Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter

The Mission of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship is to Do Justice, Dismantle Violence and Strive to be Peace Makers.
 
Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter is a small but committed group of peace-minded believers.  EPF is a national membership organization connecting all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and who want to pray, study, and take action for justice and peace in our communities and our churches and the world. It began as the Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship on November 11, 1939, Armistice Day. EPF aids and encourages all Episcopalians to strive for justice and peace and to bear nonviolent witness to Christ’s call to peace.  
 
Episcopal Peace Fellowship is holding its fall meeting on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at St Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill (see poster). The lunch meeting begins at 11 AM in the parish hall and will conclude by 2 PM. Lunch will be simple potluck fare contributed to by the members. The agenda will include an election of new officers—convener, treasurer, and recorder—which is held every three years (see this description of the responsibilities of officers). EPF welcomes anyone interested in its peacemaking mission to join the efforts of a core group of faithful members. For further information, contact co-conveners Diane Paterson () or Kathy Coughlan (). 

 

Statement on another weekend of slaughter  

epf statement
Last weekend, we learned the names of Gilroy, CA and Chippewa Falls, WI. Now it is El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. As people of the Jesus Movement, we pray for the dead, the survivors, and those who love them. Our hearts weep and burn with righteous anger. 
 
The US House of Representatives passed a bill requiring expanded background checks five months ago. The Senate leadership and the White House will not move the bill toward becoming law. This bill alone would not have prevented these mass killings, but even an insufficient law has not yet been enacted. 
 
The Mayor of Dayton, calling what we are living through “an epidemic of hate,” reported that police stopped the shooter there in just one minute. In that one minute, 35 people were killed or wounded by the gunman -- a casualty every two seconds. There are people who say that, without guns, killers would just use knives. They should think about that one minute in Dayton.
 
It is not mainly the hunters of game animals who resist any restrictions on their access to, and carrying of, their weapons of war. Hunters do not need to carry AR15s on the street, or to the mall. Most mass killers are not simply people easily diagnosed with “mental illness.” Yes, there are those who begin with animal cruelty; there are disgruntled workers and, more often, abusive intimate partners among the killers. But all too often the perpetrators of these killings are white men who have become committed to far-rightwing ideologies of white supremacy. 
 
Gun violence is not an isolated island of sociopathy; it intersects with racism, misogyny and authoritarianism. All of these must be destroyed if we are to put an end to these killings. This is not merely, or mainly, a legislative task.  It is a spiritual undertaking that requires the teaching of love by the Jesus Movement. Not a passive, silent love that remains in a church pew, but a fierce love that stands in solidarity with those targeted for oppression and marginalization. Not a wish to see “good people on both sides,” but a movement committed to peace through justice.  

 

 Click the links below to view the contents that you wish or you may scroll through the entire page:

     Helpful Links
     Documents
     Get Involved
     Prayers  

 About EPF - Maine Chapter:

The Maine chapter of EPF was founded during the Vietnam War era and was reconstituted in January 2006.  We now have about 70 members of the Maine Chapter, including laypeople, a bishop, presbyters and deacons. In recent years we have accomplished and are continuing to focus on the following:

  • Submitted annual resolutions to diocesan convention.
  • Sponsored a poem/essay contest for youth.
  • Sponsored a 3 day Creating a Culture of Peace Retreat for 22 people w Janet Chisholm at Living Water.
  • Developed 4 action groups out of the retreat.
  • Held booths at Brunswick Peace Fair and diocesan convention
  • Co-sponsored a movie with follow-up discussion about Gandhi in Brunswick Movie Theater.
  • Developing a movie series in southern part of the diocese.
  • Had a representative speaker at interfaith rally in Portland.
  • Participated in the annual Peace Action Maine dinner annual meeting.
  • Work closely with Indian Relations committee to educate ourselves about Native Peoples in Maine (promoting movies and education).
  • Have raised funds in support of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City
  • Created a DVD slide show available to parishes for showing on Al Ahli Hospital 

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In the News:

New Northeast Blog Posts

Maine Eyewitness to Gaza:

Convention resolutions: Church funds should not support militarism:

Bishop Lane urges prayer and support for the Middle East:
 
 

Projects:

Beauty, Peace, Resistance!: Barefoot Artists in Palestine
 
EPF-Maine sponsored a showing of Barefoot Artists in Maine in July of 2016. Lily Yeh, Philadelphia-based community artist and founder of Barefoot Artists, along with Dud Hendrick and Rob Shetterly, discussed images of their recent work in three areas of the Palestinian West Bank.

