Peace Out! Week Fifty-nine

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Peace Out! Week Fifty-nine
Stained glass detail, St. Luke's-Long Beach, CA
Lent: The Morning Star Rises

First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy even came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:21

When Steven and I pulled up into the parking lot at St. Luke's, Long Beach, CA, on Saturday afternoon, the place was spilling over with activity. We arrived on shower ministry day -- where many of the nearly two thousand (!) homeless souls who call Long Beach home can get a hot shower, either breakfast or lunch, and even some clean clothes and amenities. (Just think for a moment about how many people two thousand is -- way more people than are members of the average Episcopal congregation!) On this day, the volunteers were also beginning the holy work of helping to get folks registered to vote, an effort that will go on for a while yet. St. Luke's also provides Manna Meals, two Saturdays a month feeding their hungry neighbors a hot meal, provisions for which in part come from their own teaching garden -- a project which shows people how to garden and grow fruits and vegetables, and how to compost. The needs of this Long Beach community are great, but the generous hearts of the parishioners are atuned to those needs, and, remarkably, they feel that they have the capacity for MORE action! On Sunday, St. Luke's held EPF informational forums after both the 10:00 service and after the 12:30 Spanish language service, which were well attended and during which we had deep conversations about how the parish can expand their social justice ministries, including returning to activism around the issues of the Palestine-Israel conflict.

I opened this newsletter with the scripture from Sunday's epistle reading because the people of St. Luke's seem like spirit-filled prophets to me -- both clergy -- Rev. Jane Gould, Rev. Nancy Frausto, Rev. Dn. Steve Alder and postulant Benjamin Galan (who graciously served as my interpreter for our Spanish forum) -- and the many lay leaders who greeted and fed us, asked probing questions about the resources of EPF and shared the details of their ministries -- and they all so generously want to do MORE with their time and gifts to address the great needs of their community and their world. I came away inspired and invigorated!

St. Luke's has been a peace partner parish for some years, dating at least back to the time when Rev. Gary Commins was serving as their rector. Gary+ was on the EPF National Executive Committee for many years, and even continued to serve as a special consultant to the NEC after his retirement. A call to Gary+ was one of the first phone calls I made when I began this work for EPF, eager for insight into the history of the leadership of EPF and for his advice. Gary+ has been generous with his time and vision, and that same spirit seems to permeate the family of St. Luke's. We are fortunate to have such a partnership for peace and justice work with St. Luke's -- a rising star and beacon of hope for the people of God!

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!

Make me an instrument of peace: A guide to civil discourse: Link here

From our friends at EPPN: Peacebuilding involves learning from and working with others, while also sharing different perspectives with humility and vulnerability. Civil discourse helps us to understand how we can engage with people who have different views from our own and lays out the value for doing so. This guide to civil discourse curriculum aims to enhance our ability to learn from and understand one another, and to apply that practice to public policy conversations.

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 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!

It's not too soon to be thinking about General Convention, which will take place June 30-July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland! Are you or your parish interested in helping EPF plan for our time in Baltimore? If you are in or near Maryland and wish to serve on our ad hoc committee to plan and make arrangements for our time at GC, please let Melanie Atha know. epfactnow. We'd love to have your energy, vision and connections to help our leadership have an effective and inspiring presence next year!
If you believe, as did Dorothy Day, that peace begins when the hungry are fed, you will want to know about the June 20, 2020 Poor People's Campaign rally set for Washington, DC -- just after the Presidential primaries and before the major party conventions -- to highlight the Moral Agenda of the poor which much be addressed in this country. Details at www.June2020.org. Major cities within eight hours of Washington will be holding mobilization events in March, so keep a lookout for ways you can become involved!

Our upcoming schedule:

Feb. 26 All Saint's, Pasadena, CA (Ash Wednesday)

March 1 St. Cross, Hermosa Beach, CA

We'll be heading towards San Francisco and the bay area on March 2! Details about our schedule coming soon!

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! Steven and I are planning to spend the rest of winter in California and then move into Oregon and Washington. I will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, please contact me at epfactnow.

Until next time,

power to the peaceful!

Melanie

Orange flower, Orange County, CA
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