Peace Out: Week Twenty-Five

Weekly Update from Melanie
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Peace Out: Week Twenty-Five
Our next big stop for EPF's 80th Year of Action will be in Kalamazoo next week for the Province V Big Provincial Gathering!
Join me and several members of EPF, including leadership:
Bob Lotz, Rev. Kay Houck, Rob Burgess and Betsy Davidson.
We'd love to see you at our evening reception on Friday, July 12 at 6:00pm!
EPF is gathering a group to visit the Sojourner Truth Memorial in Battle Creek, Michigan, for prayers, a commemoration, and a picnic, immediately following the Province V Big Provincial Meeting in Kalamazoo. Time is 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 13, at the corner of Division and Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek. Blessed Sojourner's feast day is July 20.
One more "don't miss" event in Kalamazoo: speaking out against our country's policy of detaining asylum seekers. Please join us as we raise our voices and our hearts in unison to demand an end to human detention camps. Friday night, July 12, 7-10 p.m. at Bronson Park, 200 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI. Those of us attending the BPG event will walk over after our EPF reception to light a candle. Sponsored by Kalamazoo First Congregational UCC.
This week took us from North Carolina into Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. We found ourselves unexpectedly devastated in Bedford, Virginia, home of the National D-Day Memorial (www.dday.org). The small community was graced with being the home for the memorial because Bedford lost more young men per capita than any other town in the country. Nineteen of the thirty four of the Bedford Boys died on the first day of the invasion, with four more dying during the rest of the Normandy campaign. We were invited to imagine the town of 3,200 gathered in the Presbyterian church, across the street from the telegraph office, where the news of the lost trickled in. I could almost hear the stones cry as we walked down the street, which is flanked by banners on the light poles with the faces and names of the dead. Feeling the magnitude of the loss to this one community was hard to bear, and when you measure that out over the losses realized around the country, then around the globe, in that war, it is unimaginable. Wars must cease. We are called to resolve our conflicts, great and small, nonviolently, and with love.

On Thursday and Friday, I attended Episcopal Migration Ministries '"Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action" training in Washington DC. We learned information and skills for advocating our legislators to shore up and support our refugee resettlement and asylum programs, then went to Capitol Hill to actually meet with our senators' and representatives' staffs to lobby. I am so grateful that the Episcopal Church is so dedicated to this issue and is so effective at enlisting and empowering us to do this life-saving work.

On Sunday, I worshipped at one of the oldest parishes in the country, Grace Episcopal Church, in Columbia, MD. The new church building sits behind the several hundred year old cemetery, through which I walked to get into the sanctuary. Our opening hymn was "The Church's One Foundation" and "mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won" felt about right.

Sunday afternoon was spent with EPF PIN member, Steve France and members of the Diocese of Washington Holy Land Committee, which is a group which includes members from the former District of Columbia Chapter of EPF. By reason of their former companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of Jerusalem, the group is already deeply attached to the mission of bringing justice for the Palestinians. They have sincere interest in exploring whether or not reviving their EPF chapter will be beneficial to their work and their Diocese, and I hope they do. There is so much happening in social justice in the District, in Maryland and in Northern Virginia, that having an EPF network will only strengthen their efforts and connections to answering their baptismal call to peacemaking and justice.

EPF members Joe McDaniel, Jr. (Diocese of Central Gulf Coast) and Rev. Dr. Tommie Lee Watkins, Jr. (Diocese of Alabama, rector of St. Andrew's-Birmingham) were among the faithful learning advocacy in support of refugees at Episcopal Migration Ministries' "Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action" in Washington, DC. Both men are in leadership for EPF's August pilgrimage to Alabama for the Jonathan Daniels Commemoration and visit to the Lynching Memorial. EPF member also present, but not pictured, was Richard Jordan, convener of the St. Bartholomew's (Manhattan) Chapter of EPF. It was great to be with these men doing this holy work!
Christ Episcopal Church "Old Brick" in Columbia, MD.
This church building dates to 1809. The parish was founded in 1711.
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!

EPF would like to send at least two of us to Princeton, NJ to represent Episcopalians everywhere and then to carry this advocacy forward for us. We have one committed volunteer -- Allie Graham of Princeton, NJ. 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

Mark your calendars now to join EPF for our next Year of Action event: 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 Memorials on Friday, the Legacy Museum at 10:00 a.m., followed by lunch, then the Memorial at 2:15 pm, followed by a time for reflection at a Montgomery area Episcopal church. The next day, we will participate in the Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage to Hayneville. Registration coming soon, so watch this space!
Thanks to Steve France of our EPF Palestine Israel Network for this announcement:

The extreme, right-wing, Fundamentalist Christian Zionists of "Christians United for Israel" are coming July 7-9 in their thousands for their annual "Washington Summit" at the Convention Center. Their mission: place heavy constituent pressure on Congress to ramp up support for even harsher (indeed apocalyptic) policies against the Palestinians.

BUT for the first time, CUFI will be met by an unprecedented, highly organized protest from Christians, Muslims and Jews -- and all who support Palestinian rights. Among Christians, we who believe that the Gospel calls on us to pursue justice for all, peace, brotherhood, and respect for the dignity of all people must not be silent. Church-based supporters of Palestinian rights must raise our voices -- nonviolently, faithfully, AND BOLDLY.

The protest is being organized by Friends of Sabeel North America, with the active support of Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine. EPF-PIN has endorsed the action and has tasked DC members to help with preparations. FOSNA is urging people to register on their website (fosna.org) so as to ensure that this action, which is just the start of a long-term, national campaign to expose and oppose CUFI, will be a model of tolerance, restraint and seriousness.

Melanie's upcoming schedule:

Looking forward, EPF will be in:

July 7: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Cleveland, OH
July 12-13: Big Provincial Gathering, Province V, Kalamazoo, MI
July 12: Lights for Liberty, Kalamazoo, MI
July 13: Commemoration of Sojourner Truth, Battle Creek, MI
July 14: St. Thomas, Battle Creek, MI
July 21: Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City, MI
July 25: Chicago, 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. 7: Bp. Paul Jones' feast day observed, St. James, Essex Junction, VT
Sept. 27-29 Drone warfare initiative, Princeton, NJ
Oct 13-24 Palestine
Nov. 11: EPF 80th Anniversary, Providence, RI
Nov. 14-16: Borderland Ministry Summit, St. Stephen’s, 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!

Melanie

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!
Butterfly bush growing on the farm of John and Dayna Tirado, Bedford, Virginia.
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