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!

Why Peace in 2018?

Dear friends,
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in World War I. TryPeaceThis war and the many before and after have left indelible marks on our country, our people, our military and our societal structure.

The 1918 armistice brought hopes of world peace after the “war to end all wars,” and Armistice Day was soon designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.” Congress rebranded this day as Veterans Day in the 1950’s, and as time went on, it changed from a day of remembrance and peace to a day to celebrate militarism.

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Rally and Vigil For Immigrant Justice THIS Wednesday

Wednesday, June 20, 5pm, Missoula County Detention Center (2340 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808). Rally and vigil for Immigration Justice sponsored by several area groups including JRPC. Please show up to support immigrants and people of color that are experiencing an escalation in racial profiling, ICE detentions, and deportation in our community and throughout the United States. Currently, undocumented people are unjustly being held in the Missoula County Detention Center. Show up and stand up by attending this rally and send the message that we see and hear these people.