Peace Out: Week Seven

Week Seven Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Seven
Our pilgrimage continues in celebration of EPF's 80th year
as I walked the stations of the cross in Boquillas, Mexico this week.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

This week I went to church with my husband, Steven, in Big Bend National Park. Fair is fair, right, as he went with me last week to St. Paul’s in Marfa. Steven’s church is the great outdoors, and as worship goes, we had a fine “walk in love” out to the Window in the Chisos Mountains, five miles out and back, with an elevation gain and loss of more than a thousand feet. This week we have seen javelina, eagles, muskrats, rabbits, antelope, blue jays, deer, road runners, herons, coyotes, and vermillion flycatchers. We actually saw all the way to heaven last week at the McDonald Observatory, which is out in the middle of no-where, Texas. The night skies have been breathtaking everywhere out here. Peace is in every view and in each part of creation we have enjoyed sharing.

We went to Boquillas, Mexico and I walked the Stations of the Cross at Nuestra Senora Del Carmen. (I understand from reading Marfa for the Perplexed by Lon Taylor (parishioner at St. Paul’s- Marfa) that Bishop Kelshaw of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande once had a confirmation service here -- an abandoned Roman Catholic church.)

I found myself standing on the banks of the Rio Grande wishing I could take President Trump by the hand and show him this amazingly beautiful home to wildlife and humanity and commerce and peace and tranquility. I feel like if he could take off his shoes and put his feet in the cold brown water and listen to the bray of burrows and call of children, his heart might change about this border wall. Peace is contagious, right?

The Rio Grande, as seen from shore of Boquillas, Mexico.



Plan to Walk In Love with EPF in April! The weekend after Easter (April 26-28), we will make a pilgrimage to Columbine, Colorado to commemorate the horrible school massacre which happened there twenty years ago, and will rededicate ourselves to eradicating gun violence in America. We will partner with advocates against all forms of gun violence, which includes the daily loss of lives in communities across the country due to domestic violence, gang violence, workplace violence, mass killings, suicide and accidental shootings. Preaching on the Sunday of our commemoration will be Lutheran pastor Don Marxhzausen, who was forced out as pastor of his congregation when he dared eulogize, humanize and preside over the funerals of the young gunmen. I hope if any of you are able, you will join us in Columbine for what we hope will be a transformative remembrance.

Details and registration at

Our upcoming schedule:

I’ve had some amazing invitations this week, including the chance to daydream about my trip to the Holy Land which will happen in October. Those of you who have been and have had transformative experiences, please send me recommendations (epfactnow) of must see holy sites. Kathy Christison of our Palestine-Israel Network has recommended that I see the film1948: Creation and Catastrophe (available on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes). If you watch it and can give it a favorable review, please do that on Now that we are back in civilization, Steven and I can stream it this week.

Next up for visiting is El Paso. I will be worshiping with St. Christopher's on Sunday on the invitation of their rector, Rev. JJ Bernal. I know I can learn a lot about ministries in support of immigrants from him and his flock.

We will be looking for other meaningful encounters with groups ministering to those in crisis at our border with Mexico while I am this far south. Ethan Vesely-Flad has recommended both Annunciation House: — and its executive director, Ruben Garcia, and Hope Border Institute: — Camilo Perez-Bustillo their director of advocacy, leadership development, and research as possible new connections for us, and I have reached out to both to see what we can make happen with our borderland parishes.

Last but not least, EPF's Pensacola, Florida chapter still has room for pilgrims on their trip to Africatown. I’m still regretful that I cannot be all the places I want to be during our Year of Action. High on that list of places I can’t go -- but wish I could -- includes this opportunity to travel to north of Mobile, Alabama on March 9-10 to see the town where freed slaves from the Clotilda made a home. They still have some places left, so please reach out to organizer Bill Sloan (850.748.2314 or wmsloan35) if you are interested in going with them. And, let us know if your EPF group has a pilgrimage arranged this year so we can help promote that as well!

Wish List:

Does anyone have a jewelry maker they can recommend? We need to replenish our stock of EPF logo necklaces so we have plenty on hand for our anniversary year. If you are such an artisan or know one, please let me hear from you!

With Ash Wednesday next week, I am thinking about how to have a Holy Lent on the road. I picked up a copy of “Lenten Madness” while I was at St. Paul’s--Marfa, and will play along . I also have asked that my home parish, St. Andrew’s-Birmingham, send me their daily Lenten meditation booklet so I’ll continue to feel connected to home. Any other great ideas? Send them on -- particularly if they involve opportunities for promoting peace during this holy season.

Until next time, power to the peaceful!


Sunset reflected off the Chisos Mountains,
Big Bend National Park, a thin place if ever there was one!
How can we support Melanie while EPF 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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