We Stand on the Shoulders

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“If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.”
~African Proverb

Dear friends,
Nelson Mandela reminded us of how important it is “…to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” The road we face today is laden with ruts and rocks — obstacles to the world we want. To any one of us, the obstacles may be unbearable. But together, it is a different story. We know we have much to be grateful for at JRPC. We stand on the shoulders of some pretty amazing founders and guardians, and we want to acknowledge them and their contribution to our journey.

This year marks our 25th year owning our storefront on the “Hip Strip” and I continue to marvel at the foresight of those who gave us this gift and to rejoice in being part of this great community of businesses and residents. We invite you to share in our celebration on Tuesday, July 23 from 4-7 pm at the Gild (check out the details below).

We are also planning a July 31 reunion of the folks who have served us as board members over our 33 years. We unfortunately don’t have contact information for some of the 120+ folks on our list. So if you helped steer this organization as a member of the Coordinating Council and haven’t heard from us, please call us at 543-3955 or send me an email. Let’s celebrate the people and passion of the past and join together to raise the bar a little higher…Betsy

Tuesday, July 23, 4-7 pm, The Gild. Join JRPC for a celebration of our 25 years on the Hip Strip. A suggested donation of $25 includes snacks and 2 drinks. Jesse Dee will play music from 5-6:30 and everyone who comes will be entered into a raffle for a basket filled with goodies from our generous Hip Strip neighbors. Of course, you can purchase extra raffle tickets or items off the Gild menu. Thanks for celebrating with us!

Lights for Liberty

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The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”
~Pablo Casals

Dear friends,
Love does not stop at borders; it transcends them. Tonight Missoula will be joining

Artist: Ben Wild Flower

hundreds of cities around the nation and across Montana to call for an end to child and family detention at the border. In partnership with Montanans for Immigrant Justice, Missoula Rises and Soft Landing Missoula, we invite you to join the Lights For Liberty Vigil to express our horror at the conditions in the detention center and the deaths of 7 children in America’s custody. Violence is not only what we do or say. It is also what we allow. The most vulnerable need us to educate our minds, open our hearts and raise our voices to protect them. Tonight, let us join together in solidarity with the world. And tomorrow, let us find our path to action…Betsy

 

Friday, July 12, 7:30 pm, St Paul’s Lutheran Church (202 Brooks). Close The Camps Rally in conjunction with the national Lights for Liberty — Stand to voice our horror over the situation on the southern border- specifically in relation to detained children. Join with others in Missoula and around the nation. There are rallies planned for all across the country, including Helena and many other cities. For a listing near you, visit https://www.lightsforliberty.org/

We The People

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“…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” – concluding words of the Declaration of Independence

Dear friends,

Today we celebrate its 243rd “Independence Day” with fireworks and flag-waving. While there is much to celebrate in the birth of our nation and the ideals of liberty and freedom that are the foundation of our constitution, much of the celebrating has become an exercise in glorifying war – the songs, the armored vehicles on parade, the military shows of strength and glory. War is unfortunately a part of our heritage as a nation, but there is so much more to celebrate, and other ways to serve. As long as we glorify war and perpetuate the view that no other service to country is as honorable or heroic as becoming a part of the military killing machine, we will continue to have wars and our sons and daughters will continue to seek the paths we so glorify.

The closing words of the Declaration of Independence call us to pledge our support for each other as we work together to make this country better. We at JRPC have called this day “Interdependence” day. Instead of glorifying war, let us think about and honor the indigenous Americans we displaced, the countries and peoples around the world we share this earth with, the earth itself and all our fellow creatures, the millions of immigrants that make our country rich with diversity, the neighbors we share our communities with, the civil servants who work hard with few rewards and all the heroes who worked and died to protect the human and civil rights of all of us. Let us celebrate those who serve our country in compassion and generosity – true to the spirit of liberty and justice for all. When I lift my red, white and blue, it will be for all of you…Betsy

There is only love

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“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—we will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.” ~Joy Harjo, first Native American US Poet Laureate

Dear friends,
It seems the US and Iran are on a collision path to war even though public sentiment and reason lean the other direction. While no war is good — they all bring destruction, death and a difficult path to healing — war with the possibility of a nuclear component is certain devastation. 74 years ago next month, the world said, “Never again”. And today, with unending wars we cannot resolve, over 70 million people already displaced by conflict and a national deficit we cannot sustain, those words must ring out loud and far. I echo the words of Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo and bless all those workers for justice and fresh meaning — all those who will see us through. In one week, the nation will celebrate our founding. Let us look as a nation toward love and peace. We are planning to host an event on July 3 to give us a chance to gather in blessing to ring out the words “Never again” again. Please call us or watch our facebook page for details. And let us know your ideas. In the meantime, you can take action by:

When all Americans are treated as equal

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“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

–Barack Obama

Dear friends,
June 11 was the 139th birthday of our namesake, Jeannette Rankin. She inspires us yet today with her tireless work for peace and justice and her courage to stand for what is right – even if that meant standing alone. But she would not want us to stop at inspiration alone. She would ask us to do more and work harder, to follow her lead and persevere for an end to war and violence, the restoration of civil liberties, a government accountable to the people and dignity and human rights for all people. 

