Report of EPF Annual Meeting held on January 30, 2021


Record of EPF Annual Meeting, held on 01/30/2021 at 1:00 pm Eastern time over Zoom 

[44 attendees] 

Welcome - Bob Davidson, National Chair 

Introductions 

[each participant was invited to state their name and location] 

A Litany for Peace and Justice 

Led by Bob Davidson and Lynn Huber, the link is HERE

Qualification of voting members and quorum - Bob Davidson 

Melanie Atha, Executive Director, certifies that a quorum is present

Our EPF pledge reaffirmed:

In loyalty to the teaching, and person of Jesus Christ, my conscience commits me to the way of redemptive love: to pray, study, and work for peace, and to renounce, as far as possible, participation in war, militarism, and all other forms of violence.

In fellowship with others, I will work to discover and create alternatives to violence and to build a culture of peace. I urge the Episcopal Church in accordance with our baptismal vows “to renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God”, and to wage peace across all boundaries, calling upon people everywhere to repent, to forgive, and to love.

Greetings from Anglican Pacifist Fellowship - Sue Claydon, APF 

Presentation of NEC slate by Nominating Committee - Bob Davidson

Accepted unanimously; congratulations to our new NEC!

Link to members and bios HERE

Recognition for work of Melanie Atha, Executive Director - Bob Davidson 

Recognition for Outgoing NEC leaders - Melanie Atha

Bob Davidson, chair; Will Mebane, vice chair; John Floberg, NEC member 

Action Group reports: 

Palestine Israel Network - Harry Gunkel notes that Israel has a high rate of covid-19 infection, but also a high rate of vaccination: 20%. But not a single Palestinian has been vaccinated, though international law requires occupying nations to provide such medical care. Linda Gaither reports that The Episcopal Church has divested from several companies that do business in the occupied territories, and established a Do Not Buy list. 

Young Adults Network - Cody Maynus (cemaynus@gmail.com) says we will have a delegation for the 2022 general convention, and will spend the year before in study and prayer for the work.

Gun Violence Prevention - Bob Lotz (bob.lotz.epf@gmail.com) explains that the group, like the EPF as a whole, is a network for those seeking to get involved, or for those already involved to share their activities. A lot of GVP work is done in this country, but not a lot is from an explicitly Christian perspective. We emphasize our Gospel call to love our enemies and reconcile all people to each other and to God, to wage peace based on a militantly non-violent perspective. 

Death Penalty Abolition - Kathy McGregor (tellervision@gmail.com) says her Prison Story Project has been folded into her Arkansas parish and the EPF. The project has received an evangelism grant to share the film, “On The Row,” across the country. She asks NEC members to suggest to dioceses and congregations that they sponsor a free showing. A study guide has gone to the printers and will be a available. 

Anti-War/Conscientious Objectors - Bruce Freeman (freeman.bruce@gmail.com) reports that this is a new group, though it speaks to the whole history of EPF. The group will have resources available on the EPF website. The co-convener, Dana Grubb, has prepared an essay on Just War theory for the website. They are also planning to show the film, “Hunger Ward,” on the war in Yemen. 

Non-Violent Conflict Resolution- Dan Edwards (bdantedwards@gmail.com) tells us that this group is only a month old, but the Exec Committee has asked for a peace-building project, and this will be it. He projects offering educational material such as webinars and workshops to teach skills such as those taught by Mennonites and Parker Palmer. He is in touch with these groups as well as members of other Episcopal bodies. He asks that EPF members email him if they are interested. 

Immigrants and Refugees - Mike Wallens (michaelwallens@gmail.com) reports that the Remain in Mexico policy is being lifted; 15,000 people near him (in Texas) have been stuck by reason of this policy. Now he and others are working to assist shelters to prepare for those recently freed. from this policy. There is a lot of work to do in advocacy and education. He is working with Episcopal Migration Ministries. 

By reason of shortness of time, Committee Reports were omitted from the meeting agenda. Link here to our EPF Committees, NEC leaders and their charges.

Peace Partner Parishes and Chapters - Melanie invited 3 of our many peace partners to present today:

North Dallas Chapter - Ron Damholt, convener, says that they are based at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, and have many activities, including film showings. They also meet monthly between Sunday services to offer a “Peace Post,” a chance to write, call or email elected officials, with 3 focus issues selected for each month. The idea came from the OGR and the Friends Committee, and has become popular, with full clergy support. 

Trinity Cathedral, Diocese of Ohio - Debbie Hunter, co-convener, reports that the history of EPF in Cleveland goes back to 1988. Their work has included their “Cross of Nails” project, Bonhoeffer education, and erecting Peace poles. Their core issues have been human trafficking, death penalty abolition and the war in Yemen. 

St. John’s Cathedral, Diocese of LA - Jessica Jew, convener, tells that, following the visit of Executive Director Melanie Atha to the cathedral last February, they became a Peace Partner Parish, and then the pandemic struck. Their core issues are homelessness, which is epidemic in LA, and racial justice/ending white supremacy. 

All Peace Partner Parishes and Chapters are encouraged to look at their listing on the EPF website to confirm that their leadership is correctly identified and that their other information is current. www.epfnational.org

Closing Prayer was offered by outgoing national Vice Chair, Will Mebane

Meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.

Following the Annual Meeting, a National Executive Council meeting was held, at which time the following were elected to leadership:

The Rt. Rev. Dan Edwards, Chair

Kathy McGregor, Vice Chair

Bob Lotz, Secretary

Rob Burgess, Treasurer

A deficit budget was passed, committee leadership was selected and plans for our next meeting on April 9-10, 2021 were initiated.

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