The 2018 Annual Conference Breakfast was a wonderful occasion. Like last year in Grand Rapids, as we approached the date of the much-anticipated gathering for prayer and reflection, we increased the ticket count as interest steadily grew. 102 people attended the event in total.
The theme of the breakfast was “On Earth Peace: Celebrating Our Legacy, Sustaining Our Future”. After opening with a song and prayer, participants were invited to share stories – first at their tables and then with the larger group – about the work of On Earth Peace in their diverse communities. Many attendees shared stories, some of which included participation in their local draft board as pacifists, creating information booths at local high schools to provide alternatives to military service, and holding peace actions and vigils in response to gun violence and racism in their localities.
The breakfast also featured the unveiling of two new development initiatives. First, the #DoveClub which invites OEP’s current and future supporters to pledge monthly sustaining gifts. This new initiative seeks to provide an opportunity for donors to support the work of justice and peace year-round while also helping OEP to better sustain the financial life of the organization and to continue delivering our programs and ministries within the church and beyond. The second initiative to be introduced was the On Earth Peace Legacy Society which will be a permanent, ongoing effort to acknowledge donors whose wills, bequests, and estates have helped to sustain OEP in the past and in the future. The Legacy Society will highlight donors in our printed newsletters and in a permanent webpage dedicated to memorializing these visionary donors and their gifts.