“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” ~Henrik Ibsen
Each fall, we gather together in community at our Peace Party. It is our one big event to raise money for our peace programs. But even more memorable is our connections with each other as we celebrate our work and renew ourselves for the journey ahead. Each year, we try to incorporate changes you recommend and try new things mixed in with our traditions so it remains one of the most enjoyable parties in Missoula. Have you ever wanted to see a certain element at the party? Continue reading
“All we are saying, is Give Peace a Chance” ~John Lennon and Yoko Ono
I recently returned from a peacebuilding summit hosted by Rotary International. One of the sessions was a workshop exploring the 8 pillars of positive peace developed by the Institute of Economics and Peace, a leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyze peace and quantify its economic value.
You’re Invited! Peace and Conflict Social Study Group – Tuesdays at noon at JRPC.
Peace and Conflict are two concepts that we are all familiar with. But often the idea of identifying a universal concept of peace is quite difficult. That is why I would like to invite you, the peace community, to explore these concepts together.
Every Tuesday at noon there will be a study group at JRPC where we explore different terminology, methods, and brainstorm to educate ourselves on the topics and issues revolving around Peace and Conflict. Continue reading
Last night, over 400 Montanans gathered outside the Missoula County Detention Center to raise our voices and make it clear that “No human being is illegal. No child expendable.” Last night’s rally and vigil came together in response to the “zero tolerance policy” criminalization of undocumented people that has resulted in an extreme upsurge of ICE arrests and deportations, family separations, and racial profiling in Montana and across the United States. In the past couple months, 16 people have been arrested in Montana for being in the country without proper documentation. Currently, six of those people are being held at the Missoula County Detention Center – right here in our own town – while at the border thousands of children are being separated from their parents and held in cages inside of an old Continue reading
“There is no such thing as other people’s children.”
~Glennon Doyle, author, activist and founder of Momastery
Children torn from their parents at our border as punishment for desperate parents; Children held in cages; Children in Yemen orphaned by war and dying of starvation; Children in Guatemala lost in the aftermath of a volcano; Millions of children in Syria, Palestine and many other places displaced by war, famine and unrest endangered by the very need to find safe passage; Continue reading
“What does Pride mean to you?”
June marks Pride month, a time for LGBTQ+ people to celebrate themselves, their resilience, and the community that surrounds them. For me, pride means honoring the LGBTQ+ activists that have come before me as well as celebrating the beauty of living as my authentic self. I was 12 years old when I first came out to myself and 18 when I came out to the world around me. During those years, I felt as if I was the only person to have ever walked that path before. It felt lonely, isolating, and terrifying at times. But I am far from the only person to have experienced this journey. Continue reading
“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story.
Change the story, change the world.” ~Terry Pratchett
May 10, 2018
Today, I would like to introduce you to several young people who are changing the world. They are living stories of courage, compassion and justice that will inspire us all with hope. These are the nominees for our new Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace Award.
Allison Moran, a 5-year-old kindergartner at Cold Springs Elementary 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.
Marita Growing Thunder who stepped up in a very visible way to respect her heritage, raise awareness and express solidarity for a very under represented voice in her community — the plight of the many missing and murdered indigenous women in our community.
The SOAP Girls (that stands for Save Our Amazing Planet) a group of 4 girls who have been working on social justice issues for 8 years — since they were ages 9-10. They focus on positive ways to make a difference, from the useful tips on their website for conserving natural resources, to the many causes their fundraising has supported both locally and globally, including a summer camp for kids ages 4-8 and a two day overnight camp for older kids (ages 7-11).
The Group that Organized the Hellgate HS Walkout on 2/21/18 — They mobilized a lot of kids quickly and effectively into a nonviolent civil disobedience action to move things forward around the topic of public safety and guns.
The long list of students from across town and across schools — from 3rd grade through High school, ages 6-18 who organized Walk Outs at all schools on March 14, then went on to organize, lead and speak out at the community rally March For Our Lives on March 24 with 1,000 people in attendance.
These are the faces and voices of the future stewards of our world — the authors of the stories that will change our world. A group of their peers has selected one of these individuals or groups to receive a cash award for their contribution to the search for peace. But we want to honor and appreciate all of them for giving us hope for the future.
On Sunday, May 20 at UCC Church from 2 to 3:30 pm, at our annual Peacemaker Celebration we will honor and thank all these young people and announce the winner of the Fr. Jim Hogan award just prior to celebrating our 2018 Peacemaker, Steve McArthur.
If you are at all discouraged by the world around you, these inspiring young people along with our very own Peacemaker Steve will renew your hope for the world and make you proud to be part of this community. This is a celebration you won’t want to miss and there will be a reception to follow so you can meet and mingle with all the movers and shakers of peace in Missoula!
May 3, 2018
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
Steve McArthur – Peacemaker of the Year
One of my favorite letters to write — introducing you to the Peacemaker we have chosen. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a man of great hope and compassion, though to most of you he will need no introduction. Steve McArthur walks the walk like few others! Every day, he draws from the values of respect, cooperation and openness to reach out and connect with everyone he meets. And he does it with the biggest smile, the warmest hug and the most contagious laugh. The fun he has in life rubs off on us and the feelings of being valued and respected that he gives everyone he meets is a basic foundation to the work we all need to do to build peace.
Steve is above all, a good citizen and a great steward of our earth and he believes we all have a responsibility to care about our planet,and each other and as his life is a testament to the actions inherent in living up to that responsibility. To Steve, peace means respecting others, listening deeply to other points of view and working to build consensus. His commitment to peace extends to his own willingness to walk lightly on the earth, composting and recycling, working the earth to grow food to share with others and volunteering for so many Missoula organizations it would be difficult to list them all. Join me in thanking Steve for teaching us to treasure and protect our planet, to truly enjoy life and bring hope to others, to value above all the connections and conversations we have with each other and to truly look below the surface with compassion and love at the value of each person we meet. Thank you Steve for lifting us up in the name of peace…Betsy