Peace Party 2019, Oct 13, Connect

“In every one of us there is a deep desire to connect to others in a good way.” ~Judge Barry Stuart

Dear friends,
If you have ever been to one of the international dinners we auction off at our Peace Party, you know what a treat they can be. First for the gift of a home-cooked meal, second for the exposure to tastes, cultures and ideas from around the world, third for the joy of a gathering of friends you haven’t met yet, and finally, for the knowledge that you are supporting our shared vision of peace. As promised, here are the experiences awaiting some lucky bidders this year. So look at your calendars and make your plans for an experience to connect with others in the best way — one you won’t forget!   Click here for tickets and more information about the Peace Party.

  • Five Friends Italian Dinner cooked to order and delivered to you — by 5 friends!
  • Authentic Greek Dinner by Effie Koehn (4 plates) on Sunday, October 27, 2019
    The Flavors of Tuscany: Cuisine of the Italian Heartland by Chef Ray Risho on Saturday, November 9, 2019
  • Alsatian Dinner by Martha Buser (10 plates) on Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • Locally Sourced Five Course Gourmet Dinner from theo Smith of Masala (8 plates) on Sunday, November, 17, 2019
  • Guided Hike in the Bitterroot Mountains with Guide, Racheal Zeiler & Lunch at Lolo Peak Brewing after the hike (Group of up to 6). Date to be arranged with Racheal
  • Sushi for Two at Sushi Hana. Date to be arranged with Al Gaither at the restaurant
    Dinner Celebration of Peace with Andrea Olsen (4 plates) Tuesday, December 10, 2019 (International Human Rights Day)
  • Authentic Portuguese Dinner by Sofia Reis at the home of Steve and Connie Running (6 plates) on Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • A Turkish Delight from Leslie Burgess, Serena Earlyand Cyndy and Ray Aten (6 plates) on Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • 3 Days and 2 nights at a beautiful Flathead Lake Cabin. Dates to be arranged with the owners
  • Taste of New Orleans Cajun and Creole Dinner by Nancy Leifer and Linda Andrus (8 plates) on Saturday, February 8, 2020
  • House Concert By Beth Youngblood (for up to 8 people) complete with appetizers. Date & place to be arranged with Beth (Missoula area only)
  • Authentic Indian Dinner from former Coordinating Council member Srini Mondava (8 plates) on Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Authentic Thai Dinner from Jume Slover and her famous food cart Big Thai Country (8 plates) on Saturday, March 7, 2020
  • Beginning Whitewater or Sea Kayaking Instruction with Nancy Siegel (for 2 people). Date and Location to be arranged with Nancy
  • A unique, one-of-a-king JRPC Recipe Collection of food from Peace Party dinners over the years!
  • la Tour de France from Suzzette Dussault (6 plates) on Saturday, June 27, 2020
  • A Week-Long Get-Away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of East Tennessee at a newly remodeled cabin. Dates to be arranged with owner
  • And top it off with a slice of Pat Cross’s soon to be famous pie!

But meanwhile, you have 17 days to get your tickets! See you there…the Peace Party 2019 Planning Committee

Indigenous Women

“The loss of these women affects our communities greatly. Each and every one of them left behind family, loved ones and in many cases children.” ~Denise Stonefish

Dear friends,
We pass along this message from our friends at the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center…According to the Sovereign Bodies Institute, over 50 indigenous women and girls went missing in the state of Montana in 2018. Indigenous women and girls make up around 3% to 4% of the population in the state but are around 30% of those deemed missing by the Montana Department of Justice. 97% of perpetrators of violent crime against indigenous women were non-native as found by the National Justice Institute. This is not just a reservation problem; urban areas such as Missoula and Billings have some of the highest cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Billings is ranked fifth in the nation for MMIWG cases, as stated by the Urban Health Institute. In response to this crisis, The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center (MUIHC), in partnership with the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force, are committed to addressing this human rights issue.

Historically, red is the color associated with MMIWG awareness. August 10th is the “Rock Your Rodeo Red” MMIWG event at the PRCA Rodeo at the Western Montana Fair Grounds. Show your support for MMIWG families and survivors by purchasing an Indian Taco at the MUIHC booth and a Rock Your Rodeo Red t-shirt at the MUIHC informational booth. The support of the Western Montana Fair will enable MUIHC and the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force to reach a broad audience of all Montanans who may be unaware of the severity of the MMIWG issue.

This event will include an honoring drum song, a color guard of flags from all Montana tribes, and a procession of families impacted by the crisis. Please join us as we honor the lives and legacies of these indigenous women and girls.

We The People

“…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” – concluding words of the Declaration of Independence

Dear friends,

Today we celebrate its 243rd “Independence Day” with fireworks and flag-waving. While there is much to celebrate in the birth of our nation and the ideals of liberty and freedom that are the foundation of our constitution, much of the celebrating has become an exercise in glorifying war – the songs, the armored vehicles on parade, the military shows of strength and glory. War is unfortunately a part of our heritage as a nation, but there is so much more to celebrate, and other ways to serve. As long as we glorify war and perpetuate the view that no other service to country is as honorable or heroic as becoming a part of the military killing machine, we will continue to have wars and our sons and daughters will continue to seek the paths we so glorify.

The closing words of the Declaration of Independence call us to pledge our support for each other as we work together to make this country better. We at JRPC have called this day “Interdependence” day. Instead of glorifying war, let us think about and honor the indigenous Americans we displaced, the countries and peoples around the world we share this earth with, the earth itself and all our fellow creatures, the millions of immigrants that make our country rich with diversity, the neighbors we share our communities with, the civil servants who work hard with few rewards and all the heroes who worked and died to protect the human and civil rights of all of us. Let us celebrate those who serve our country in compassion and generosity – true to the spirit of liberty and justice for all. When I lift my red, white and blue, it will be for all of you…Betsy

There is only love

“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—we will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.” ~Joy Harjo, first Native American US Poet Laureate

Dear friends,
It seems the US and Iran are on a collision path to war even though public sentiment and reason lean the other direction. While no war is good — they all bring destruction, death and a difficult path to healing — war with the possibility of a nuclear component is certain devastation. 74 years ago next month, the world said, “Never again”. And today, with unending wars we cannot resolve, over 70 million people already displaced by conflict and a national deficit we cannot sustain, those words must ring out loud and far. I echo the words of Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo and bless all those workers for justice and fresh meaning — all those who will see us through. In one week, the nation will celebrate our founding. Let us look as a nation toward love and peace. We are planning to host an event on July 3 to give us a chance to gather in blessing to ring out the words “Never again” again. Please call us or watch our facebook page for details. And let us know your ideas. In the meantime, you can take action by:

A Good Story

“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

Dear friends,
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!