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.

  • commented on Compelling Vision 2019-06-15 12:13:27 -0500
    Matt, thanks for offering this vision for the church. Given the different understandings people in the church currently hold, I still like the old identity statement — “Continuing the Work of Jesus: Peacefully, Simply, Together.” We have some differences in theology on what the “work” of Jesus is, but we all seem to agree on service and justice (even if we still differ in our understandings of the meaning of “justice” in various situations).

  • published ARTT info in ARTT 2019-06-12 10:10:40 -0500

    OEP Anti-Racism Transformation Team (ARTT)

    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.

    stop racism

  • published Values in About 2019-04-06 17:03:18 -0500


    Jesus-Centered Spirituality

    • We follow Jesus into the work of justice and peace. We share in spiritual practices and develop faith resources to help undergird our programs.

    Positive Peace

    • 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.

    Intergenerational Leadership

    • We nurture peacemakers and leaders, and honor the wisdom, skill, and experience of all generations.

    Beloved Community

    • 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.


  • published 2019 Song & Story Fest in Events 2019-02-27 13:41:52 -0600

    2019 Song & Story Fest


    North Woods Song & Story Fest: Voices In the Wilderness!

    July 14 - 20, 2019 | Camp Myrtlewood, Bridge, Oregon

    A Family Camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers in the coastal mountains of southwestern Oregon!

    Psalm 19:1-3 proclaims: “The heavens are telling the glory of God and the universe proclaims God’s handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares understanding… their voice goes out through all the earth.”

    Can you hear the voices of the earth, the animals, and the heavens as they proclaim the wonders of creation and cry out their sorrow in its pain?

    Can you hear the voices of human beings, those who call to us from the margins, the poor, the refugees, the broken, or hungry, or homeless?

    Can you hear the muffled voices of the young, the hopeful, the scientists, the faithful children of god?

    We will be listening for these voices in the fields and forests of Camp Myrtlewood. And we will be using our own voices as we join in proclaiming the light of God’s presence in a time of conflagration, global warming, and the scorched earth policies being pursued by many. Can you hear God calling you to the mountain to lift up song and spirit in grace and gladness amidst the confusion and cacophony? Why not answer the call and join with the moon and stars that sing together in wonder and praise!

    Storytellers, Musicians, and Workshop Leaders:

    Rhonda & Greg Baker Susan Boyer Louise Brodie Kathy Guisewite Jeffrey Faus & Jenny Stover-Brown Erin & Cody Flory Robertson Jonathan Hunter Steve & Seth Kinzie Lee Krähenbühl
    Jim & Peg Lehman Matt Guynn Mike Stern Barbara West

    The mountains burst into song at Camp Myrtlewood!

    An Intergenerational Camp for All Ages -
    Single persons and families of any size and shape will enjoy this combination of performance and participation among the tall trees and cool streams of western Oregon.

    Mornings - intergenerational gatherings and worship will be followed by workshops for adults, children, and youth to help us:

    • Reconnect with the God of all creation and with each other
    • Tell the stories that make for peace and rekindle faith
    • Sing the words of our hearts in gratitude for the unceasing power of life
    • Root and ground ourselves in the Biblical story
    • Deepen our connections with each other and the earth
    • Celebrate peace, creation, and life
    • Dance in circles, lines, and squares
    • Learn the skills of peace-making and justice-seeking

    Afternoons - will be free for family time, recreation, story swaps, and music making.

    Evenings - campfires, snacks, and concerts or a folk dance.

    Song & Story Fest #23
    This is the twenty-third summer in a row for these Song and Story Fests and marks our third time at Camp Myrtlewood. The Fest will begin on Sunday evening July 14 with supper at 5:30 pm, an opening campfire, and some music and dancing. We’ll close the Fest on Saturday morning, July 20, after breakfast, worship, and hugs. This should give ample travel time both before and after the Fest from and to wherever.

    On Earth Peace will again co-sponsor the Fest, with leadership and administrative support.