The PRIDE Celebration is in Helena next week (and in the hearts and minds of LGBT+ and allies everywhere!), and I can imagine Jeannette’s feisty spirit will be there marching for justice. Change is happening, but so is an increase in hate crimes and violence aimed at the LGBT+ community. There is much more work to do to crack the shell of indifference and hatred, to remove the barriers of misunderstanding and intolerance. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Our LGBT+ friends and neighbors teach us daily about courage in the face of hatred and injustice. PRIDE is about celebrating that courage and standing proudly with our friends to say we will not tolerate the injustices they confront. We will work with them to make the world a different place. It’s the one week when the queer community doesn’t have to try to fit into a mold to be like everyone else. They can stop feeling less than or different than and just be proud. Jeannette Rankin never tried to fit the mold that was assigned to women in her day. She stood out with courage and vision. I think she asks us to do the same. If you can’t go to Helena , get out your rainbow gear (or get some new at The Olive Branch!) and make a statement of proud support.

Still Haven’t Bought Your Father’s Day Gift? Treat your father fairly with a gift from the Olive Branch Fair Trade Store! We have lots to choose from including “buy-one-get-one-half-off coffee!! Come in today to purchase your Father’s Day gift!!

Thursdays, June 13, 20, 27 and July 11 and 18, 5:30-7 pm, JRPC . Mark your calendar for our popular international discussion series with Humphrey Fellowship professional from around the world. This year will feature 15 mid-level folks from 15 countries in professions as varied as education, journalism and government. Tonight’s discussion will focus on Public Policy & Economic Development with Fellows from Mali, Tunisia and Ecuador.

 

Young Peacemakers

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“…young people are in the forefront of the political process—working, listening, talking, participating…”
Mike Mansfield, 1970.

Dear friends,
In 2001, Fr. Jim Hogan challenged the community to look to young people to find peacemakersexpressions of peace in our world. He believed that our children and young adults could offer us an inspiring perspective. 2018 saw proof all over this country that he was right. Young people raised their voices and took to the streets to speak up about the issues that are important to them, including gun rights, racism and more. This past couple of years, we have witnessed proof that our young Continue reading

One Voice

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“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” ~Malala Yousafzai

Dear friends,
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, who we will honor this next Monday talked often about MLKbuilding 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

Be the Change

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“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

Cheers to our Peacemakers

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“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
Dear friends,

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 allmarchforourlives 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!

Betsy

Steve McArthur Peacemaker of the Year

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May 3, 2018

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
~John Holmes

Steve

Steve McArthur – Peacemaker of the Year

Dear friends,

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

“We change the world when we meet the needs of another.” ~Kristin Welch

Dear friends,
My husband and I have enjoyed hosting new friends from around the world through several wonderful programs in Missoula like the Mansfield Center, The English Language Institute, the International Choral Festival and the Missoula International Friendship Program. And I know there are many other opportunities for us in Missoula to connect with the world. These encounters give us a chance to learn about the world and to share the things we value. We learn to be humble in the face of the trials endured by others and grateful for the gifts we have. I know our lives are enhanced because we see the world through a larger lens. I am so grateful to count among my friends the people I have met in SE Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and other places. Today’s news is full of posturing for another war which saddens and alarms me. One thing I know I can continue to do is to make friends around the world because where friends exist, enemies cannot. Check out the current needs for hosts in the Action section below. I hope you will consider making some new friends…Betsy

 

Action
Travel the World Without Leaving Home.
1) Be a host family for the Mansfield Center. Contact Deena  at the Mansfield Center
July 12:14: Global faculty and practitioners in workforce development. Host a pair from two of the following countries: Ethiopia, Algeria, Brunei, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Israel, Uganda, Ukraine, Suriname, South Africa, Ecuador, Myanmar, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Honduras, Albania, Tunisia
August 30-September 1: Students and young professionals studying global environmental issues. Host a pair from two of the following countries: Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Timor Leste

2) English Language Institute Global Engagement Office is looking for community hosts for Japanese high school students arriving in July. Hosts are needed for one afternoon only! Contact Sarah Bortis at sarah.bortis@mso.umt.edu or 243-5885

3) International Choral Festivals needs hosts to provide a room with sleeping space for a minimum of two choir members, most meals while they are here, and the ability to provide transport to and from choir events during the festival. If you can be a host, please go to the International Choral Festival website for more information and to sign up. Go to: https://www. choralfestival.org/