This is the power of gathering

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us – delightfully – to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word more alive!” ~Alice Waters

Dear friends,
Alice Waters reminds us there is great power in the times we come together. Fall is a time of harvest, of letting go and of preparation for winter. So it has been a great tradition of the JRPC to gather together as a peace community each fall — to celebrate the harvest we have come to enjoy together, to let go of our work for a while to enjoy each other while we raise the money and the energy to go forward. This year, we will gather on Sunday, October 13 to celebrate “we the people”, the gatherings through history that have moved us forward – toward democracy, equality and justice. We still have work to do — to make women equal to men, to restore dignity and respect to our indigenous peoples around the world and to live up to the words “liberty and justice for all”. As we look to the work ahead, it is vital to keep the voice and the vision of peace alive and present. And we thank you for being a part of that work.

We are delighted to have the support of several amazing sponsors: The Good Food Store, Homestead Organics, Imagine Nation Brewing, First Security Bank and Anderson Zurmuehlen. And this year, we the people will enjoy SO much entertainment from such a variety of voices – the old world Klezmer music of Chutzpah guaranteed to make you want to dance, the stories put to music that only Missoula legend, Tom Catmull can do and finally a little jazz from the Classy Kiwi Jazz Trio of Hellgate High students. Plus kids are free this year and we have fun activities for kids of all ages — face painting and marshmallow building! If you’ve been to the peace party before, you know it is one of the most enjoyable events in Missoula. If you haven’t been, this might be the year, you should change that. In the next couple weeks, I will share some of the amazing items that the generous Missoula community has given us for our raffle and auctions. But meanwhile, you have 17 days to get your tickets!

See you there…the Peace Party 2019 Planning Committee

Children Get Together

“If a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.” ~Greta Thunberg

Dear friends,
One of the most important parts of peace is dialogue — the connection we make with those around us, the ideas we share and the education, support and encouragement we give each other. This week is an important one in communities across the world. People the world over, led by our youth are calling for serious commitment and action to reverse and heal the damage our planet is suffering. We at JRPC will be closing on Friday, September 20 and 27 so that we and our employees can support and attend those actions in Missoula. We hope to see you all there.

We are also celebrating the gift that refugees have been to our community as we participate in Welcoming Week with our partners Soft Landing Missoula. I ask you to join us tonight at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. where Robert, Fernanda and I will lead a discussion on the core of peace. We hope to hear your ideas and comments as well. The serious challenges we face in the world require all of us to find our voices and add them to the symphony that is our future. I’ll see you tonight…Betsy

No Time For Hate

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” ~Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 Pilot 

Sept 12, 2019
Dear friends,
The violence of our world and the sad events of 9-11-01 cannot be far from anyone’s mind.  It is easy to feel insignificant and even hopeless in the face of these thoughts.  But, September 11 is another anniversary as well – one that offers us great hope and significance.  In 1906 Mohandas Gandhi took his first action of non-violent resistance against a world that he saw as terribly unjust.  Here was a man who, despite being trained as a lawyer, was too shy to actually practice law.  And yet, he knew that the problems of his day were only being compounded by an “eye for an eye” mentality.  And he knew that he must become the change he wanted to see in the world.

We have a responsibility to help each other succeed, to create hope together, and to teach and inspire one another so that our connection is what makes the headlines, not our divisions.

…Betsy

Love

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”~Carl Sagan

Dear friends,
Each of us has a choice about the way we see the world. We can see the turmoil and look for blame, for enemies. Or we can see beyond that to ask the causes and to seek out the solutions. Why do those we call enemies do what they do? Can we change the narrative from blame and evil to understanding and compassion? I think we can. But it is not easy because everything in our world teaches us to think in terms of a war narrative of blame and evil instead of the peace narrative — winning and losing instead of cooperating and collaborating. However, I believe we can be the change. In times of fear and panic, we can be a force of calm. We can be safety for those who are trembling or the voice of reason for those who question. We can comfort the oppressed and be compassion to those who suffer. Let’s all practice looking first for the things we can do and understand instead of looking first for those to blame and attack. Together we can change the narrative.

PS, at long last, our new database is up and running. At long last, this will be our last newsletter in this format. Next week we will send it from our new database. This should solve many of the problems you all have had viewing this on your phone, etc. But as with any transition, there will be issues to work on. So please let us know if you don’t get next week’s e-news or if you have any problems viewing it. We are grateful to all of you for your support, for staying in touch with us and for helping to make this transition possible…Betsy