Members of EPF of Blair County, Pennsylvania prepare to begin their "Journey of Remembrance" Walk and Vigil in Altoona, PA on Saturday, November 2 — All Souls’ Day. From the left: Cowan Mikolajczyk, Shannon Berndt, Greg Williams, Woody Pyeatt, Marilyn Pyeatt, Yoseph Widirahmaya and David Wirick.
EPF Walks and Prays for
Victims of Gun Violence
Holy God, open our eyes to a fresh vision
for a peaceful world,
along with the will
to seek alternatives to revenge and violence.
EPF of Blair County, PA sponsored a two part ecumenical "Journey of Remembrance" on All Souls’ Day, Saturday, November 2, to honor those who have been the victims of gun violence, and to offer comfort to those who have suffered loss due to gun violence. There was a short walk from the Wehnwood United Methodist Church in Altoona to the Edith Davis Eve Memorial Chapel at Penn State-Altoona, punctuated by brief stops for prayer and the lighting of candles to honor the victims of suicide, armed conflicts and wars, mass shootings, accidental shootings, school shootings, other murders and domestic violence. The Vigil at the chapel gave participants the solemn moment to light candles for victims they had known personally. Later that evening, a memorial service was held at St. Luke’s-Altoona, the parish home of many of the Blair County EPF-ers. The afternoon was a holy opportunity for EPF to shine a spotlight on the waste and lingering effects of the senseless gun violence in our culture.
On Sunday, I had the joy of worshiping with St. Luke’s-Altoona. A delicious mostly vegan luncheon reception followed. In this entire year of traveling for EPF, I have not before had the chance to worship with a congregation which was almost entirely comprised of EPF members. It’s a small, deeply dedicated group who take their baptismal covenants very seriously. I was heartened to know that some of the leftovers from our luncheon would be served again later that day, when the "Becoming Beloved Community" workshop, led by Kevin Barron, was going to be held. We had a chance to talk about how racism and white supremacy, which, of course, is the work of "Becoming Beloved," is the sin which undergirds all of the other social ills of violence which EPF advocates against — gun violence, environmental injustice, income inequality, the death penalty, to name a few — and how important that work is to making a just world a reality.
I’ll give a special shout out to Shannon Berndt, who so many of you know as the friendly voice of EPF Member Services and the Palestine Israel Network’s administrative support, who invited me for this visit. Thanks for having me, Shannon, and for all you do for me and EPF and PIN. You bless us with your service and love!
Shannon Berndt and me, back in January of this year, when she came to Birmingham to train me on the administrative jobs of EPF. We stopped for this photo along the Civil Rights trail in downtown Birmingham, where markers have been placed to draw attention to the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement which transpired there.
An invitation from
EPF NEC Chair,
Rev. Bob Davidson
Year of Action Celebrations in
Bristol and Providence,
80th Anniversary Commemoration!
Sunday, November 10, 2019
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
399 Hope Street
A Commemoration of Witness
4:30 PM Evensong
Preacher: Rt. Rev. Shannon MacVean-Brown
Bishop of Vermont
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Nicholas Knisely
Bishop of Rhode Island
Followed by A Celebration of Peace
5:30 PM Fundraiser
Caribbean Soul Band, Wine, Beer & Soft Drinks,
Hors D’oeuvres & Silent Auction
Monday, November 11, 2019
Center for Reconciliation
271 North Main Street
9:00 – 11:00 AM
Benefit Street’s Mile of History
sponsored by Center for Reconciliation
11:30 – 12:30
Keynote & Panel Discussion
12:30 – 2:30 PM
Byron Rushing, Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1983-2019, Vice President,
House of Deputies, The Episcopal Church
Representatives of Racial Reconciliation Ministries,
Province I, ECUSA
Sunday Fundraiser: $60
Monday events including lunch: $30
All events Sunday and Monday: $80
Sunday Fundraiser: $35
Monday events including lunch: $10
All events Sunday and Monday: $40
Nov. 9-11: EPF 80th Anniversary, Bristol and Providence, RI
Nov. 21-23: Borderland Ministry Summit, St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson, AZ
Dec. 4: National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence (TBD)
Dec. 22: National Day of Reparations (FOR) TBD
Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! Steven and I are planning to spend the winter in the southwest, heading up through California and then into Oregon and Washington. We will come back east in time for our NEC meeting in Detroit in April, 2020. To schedule a visit, contact me at epfactnow.
Until next time,
power to the peaceful!
Look up! Inside the chapel at Penn State, Altoona, where Bair County, EPF held its moving "Journey of Remembrance" Vigil in honor of victims of gun violence
on All Souls’ Day.