“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.
“The first step in getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don’t.” ~Unknown
Many of you know that my husband and I are getting ready to make a move to a smaller house that will better fit our lifestyle. So our lives are full to the brim with making decisions about what to get rid of and what to keep — what gives us meaning and what provides clutter. I was pondering what to write about today and Rusty (who is often quite wise) said, “getting rid of things”! It actually fits quite well with the times we are in. I sat in a crowd at Har Shalom last Saturday and listened to Laurie Franklin call us to exercise our “unity muscles” and speaker after speaker call us to love. In order to do that we must find the courage to look deep inside and get rid of the things in our own souls that stand as obstacles to love and unity.
A hundred years ago, our grandparents celebrated what they wanted — a world without war, believing they had ended the “war to end all wars”. But they failed to do the work of getting rid of the oppressive ideas and attitudes that would not only keep war with us but grow it into the largest industry we support. We can do better — on small scales in our individual lives and in bigger ways in our voting booths and communities. Your work matters and your vote matters. Thanks for joining me in the work for unity and love…Betsy
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” -Maya Angelou
Thank you for being part of our story at JRPC. Thanks to the many donors who supported our peace party and to all the folks who came and celebrated with us. Just in case you didn’t make it and want to be part of our great tradition of dining together, check out the dinners that are left over from the live auction. Call us at 543-3955 to reserve your spot. Or we appreciate donations to help cover the cost of a new website — We still have $3000 to raise!…With our deepest gratitude, Betsy
Traditional Saudi Dinner on Saturday, November 3, 2018 cooked by Hanan Alomar at the home of Charlotte Kasl…3 plates left @ $70 ea
Delicious Portugese Dinner and Musical Soiree with Charlotte Kasl on Sunday, January 12, 2019…2 plates left @ $80 ea
Authentic Indian Dinner by Srini Mondava (the last dinner at the Dague’s Elison Ln home!) on Saturday, February 23, 2019…2 plates left @ $150 ea
le Tour de France with Suzzette Dussault on Saturday, June 29, 2019…3 plates left @ $70 ea
An International Food Journey for Local Connoisseurs by Udo and Nancy fluck on Saturday, August 3, 2019…3 plates left @ $180 ea
“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
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
“Preach the gospel…and if necessary, use words.” ~Saint Francis of Assisi
You are on our newsletter list because you are called to preach the gospel of peace, some 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
“I am hungry for Peace. I want to slather it on thick as a sun drenched smile
rising from my heart to yours.” ~ Mindy Journey, one of the users at Kindspring
We are all hungry for peace, are we not? But if we look around we can see people in our community and in communities across the world who are taking up the challenges to make this world a little better and brighter. For 32 years, you have been sending these stories to us and the Missoula Peace Quilters and the JRPC have been choosing one of them to hold up as inspiration to the rest of us on this journey. We take nominations all year, but the deadline is fast approaching to choose our inspiration for 2019. Please fill out a nomination form and let us know the stories and the people that inspire you. We want to find ways of sharing all these bits of hope that help fill our hunger for peace. Thanks for getting you nominations to us due by Monday, October 22 at 5 pm…Betsy
“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
Friday September 21 is the UN International Day of Peace with the theme this year of The 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 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