EPF is pleased to welcome four new National Executive Council (NEC) members to leadership for EPF:
Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, former Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, class of 2019-21 (biography, below)
Bruce Freeman, Akron, OH; member of Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, OH, class of 2020-22
Kathy McGregor, Fayetteville, AR; member of St. Paul’s, Fayetteville, class of 2020-22
Rev. Michael Wallens, Alpine, TX; Vicar of St. Paul’s, Marfa, TX and Priest-in- Charge at St. James, Alpine, Texas, class of 2020-22
We will introduce each of these servant leaders to you, one week at a time through this newsletter, beginning here with Bishop Dan:
Dan Edwards served as bishop of Nevada 2008-2018 after being a parish priest in the Diocese of Atlanta for 18 years. Previously he was Director of the Migrant Law Unit of Colorado Rural Legal Services for Northeastern Colorado, Director of the Indian Law Unit of Idaho Legal, Aid, and a partner in Suiter, Edwards, and Gere in Idaho. He received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Texas, an M. Div. and S.T.M from General Seminary, was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School and a Guthrie Scholar at Columbia Seminary. He studied homiletics at St. George’s College, Jerusalem. He is a graduate of the Academy for Leaders of the Center For Courage and Renewal and has completed leadership training and advanced leadership training with the Development Center, Darien CT. He is the author of God of Our Silent Tears, and is active with Bread for the World, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, Colorado Ceasefire, Colorado Faith Communities United To Prevent Gun Violence, and Industrial Areas Foundation broad based community organizing. In TEC, he has served on committees and task forces on Small Church Ministries, Latino/Hispanic Ministries, Structure, and Stewardship and Development. He was a board member and presenter for The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. He recently served as sabbatical priest at St. Aidan’s, Boulder, CO and is presently the interim rector of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Broomfield, CO.
Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, newly elected to serve on the EPF NEC.
And, as we welcome our new leaders, we heartily thank outgoing NEC members Betsy Davidson (Traverse City, MI), Ellen Lindeen (Barrington, IL), and Rev. Michael Kurth (Rye, NY) for their years of dedication and service, and for all the gifts and resources they have shared and continue to share with EPF through their membership and NEC service. EPF is so grateful to each of you. Godspeed in all your ongoing service and witness for social justice!
A light shines in the darkness: Beautiful stained glass window at Church of the Good Shepherd, Helmet, CA, where I was happy to celebrate completion of one year on the road for EPF. I was reminded by Rev. Susan J. Latimer, rector, that Epiphany is about traveling, as the Magi did, through the darkness to see the light of hope, become inspired by it, and then traveling on to share it. Sounds like the work of EPF, for sure.
Epiphany was the one year anniversary of EPF taking to the open road to renew connections with our peace partners and to invite new supporters into the Fellowship. To celebrate, I worshiped with Good Shepherd in Hemet, CA, where I was welcomed and enjoyed home-made king cake at coffee hour afterwards.
Looking back over the last year, I was amazed to count no fewer than 80 visits we made to EPF chapters, parishes, diocesan events and provincial gatherings around the country. Quite the coincidence for our 80th anniversary year! All those visits were in addition to our Year of Action anniversary events in Columbine, CO, Montgomery and Lowndes County, AL, and in Providence, Rhode Island. 2019 was an amazing start to this pilgrimage work, and we look forward to being with as many of you as possible as we move up the west coast and through the heartland of America during 2020, and beyond. The Year of Action is in the past, but our work for justice and peace is nowhere near done!
While I have been away from reporting on my travels for a few weeks — as Steven and I attended to getting our virtual residence and voter registration established; visited with our sons in Nashville and Birmingham and my father in Faunsdale, Alabama; and worked on year-end fundraising for EPF and the book-keeping and gratitude practice that comes with that — I have had a few wonderful visits that I have not had the time to write about, among them at St. James in Quincy, Florida; St. Christopher’s and our Peace Partner Chapter in Pensacola, Florida; and St. Michael and All Angels and St. Philip’s in the Hills in Tucson, AZ. These visits prove to me that there is great interest in and dedication to social justice work all across this country, and that fact gives me immense hope for our future, despite the ongoing gloom around our wars and rumors of wars.
Now’s the time to call your senators and congresspersons to tell them "NO" to the escalation of violence with Iran. Join EPF as we fast and pray for peace:
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship Calls for Fasting and Prayer for Peace with Iran
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship calls on Episcopalians and all people of good will to join together for a week of fasting and prayer for peace with Iran. The fast will begin on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6, 2020) and will end on the First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ (January 12, 2020.) As we once more receive the Prince of Peace into our lives this Christmas and renew our own baptismal commitments to respect the dignity of all persons, let us together join in solemn prayer and spiritual practice with the intention of peace in the whole world, but especially between the United States and Iran during this time of heightened anxiety.
Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline which expresses a desire for contrition and an openness for change. You are invited to fast from something meaningful to you (whether a meal, social media, coffee, etc.) and set the intention of your fast for peace. You are also invited to join together in prayer and other spiritual practices for peace throughout the whole world. The Book of Common Prayer especially commends The Supplication (BCP, 154) for "times of war, or of national anxiety, or of disaster."
May the Prince of Peace whose glory is revealed to all nations fashion us into a people of peace with justice throughout the world. Amen.
We are grateful to NEC member Rev. Cody Maynus (Rapid City, SD) for his leadership in bringing us this initiative.
Read here the faith statement in opposition to escalating conflict with Iran which EPF has endorsed.
EPF is always interested in being a part of your diocesan and provincial gatherings. To that end, when we can, we staff exhibition tables at diocesan conventions as they happen around the Church. For example, when the Diocese of Alabama meets at Camp McDowell next month, EPF member Tommy McGlothlin will hold a "Lunch and Learn" table at Stough Lodge during the lunch hour on Friday, February 7 at 11:30 a.m. He will have EPF brochures and information and will share with people interested in social justice ministries. Are you interested in tabling for EPF at your diocesan convention? Let me know, and we will provide you a "convention packet" full of brochures and SWAG to share with delegates and visitors. It’s a great way to meet new social justice partners and to help EPF thrive and grow in the places in the world where our witness is needed. www.epfactnow
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!"
Feb. 8 Diocese of Los Angeles (Cathedral of St. John)
Feb. 9 Cathedral of St. John, Los Angeles, CA
April 17-19 Detroit, 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. We 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!
On Epiphany, January 6, 2019, Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins, Jr, rector at St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, Al, blessed Miranda, our RV, and Steven and me, with a modified house blessing. A perfect way to celebrate Epiphany! We began this pilgrimage for EPF as we pulled away from the parking lot at St. Andrew’s, surrounded by the love of my home parish, with frankencense wafting from the windows and holy water drying on the windshield. Every day, I miss these lovely people who showed me how to live for Christ, but there is no doubt that I carry them with me everywhere I go. Those of you who have met me have, by proxy, experienced their generosity and grace. Photo credit Timothy Steele, St. Andrew’s.