportunity to visit the remarkable Chapel of the Holy Cross built high in the stunning red rock buttes in Sedona. Breathtaking views invite contemplation and inspire a grateful heart.

Friday, at the invitation of Rev. Monica Whitaker, I walked the Way of the Cross with St. Andrew’s-Sedona. The lovely service incorporated the meditations of Joan Chittister and icons by Janet McKenzie from The Way of the Cross: The Path to New Life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013. One of the church’s resident lizards joined us, and I was glad for the chance to share EPF's mission with yet another parish which was previously unaware of our peace work.

On Sunday night, I worshipped with the Episcopal Campus Ministries of Northern Arizona University at Canterbury Chapel. Though freshly back from their Spring Break, a dozen students showed up for worship and supper afterwards. Rev. Brad Eubanks serves as Chaplain to both the Episcopalian and Evangelical Lutherans at NAU, and their Eucharistic liturgy is a refreshing blend from both traditions.

One of the things I am most proud of about Episcopal Peace Fellowship is our Young Adult Network. Being with campus ministries when I can gives me the chance to tell our college students that they are invited to apply to be a delegate for EPF to General Convention in Baltimore, MD in July, 2021. EPF pays for interested young adults to attend General Convention as ambassadors for EPF. The deadline is usually early April of the year of General Convention. Please spread the word about this remarkable opportunity for young adults age18-30 to be of service in this unique way, and help us recruit the next generation of peace and justice disciples.

Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministries in Flagstaff, AZ
Altar at St. Andrew's-Sedona


Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, urban violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at

Our upcoming schedule:

We plan to leave lovely Arizona and move back to New Mexico for the remainder of our time between now and Easter Week in Columbine. We are eager to be with EPF partners in Albuquerque and Santa Fe after putting them off because of the cold weather for so long. Are you in New Mexico and interested in a chance to talk about peace and justice work? Let me know! www.epfactnow.

On the "wish I could be there" list, please consider these EPF PIN events later this week in Southern California:

Join Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) staff member Alison Glick as she hosts a conversation with Obada Shtaya from the One Voice Movement and Suzann Mollner of Beirut and Beyond, about peacebuilding and advocacy related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We'll discuss realities affecting the Palestinian refugee community and the importance of advocating for human rights in Israel, the Palestinian territories, and with refugees throughout the Middle East.

The program will be presented at 3 locations over two days, so choose the one most convenient to you!

Friday, March 29, 2019, 6:30pm
St James Episcopal Church - Fellowship Hall
1325 Monterey Road
South Pasadena, CA 91030
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Randy at rheynlamb

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 9:30am
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
4400 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Randy at rheynlamb

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 6:30pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
1500 State Street
Santa Barbara CA 93101
For more info or to RSVP for this event, please email Art Fisher at afisher100

Ample parking available, light refreshments served prior to the presentations. Suggested donation of $10 helps defray speakers' travel costs. No one turned away for lack of funds.

This ecumenical/interfaith program is sponsored by the Middle East Committee of the Program Group on Global Partnerships in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the Right Reverend John H. Taylor, Bishop Diocesan.

Until next time, power to the peaceful!


Sunrise on the south rim of the Grand Canyon
How can we support Melanie while EPF is on the road?

  • Give to EPF
  • Offers of hospitality always welcome!
  • Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
  • Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (Home or church parking lot welcome)
  • Offer of laundry facilities.
  • Suggestions of coffee shops, eateries, and sports bars she should visit.
  • Identify best walks and hikes in your neighborhood.
  • Invite her to church!
  • Prayers for safe travel.
  • Favorite camp sites (with dump station, preferred).
  • Visits with your pets -- she is feeling deprived!
  • Home baked goodies (only if you are baking, anyway).
  • Make time to see her and introduce her around!
  • Favorite sites for photo ops.
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