One of the most vital things EPF did this week was speak out against our country’s policy of detaining asylum seekers. As did many around the U.S., we raised our voices and our hearts in unison to demand an end to human detention camps on Friday night in Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, MI. The action was sponsored by Kalamazoo First Congregational UCC. Shown here is a cage which the UCC church was given permission to erect in the park in protest to the detention facilities along our southern border. The cage is filled with flowers, which are intentionally not tended, with predictable results. It is a haunting metaphor. Visitors to the cage were invited to leave encouraging notes for asylum-seekers, which will be translated and taken to the detention centers to show love and support.
EPF gathered a group to visit the Sojourner Truth Memorial in Battle Creek, Michigan, for prayers, a commemoration, and a picnic, on Saturday, July 13. We were joined by members of St. Thomas, Battle Creek and by one of Sojourner’s descendants, great nephew Thomas McLiechey, shown with us, far right, end of the first row. Blessed Sojourner’s feast day is July 20.
EPF Membership Committee needs
your energy and vision!
Your EPF Executive Council needs your help today. Yes, today. One of the ways to help is by volunteering to serve on the membership committee. What is that? To quote, it “creates the requirements and commitments for EPF membership for individuals; recruiting member initiatives; help look at donor and contact database management; chapter and peace partner recruiting”, unquote. That’s a lot of somewhat dry language that speaks to how we grow and sustain our membership. The EPF is celebrating 80 years of continued existence and struggle. Struggle for urging those in the Episcopal Church and beyond to take action to bring about change for peace and justice. This is a time to make that big leap to step our of your comfort zone and help the EPF at the national level.
Volunteering is the path forward to strengthen the work of our organization. Step back and think about this work, familiar to you all, we’re sure. Volunteering is known to improve health, bring about personal satisfaction, purpose, and a sense of accomplishment. Further, it can influence community and have a positive influence on others’ lives.
Your national executive council needs your volunteer help to be more visible, have a louder voice, and to have a bigger impact in creating the difference we all want. Consider the membership committee as a possible way for you to help.
And, the good news is that this is not a life time commitment. We know you have many demands on your time. You can let the Council know your time commitment for service.
Contact Melanie Atha at epfactnow, or Rev. Bob Davidson at frbobdav
Submitted by the Membership Committee leadership Betsy Davidson (Traverse City, MI) and Rev. Richard Wineland (Nashville, TN)
THE WEEK THAT WAS!
The Province V Big Provincial Gathering in Kalamazoo was a success! With big goals of "Connect. Network. Support." the meeting gave participants plenty of chances to meet others who shared their interests in mission and ministry and to find resources for effective future ministries. Keynote speaker Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija of the Diocese of Los Angeles gave us the skills and the courage to try something new (https://www.trytank.org). More than 300 Episcopalians from across Province V and beyond enjoyed worship, music, food, and break out sessions on everything from establishing a "Peace Camp" for youth to finding paths to racial reconciliation to inspiring lay preachers to occupy a pulpit to evangelism and care for creation. Best new find for racial reconciliation with Native Americans: www.greatlakespeacecenter.com. There was a lot to choose from at the gathering, and organizers Heather Barta and Gennie Collard are to be commended for pulling it off with such grace and joy.
On Sunday, I worshipped with St. Thomas, Battle Creek, MI (sanctuary shown above left), where I was heartened to meet fellow pilgrims from as far away as Pensacola, Florida and to see again those who had joined us for our commemoration of Sojourner Truth the day before. St. Thomas feeds the hungry breakfast every weekday morning and has monthly services with Calhoun County inmates through their prison ministry. www.stthomasbc.org
EPF leadership at the "Lights for Liberty" event in Kalamazoo: Melanie Atha, Bob Lotz, Rev. Kay Houck, Rick Russell and Rob Burgess.
DIOCESE OF CHICAGO, PLEASE JOIN US THIS MONTH!
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 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
EPF Reception at Province V Big Provincial Gathering
EPF hosted a reception at the Province V Big Provincial Gathering in Kalamazoo last week. Among our Province V leadership, shown here, are Rob Burgess (Benton Harbor, MI), Bob Lotz (Lexington, MI), Betsy Davidson (Traverse City, MI), Newland Smith (Evanston, IL) and Rev. Kay Houck (Lexington, MI).
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
FOR OUR ALABAMA
YEAR OF ACTION EVENT!
Make plans now to 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. Registration available now at https://give.classy.org/peaceandjustice.
SEE US IN BIRMINGHAM!
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. 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 21: Grace Episcopal Church, Traverse City, MI
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. 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?