“Receive One Another to the Glory of God”
December 8, 2019 (2nd Sunday of Advent, Peace Sunday)
Here is a compelling theme and message for your sermon and worship on December 8th, the 2nd Sunday of Advent ("Peace Sunday"). We also include an On Earth Peace "Moment in Mission" printable bulletin insert, and full lectionary readings. This is a challenging juxtaposition of verses, calling for us to receive each other, and at the same time reject certain faults in ourselves.Read more
Bill Scheurer published appeal-drone-warfare-thanks in Appeal-Drone-Warfare 2019-10-06 09:38:41 -0500
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ARTT 20-Year Vision Statement for OEP (2015):
On Earth Peace board, staff, practitioners, and programs are unapologetically multiracial/ multicultural, driven by an anti-racist, anti-oppression lens toward the transformation of society.
Who we are:
Formed in 2016, the ARTT is a racially-diverse, all-volunteer, long-term leadership team made up of OEP board members, staff members, constituents and supporters.
We guide the OEP board, staff and other stakeholders in becoming a transformed, inclusive, multicultural, anti-racist institution and seek to hold the organization accountable to its anti-racist vision and commitment.
We are a nine-member team and strive for racial and gender balance while also seeking diversity in other social identities, life experience, & skill sets.
What we do:
The ARTT provides vision, leadership, education, and coordination to the work of dismantling institutional racism within On Earth Peace.
We identify and reveal the ways racism is embedded in and perpetuated by the structure of our organization and we lead the organization to correct racist policies, practices and behaviors.
Ultimately we seek to support the board, staff and other stakeholders in building an anti-racist institutional identity, culture and practice.
What we have achieved:
Since its inception, the ARTT has helped guide OEP to:
- Require that all new board and staff members participate in anti-racism training in an effort to build a common language and understanding around racism within the organization
- Hold board meetings in People of Color majority locations.
- Adopt regular racial caucusing (definition below)
- Align hiring policies and practices with our antiracist commitments
- Introduce racial caucusing into our board of directors leadership selection process
- Build anti-racism and anti-oppression analysis into the fabric of all staff program planning, implementation and reporting
- Sustain and center its anti-racist commitments
How we work:
The ARTT is a geographically dispersed team made up of members serving three year terms. We all meet by conference call once a month and in person at least once a year, in addition to sub-committee meetings and work in between meetings. We seek to be spiritually grounded, reflective of personal prejudices and participation in perpetuating racism, and continue to grow in our understanding of how institutional racism functions.
Racial caucusing is also a critical part of our team life. Racial caucusing is a small-group meeting strategy whereby white people and people of color meet separately to consider how the two sides of white supremacy (racial superiority and racial oppression) are affecting team life and work.
White members of the team consider how internalized racial superiority is affecting their thoughts and behavior while people of color consider how internalized racial oppression is likewise affecting their thoughts and behavior. The two groups then reconvene to share their insights. By each racial group separately considering and taking responsibility for how racism is impacting the team, we believe that we are more equipped to address it.
Who we work with:
The ARTT partners with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training, one of the oldest anti-racist training organizations in the United States. Crossroads has provided eye-opening antiracism training to the board and staff, guided OEP though an internal racism audit, trained the ARTT to carry out its transformational work of dismantling racism within OEP, as well as providing continued support throughout the process.
How we understand racism and anti-racism:
Racism: We understand racism to be a combination of racial prejudice plus a misuse of institutional and systemic power.
Institutional Racism: From the very beginning of American history, Euro-Americans intentionally and legally structured all U.S. institutions to serve white society exclusively or advantageously. Institutional racism is the result of institutions structured to unevenly benefit white people and to function without accountability to people of color (from Crossroads).
Institutional Anti-Racism: Institutional Anti-racism is a process of developing an organizational anti-racist consciousness, culture, and identity, as well as institutionalizing new structures of accountability and authority to anti-racist people and communities of color (adapted from Crossroads).
We believe that institutional racism adversely affects the historically white church and peace and justice nonprofit organizations that outwardly reject racist beliefs in principle.
We do not believe that On Earth Peace is exempt from the legacies of our country’s racist history, the temptation to privilege or center whiteness, and the difficulties of anti-racist and cross-racial relationship, accountability and reconciliation.
