We Shall Have to Begin With the Children

“If we are to teach real peace in this world…we shall have to begin with the children.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Dear friends,
There are so many stories of folks doing great things to change the world. And we love to hear them. Gandhi tells us that if we want to change the word for peace, we must begin with the children. But here is something I have learned. The “children” have a lot of wisdom to share with us if we will listen to their stories.

Today, I would like to introduce you to several young people who are changing the youngpeacemaker2019world. They are living stories of courage, compassion and justice that will inspire us all with hope. These are the nominees for our 2019 Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace Award.

  • Allison Moran, a 6-year-old kindergartner at Jeannette Rankin School who epitomizes kindness and caring by volunteering in the community, looking at the positive in every situation, going out of her way to help others and pay it forward and spreading love everywhere she goes.
  • Cecilia Spencer, a 4th grader who is active in the constant effort to promote justice and harmony;
  • Kara Good, Blake Lindemer and Emma Stevenson, from Seeley Lake who are bravely spreading awareness about discrimination, injustice and environmental issues;
    University Congregational Church of Christ Missoula Youth Group who are active in a broad spectrum of social justice issues such as food insecurity, homelessness and Native American reservation issues
  • Lily & Maizy Miller, middle school sisters who started businesses to raise money for girls to go to school in Nepal and Malawi

These are the faces and voices of the future stewards of our world — the authors of the stories that will change our world. A group of their peers will have to select one of these individuals or groups to receive a cash award for their contribution to the search for peace — not an easy task! But we want to honor and appreciate all of them for giving us hope for the future.

Please join us on Saturday, May 18 at Imagine Nation Brewing Company at our annual Peacemaker Celebration to honor and thank all these young people and announce the winner of the Fr. Jim Hogan award just prior to celebrating our 2019 Peacemakers, Fernanda M. B. Krum & Robert Rivers. If you are at all discouraged by the world around you, these inspiring young people along with our two amazing peacemakers will renew your hope for the world and make you proud to be part of this community. At 1:30, before we announce the Search For Peace winner, there will be a special peacebuilding workshop arranged by our peacemakers. This is a celebration you won’t want to miss and there will be a reception to follow so you can meet and mingle with all the movers and shakers of peace in Missoula!

See you there…Betsy

Transformed people transform people

“Transformed people transform people” ~Richard Rohr

Dear friends,
Twenty years ago, a nun in Great Falls, MT told Robert Rivers that he would have a connection to Brazil. At the time it meant nothing, but when he met Fernanda Menna UbuntuBarreto Krum while working as a Nonviolent Peaceforce trainer in Romania. The two quickly became more than a connection and that magic has made an impact around the world helping people recover from conflict and rebuild lives. Fernanda and Robert settled in Missoula 7 years ago and while they have continued to have an impact around the world, they have built a center in Missoula that has transformed our community and many people in it. I am honored to announce that Fernanda and Rober have been chosen as the 2019 Peacemakers.

Imagine Nation Brewing Company is a place beyond beer — a Center for Transformation, the first of its kind, where connections conversations and change can occur. Their logo is a buffalo, the only animal that turns to face a storm. Fernanda and Robert have supported many people in conflict zones around the world to face the storms before them and transform their communities. The Center they have built here in MIssoula is helping us do the same by making space for critical dialogues such as LGBTQI issues, climate change, immmigration, veterans issues or criminal justice reform. Robert and Fernanda believe that we are all connected and that what we do together gives us strength. They have given almost have of their profits back to Missoula nonprofits and given us all a place to transform ourselves so that we can impact the world. The African saying that inspires their work is Ubuntu — we are who we are because of each other.

Please join us and the Missoula Peace Quilters to honor Fernanda M. B. Krum & Robert Rivers on Saturday, May 18 at Imagine Nation Brewing. At 1:30, Fernanda and Robert will offer a peacebuilding workshop presented by Denis Matveev. Then at 3 pm, we will introduce you to the five Youth Peacemakers nominated for the Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace Award and then the Quilters will present a special peace quilt to honor the work Robert and Fernanda are doing to strengthen our connections to each other and heal the world. I hope you can join us…Betsy

PS: Last week, our server was interrupted so we thought it wise to reassure you our security systems kept us safe, and we are back on track. We apologize for any disruptions.


The Light Within Me…

“No matter how much light I carry within me, there will always be times of feeling lost, being confused, seeking direction. It is the way of the human heart.” ~Joyce Rupp

Dear friends,
Today, I will join many other community groups to table on campus for the Student Advocacy Resource Center. They celebrate diversity and support respect and care for all the academic community so that the UM campus can become a place that is free Lightfrom discrimination and unwelcome physical, emotional or social coercion. What a great resource for our campus community. But more importantly a role model and reminder for the rest of us. We all go through rough times and loose our heart and our direction at times. So the question is not why, but rather, how can we be each other’s resource and bring back each other’s light. Peace begins in small ways every day…Betsy Continue reading

A Vision

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” ~Rosabeth Moss Kantor

Dear friends,
Today, there are two important opportunities for you to become part of the JRPC team. After nearly 8 years at the job, Nancy Leifer is retiring from the position of Volunteer NancyLCoordinator for the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. “As volunteer coordinator, I was able to meet and get to know a wonderful diversity of people drawn to JRPC because of their dedication to peace and justice,” Leifer reported. “Serving as JRPC’s volunteer coordinator enriched my life immeasurably through the friendships I made and through the opportunity to work for peace. I highly recommend this position to anyone who enjoys meeting people and helping them understand the mission of JRPC and how they can best volunteer.”

Continue reading