Standing with Standing Rock
Offered by Rev. Dr. John Floberg
Rector of the Episcopal Churchs on the North Dakota Side
of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation
The Episcopal Congregations on Standing Rock are grateful for the news of the shutdown of DAPL pending a full Environmental Impact Study. This Study is at the heart of this year’s long protest. Little consideration had been given to the consequences that would be endured by the Standing Rock Nation in the event of a pipeline failure within the boundaries of the reservoir on the Missouri River. Neither were critical aspects of identification of the historic nature of the land to the Indigenous People of the region that the pipeline traverses fully reconciled in the construction of the project. As in most situations that threaten the environment, there are populations of less powerful communities that are placed at risk. We are grateful that the Episcopal Church and its members came to Stand With Standing Rock and acted as a catalyst for the larger Christian Community to find its place to stand with us as well.
Read the ENS story of the Episcopal Church’s support for this decision here.
EPF is proud that Standing with Standing Rock was the first stop of its Year of Action pilgrimage in commemoration of its 80th anniversary in the fall of 2018.
The Falmouth, MA, Clergy Association, including EPF’s national vice chair, Rev. Will Mebane, created a video with a powerful and encouraging message of love and hope. View it here:
From our friends at the North Dallas Chapter of EPF
As the “water hose” of issues related to public justice does not seem to abate, we are continually forced to decide which ones to address. This is a matter of both prayer, and of our individual resources – I for one can choose only one or two, else my attention (which I find already stressed) grows too thin. And even as I’m writing this, it serves as a reminder to myself to engage in prayer for inner peace, as well.
This week’s first link makes the interesting connection between the Black Lives Matter movement in our country and the Palestinian struggle for freedom. (Note that the Netanyahu government has been forced by international pressure – in part from some US Senators and Representatives – to pause the Israeli plan to annex West Bank land.)
The Episcopal Church USA urges us to action on an issue by the end of the week, as July 15 marks the closing date for public comment on this proposal (comments which the DOJ and DHS are required to read and consider). If passed, the rule would both make legal immigration harder and “severely restrict action to asylum in the US.”
Finally, an issue which likely weighs on all our hearts and minds: systems in our country which perpetuate injustice, particularly toward the most vulnerable, in the very name of “justice.” The Friends Committee on National Legislation is urging support for an Act now before Congress which would help to end the militarization of our police forces:
In prayer, hope and action for peace and for justice,
for the North Dallas Chapter of Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Are you looking for a unique worship experience that informs and supports your work for social justice for the poor? Watch Freedom Church of the Poor, hosted by the Kairos Center, LIVE each Sunday from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm Eastern time on the Kairos Center’s Facebook page. Learn more here.
Our Episcopal Bishops United Against Gun Violence group is sharing news that their partners at Brady launched a Democracy Access project with March for Our Lives ("MFOL") focused on voting rights in an effort to highlight the link between gun violence prevention and democracy.
We have backed many initiatives to end or at least reduce gun violence, only to see them voted down by NRA-purchased state and US legislators. When we support candidates pledged to the policies we need, they often lose because too few people have access to the most basic democratic right: the vote.
Gun violence prevention is an anti-racism movement. The suppression of voting rights is an act of racism meant to keep us in a Jim Crow world of White privilege and Black oppression. Poll taxes and literacy tests have been replaced by the closing of polling places in Black neighborhoods, purging of voter rolls, and lifelong disenfranchisement of felons in the age of mass incarceration. Even though a majority of our people support common-sense gun laws, voter suppression keeps many from being able to vote for them.
Brady, MFOL and Bishops United are highlighting four aspects of the battle for voting rights:
Are you living in a state that votes reliably blue or reliably red and yet you want to make an impact in a swing state? Check out Common Power and find a way to move our country towards compassion and inclusive democracy. You can make a difference! Vote your baptismal covenant and help change the world!
JOHN NEVIN SAYRE AWARD
Episcopal Peace Fellowship seeks nominations for its John Nevin Sayre Award. EPF established the Sayre award in 1979 to honor founding EPF member Rev. John Nevin Sayre for his lifetime of service waging the Gospel of Peace. Sayre was an Episcopal priest, pacifist, missionary, teacher and author who gained notoriety when he challenged President Woodrow Wilson to address the devastating events of World War I. Because of Sayre’s efforts, Wilson agreed recognizing conscientious objection as a legal alternative to military service. Sayre has been described as a peace apostle whose life was devoted to the waging of peace and opposition to war.
In 1979, two years after Sayre’s death, Episcopal Peace Fellowship honored his lifelong commitment to peace by establishing the John Nevin Sayre Award. The award is conferred every three years at General Convention for courageous witness in the cause of justice and peace to a recipient selected by the EPF National Executive Council. Through this award Episcopal Peace Fellowship publicly recognizes Episcopalians who are actively living their baptismal promises of striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. Like the person for whom the award is named, recipients have dedicated their life’s work to courageously promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence in the face of cultural opposition. Past recipients include Rev. Naim Ateek, Madeline Trichel, Mary Miller, Louis Crew, Newland Smith, Very Rev. Canon Patrick Augustine, Caroline Stevenson, and Patty and the late Rt. Rev. Ed Browning.
The 2021 John Nevin Sayre Award will be presented at the EPF General Convention reception on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The Rev. Bob Davidson, chair of EPF’s National Executive Council, looks forward to EPF’s reception each Convention. “It isn’t often that we are witnesses to peacemakers of such magnitude living in our midst. These awards remind us that working among us are living, breathing models of God’s call to follow the Prince of Peace,” said Rev. Davidson.
Nominations should be emailed to EPF Executive Director Melanie Merkle Atha at epfactnow by November 1, 2020, including in the letter of nomination the ways in which the nominee has worked for peace and justice.
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