The Reverend Robert (Bob) Davidson, EPF National Chair
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people,
and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.
Are Peace and Justice Essential Services?
The Rev. Bob Davidson, National Chair
My daughter is a medical social worker in the Intensive Care Unit of a large hospital in the Denver, Colorado area. Recently she was given a statement to have on her person from the hospital in case she was stopped on the road designating her as an essential worker. Some would say that only the medical providers (doctors, nurses, and other providers) are the essential health care workers and not social workers, chaplains or support staff.
This got me to thinking during this time of our international response to COVID-19 and the upheaval of movement and services are PEACE and JUSTICE considered essential services to our communities, our congregations, our country and the world. When we are being asked to participate in the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s 40 Days of Peace and Justice throughout Lent how do we balance giving to the EPF with vital outreach to homeless, the hungry and the isolated where we live?
During times of national and global crises, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship has maintained a vital and indispensable voice that addresses many of the root causes of inequities and imbalances regarding who is vulnerable, who has access and who is being marginalized. While COVID-19 reinforces the truth that, “Death is the Great Equalizer,” this pandemic exposes the structural disparities and racism that cry out for voices of PEACE and JUSTICE.
When communities are locked down during governmental orders, we see the privileged able to maintain greater normalcy due to the benefits of stronger technology, financial resources and networks of families and friends. Those having to maintain low-paying jobs for fear of being laid off in nursing homes, custodial and domestic work, and other high exposure positions know this inequality only too well. Inadequate access and coverage of health care sheds light on a glaring deficiency during this crisis but one which will exist in the future. The poor and uninsured always have a higher morbidity rate due to lack of treatment, medication and time to recover.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the Episcopal Peace Fellowship is working to combat the stigmatizing of communities of Asian descent by proclaiming the respect and dignity of all human beings. EPF is addressing gun violence prevention as the sale and possession of firearms escalates in the illusion of self-protection. EPF is speaking out for historic shutdowns and occupation without proper access to health care services in Palestine and indigenous communities. EPF carries on our decade’s long opposition to capital punishment and the disproportionate risk to those incarcerated in correctional settings.
As you work within the needs of your own locality for direct services to the most vulnerable, will you also help us sustain the essential voice for PEACE and JUSTICE through your support of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship during these forty days of Lent. Our goal has been to raise $10,000 to enable the important work of our Executive Director, Melanie Atha, and her pilgrimage across the country along with the ongoing work of our Action Groups and the work of our elected National Executive Council. Please consider a gift today here. (or, copy this link into your browser: https://www.classy.org/give/274361/#!/donation/checkout
Will you be giving to EPF as part of your Lenten discipline? We hope so! The work of EPF depends on the support of those who seek to do justice, dismantle violence and strive to be peacemakers. Your contribution to EPF will ensure that your voice for peace will continue to be heard in our Church and in our world. We aim to raise $10,000 between now and Easter, and your dollars count! A dollar a day for the forty days in the wilderness is just $40! Click here to donate, and thank you!
EPF DELEGATION TO GENERAL CONVENTION,
APPLICATIONS COMING SOON!
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. WATCH THIS SPACE for applications for delegates to General Convention to be available, coming soon!
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
congratulates EPF on 80 years of loving action and witness,
declaring that our activity is,
"Nothing less than the work of God!"
By June 20, 2020, when this important day of advocacy happens, what will the number of poor and low wealth people be? How many more than 140 million? How many will have died by reason of lack of access to health care, to sanitary conditions, decent housing, or adequate wages? Those of us in quarantine can use this time to pray, study and act on the issues that impact the most vulnerable among us, and plan to show up and show out, virtually, on June 20. Demand that our elected leaders lead for the benefit of all of us!
Our upcoming schedule:
Uncertainty due to COVID-19 has given us a challenge in scheduling. We are in rural Nevada, probably headed further south as it is sill COLD here! Eventually, we will be rescheduling our pilgrimage to the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest when the coast is clear. Meanwhile, I’ll be doing some administrative chores, 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!
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Julian of Norwich