 

Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza: A Focus

EPF-Maine has been focusing attention on Al Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip and on its significant need for international support. A resolution passed in Diocesan Convention in October 2012 lent support to the effort to increase awareness of the issues involved in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and its possible resolution.

A PowerPoint presentation on Al Ahli Hospital is available for showing to congregations throughout the Diocese. This hour-long slide program with discussion afterwards can be facilitated by a member of Episcopal Peace Fellowship or can be made available simply on DVD. For more information, contact The Rev. John Beaven () or Diane Paterson (). 

EPF-Maine is encouraging fund-raising efforts on behalf of Al Ahli Hospital throughout the Diocese of Maine. In May 2013 the women's group at Grace Church in Bath (The Women of Grace) contributed $500 to Al Ahli after seeing the PowerPoint presentation on the hospital and participating in discussion facilitated by parishioners and EPF-members the Rev. John Beaven and Diane Paterson. Another $500 was contributed in June 2013 to Al Ahli Hospital by the Outreach Committee at Grace Church in Bath in response to a challenge from the women's group.  In September 2013 a Millenium Development Grant of $7,500 was awarded by the Diocese of Maine to Al Ahli Hospital.  Donations to the hospital are channeled through American Friends of the Episcopal

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October Holy Land Pilgrimage 2016:
 

The Diocese of Maine and the Maine Chapter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship invite you to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, October 24-November 3, 2016

Limited to 15 participants, the pilgrimage will respond to the call to "Come and See" by visiting the ancient churches of the Nativity, the Annunciation, and the Holy Sepulcher as well as the holy sites at the Sea of Galilee. In October 2015, the Diocese of Maine Convention passed a resolution that "laity and clergy of the Diocese be encouraged to make pilgrimage to Israel and the Occupied Territories to learn from our fellow Christians in the region." Bishop Stephen Lane has offered his support for this trip to assist Maine Episcopalians to have the opportunity to make that journey and return to share their experiences and learning.

Participants will visit institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and experience the realities of life for Palestinian Christians living under occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as living as second-class citizens of Israel. The group will meet with Jews, Muslims, and Christians working together for a just peace.

Departing from Boston on October 24 and returning on November 3, we will have four nights in Jerusalem, three nights in Bethlehem, and two nights in Nazareth, with side trips from each location. Leading the trip are the Rev. Bob and Maurine Tobin, who have led 23 such trips for other dioceses and institutions, including two groups of Episcopal bishops.
Follow along with the trip on www.facebook.com/episcopalmaine #MainePilgrims

Brunswick Peace Fair:

EPF-Maine participated in the annual Peace Fair held on the Brunswick Mall.img 4126

Peace groups in Maine invited others to gather with them for a day of celebrating making our earth safe for our children.

The following themes were addressed: Teaching Peace, Protecting from Violence, Environment Health, Food Capabilities, Human Health, Creating a Compassionate Society.

Coordinator was Karen Rienert from the Executive Committee of EPF-Maine.

 

Creating a Culture of Peace (CCP) Training:

Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF-Maine Chapter) offers from time to time experiential encounters for Episcopalians on confronting violence with nonviolence in everyday life.ccp

6 parishes and one religious community (SCHC) have offered forums, workshops, sermons, and retreats, which have been led by Carol Huntington, nationally certified CCP trainer, assisted by Anne Street, Dick Bamforth, Alicia Kellogg and three other leaders in our Diocese. All assistants were trained in the basic Creating a Culture of Peace 3-day training led by Carol and Janet Chisholm, National Coordinator of CCP.

CCP uses a holistic approach to empowering participants in the spirituality and practice of active peacemaking in their lives through a three-day, 20 hour program. EPF-Maine continues to offer 50-minute sessions to one-day retreats to parishes in the Diocese of Maine who want to begin to experience being better peacemakers. We welcome invitations to share what we have learned about peacemaking.

