What a week! Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death last Friday was a hard blow to our nation and the work we still need to do. On Monday, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres presided over the International Day of Peace and made a new push for a global ceasefire to be a reality by the end of 2020. In his opening statement, he said, “there is only one winner of conflict during a pandemic: the virus itself”. In the US, we can count 200,000 lives lost to the virus, and the grieving families left behind – families who are disproportionately black and indigenous. Continue reading
One of the things I am proudest to have been a part of is helping to create a Missoula that welcomes refugees with love. Out of those early meetings, Soft Landing Missoula came to be. And they continue to create that Missoula we all envisioned. JRPC is proud to continue to be part of their annual Welcoming Week celebration each year. This year, thanks to the financial support of Imagine Nation Brewing Company, we are able to bring you the free film, DAY ONE that will make you cry, laugh at times, but most importantly be inspired as it follows the journey of several young refugees as they heal and learn together to overcome trauma and tragedy (more information below). Grab an INBC beer, a Kamoon Arabian meal and…
I have long been inspired by the work of the Missoula Peace Quilters. Not only do they make beautiful, creative pieces of art that we are drawn to, but their work and their quilts are, to me, symbols of our work for peace. Just as a quilt contains many different colors and pieces of fabric – all different sizes, shapes, colors and patterns – peace must include many perspectives, opinions, cultures and experiences. Some of the pieces of fabric in a quilt are treasured and others are scraps but in the quilt they are equal and they each contribute to the beauty of the whole without prejudice. We would do well to view the world with such equality. I know when the quilters sit down to begin a quilt, they each come with ideas and talents. And yet they each come willing to surrender their vision in service to the larger group. They are “peace” quilters because they know what it is to bring disparate pieces of fabric together to make something of beauty that is larger than any individual piece.
The quilters have done their magic in the quilt pictured here and they are generously raffling it off to benefit the JRPC. Let it inspire you as a symbol of the work for peace. Raffle tickets are available at the Center for $5 each or 5 for $20. Call us or stop by to get your chance to own a beautiful example of peacemaking…Betsy
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Dear peace community,
This year more than any other time, we can see what is really important in our lives, our workplaces and our communities — our connections with each other are the most valuable thing we have. At a time when we can’t see faces or give hugs or handshakes, it is more important than ever to celebrate and appreciate each other. It is after all, the foundation of peacemaking.
Last week, I sent out a letter to our current members letting them know that our annual Peace Party, which we all love so much, is not going to be possible this year. Obviously, we will miss the thrill of being with so many of you. But we will also miss the income generated by the event — $30,000 or more that we use for programming and support throughout the year.