“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”, Albert Pike
Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She has been dead for many years, but today I remember how she laughed when I tried to show her floor exercises from gym class, how wonderful her fried pies tasted, and how stately she looked in her nurses uniform as she went off to work. Yesterday as I stopped in The Break for a meeting, I saw the community remembrance shrine that is being created as part of our Festival of Remembrance to honor loved ones and create community around grief and healing. I thought of my “Nana”, my parents and so many others who have touched my life. And even though I had nothing to leave, I was moved to remember. But even more, I was moved to see beyond my life to the stories of loved ones that others grieve and to think about the stories of people I will never know in places I have never been — those who died in wars, violence or climate disasters and all the families who grieve them. Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. In the notes that adorned the shrine, I saw a glimpse of immortality. Grief connects me to my ancestors, but also to my community and to all those who suffer and die around the world.
The words, “thank you” do not come close to expressing the emotion, the gratitude and the pride I feel as I look back to the generous contributions of time, energy, money, muscle, music, food, services, gifts and so much more that was given to us last Sunday to make our peace party a success. And it was a very wonderful success. We had fun together, we raised money for a cause close to our hearts and we celebrated our successes and our connections. It was a perfect example of what “we the people” can do. Many people do not know that the Peace Center relies entirely on the money we receive from the public to survive — that’s your memberships, your donations at the end of the year, the sales from our fair trade store and this event. And for 33 years, the public – our community – has come through for us. Check out the list of donors and volunteers below and make a point to thank them yourself! Thanks to all of you, we will forge ahead into the future to work alongside you in order to leave a better world to those who come behind
With much gratitude for each and every one of you, Betsy
In case you missed the party, but still want to get in on the fun, we have a few dinners left that are available for purchase. To find out more, see the program or give us a call at 543-3955.
- The Flavors of Tuscany: Cuisine of the Italian Heartland by Chef Ray Risho, November 9, 2019, 1 plate at $350
- Authentic Portuguese Dinner by Sofia Reis at the home of Steve and Connie Running on Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
- A Turkish Delight from Leslie Burgess, Serena Early and Cyndy and Ray Aten on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 2 plates at $350 each
- Taste of New Orleans Cajun and Creole Dinner by Nancy Leifer and Linda Andrus on Saturday, February 8, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
- Authentic Indian Dinner from former Coordinating Council member Srini Mondava on Saturday, February 29, 2020, 3 plates at $375
And of course, THANKS to our sponsors:
“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us – delightfully – to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word more alive!” ~Alice Waters
Alice Waters reminds us there is great power in the times we come together. Fall is a time of harvest, of letting go and of preparation for winter. So it has been a great tradition of the JRPC to gather together as a peace community each fall — to celebrate the harvest we have come to enjoy together, to let go of our work for a while to enjoy each other while we raise the money and the energy to go forward. This year, we will gather on Sunday, October 13 to celebrate “we the people”, the gatherings through history that have moved us forward – toward democracy, equality and justice. We still have work to do — to make women equal to men, to restore dignity and respect to our indigenous peoples around the world and to live up to the words “liberty and justice for all”. As we look to the work ahead, it is vital to keep the voice and the vision of peace alive and present. And we thank you for being a part of that work.
We are delighted to have the support of several amazing sponsors: The Good Food Store, Homestead Organics, Imagine Nation Brewing, First Security Bank and Anderson Zurmuehlen. And this year, we the people will enjoy SO much entertainment from such a variety of voices – the old world Klezmer music of Chutzpah guaranteed to make you want to dance, the stories put to music that only Missoula legend, Tom Catmull can do and finally a little jazz from the Classy Kiwi Jazz Trio of Hellgate High students. Plus kids are free this year and we have fun activities for kids of all ages — face painting and marshmallow building! If you’ve been to the peace party before, you know it is one of the most enjoyable events in Missoula. If you haven’t been, this might be the year, you should change that. In the next couple weeks, I will share some of the amazing items that the generous Missoula community has given us for our raffle and auctions. But meanwhile, you have 17 days to get your tickets!
See you there…the Peace Party 2019 Planning Committee
“If a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.” ~Greta Thunberg
One of the most important parts of peace is dialogue — the connection we make with those around us, the ideas we share and the education, support and encouragement we give each other. This week is an important one in communities across the world. People the world over, led by our youth are calling for serious commitment and action to reverse and heal the damage our planet is suffering. We at JRPC will be closing on Friday, September 20 and 27 so that we and our employees can support and attend those actions in Missoula. We hope to see you all there.
We are also celebrating the gift that refugees have been to our community as we participate in Welcoming Week with our partners Soft Landing Missoula. I ask you to join us tonight at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. where Robert, Fernanda and I will lead a discussion on the core of peace. We hope to hear your ideas and comments as well. The serious challenges we face in the world require all of us to find our voices and add them to the symphony that is our future. I’ll see you tonight…Betsy
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” ~Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 Pilot
Sept 12, 2019
The violence of our world and the sad events of 9-11-01 cannot be far from anyone’s mind. It is easy to feel insignificant and even hopeless in the face of these thoughts. But, September 11 is another anniversary as well – one that offers us great hope and significance. In 1906 Mohandas Gandhi took his first action of non-violent resistance against a world that he saw as terribly unjust. Here was a man who, despite being trained as a lawyer, was too shy to actually practice law. And yet, he knew that the problems of his day were only being compounded by an “eye for an eye” mentality. And he knew that he must become the change he wanted to see in the world.
We have a responsibility to help each other succeed, to create hope together, and to teach and inspire one another so that our connection is what makes the headlines, not our divisions.