- We follow Jesus into the work of justice and peace. We share in spiritual practices and develop faith resources to help undergird our programs.
- We learn, teach and practice dynamic forms of peacemaking which see conflict as an important tool to meet needs, address injustice, correct imbalances of power, and seek healing and reconciliation.
- We commit to name and undo barriers to participation in our programs based on identity, and to work for full inclusion and equity for all who wish to join in our work. We commit to the long-term transformation of On Earth Peace, the church, and society.
- We nurture peacemakers and leaders, and honor the wisdom, skill, and experience of all generations.
- We commit to raising the levels of relationships until justice and peace prevail, and all people attain their full human potential.
A world in Beloved Community, liberated from oppression, violence, and war.
We develop and walk with leaders and communities who work for justice and peace.
Kingian Nonviolence training, Dayton OH
People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Dear On Earth Peace community and friends,
This week has been filled with tragedy.
- Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, two African-American elders in their community outside of Louisville, KY lost their lives at the hands of a gunman who first sought to enter a Black church, and had a history of domestic violence and racist behavior.
- Current and former US political leaders, as well as members of the press, had pipe bombs intercepted that were mailed by an attempted assassin who espoused a hateful and bigoted ideology.
- Members of a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA were gunned down for nothing more than being Jewish while they spent their Saturday morning together participating in their weekly gathering for worship.
We mourn, like so many others, the loss of life for each victim of these senseless acts of violence. We also mourn the isolation, despair, and hopelessness that white supremacy, a common thread across the events of this week, feeds from as it poisons the groundwater from which we all drink.
It would be easy, in this moment, to lose hope.
However, as co-laborers for justice and peace, our faith and our work teaches us that we have a role to play in times like this. As we join the mourners and the efforts to take care of them, we also join the organizers who fight day in and day out for a better world in which bias, bigotry, and racism have no place. We join the ministers of all faiths who share the message of peace and justice in our hurting world. We join the families, neighbors, friends, and strangers who all ask, “Where do we go from here and how I can play my part?”
Take the time to process your feelings around these events and the ways in which they affect you and the communities you care so deeply about. We then encourage you to join others in reflection, dialogue, and action as you see fit to begin addressing the root causes of the violence and pain in our society.
Know that as you work for a better world in your own neighborhood, organization, or place of worship, we are right there with you.
On Earth Peace will continue our commitment to training and equipping individuals, congregations, and communities as we all work together to build beloved communities of justice and peace. Thank you for joining us in this work.
On Earth Peace
Who we are? On Earth Peace helps people work together for justice and peace.We envision a world in Beloved Community free from violence, oppression, and war. We invite you to join us by finding a program or ministry that speaks to the unique needs of your organization, congregation, or community.
If this statement speaks to you, we invite you to join our community by sharing your contact information below.
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Bill Scheurer published Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign at Veterans for Peace 2017 in Blog 2017-08-12 17:02:43 -0500
Executive Director, On Earth Peace
People need community to help each other work together for justice and peace.
On Earth Peace provides such community.
Bill is a practitioner in: the OEP-Racial Justice Accountability group, where he is active in his local Black Lives Matter chapter; and the Kingian Nonviolence group, where he is a Level 1 certified trainer; and the Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign, where he is national co-coordinator.
Bill is Executive Director of On Earth Peace (OEP), a peace and justice mission and agency of the Church of the Brethren (a Historic Peace Church), and is a public speaker on the intersections of peace and faith and politics. He has degrees in Religious Studies and Law, and has worked as a lay minister, lawyer, and tech startup entrepreneur.
Bill and his wife, Randi, were involved with the peace movement as college students during the Vietnam War, and later returned as full-time, volunteer peace activists after 9/11 in 2001. They were early members of Military Families Speak Out, a call to bring our troops home and take care of them when they get here, where Bill is currently on the steering committee. Bill also recently served for eight years on the national council and executive committee of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the biggest and oldest interfaith peace organization in the world; is a founding board member of Save-A-Vet, dedicated to rescuing military and law enforcement dogs and sheltering them with disabled veterans in mutual healing and support; is a member of the steering committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, the leading counter-recruitment coalition in the nation; and is co-coordinator of the Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign, for which OEP is the global sponsor. He is the author of "us & them: bridging the chasm of faith," and has been a peace candidate for U.S. Congress three times.