Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear friends,
When I reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this is the quote that always comes to mind. To me it beautifully reflects his life as a pastor and they way that he approached action. We can never really know what is going to happen on any given day there are just too many elements operating outside of our control. We can however decide to act or take that first step in faith that the world can be better and that we can do better. Martin Luther King remains one of the worlds greatest peace heroes and it is important to celebrate his lasting legacy and reflect on the work still to be done. There Continue reading

Usher 2020 in with a little peace and positivity

Dear friends,
Nearly 400 people stopped by Caras Park New Years Eve to help usher 2020 in with a little peace and positivity. It was an evening filled with love, laughter, stories, and some tears. Whether they had a wish for the new year or something they needed to leave behind in 2019, everyone brought such powerful energy to the luminary. There is much to look forward to in the coming year and because I could not say it any better, I will leave you with this wish for the new year borrowed from author Neil Gaiman,

“It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them. And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.”

With a wish of bravery & joy,

Carol Schwartz

Be present in all things and thankful for all things

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
Maya Angelou

Dear friends, members, supporters, and volunteers,
As we end 2019 and celebrate our winter holidays, it is a perfect time to say thank you for the contributions of time, money, and ideas you have made this year. JRPC would not be what it is without all of your support. We want to show our appreciation by inviting you to come and shop our best sale of the year starting today! Also, be sure to stop by Caras park on New Years Eve anytime between 4 and midnight to add a luminary to our peace sign.

With our love and thanks,

Betsy & Carol

P.S. Please note that we will only be open until 3:00pm on New Years Eve.

“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. ”

“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. ” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Into the darkness we go dear friends,
I have always found the darkness to have a quiet, sort of calm, energy. That makes Winter Solstice a beautiful opportunity to look within and center myself before diving back into the holiday festivities of the following few weeks. In many cultures around the world, Winter Solstice is a time for regeneration, renewal, and self-reflection before the sun is “reborn” and the days get longer. My challenge to you all is to take a moment out of your Saturday to reflect, set goals, examine, and say goodbye to the past year. Embrace the short day and allow for a calm breath before taking on the final days of this decade and the many beyond that.

However you celebrate this season, all of us here a JRPC & the Olive Branch hope that your coming days are full of joy, warmth, and peace.

Carol Schwartz

P.S. There is still time to vote for JRPC! Next time you are by the center be sure to check out the beautiful window display created by our amazing store volunteers & staff. We would appreciate you showing your support for their work by voting for our window in the 2019 “Lights Around the World” Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest! 

If stories come to you, care for them

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” Barry Lopez

Dear Friends,
I am wondering what stories you are carrying within you?Last night, in Missoula we had a beautiful view of our last full moon of the decade. As it danced across the sky here bathing us in that beautiful glow, countless others across the globe may have had a dark night due to cloud cover. The stories and experiences we each carry with us are much the same. It seems that many times what we view as the darker stories have the most power when shared with a person in need of hearing it. Continue reading