Inspiring Lives

Featured

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Dear friends,community
Last week I attended the memorial service of one of our long-time members Janet McGahan. I also published a link to Greg Burham’s obituary which notes him as an “outspoken pacifist”. Both Janet and Greg knew suffering and found their way out. They also both led the way for many others. Janet gave the world many beautiful pieces of art, some of which hangs at JRPC and a couple of pieces will be in our silent auction.

At the memorial, I heard many stories of the love she shared with so many and felt lucky to have known her. I did not know Greg except for a few articles in our JRPC scrapbooks. I read about his 1974 walk from Alaska to Mexico to restore his faith in humanity after returning from Vietnam and his healing connections in 1989 with Veterans from the Soviet Union. One of our Peacemakers, Butch Turk, sent me several stories about Greg because he said,

“this 6’6″ former SEAL was one of the most sensitive, gentle souls I’ve known, was an unflagging advocate for vets, and was a consistent ally of peace people. I know that he inspired me.”

One of those stories was the words of another Peacemaker, Dan Gallagher.

“Burham is, to those who have worked with him, something of a “gentle giant.” From him I learned the healing power of a hug…Through him, I and many others received validation for our various efforts during times of self-doubt. As with so many he cared for, Burham’s wartime experience caused him to bear wounds that show no scars. While calmly counseling those affected by war, he argued passionately against the policies that sent America’s sons and daughters to war to kill other people’s sons and daughters. Even those taking issue with his opinions respected the innate sense of decency that shone out from the man.”

Our community has two great holes in it from these losses. Let us work to fill them by continuing the example of love and healing that Janet and Greg showed us. We would love to hear more stories of the people that inspire you and need to be honored as a Peacemaker. And please join us this Sunday to celebrate the community we live and work in…Betsy

Preaching Peace!

Featured

“Preach the gospel…and if necessary, use words.” ~Saint Francis of Assisi

Dear friends,
You are on our newsletter list because you are called to preach the gospel of peace, Peace Party 2018-banner2some in big ways and others in small ways – all equally valuable and necessary. Each day we work to build peace – not with bricks or even words, but with actions and everyday choices to share, to grow,to believe others, to forgive, and to be Continue reading

International Day of Peace

Featured

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race.” ~Secretary-General António Guterres

Dear friends,
Friday September 21 is the UN International Day of Peace with the theme this year of IDOPThe Right to Peace, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.This document is a milestone in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948 as a common standard of aspiration and achievement for all peoples and all nations. It builds the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. I will be celebrating this day by joining hands across the border with our neighbors in Canada and the First Nation celebrating the goodwill between our nations. Continue reading

Be the Change

Featured

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Gandhi

Dear friends,
9-11-01 changed our world. It is easy to feel insignificant and even hopeless in the face IMG_2711 smallerof the world we have become — full of fear, hatred and division. But, September 11 is another anniversary as well – one that offers us great hope and significance. On 9-11-06 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 Continue reading

Peace Parties On…and we’re all invited

Featured

”There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability;there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” ~M. Scott Peck

Dear Peace Community,PeaceParties2018_small
In just 6 short weeks we will celebrate together our 32 years as a community dedicated to learning about and working for nonviolence, social justice and environmental stewardship. Looking back, we can be so proud of what was accomplished by a few dedicated folks – the events, the actions, the bold statements, and the network of committed neighbors working together with passion. But we can’t just look back. We must look forward as well. Our theme this year is “Peace Parties On…and we’re all invited”. Continue reading