The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) is a national organization connecting all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and want to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church, and the world. We are called to do justice, dismantle violence, and strive to be peacemakers. Become a peacemaker.
EPF began as The Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship on November 11, 1939, Armistice Day. In the early days of World War II, EPF supported Conscientious Objectors, urging the whole church to do so. At that time members were required to sign a commitment: “In loyalty to the Person, Spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ, my conscience commits me to His way of redemptive love and compels me to refuse to participate in or give moral support to any war.”
EPF Staff & Board Members
Melanie Atha, Executive Director
Executive Director Melanie Merkle Atha has demonstrated her dedication to advancing peace and justice around the world in her roles as collaborative lawyer, collaborative practice group non-profit founder, and, most importantly, as a baptized Christian. She was hired as new Executive Director of EPF in January, 2019.
As a lawyer in private practice for nearly thirty years, Melanie discerned her call to transform her law practice from traditional litigation to collaborative conflict resolution as a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, an urban church which lives out its mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ at the altar and in the street. She has served St. Andrew’s as a vestry member, stewardship chair, Christian Education teacher, diocesan convention delegate and in various other roles. A graduate of EfM, she is glad to have the opportunity to marry her professional skills and her spiritual gifts.
Melanie is excited about the challenge of leading EPF into its 80th year. She intends to spend her time as ED traveling the country with her husband, Steven, making connections for EPF in parishes, at diocesan events, at youth gatherings, and wherever people eager to connect with others who have a passion for social justice can be found. If you or your group would like to schedule a visit with Melanie and learn more about EPF and how EPF can support you in your efforts to wage peace and justice, please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to serving as ED of EPF, Melanie also serves the Global Collaborative Law Council (“GCLC”) as its Executive Director. Like EPF, GCLC is a peace promoting organization — it is an international collaborative law practice group dedicated to expanding the use of collaborative law to all areas of legal conflict. Melanie hopes to serve as an effective, enthusiastic ambassador for both missions, to make lots of lasting connections, and to promote peace and justice as she travels through God’s magnificent creation!
Melanie was born and reared in rural Marengo County, Alabama. She has a BA in political science from Birmingham-Southern College and a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She and Steven have two grown sons, Richard and Tate.
Shannon Mikolajczyk Berndt, Member Services Coordinator
Ph: 312-922-8628, email@example.com
Do you need some EPF brochures, bumper stickers or t-shirts? Talk to me. I also handle memberships and donations at EPF. I have been on staff since 2012 and a member since 2006. I am so blessed to work with the wonderful folks that support the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and grow and to continue my activism.
After living in Ithaca, NY for 18 years, I have returned to my roots in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. As a result, EPF has moved with me. We are now located in Claysburg, PA, where I live with my husband and my dog.
National Executive Council (NEC)
EPF Peace Partner Parishes
Are you searching for a peacemaking Episcopal congregation in your area? Here’s a list of EPF’s Peace Partner Congregations.
The Peace Partner network consists of individuals and institutions (congregations, dioceses, seminaries, etc) who are seeking to grow their peace and justice ministries with the support of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. If you would like to become a Peace Partner, click HERE for the application.
EPF Chapter Contact Information
EPF chapters are regionally-based and work on local peace initiatives within their parish and communities as well as on national and international issues. Chapters sponsor and co-sponsor prayer and public witness such as peace vigils, liturgies, service projects and demonstrations. Click here to find out where our chapters to learn more about beginning a chapter in your neighborhood. Application for Chapters and Action Groups.
EPF Action Groups
EPF Action Groups include Episcopalians from around the U.S. who are passionately concerned about a particular issue. Action Groups have been formed on Care of Creation Iraq/Afghanistan, Death Penalty, Israel and Palestine. Conscientious Objectors, Nuclear Abolition, and Young Adults. Click here to contact the chair of the Action Group you are most interested in and begin working on these issues today! EPF Committee Information