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.
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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.