    Camp Myrtlewood is in southwest Oregon between Coos Bay and Roseburg, located off Oregon Rt. 42 — 3.5 miles south of the hamlet of Bridge on Myrtle Creek Road. (For Google Earth and GPS fans, Camp is at 42°59'15" N and 124°00'46" W.) Camp’s 158 acres of temperate rainforest straddle Myrtle Creek with lots of tall trees and steep hills surrounding the meadow and rustic buildings of Camp. The creek has a great swimming hole, and there are plenty of opportunities to interact with nature (owls, herons, deer, otter and newts, among others- Sorry, the salmon are out in the ocean in the summer). Or take a hike on the Vista or Lookout Trails, play Ping Pong, Foozeball, Volleyball, Basketball, Softball, or enjoy the small playground. Check it all out, see photos and get directions at www.campmyrtlewood.org.

    Lodging - Campers will sleep in rustic cabins furnished with bunk beds, or in your own tent or RV. Plan on sharing cabin space with other individuals or families, so please, on your registration indicate anyone with whom you want to share space. Please bring your own bedding and towels, as the Camp doesn’t provide these. There are 10 hookups for RVs with electricity and water, but no sewer/waste dumping. Hot showers are provided in common bathhouses. There are no motel style rooms available for those with advanced age or special needs, but distances are very short, the camp is not hilly, and there are a couple of options for close bathrooms. Motel lodging is available in Myrtle Point (15 miles) at Myrtle Trees Motel, 541-572-5811, or www.myrtletreesmotel.com and mention the Fest.

    Food - The Camp Myrtlewood cooks are great and feature vegetarian options at every meal. If you have special dietary, health or housing needs, please note them on your reservation and we’ll do our best to meet them. Please bring a new table grace to add to our repertoire.

    Contact Ken if you have a craft project to bring and lead. If you live nearby, please bring a lawn chair to sit on.

    Registration and Fees
    Registration includes all meals, on-site facilities, and leadership and is based upon age. Children 3 and under are welcome, no charge.

    Adults $320
    Teens 12- 19 $220
    Children 4 - 11 $150

    Maximum Fee per Family - $900

    Please register now and remit the entire fee by June 15. Registrations post-marked after June 15 should add 10% as a late fee. No discount for off-site, tent or RV housing.

    We expect to “max out” the limited space, so be advised to register early! First come, first served! Registration opens February 15, 2019.

    Daily Fee (if space is available) - $40/adult, $25/teen, $20/child, $100/family, includes all meals and program. Lodging is an additional $15/night/person.

    Contact Ken Kline Smeltzer at bksmeltz@comcast.net if you need financial help.

    To mail registrations & checks or ask registration questions contact Darlene Johnson:

    On Earth Peace; PO Box 188; New Windsor MD 21776
    Phone: 410-635-8704 (9AM-4PM Eastern); Email: OEP@OnEarthPeace.org.

    For additional information or with program questions contact:
    Ken Kline Smeltzer, Director, 1452 Willowbrook Drive, Boalsburg, PA 16827-1668
    814-571-0495 (mobile) or bksmeltz@comcast.net.

    Download the registration form, click here.

    Travel - - Eugene, OR is the closest airport, about 135 miles away. Email Ken if you would like assistance with ground transportation from the airport.


    July 14, 2019 at 12pm - July 21, 2019 at 12pm
    Camp Myrtlewood
    49658 Myrtle Creek Rd
    Myrtle Point, OR 97458
    United States
    Google map and directions

  • signed Statement on Violence - October 2018 2018-10-29 16:23:44 -0500

    Statement on Violence - October 2018

    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.

    Add signature

  • published thanks tapestry 2017-11-16 16:46:56 -0600


     Thank you for sharing this information about your congregation.

     We will keep you posted on the survey results.

    Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/onearthpeace/

  • published Board in People 2017-11-05 17:21:41 -0600

  • published Events 2017-10-30 11:20:11 -0500

    OEP Events

    Here are OEP and ally events coming up in our community.

    Do you want to share your own peace and justice events?

    Contact OEP@OnEarthPeace.org to add them here.

    See all events

Peacebuilder, Writer, Social Entrepreneur: On Earth Peace Executive Director | National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth & Military Families Speak Out Steering Committees | Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign Co-Coordinator
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