EPF CHAPTER OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA:
FAITHFUL, NON-VIOLENT WAR RESISTERS
This week took us from Winston-Salem, through Boone, Conover, and Hendersonville into Asheville, North Carolina. I was welcomed by our EPF Chapter of Western North Carolina at the glorious Cathedral of All Souls on Sunday afternoon for a mutual pep-rally, of sorts.
Like our EPF national organization, EPF-WNC was born of war-protest. After the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, the chapter organized and began a ten year vigil on the lawn of the Cathedral, which is conspicuous outside the entrance to the Biltmore House, holding signs in opposition to the war, including encouragement to "Pray for Peace and Justice." To bring the message of peace and justice into the lives of the congregation and community more deeply, the chapter has also sponsored lectures on gun control, abolition of capital punishment, non-violence, The Innocence Project, and environmental concerns. More recently, encouraging others to register to vote and then to vote consistently with their baptismal promises has been a priority, as have ongoing efforts to feed the hungry. The chapter and All Souls are primary sponsors of "Loving Food Resources" (grocery bag pictured above), which has, for 25 years, provided basic needs for people living with HIV/AIDS and persons in Home Hospice care. More than 80 people utilize the pantry each week. Learn more at www.lovingfood.org.
One of the chapter’s conveners is the Very Rev. Ross Jones, former dean of St. George’s College in Jerusalem. Fr. Ross and his wife, Gwen, have connected the chapter intimately to the issues of our Palestine-Israel Network, and much of our time together on Sunday was spent lamenting the current state of affairs in Palestine and catching up on the good work and organizing efforts of our PIN Action Group.
I left inspired, knowing that social justice work in North Carolina is in capable, caring hearts and hands!
Cathedral of All Souls, Asheville, NC
Peacock banner at All Souls Cathedral suggests the beautiful power of transformation.
Join EPF members from around the country, including Jack and Chris Payden-Travers of St. Anne’s, Winston-Salem, and me for the annual Fast and Vigil to abolish the death penalty, June 29-July 2, in Washington, DC. Details at www.abolition.org.
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, 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, then participate in the Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage on Saturday. More details and registration coming soon, so watch this space!
Advocacy against drone warfare
EPF is participating in this important work — learning to advocate against drone warfare. We 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. EPF member Allie Graham of Princeton, NJ is planning to attend — are you Interested in this ministry? Let us know and let’s see how we can make funds available to help get you there! epfactnow
Our Ithica, New York, Area Episcopal Peace Fellowship
reports an amazing and inspiring event held last week:
EQUALITY, FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE FOR ALL IN ISRAEL /PALESTINE: An interfaith conversation between Mother Megan Castellan, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Rabbi Brian Walt, Congregation Tikkun v’Or; moderated by Laura Branca, Dorothy Cotton Institute was held on Thursday, June 13, at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Mother Megan and Rabbi Brian share a commitment to work toward an equitable and just resolution to the ongoing and worsening crisis in Israel/Palestine. Their commitment is rooted in their respective faiths and based on their personal experiences and witness in Israel/Palestine. They shared how they—as a rabbi and a priest—understand what they have observed and why this calling is central to their spiritual and ethical commitments. Their conversation was inspiring and edifying.
The event was organized by Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace/Committee for Justice in Palestine and the Ithaca Area Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and was co- sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church, Dorothy Cotton Institute, Congregation Tikkun v’Or, Ithaca Area Congregations Together, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Church of the Epiphany, Ithaca Interfaith Center for Action and Healing, Group 73 of Amnesty International, Ithaca Catholic Worker and others.
Thanks to EPF PIN Convenor Linda Gaither for this news.
Melanie’s upcoming schedule:
Steven, Miranda and I will still be in North Carolina for the next several weeks! Are you here, too!? Let me know if you want to meet for coffee or worship!
Looking forward, EPF will be in:
June 23: St. Mark’s, Raleigh NC (tentative)
June 27-29: Washington, DC "Love God, Love Neighbor: Advocacy in Action"
July 29: 20th Annual Starvin’ for Justice Fast and Vigil, Washington, DC
June 30: Washington Episcopal Holy Land Committee
July 12-13: Big Provincial Gathering, Province V, Kalamazoo, MI
July 13: Commemoration of Sojourner Truth, Battle Creek, MI (in the works!)
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 Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and
Justice, Montgomery and Hayneville, AL
Sept. 4: Bp. Paul Jones’ feast day, Diocese of Vermont
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!
Join us at the Province V Big Provincial Gathering in July!
We’d love to see you at our evening reception on Friday, July 12 at 6:00pm!
Our special treat is a GO! EPF is gathering a group to visit the Sojourner Truth Memorial in Battle Creek, Michigan, 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. A light picnic will follow a time of remembrance and prayers. Blessed Sojourner’s feast day is July 20. Photo credit Rob Burgess.
Gorgeous garden at the home of our hosts, Ginny and Bill Pierson, Asheville, NC.
How can we support EPF while Melanie is on the road?