In a week made dark by mass murder by white supremacist gunmen, made even more painful by dishonest, complicit leadership in Washington, it is hard to be hopeful. Yet, we are called to pray, study and act to advance social justice. Join us this week as we reflect on a distant racially motivated murder by gun — that of blessed Jonathan Myrick Daniels over fifty years ago — as we pilgrimage to Alabama to visit the holy sites of his martyrdom, and the museums and memorials that have made transparent the depth of our systemic racism. Read on.
YEAR OF ACTION EVENT
IS THIS WEEK!
AUGUST 9-10, 2019
MONTGOMERY AND HAYNEVILLE
OUR AUGUST YEAR OF ACTION
STOP IS HERE!
Please join EPF for our next Year of Action event: our August 9-10 pilgrimage to Alabama and the National Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Justice and Peace in Montgomery (www.museumandmemorial.eji.org), and the annual Jonathan Daniels and the Martyrs of Alabama Pilgrimage to Hayneville. Don’t miss this chance to participate in these transformative experiences with your EPF colleagues! We have a block of rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott, 5555 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL for the evenings of August 9 and 10. Call (334) 272-5533 and ask to speak with "sales" about the Episcopal Peace Fellowship block and they will set you up with our rate ($119/night). We’ll visit the Lynching Memorial on Friday at 10:00 a.m., followed by lunch at the Alley in downtown Montgomery, then the Legacy Museum at 2:30 p.m., followed by a time for reflection at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Montgomery at 4:30 p.m. The next day, we will participate in the Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage to Hayneville, which begins at 11:00 a.m. on the Lowndes County Courthouse Square. Sign up now at https://give.classy.org/peaceandjustice.
Stained glass in chapel at Vanderbilt University
School of Divinity, home of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel.
MUSIC CITY EPISCOPAL CHURCHES WITH HEART!
This week, we returned to Nashville after stops in St. Louis, MO for service for our RV ("Miranda") and Louisville, KY to visit dear lifelong friends, Pif and Chip Hicks. It was a lot of driving, made easier by the reward of time with people we love, and who love us so well.
Sunday morning I was invited to greet our EPF members and friends at St. Augustine’s Chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University. Chaplain Rev. Becca Stevens, renowned for her "Thistle Farms" ministry (www.thistlefarms.org) who is also an EPF member, was away preaching in Ohio, and I was left in the most capable hands of Rev. Mary Murphy (Chaplain of their Center for Contemplative Justice). I was delighted to know that one of my old law school deans, Don Welch, is on staff at St. Augustine’s, as is an enneagram mentor of mine, Rev. Ian Morgan Cron (www.ianmorgancron.com). St. Augustine’s is assisting asylum seekers traveling to and through Nashville (quite a number) by greeting refugees at the bus station to provide supplies, answer questions, and extend kindness. Guest preacher Tom Angland reminded us that God needs us to participate in God’s goodness. It seems to me that that is what EPF is able to do for us — to give us tools to participate in the goodness of God.
On Sunday afternoon, Nashville EPF Chapter founder and Chaplain to the NEC, Fr. Richard Wineland, invited me to attend "Church in the Yard" (CitY) at Church of the Holy Spirit. This church revels in the fact that they are situated so closely to Nashville Rescue Mission (which serves Nashville’s homeless population) because the proximity provides them with so many opportunities to be Christ’s hands and feet to those who are in need. Holy Spirit’s rector, Fr. Bill Dennier, preached and celebrated for the more than 70 hungry neighbors who, despite the monsoon and lightning storm that lingered right over the city for most of the afternoon, came in for lunch and fellowship. I am told they usually feed nearly 200. The church offers this hospitality every Sunday from 2:00-4:00 in either their yard or, as this Sunday because of the weather, in their Parish Hall. Four local Episcopal parishes take turns providing the volunteers and the meal for their guests; this Sunday, it was Christ Cathedral in Nashville.
Church of the Holy Trinity, downtown Nashville. This holy space dates to 1849;
the cornerstone to this building to 1852.
SEE US IN BIRMINGHAM —
Alabama EPF-ers, join us as we launch our Alabama Year of Action events in Birmingham tomorrow — Thursday, August 8, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, 1025 South 12th Street, Birmingham, AL. We’ll have refreshments and information about EPF and our ongoing plans to celebrate 80 years of action! Bring a friend!
We hope that by now you have seen this significant letter from our leadership at Washington National Cathedral:
We are so grateful for the Cathedral’s witness. The text of our letter of letter of thanks to Bishop Budde, Dean Hollerith and Rev. Canon Douglass is here:
August 4, 2019
The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglass
Re: Your statement of July 30, 2019
Dear friends in Christ,
We were deeply moved and inspired by your response to President Trump, which was posted at the National Cathedral’s site on July 30. We write to express our most sincere gratitude for your witness. You have articulated the church for which we hunger and whose prophetic voice is so urgently needed in these days.
We have indeed had enough. We cherish our diversity and honor our sacred mandate to serve the least among us, to welcome the stranger, to seek peace, justice, and reconciliation, and to respect the dignity of every human being. Your words challenge us to remember that, in our baptismal covenant, we further pledge to renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God. We pray for the stamina to resist becoming numb to the hate-filled vitriol to which we are subjected daily.
And, we pray and give thanks for you, who work in immediate proximity to the seats of power and thereby perhaps carry a special burden. Our brothers and sisters in Baltimore are your neighbors. The recent barrage from the President must have reflected a particularly harsh violence to your ears.
We treasure our National Cathedral for its architectural beauty, the magnificent stained glass, the glorious music, and its pageantry at times of national tragedy and celebration. We look also to you for steadfast witness, spiritual clarity, and calls to action. You have inspired and strengthened us. May God bless your work and our collective response.
In humility and respect,
Melanie Merkle Atha
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
NO MORE NUKES!
Holy Faith Episcopal in Inglewood, California, is supporting an upcoming event to commemorate the victims of all nuclear atrocities, past and present – with a candlelight procession through Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles the evening of Thursday, August 8, at 7:02 pm — the exact time in Nagasaki, Japan, that the atomic bomb dropped by the United States incinerated thousands of people in that city alone. Please join us in protest of use of nuclear arms and for this commemoration.
Our upcoming schedule:
Looking forward, EPF will be in:
August 8: St. Andrew’s, Birmingham, AL
August 9-10: Commemoration of Jonathan Daniels and Martyrs of Alabama
Visit to EJI Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and
Justice, Montgomery and Hayneville, AL
August 11: St. Andrew’s, Birmingham:
Fr. Bob Davidson, NEC chair, preaching
Sept. 4: Bp. Paul Jones’ feast day
Sept. 7: Bp. Paul Jones’ feast day observed, St. James, Essex Junction, VT
Sept. 8: Diocese of New Hampshire, TBD
Sept 15: Grace, Bath, ME
Sept. 27-29 Drone warfare initiative, Princeton, NJ
Oct 13-24 Palestine
Nov. 11: EPF 80th Anniversary, Providence, RI
Nov. 21-23: Borderland Ministry Summit, St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson, AZ
Dec. 4: National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence (TBD)
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!
How can we support EPF while Melanie is on the road?
Suggestions of icons of social justice, landmarks or museums she must see.
Driveway for parking "Miranda", her home on wheels. (a home driveway or church parking lot is great)
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 RV camp sites.
Visits with your pets — she is feeling deprived!
Homage to Muhammad Ali, who once famously said, "I am Muhammad Ali, a free name — it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me. Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it." May we all own our belovedness so well.