Lights for Liberty

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”
~Pablo Casals

Dear friends,
Love does not stop at borders; it transcends them. Tonight Missoula will be joining

Artist: Ben Wild Flower

hundreds of cities around the nation and across Montana to call for an end to child and family detention at the border. In partnership with Montanans for Immigrant Justice, Missoula Rises and Soft Landing Missoula, we invite you to join the Lights For Liberty Vigil to express our horror at the conditions in the detention center and the deaths of 7 children in America’s custody. Violence is not only what we do or say. It is also what we allow. The most vulnerable need us to educate our minds, open our hearts and raise our voices to protect them. Tonight, let us join together in solidarity with the world. And tomorrow, let us find our path to action…Betsy

 

Friday, July 12, 7:30 pm, St Paul’s Lutheran Church (202 Brooks). Close The Camps Rally in conjunction with the national Lights for Liberty — Stand to voice our horror over the situation on the southern border- specifically in relation to detained children. Join with others in Missoula and around the nation. There are rallies planned for all across the country, including Helena and many other cities. For a listing near you, visit https://www.lightsforliberty.org/

Decency

Decency

Dear friends,
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

 

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

Necessary, Possible, Impossible

“Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible,
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~Francis of Assisi

Dear friends,
The first day of spring…an end and a beginning, the edge of death and rebirth. I don’t springthink any other season holds so much promise and hope for renewal. We clean our houses, buy new clothes, admire the budding new birth around us and refresh our spiritual life. Marveling at the ability of buttercups to push through the snow and shine always reminds me that I too can push through adversity and the world will renew itself. Seeing the tragedies and injustices of our world sometimes makes it hard to believe in renewal and keep hoping. Continue reading

Beneath the Ink

“Face your past. Change your life.” ~Beneath The Ink

Dear friends,
I have been enjoying the break from routine to watch many of the films at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. I’ve been exposed to the effects of war, the power of a Changebicycle, the realities of being black or native, the pain of the human condition and the redemption that is possible. All of them connect me to people and places outside my world. They inspire conversations and they teach me what is real and also what is possible. We have had a recent onslaught of hate literature surface in Missoula and I know we all struggle trying to understand how people can believe hateful rhetoric. And we search for solutions that will bring about change and redemption. One filmmaker found a Continue reading