Peace Out! Week Fifty-seven

Weekly Update from Melanie
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Peace Out! Week Fifty-seven
Episcopal Peace Fellowship's Palestine Israel Network speaks out against the U.S. "Peace to Prosperity" plan, which normalizes the oppression of the Palestinian people and does nothing to make Israel more secure. Read the full statement here.
Welcome sign at St. Ambrose-Claremont, CA, movingly lettered in Spanish, English, Arabic, and on the reverse, also in Vietnamese and Chinese.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,
LOS ANGELES and
THE INLAND EMPIRE

We missed publishing a "Peace Out" last week because my computer screen died and I was without a laptop on which to do a lot of my EPF work. No matter, the actual work of EPF went relentlessly on -- that being of showing up, speaking out and sharing the empowering light of Christ to urge our Church on towards justice and peace.

On February 1, I was grateful to be at Christ Church in Coronado, CA, for the Diocese of San Diego's Diocesan Service and Justice Coalition's winter meeting. EPF PIN leader Jill Henderson of Escondido, CA, made this possible for us. Jill's leadership in EPF, her diocese, and in her home parish of St. Bartholomew's-Poway gives her a unique platform from which to advance the social justice ministries that are important to Southern Californians. By reason of her work and witness, and that of her Coalition, the Diocese of San Diego has ambitious plans for expanding their border ministry work in advance of hosting the Borderland Ministry Summit in 2021, among much else.

On Sunday, February 2 we were welcomed at St. Ambrose, Claremont by Rev. Jessie Smith, a former EPF National Executive Committee member, for worship and an informational EPF forum. St. Ambrose is in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which is in discernment as to whether or not it will become an EPF Chapter. Our time in Claremont included a Super Bowl viewing/birthday party at the home of St. Ambrose parishioner Jullie McCurdy, to which we were graciously invited and enjoyed enormously.

On Saturday, February 8, the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John in Los Angeles hosted the Diocese of Los Angeles for an informational breakfast as part of their inquiry into becoming an EPF Chapter. EPF National Executive Committee member Jessica Jew, who worships at St. John's, made this happen, and we are grateful for her leadership and witness. EPF PIN leader Randy Heyn-Lamb of All Saint's-Pasadena joined us and is eager to be a local resource for the social justice work that is blooming in the region. I was struck to learn that 24% of the homeless in America live in Los Angeles, a staggering reality. The needs are just overwhelming, and St. John's, situated in the heart of the city, and as a heart for the city, does its part to respond.

On Sunday, February 9, I was honored to be asked to preach at St. John's. The Gospel for the day was from Matthew, where Jesus names us "the light of the world" and exhorts us to let our lights shine -- a ready message for those of us called to strive for justice and peace. The audio for the sermon is here

After worship on Sunday, St. John's hosted another EPF forum and luncheon for members of the congregation to learn more about the work of EPF, and to define their goals for social justice work. The tables were full and the earnest conversations around the church's need to "be light" culminated in a decision by the congregation to become an EPF Peace Partner Parish. My prayer is that this new partnership between St. John's and EPF will provide a way to turn our anger and outrage at the vast injustice in the world into right and effective action, which will alleviate the suffering of oppressed and the disenfranchised, ultimately bringing justice and peace. May God continue to bless St. John's with compassionate hearts and the resources to be the light Jesus calls us to be in this dark and divided world.

Clergy and members of different churches in the Diocese of Los Angeles met at the Cathedral of St. John's in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 8 to learn more about the work of EPF and to consider becoming an EPF chapter.
Sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. John

Show EPF some Valentine love! 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. Click here to donate, and thank you!

How will you honor Absalom Jones, abolitionist and America's first black priest, on his feast day, February 13? If he were alive today, would he think we had done all we could to set one another free?

Set us free, heavenly Father, from every bond of prejudice and fear; that, honoring the steadfast courage of your servant Absalom Jones, we may show forth in our lives the reconciling love and true freedom of the children of God, which you have given us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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!

Our upcoming schedule:

Feb. 23 St. Luke's, Long Beach, CA

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

I was honored to preach the Gospel at the Cathedral of St. John in Los Angeles on Sunday. With me, from the left, Deacon Margaret McCauley, The Very Rev. Canon Daniel Ade, The Very Reverend Canon Mark Kowalewski, and subdeacon Karen Uhler.
Photo credit Victor Eichhorn, Cathedral of St. John.
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