Bishop Paul Jones, Episcopal Peace Fellowship founder
and conscientious objector
CROSS BEFORE FLAG
Every year on May 15th, we remember those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill, both in the past and today. Hundreds of people across the world are imprisoned or forced to flee their home countries for refusing to join the armed forces. This Friday, May 15th, we stand in solidarity with them, as well as celebrating the memory of all those throughout history who have resisted conscription, including EPF’s beloved founder, Bishop Paul Jones. Find ways to observe International Conscientious Objector Day and read more here.
The Episcopal Church is not a historic "peace church," but the Church does support those who believe that bearing arms in war is unchristian and against their convictions. EPF was founded as a way to support conscientious objectors and to encourage the Church to move towards being a church of peace. For young adults who are pacifists, the time to first consider CO status in an official capacity is before one registers for the draft. Although the Selective Service does not have an official way to register for CO status, there are ways to establish a record of your beliefs. In addition, the Episcopal Church maintains an official registry of those wishing CO status. We have a packet with information on how to do this. Active military personnel who now feel called to be conscientious objectors can also register. More information is available here.
Read Cross Before Flag: Episcopal Statements on War and Peace here.
From our founder, Bishop Paul Jones, to our current leadership, Rev. Bob Davidson (National Chair) (left) and Rev. Will Mebane (National Vice Chair) (right), EPF is proud of the courage and convictions or our prophetic leaders who conscientiously objected to being conscripted into violent armed service. To support EPF work in support of conscientious objectors and against war, click here.
Save the date! Wear orange for gun violence prevention is June 5-7, 2020. We will be filling up the social media airwaves to create awareness around the prevention of gun violence. Send us your photos and videos so we can share the energy you have for this vital social justice effort!
Click the video above to learn about EPF’s support for the Poor People’s Campaign. Register to attend the virtual Moral March on Washington as a member of EPF here.
COVID-19 has forced the nation into an unprecedented emergency. The current emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis — that of poverty and inequality, and of a society that has long ignored the needs of 140 million people who are poor or one emergency away from being poor.
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America and sought to build a broad movement that could unite poor and dispossessed communities across the country. Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this work. People across the nation have joined under the banner of the Campaign to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, climate change and ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.
They are coming together to demand that the 140 million poor and low-wealth people in our nation — from every race, creed, gender, sexuality and place — are no longer ignored, dismissed or pushed to the margins of our political and social agenda.
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS ARE HERE! LINK BELOW!
For the sixth consecutive General Convention, in June, 2021, EPF will send young adults between the ages of 18-30 to General Convention to advocate for peace and justice by drafting legislation, testifying in committee, and building support for resolutions. Delegates will experience first hand how The Episcopal Church functions as the largest democratically elected governing body in the world. For applications for delegates to General Convention, click here!
Our upcoming schedule:
Steven and I are still physical distancing in Sisters, Oregon with friends and EPF supporters Rev. Jack and Rev. Christy Erskine for a little while longer due to COVID-19. Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’m doing some administrative chores, trying to keep in touch with EPF supporters, reading and praying and taking action for those for whom EPF advocates — the people living in Palestine/Israel affected by the violence there, those affected by gun violence, those affected by war, the people being held in unconscionable circumstances in our unjust and racist criminal justice system, those being treated inhumanely as they try to find safe harbor in our country of abundance, those being trafficked and abused, our beautiful planet which often feels like she is in her own death throes, and all those who feel disconnected from the rest of humanity. With God’s help. . .
Until next time,
power to the peaceful!
Bishop Paul Jones — Orange back drop in support of gun violence prevention!