Peace Out: Week Twenty-Eight

Weekly Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Twenty-Eight
AUGUST 9-10, 2019
JULY 30!

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 (, 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. Register now at

From the EJI website:

Lynching in America

In their report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, EJI documented more than 4400 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950. EJI identified 800 more lynchings than had previously been recognized.

Racial terror lynchings were violent and public acts of torture that traumatized black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. Lynchings in the American South were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes. Lynching was targeted racial violence at the core of a systematic campaign of terror perpetuated in furtherance of an unjust social order. These lynchings were terrorism.

The lynching era left thousands dead; it significantly marginalized black people in the country's political, economic, and social systems; and it fueled a massive migration of black refugees out of the South. In addition, lynching - and other forms of racial terrorism - inflicted deep traumatic and psychological wounds on survivors, witnesses, family members, and the entire African American community.

Why Build a Memorial to Victims of Racial Terror?

EJI believes that publicly confronting the truth about our history is the first step towards recovery and reconciliation.

A history of racial injustice must be acknowledged, and mass atrocities and abuse must be recognized and remembered, before a society can recover from mass violence. Public commemoration plays a significant role in prompting community-wide reconciliation.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice provides a sacred space for truth-telling and reflection about racial terrorism and its legacy.

The museum and memorial are part of EJI’s work to advance truth and reconciliation around race in America and to more honestly confront the legacy of slavery, lynching, and segregation. “Our nation’s history of racial injustice casts a shadow across the American landscape,” EJI Director Bryan Stevenson explains. “This shadow cannot be lifted until we shine the light of truth on the destructive violence that shaped our nation, traumatized people of color, and compromised our commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice.”

Modeled on important projects used to overcome difficult histories of genocide, apartheid, and horrific human rights abuses in other countries, EJI’s sites are designed to promote a more hopeful commitment to racial equality and just treatment of all people.

The Peace and Justice Memorial Center

Built to enhance the public and community education goals of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the center is home to a new monument that honors victims of racial terror lynchings and racial violence between 1950 and 1959. The center is located on Caroline Street, directly across from the entrance to the National Memorial.

EPF Communications Committee needs you!

Hi! My name is Kay Houck and I represent the Communications Committtee for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. I am looking for creative people who would be willing to work on developing and implementing a communications strategy for EPF. Those with gifts with design and navigating social media are a welcome addition to the team. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a tech savvy person, there is still a place for writers and visionaries on the Communications Team. Together our ministry will include providing content for EPF’s website, social media, and newsletter; managing social media and comments; blogging; and assisting with virtual office details. To ask questions or to share how you might help, email me at revkaymhouck

Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan and Traverse City, Michigan

This week, Steven and I were welcomed to Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City, Michigan after traveling through Grand Rapids, Shelby, Grand Haven, and Ludington. What a beautiful area of the country this is! I was not expecting enormous sand dunes, seagulls, and so many lakes -- Michigan is quite a natural treasure. Fruit and flowers are everywhere!

Betsy Davidson of EPF's National Executive Committee had invited us to be at Grace this past Sunday. We were provided parking for Miranda in the driveway to the rectory, thanks to interim rector Rev. Kathryn Costas, who was a generous hostess for us. In addition to worshipping with Grace, I also had the opportunity to hear the choral masterpiece, "Considering Matthew Shepherd" at Interlochen Arts Camp in nearby Interlochen, MI. It was a hauntingly beautiful concert, composed by the acclaimed Craig Hella Johnson and performed by the students and community members (including four parishioners from Grace) of Interlochen on a perfect summer afternoon. Matt's story is hard to hear, and it was achingly rendered.

What Grace -- a relatively small parish in the heart of a resort town -- is able to do for their significant chronic homeless population is astounding. Grace birthed their Jubilee Ministries House right on their campus over fifteen years ago. Each week, a team of 21 dedicated volunteers provide hospitality for between 50 and 65 homeless adults each day (says one, "I am not homeless -- I am houseless -- I have Jubilee House") between 10:00 am and 2:30 pm. Guests have access to secure storage for their personal effects, access to computers for resume writing and applying for jobs, showers, laundry facilities, food and drink, privacy and social work support. Grace volunteers live out their baptismal covenant to "respect the dignity of every person" and share the burden and privilege of service with other volunteers from the community. Their guests are dignified and honored, even in death, with the Jubilee House Cross, shown above, commissioned by one of the guests of Jubilee House, Don, when one of their number, Kat, died of an overdose. Made of wood by Grace member Ken Andrews, from wood harvested from the property of Ken and his wife, Glenda, the names of the deceased are hung from the Jubilee House Cross, and the cross is processed around Traverse City, from church to church, holy site to holy site, honoring the deceased children of God. To the moment, 46 lives are commemorated. The cross is regarded as an icon of the city.

Grace is a warm, loving church filled with devoted followers of Christ, leading by example with enormous energy and humility. It was an honor to be with them.

Peace pole outside Grace - Traverse City declares "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in Ojibway, in homage to those native to this part of Michigan. The pole is adorned with the names of the individuals and groups which Grace has selected to award its peacemaking recognition, among them NEC member Betsy Davidson and their EPF chapter.
Advocacy against drone warfare
Advocacy against drone warfare is such important work – drones have become the preferred method for waging war, requiring no US boots on the ground. Drone operators, unlike combat pilots, go home to their families after their shift. Only the people of color living under drone surveillance and targeting – alleged “terrorists” and civilians alike – pay the blood toll of this new warfare. The Church must stand against the moral hazard of ignoring this “invisible” combat that produces only foreign deaths. Whether slaughter is delivered by nearby troops themselves at risk, or by piloted aircraft, or by drones, the Jesus Movement must be firm in rejecting every means of destroying life and love. We call for peace!

Registration deadline July 26! Only ten spots left!

EPF would like to send a few of us to Princeton, NJ to represent Episcopalians everywhere and then to carry this advocacy forward. We have two committed volunteers -- Allie Graham of Princeton, NJ. and Bob Lotz of Lexington, MI. There is still room for more! Are you interested in this opportunity? Let us know and let's see how we can make funds available to help get you there! epfactnow

Alabama EPF-ers, join us as we launch our Alabama Year of Action events in Birmingham on 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!

Our upcoming schedule:

Looking forward, EPF will be in:

July 25: Diocese of Chicago, St. Michael's, Barrington, IL
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
Sept. 4: Bp Paul Jones' feast day
Sept. 7: Bp. Paul Jones' feast day observed, St. James, Essex Junction, VT
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. 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?

  • 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. (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!
North Breakwater Lighthouse in Lake Michigan, Ludington, MI
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