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FMI Contact:
 
Ms Kathy Coughlan, Co-Convener, EPF-Maine
or
Ms Diane Paterson, Co-Convener, EPF-Maine
Helpful Links: 
 
 
Documents & Statements:
 
How to Get Involved:

Dear Leaders of the Parishes of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine:

We invite you to join the Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Maine Chapter in extending peacemaking resources to all the clergy and laity of the diocese. Here are some ways you can: 

1.    Identify one or more people to represent your parish to act as Peace Contacts with the Diocese. We want their ideas and participation. And we will provide them with information for your parish about upcoming events and initiatives. Please provide the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of your Peace Contact(s) to Kathy Coughlan at  or Diane Paterson at .

2.     Invite us to your parish to speak to your congregation about upcoming events, to lead an adult forum or to conduct a peacemaking workshop.  To schedule a visit by an Episcopal Peace Fellowship member, contact Diane Paterson, Co-Convener, at  or Kathy Coughlan, Co-Convener, at .

3.     Support peacemaker training: contact the Rev. Carol Huntington by email Carol Huntington

We look forward to your reply. And we welcome your ideas about additional ways to advance the Peace of Christ throughout our Diocese, our nation and our world.

May God bless our ministries,

The Executive Committee, EPF-Maine 

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MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

 

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 Editor’s note: The following reflection is from a member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship- Maine Chapter and Chair of the EPF – Creating a Culture of Peace Resolution Committee. 

The Spirituality and Practice of Peacemaking

Submitted by Carol L. Huntington, MSW, M.Div.

 “CREATING A CULTURE OF PEACE: training for personal and social change” has been a transforming experience in my life!  I have always considered myself as being committed to peace and justice, especially justice.  It was not until I went to the CREATING A CULTURE OF PEACE (CCP) training that I was able to experience a deeper truth about the integral relationship between peace and justice. I was so inspired and empowered that I enrolled in the course to become a trained and certified Facilitator in the national program.

CCP has given me an understanding of the power and creativity of active nonviolence as a way to respond to injustice, oppression, conflict and violence. As a social worker for 40 years --- 25 years living and working in the inner city--- and more recently as a deacon, I have experienced many kinds of violence. My faith as a Christian has been foundational to my ability to try to confront and transform that violence which was at work while I served in the cities of Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and Boston, as well as in my personal and family life. Now I see CCP as part of my Christian formation process.  It has provided me with a new sense of personal power and practical skills, and more importantly, a way of being that transcends and transforms the violence that pervades our culture.  I see that using active nonviolence is the way to come to justice and peace.

Janet Chisholm, my trainer and mentor, is a faith-based peacemaker and educator. She has established CCP as a nationwide, community-based training program which has benefited thousands. It has been embraced by youth groups and intergenerational groups, congregations, civic groups, peace and justice organizations, colleges and seminaries. It has been adopted by national and regional faith groups, including the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and by Veterans for Peace.  (Janet is the past national chairperson of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and the former executive director and training coordinator of the national Fellowship of Reconciliation.) 

CCP’s innovative and interactive process helps participants find their own power and practice more skills for making personal and social changes without violence. It allows them to address issues which most concern them, such as controversial topics and group conflicts, neighborhood and school violence, domestic violence, climate change, war and militarism, discrimination, video games, homelessness, peace education, and lack of health care. Mutual learning occurs through storytelling, meditation, small group sharing, brainstorming, role plays, thought-provoking exercises, music and movement.

The content of CCP provides a holistic and practical foundation in spiritually-grounded peacemaking.  Participants explore violence and active nonviolence, social change, and community-building. Every group chooses and plans concrete projects for change to help create the peaceful world we desire.

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Closing Prayer

Almighty God, You have bidden us to carry in your Name the sword of the Spirit;

you have made us messengers of peace in a world of strife,

and messengers of strife where false peace prevails;

Make strong our hand, make clear our voice,

give us humility with firmness, and insight with passion;

that we may fight not to conquer but to redeem,

following the example of your blessed Son, the Savior of the world. Amen.

The Rev. Richard Bamforth 

How We Pray (please click to view)

a meditation on how we pray about peace in the Episcopal Church 

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