“Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for…” ~John Lennon
This weekend we will spend time with our families as many of us will have a Memorial Day holiday from work. I urge you to think with compassion about the many families around the world who are mourning loved ones because of war; about the many young people who face life wounded and challenged; the children living without parents and the parents living without children. Memorial Day was originally known as “Decoration Day” because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was started by two Mississippi mothers who laid wreaths on the graves of soldiers both Confederate and Union , because, “after all, they are Continue reading
“A good story is like a compass, it points to something true and invites us to orient our own direction according to it and perhaps to live a little better.” ~Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen
Dr. Remen reminds us that it is the stories we hear that show us the way forward and challenge us to live a little better. This Saturday, we will be celebrating the stories of our peacemakers, our youth, the musicians in our community and each other. We have a special opportunity to learn about peace from Denis Matveev who is joining us from his work in Europe as a Peace Broker with the Crisis Management Initiative. This group was founded in 2000 by Nobel Peace laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari and is now one of the leading organisations in its field with a staff of around 70 and ongoing commitments in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. This is a rare opportunity for us in Missoula and I hope you can join us.
In fact, the whole day will be filled with peace. There will be a couple food vendors so you can purchase food. And Fernanda and Robert are offering a portion of all beverages sold to support Nonviolent Peaceforce, a great way for our celebration to do more good in the world. Below is the schedule for the day. I hope you can join us…Betsy
10:30 am-12 noon: Living Rhythm Community Drum Circle with Matthew Nord & Dave Robertson from Tangled Tones
12-2 pm : Imagine Ireland Irish Circle
1:30-2:30 pm : Strategic Peacebuilding Workshop w/ Denis Matveev senior advisor from The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI Peace Broker), an independent Finnish organisation that works to prevent and resolve violent conflicts through informal dialogue and mediation.
3-3:45 pm : Congolese Choir and Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace Youth Award. The award will be announced at the event. Nominees include:
- 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;
- The Youth Group from University Congregational United Church of Christ who are active in a broad spectrum of social justice issues such as food insecurity, homelessness and Native American reservation issues — Clara Hahn, Adam Hahn, Josie Firehammer, Helen McGeary, Keira Skovlin, George Cassens, Rowan Welch, Skye Welch, Gabriel Hendrix, Grace Cassens (Youth Leader) and Karin Clark Cassens (Youth Director)
- Lily & Maizy Miller, middle school sisters who started businesses to raise money for girls to go to school in Nepal and Malawi
3:45-5 pm : Montana Women’s Chorus Missoula provides music and the Missoula Peace Quilters present the Peace Award to Fernanda M.B. Krum and Robert Rivers
5:30-8 pm : Live Music w/ Good Old Fashioned and time to mingle with our peacemakers and each other and celebrate all that we have to inspire us!
Kendrick Castillo represents the latest addition to our shared grief and our disappointment with a government that cannot see past it’s differences to keep our citizens — our children — safe. It is up to us to raise the bar and demand accountability and action. Part of that action must be “being the change”. We can work for change and treat each other with decency and civility. In fact, if you think about it, treating others with respect may be the only way to get their attention and make them feel like listening and learning alongside us.
We are thrilled to join at least 15 other localities around the country calling for National Decency Day on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Join us at noon at Imagine Nation Brewing Company for “a decent lunch”. Bring your lunch or purchase it from vendors on site. Mayor Engen will read a proclamation we have prepared and we’ll have buttons or stickers for everyone who shows up. But the important thing is that you show up and stand up next to other members of our community and pledge to treat each other with civility and decency in our everyday conversations, thoughts and actions. It won’t heal our grief but a commitment to treat each other with decency is at the heart of understanding and moving forward together. Please join us, no matter what your perspective or beliefs. We are a community together. I look forward to standing alongside you…Betsy
Saturday, May 18. Honor our 2019 Peacemaker and the Fr. Jim Hogan Search for Peace award nominees.
10:30am-12pm -Living Rhythm Community Drum Circle
with Matthew Nord & Dave Robertson – Tangled Tones
12-2pm: Imagine Ireland Irish Circle
1:30-2:30 – Strategic Peacebuilding Workshop w/ Denis Matveev senior advisor from CMI
3-3:45 – Congolese Choir and Youth Award
3:45-5pm – Montana Women’s Chorus Missoula and Peace Award to the Peacemaker of the Year
5:30-8pm – Live Music w/ Good Old Fashioned
Dear friends, Go to our Missoula Gives page
Harriet Tubman said, you “gotta look past everything you know and believe in something better.” That’s what we do at JRPC. For 33 years, we’ve been keeping the idea of peace alive because we know that war is not the answer. It drains our economies, pollutes our planet, and destroys lives. If war is not the answer, what is? We believe it is connection, conversation and education — plus a little decency and diplomacy in the way we interact with each other. So one of the other things we work hard at is building a society and a world where those values are the ones we hold in relation to each other. You are likely hearing from many nonprofits in our community asking you to contribute to Missoula Gives today and tomorrow. We all work because of you our community! And if you care about our work, if you need what we offer the world, you need to fund that care with dollars. All it takes is $10 and you can support us or a variety of other deserving groups working in our community. Deepest gratitude for your help and support..Betsy
P.S. Did you notice the peace sign on our bee? It’s a little different than the other bees around town and we hope it helps you step up to look past everything you know, believe that a better world is possible and “Bee the change” for peace. Go to our Missoula Gives page between now and 8 pm tomorrow to show us you care. I
PSS: We have to correct a mistake we make last week — The group that was nominated for the Fr Jim Hogan Search For Peace Award was the University Congregational United Church of Christ Missoula Youth Group — good luck to them and thanks for their great work!