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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J. Lamar Gibson, Director of Development
Lamar Gibson has worked for nine years in both private businesses and the non-profit sector as a fundraiser and as a consultant on business operations and development. He brings these experiences to On Earth Peace as he engages existing stakeholders while also expanding the community of supporters to include champions for justice and peace from even more backgrounds and walks of life.
He has traveled extensively to study the history of movements that have defined the world, particularly within the American South and Southern Africa. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, weekend road trips, volunteering for political projects in North Carolina. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.