Join Matt Guynn from On Earth Peace and Kezia Curtis from Black Lives Matter Detroit for a six-week webinar series:
April 9, 16, 23, May 7, 14, 21, at 2:30 PM Pacific / 5:30 PM Eastern.
This 6-session series provides an introduction to organizing and mobilizing in the Kingian Nonviolence (KNV) tradition. KNV provides values and methods for waging conflict and working for justice and reconciliation. It is a philosophy, a way of life, a methodology, and a discipline. These workshops are a transformational experience that has helped thousands of individuals around the world understand the depth of nonviolence as a philosophy and practice of change, and how to incorporate this practice into their lives and work.
We know that many of you will participate in commemorations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Monday, January 21. With historical amnesia, it’s possible to simply be unaware that in his lifetime, Dr. King was seen as a disturber of the peace. It’s too easy to collapse his legacy into a watered down appeal to love each other. Dr. King and the Black Freedom Movement did believe in love, and they wielded that love in powerful campaigns advocating specific and controversial goals. Those goals escalated from the 1955-56 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, to the 1967-68 Poor People’s Campaign, during which King was assassinated.
Honoring Dr. King today means joining and supporting the kinds of movements today that he organized and invested in 50 years ago. Just a partial listing would include the Movement for Black Lives/Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, the struggle against racism and injustice in immigration policy, and the fight to protect our planet’s wellbeing.
Whatever else you do on MLK Day 2019, we’d like to invite you to join On Earth Peace in setting aside time to study Dr. King’s writings, to gird yourself for the road ahead. Will you take 15 minutes, or two hours, to invest in your own leadership, and nourish your spirit? Here are three places to start. If you want more, contact Matt at Kingian@OnEarthPeace.org.
“Loving Your Enemies”- 1957 sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
“When Peace Becomes Obnoxious” - 1956 sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
“Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence” - 1967 speech in which King connects the dots between racism in the US and global militarism
Poor People's Campaign
On Earth Peace will convene an online meetup about the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific. We want to connect with folks in the #OEPCommunity (that’s you if you’re reading this!) who have been participating in Poor People’s Campaign activities in your own state, who are considering getting involved, or who just want to know more. Join us to discuss PPC’s principles, demands, and the article, “Nonviolent Direct Action as Social Parable,” by Daniel Hunter, available here. Contact racialjustice@OnEarthPeace.org for more information and to register. Please visit the OEP-RacialJustice Facebook group to find links to core information about the campaign, here.
Congregational Peace Health Check
On Earth Peace is launching a pilot program called the Congregational Peace Health Checkup and we want to invite you to participate! The Peace Health Checkup is a unique opportunity to join others from your congregation in reflecting on how practices of Christ’s peace are reflected in your congregation’s ministry--and to identify for yourselves some areas where you might be excited to grow.
We’re happy to share the following information about structure and schedule, to help your congregation consider whether you would like to participate. Each checkup consists of two three-hour webcam meetings, with prep and followup before, between, and after the meetings. During the meetings, members of your congregation will consider how it’s going with a variety of peace-connected themes and areas in your congregation, for example: Biblical Foundations, Leadership Development, Conflict & Communication, Decisionmaking, Service Ministries, Justice Ministries (and more). The pilot program is described in more detail in this two-page document, prepared for you to share with your congregation. We are prepared to launch pilot groups in January, February, and April. After reviewing the detailed program information, please consider the start date that works best for you, and be in touch to learn what slots are still available. To learn more, get your questions answered, or start the process, please schedule a 30-minute conversation with Matt Guynn at your earliest convenience. Here are three ways to do so: Visit Matt’s booking calendar and request a time 2) Email mguynn@OnEarthPeace.org 3) Call 503-465-4557
December Nationwide Vigils and Events to #EndGunViolence
T-shirts representing gun victims in Harrisburg, PA.
Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren has been involved in responding to gun violence for more than ten years and has been a leader in the Church of the Brethren on issues of gun violence. Gerald Rhoades currently serves as chair of Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence - Harrisburg, with three other members of the congregation also active in the faith-based effort. Pastor Belita Mitchell previously served as chair. HGC-Harrisburg organizes quarterly vigils for victims of gun violence in Harrisburg, and connects with the families of the deceased. They are now organizing an art project called “Souls Shot,” in which they recruit artists to create portraits of gun violence victims, which are then exhibited to remember the victims and foster community conversation. There is an annual “Memorial to the Lost” on the International Day of Prayer of Peace, which displays t-shirts for all gun victims in Harrisburg since 2009. Pastor Rhoades shares, “We are trying to get houses of faith to focus on this problem, and trying to especially activate suburban voters and people of faith. We are starting conversation within local faith congregations to try to expand the conversation beyond people who are already involved. Faith communities, especially in the suburbs, are often hesitant to engage in those conversations, and we think we can help them engage in that dialogue.” For more information, visit https://www.heedinggodscall.org or email Gerald Rhoades at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work of First Church Harrisburg has helped inspire On Earth Peace to enter this work and join the coalition led by The Newtown Foundation organizing national and nationwide vigils and events each December, remembering all victims and survivors of gun violence everywhere, raising awareness, and keeping this critical issue front and center throughout our nation.
In Harrisburg, former OEP intern John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens, who is involved with Heeding God’s Call-Harrisburg will speak at the vigil on December 14. Please register your #EndeGunViolence vigil or remembrance event -- or find one near you to attend -- HERE on the Newtown Foundation website. Their team will add your vigil/event to the map.