Peace Out: Week Nineteen

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Peace Out: Week Nineteen
Festive floral wall mural at
Adelante Alabama Worker Center in Hoover, Alabama
These saints are empowering immigrant workers
to deal with wage theft and abusive landlords, among much else.
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 6:20

There's no place like home! I say this despite the draconian abortion bill that Alabama's legislature passed last week -- another reason my home state is famously hostile towards "other" and the poor. It was a joy to see family and a few friends and to watch Tate graduate and get him moved into his new apartment. I even had an unexpected opportunity to take part in a bus tour for The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival ( in Birmingham and to see friends from St. Andrew's.

I also got to spend some time with our Peace Partners in Tennessee while I was home. Rev. Richard Wineland, EPF National Executive Committee Chaplain, hosted EPF on Tuesday evening at St. Ann's-Nashville. Sponsored by our new Nashville EPF Chapter and the Beloved Community of the Diocese of Tennessee, we opened with a protest song, "Marchin' into Freedom's Land" and a prayer for peace. Present were members of the Nashville EPF Chapter, including Cate Faulkner (2018 EPF Young Adult Delegate to General Convention), members of St. Augustine's-Nashville, St. Ann's-Nashville, St. James-Murfreesboro, Christ Church-Nashville and Church of the Epiphany-Lebanon. So much going on in social justice in middle Tennessee already! Ed Miller of Christ Church is a vocal and effective advocate against the death penalty. Many folks are involved in prison ministry and re-entry ministries, gun violence prevention advocacy (including work with Mom's Demand Action), environmental justice and racial reconciliation work, just to name a few. The group buoyed me with prayers before we had a nice reception following our time for sharing. I'm so grateful for all the hard work that went into arranging this visit, and for that work that will come now that foundation for a social justice community has been established. Y'all keep up the good work, and don't let nobody turn you around!

Altar at St. Ann's - Nashville, TN
The church is glorious in her rebirth
following a tornado which destroyed the sanctuary in 1998.
The Cathedral of St. John's in Knoxville, hosted a community wide event to re-introduce Knoxville to EPF on Thursday. EPF member Joel Morris generously hosted me, treated me to lunch with the EPF faithful, and organized the networking event. Joel had invited folks from all over the Diocese of East Tennessee, including Bishop Brian Cole, who attended and led us into the event with a prayer for the condemned Don Johnson, who was executed by the State of Tennessee later that very day. Johnson died while singing a hymn as the lethal drugs were administered. Bp. Cole professed his hope that all Episcopalians could get behind abolition of the death penalty, to which we say, "Amen."

Social justice ministry runs deep in the Diocese of East Tennessee. Members of "Women in Black For Justice, against War" stand faithfully every single Tuesday from noon until 12:45 in protest of the occupation of Palestine by Israel. (www.womeninblack,org) Longstanding EPF members Helen deHaven and Barbara Hickey (St. James-Knoxville) and Ed Patrick (St. John's Cathedral) attended the event and are shining examples of ongoing dedication to bringing justice for the Palestinians.

One of the Diocese of Alabama's oldest parishes:
Holy Comforter, Montgomery, Alabama,
where I had the pleasure of worshiping on Sunday.
EPF is looking for members to sign up for this conference on drone warfare. We would like to send at least two of us to Princeton, NJ to represent Episcopalians everywhere and then to carry this advocacy forward for us. Interested in this important ministry? Let us know and let's see how we can make funds available to help get you there! epfactnow
2018 John Nevin Sayre award winner
Rev. Patrick Augustine will be elevated to
Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Bor
in South Sudan this summer. Congratulations, Pat!

Read more here:

Melanie's upcoming schedule:

Looking forward, EPF will be in:

June 19: Juneteenth event, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Asheville, NC
June 27-29: Washington, DC "Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action"
July 12-13: Big Provincial Gathering, Province V, Kalamazoo, MI
August 8: St. Andrew's, Birmingham, AL
August 9-10: Commemoration of Jonathan Daniels and Martyrs of Alabama
Visit to Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and
Justice, Montgomery and Hayneville, AL
Sept. 4: Bp. Paul Jones feast day, location TBD
Sept. 27-29 Drone warfare initiative, Princeton, NJ
Oct 13-24 Palestine
Nov. 11: EPF 80th Anniversary, Providence, RI
Nov. 14-16: Borderland Ministry Summit, St. Stephen’s, Tucson, AZ
Dec. 22: National Day of Reparations (FOR) TBD

Are you near any of our planned stops and want to visit? Just shout! epfactnow

Until next time,
power to the peaceful!


Join us at the Province V Big Provincial Gathering in July!
We'd love to see you at our evening reception on Friday, July 12 at 6:00pm!
I usually try to save my closing images for something pastoral or peaceful from nature, but my time with the bus tour for the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in Birmingham on Saturday makes me want to call out the devastating polluters in Birmingham, among them Jordan Scrap Metal. It's horrible that these dump sites are directly adjacent to private homes. Before noon, my throat was burning and my eyes ached. Hard to image living next to this mess; impossible to see it and not take some sort of action to try to help.

I'd been looking for an opportunity to hook up with a Poor People's bus tour during my travels, and was glad to be able to find one in my hometown. On the tour -- from the Diocese of Alabama -- were five vocational deacons: Archdeacon Emeritus Lou Thibodaux, Deacon Gerri Aston (St. Andrew's- Birmingham) (my home parish!), Deacon Kelli Hudlow (Diocese of Alabama Communications Coordinator), Deacon Carolyn Foster (St. Mark's-Birmingham) and Deacon John Stewart (St. Matthias- Tuscaloosa). The Episcopal peace makers were out in force and constituted almost half of those on the tour! Double bonus points: my friend Martha Jane Patton was there! Talk about a win-win!

How can we support EPF while Melanie 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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