Stand Up and Be the Light

Dear friends,
Today many people around the world are marking the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year’s theme is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”, reaffirming the importance of human rights in re-building the world we want, the need for global solidarity as well as our interconnectedness and shared humanity.
Today also begins the celebration of Hanukkah, the festival of light. And shortly after the eight days of Hanukkah, the winter solstice will turn the earth more and more toward the light. One of my favorite Hanukkah traditions is of the shamash, the ninth candle in the menorah. It is the helper candle used to light the other eight candles. After a hard year we all need a little light in the darkness. But today, let Continue reading

Keepers of Peace and Justice

Dear friends,
For as long as I can remember, JRPC has held a “Kid’s Night” in December, an opportunity for our youngest folks to shop and learn about fair trade. I will miss this part of our holiday tradition. It was hard work, but the rewards were many — faces lit up with joy at finding that perfect gift, the care taken to wrap each one just right and the pride as each gift was carried home to the tree. This year will require some adjustments, but hopefully we can find ways to keep the magic because we all need that. I don’t have children but I do appreciate Continue reading

Day of Reflection, Gratitude, and Compassion

Friends,
Today we at Jeannette Rankin Peace Center acknowledge that we are here in Missoula on lands stolen from Indigenous people by white European invaders. We honor the people of the Salish, Kootenai, Pend d’Oreille, Blackfeet and Shoshone tribes as we exist on lands that were theirs. I invite all of you to join in a moment of silence today honoring the Native American communities where you live. Thanksgiving has a complicated history for some and for others this year might be particularly bittersweet. That being said, today can still have a place for reflection, gratitude, and compassion as we break bread over zoom. The team at JRPC is eternally grateful for this incredible community and I want to extend a very large virtual hug to you all. For anyone feeling isolated or who is just generally struggling today, know you are appreciated and loved. – Carol

Physically distanced but socially engaged

Dear friends,
Settling in after a long election cycle and our first ever online auction (thanks for making it a success!!), I realize that nothing is settled! Our country is still divided and many of us will forego the gatherings this holiday season that sustain us as social beings. Perhaps this time of physical distance can help us re-imagine ways we can socially engage, because that sense of connection and belonging is a foundation of peace. You know there are people who would love a phone call or a note from you, people who have a story to tell and just need someone to listen. Make a point to engage with them. Continue reading

Gratitude

Nov 12, 2020

Dear friends,
Tomorrow the Montana Nonprofit Association will celebrate Philanthropy Day by honoring outstanding organizations and individuals. Today and ever after, I am honoring the people listed here. In August I sent out a special appeal for donations to help us weather the storm of Covid-19. You folks listed here (as well as a couple who wanted to remain anonymous) stepped up to say “yes”! And because of all of you, we raised over $20,000 from that letter! Each week as the checks kept coming, I was awed by your generosity. And all the notes you wrote touched my heart. My thanks to each of you and all of you for your part in making sure a Missoula icon of peace remains strong into the future.

This coming Sunday we will close our very first online auction and again an amazing group of folks stepped up to donate meals, desserts, quilts, classes and so much more. Special thanks to the Good Food Store and First Security Bank for leading the way. And a growing list of participants is bidding away on items getting us about halfway to our goal. It’s fun to watch! But it is even more heartwarming to feel the support from our community. You all make me so proud to be a part of this organization and to be about the work of peace! Quoting William Shakespeare, “I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks”…Betsy Continue reading