“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~Malala Yousafzai
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, who we will honor this next Monday talked often about building beloved community, where everyone matters and truly cares about and works for the welfare of all. Thanks to the courage of many indigenous women, we are learning about an epidemic that must be addressed in our communities so we can move the needle a little closer to “beloved”. Native American women and girls around the country are disappearing and being murdered at an alarming rate — 5,712 reports in 2016, which begs the question — “how many remain un-reported?” Even more Continue reading
“We rise by lifting others.”– Robert Ingersoll
Many of you may know that I once planned to go to Africa with the Peace Corps so that I could make a difference in the world. Now I didn’t end up going (which is another story) and that is OK, because I learned that I could make a difference in my own community without going halfway around the world. However, Africa and her people continue to have a place in my heart. I was filled with hope to read of the work of one group — Initiative For Equality, a network of activists around the world working to empower people in some of the poorest regions to work together for greater social, Continue reading
“Peace does not arrive as a gift, and it’s not up to anyone but yourself to make it happen.” ~Thomas Moore
A new year is the perfect time to take stock of where we are and where we are going, hence our propensity to make resolutions. We want to be somewhere we are not. All the businesses that promise to make us thinner, stronger, happier, more organized bombard us with advertising in the hopes of hitting our needy spots. Seldom are we sent the message that who and where we are is enough. But I have learned from experience that until I accept where I am, I cannot find the courage and will to make necessary change. My discomfort with where I am — once it is great enough — becomes the Continue reading
To you — the members, supporters and volunteers of the Peace Center,
As we end 2018 and celebrate our winter holidays, it is a perfect time for me to say thank you for the contributions of time, money and ideas you make each year to keep us going strong. There is much work for peacemakers – in our world, in our community, and I suspect, even at our own tables, so I am grateful that you have chosen to be part of our “peace community”.
To put our thank you in other terms — come and shop our best sale of the year! 50% off our entire store for members and 35% entire store for non-members. And, it’s never too late to become a member to unlock more savings and also to be a beacon of peace in the New Year by being more involved in JRPC events and programs!
Also, our entire clearance section is 75% off for everyone!
With our love and thanks,
Betsy and Jenny
“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.” ~Mother Teresa
Tomorrow is the longest night of the year. Many of us will celebrate the growing light that follows the solstice. But the longest night is also a fitting time to remember those for whom the cold and dark are inescapable realities. I am referring to those in our community who do not have a warm, safe place to live. The following homeless individuals died this last year, exposed to the elements. Their stories will not be written in the paper and few of us will note their absence. Part of peacemaking is bearing witness to the stories that need to be told. We may never know the hopes and struggles behind these names but each one was someone I perhaps walked past on the street, someone who faced challenges I will never know. Please join me tomorrow evening at 5:30 in front of the Courthouse to speak their names and bear witnesss to their struggles. May they each rest finally in peace…Betsy
Thomas “Wade” Schell
We all want to see and do some grand gestures that will make the world better, But let us remember that it is the little things we do on a daily basis that add up to make a big difference. During this hectic holiday season where we deal with crowds, traffic and lots to do, let us remember there are many in our community who have no reason to celebrate. Whether from grief, illness or tragedy, there are many in our midst who need US. Not a present or a party but just someone to lean on and connect with. I’m sure if we all look, we can find them — maybe someone you pass on the street, a neighbor or a family member. Let’s make sure we see those opportunities and rise to meet them. The world will be made better by all of us choosing to do one small thing each day for our families, our neighbors and our community. What will your contribution be today?…Betsy
70 years ago next Monday, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The drafters had seen the horror of the Second World War and wanted to do something to instill in all peoples a sense of the responsibility we have to each other as fellow human beings. It was and still is a foundation on which we can build because even though we have made progress, we know there are many places in the world where the darkness of oppression still rule. But having this document is a call to action — a call to peace — to keep working for the rights of every person to life, liberty, security. I have always thought how fitting it is that this date falls at the beginning of many of our holiday celebrations. This declaration lies at the heart of peace on earth and goodwill to all. I urge you to celebrate the day by reading the articles and joining us on December 11 at the Payne Family Native American Center as several area organizations gather to accept and affirm our collective call to action…Betsy
“Action is the antidote to despair.” ~Joan Baez
How often do we see a story or read about an issue and feel powerless in the face of it. And yet, there are examples all around us of folks who found their voices and their muscles in the face of what seemed insurmountable. We recently became aware of a couple of local efforts that deserve to be recognized. Rosa delDuca grew up in Missoula before joining the Army National Guard a year before 9/11. As the war in Iraq unfolded, she grew increasingly disturbed about her role in the military and ended up fighting for a discharge as a conscientious objector. Continue reading
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
The holidays are fast approaching and each year, we are challenged to shop in ways that reflect our values and support our world in positive ways. JRPC’s Olive Branch offers you a way to do just that — to support our work as well as the many farms, cooperatives and people around the world who rely on the fair trade market here to buy their goods so they can make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Continue reading
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in World War I. This 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.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Gandhi
9-11-01 changed our world. It is easy to feel insignificant and even hopeless in the face of 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
“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