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Episcopal Peace Fellowship

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship Pledge of Commitment describes the group's mission:

In loyalty to the person, teaching, and Lordship of Jesus Christ, my conscience commits me to His way of redemptive love: to pray, study, and work for peace, and to renounce, as far as possible, participation in war, militarism, and all other forms of violence.

In fellowship with others, I will work to discover and create alternatives to violence and to build a culture of peace. I urge the Episcopal Church in accordance with our baptismal vows "to renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God", and to wage peace across all boundaries, calling upon people everywhere to repent, to forgive, and to love. https://epfnational.org/join/

There is currently an active chapter at Trinity Cathedral which is currently reaching out to other parishes to spread the work of Christ's peacemaking. 

Because of the EPF commitment above, our local group has three priorities:

1)  Human Trafficking, in conjunction with the efforts of the Episcopal Church Women. Resources and information here.
2)  Yemen,  keeping this humanitarian crisis in the news,
3)  Anti-Death Penalty group, working with Ohioans to Stop Executions (OTSE) and Intercommunity Peace& Justice Center (IJPC) in Cincinnati.

Suggested Actions July 2020

Our three (3) priority areas for 2020 are focused on the Yemeni Civil War, Abolishing the Death Penalty and Human Trafficking 

Yemen/Iran 

  • Contact your 2 Ohio U.S. Senators Brown and Portman and your House representative to take legal action to reestablish Congress’ legitimate role in authorizing acts of war
  • Contact your Congressional representatives to have them take action to cease arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in light of their use to fuel the Yemen conflict, and due to evidence the equipment has been transferred to various unauthorized factions in Yemen 
    • Some additional background supplementing above: Congressional members are currently expressing concern that the benefits to the U.S. workforce of arms sales have been grossly inflated, that transfer of weapon technology to Mideast countries jeopardizes our national security, and that previous claim of an “emergency” that resulted in $ 8+ billion of arms sales without Congressional oversight last year was a “phony” emergency.
  • Write our U.S. Senators and your Congressional representative and the President and indicate your support of the U.S. remaining a full member of the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) with its 194 members, and continuing our financial support of work on global health issues, such as the Covid19 epidemic 
    • Some additional background: President Trump several days ago formally notified the World Health Organization of the U.S. departing the WHO on July 6, 2021. The U.S. is currently in arrears of membership dues for $198 million dollars. Many legal scholars are indicating the action would be illegal without the concurrence of Congress. Many health experts and officials feel the action will jeopardize the U.S. access to critical medical technology and vaccines.
  • Help the innocent children in Yemen in their struggle with floods, malnutrition, disease, water  shortages, poverty and violence through UNICEF and other global health organizations.
  • Doctors Without Borders is working in Yemen to help women and children receive critical medical care in Yemen. We can help DWB in their efforts under extreme conditions. 
  • Support the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) efforts in Yemen, esp. Covid19, by donating
Anti-Death Penalty            Suggested content of your letter to newspapers:
 
- In such a divisive political climate, it's incredible to see both sides of the aisle coming together on the issue of death penalty repeal.
- The fact that Ohio conservatives are stepping up to repeal Ohio's death penalty is great. I --- I think repealing the death penalty certainly represents conservative Ohioan values of being pro-life and fiscally responsible. 
- I love seeing the momentum for repeal building across the state! It's amazing to see all communities - conservatives, faith leaders, lawmakers, former office holders, liberals, etc - creating a buzz for repealing Ohio's death penalty. 
  • Send a letter or email to Governor DeWine and ask him to grant clemency for Gregory Lott,  recently recommended for clemency by the Ohio Parole Board. The victim’s family provided testimony asking that Mr. Lott, who is intellectually disabled, not be executed.
  • Call, send a letter or email Governor DeWine to express your appreciation for his recent thoughtful action to give reprieves to 3 more inmates on death row in Ohio. 
  • Send a note of support to Elwood Jones, on death row in Ohio since 1997, and is now scheduled for a new court hearing on August 27/28, based on new evidence and a confession by another man. Mr. Jones is scheduled for execution in April, 2021.
    • Address letters to:
      Elwood Jones # A339441,
      Chillicothe Correctional Institution
      P.O. Box 5500
      Chillicothe, OH 45601

 
  • The Federal government is planning after 17 years to restart executions today July 13, 2020.  This afternoon (7/13) a Federal judge blocked the executions which action is being appealed by the Trump administration. The judge’s blocking occurred in light of the one-drug protocol at the Federal level and the alternative that was chosen by 3 of the inmates…the firing squad. The first person of four planned deaths by lethal injection is Daniel Lewis Lee. Some family members of the victims have asked that his life be spared and for him to instead receive life in prison. His accomplice, the lead person in the crime, had received life in prison earlier. 
    • Suggested actions are to write/call your Congresspersons, legislators and/or Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio and ask them to please initiate action in their respective jurisdictions (Federal/State) to end the Death Penalty.
Human Trafficking
  • Contact your Ohio House Representative and ask her/him to support the passage of SB 13, The Protect Trafficked Minors Act. Bipartisan support. Has passed the Ohio Senate last year and is in the House Judiciary Committee as of February 2020.
    • Background: Senator Theresa Fedor Testimony-Sponsor (see her Sponsor Testimony and others here)
  • Send a note to Senators Brown and Portman supporting their introduction of a Bipartisan bill Protecting Rights of Those Exploited by Coercive Trafficking (PROTECT) Act. Summary is here.
  • “A bill to amend chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that using drugs or illegal substances to cause a person to engage in a commercial sex act constitutes coercion and using drugs or illegal substances to provide or obtain the labor or services of a person constitutes forced labor.” Introduced 7/2019; SB2197
The following are EPF areas on interest for possible action. 
Gun Violence (For information and action) Israel/Palestine (For information)
  • West Bank Annexation: Review plans for annexation, or application of sovereignty, by Israel of part of West Bank (20-30%). Key questions are 1/what exactly is role of U.S. and why?, 2/ what lands are to be “annexed?”, 3/what happens to Palestinian-owned land?, 4/ Israeli citizenship for Palestinians?, 5/would this in effect be a one-state or two-state solution? and 6/what is the response worldwide to this action by Israel/U.S.?
  • Study the current dialogue on the viability of a one-state or 2-state solution to the Israeli/Palestine situation. Here is one example of this dialogue on Zoom today (7/13).
General Info For you:
Contact Info:  It’s easy: email via their websites or call directly; it does make a difference! Taking action on just 1 measure…or more, makes a real difference.
Suggestion!  If you get a response from your representative, please let us know. Their responses are often insightful and valuable for follow-ups. 
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/OH#senators
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/OH#representatives
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/

White House:
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 
Washington, DC 20500
1-202-456-1414 (Switchboard)
1-202-456-1111 (Comments)

Notes from the July 5, 2020 Zoom Mini Meeting
Notes from the June 7, 2020 Zoom Mini Meeting
Notes from the May 3, 2020 Zoom Mini Meeting
Notes from the April 5, 2020 Zoom Mini Meeting
Notes from the March 1, 2020 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from the February 2, 2020 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from the January 5, 2020 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from the December 1, 2019 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from the October 6, 2019 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from the September 1, 2019 meeting at Trinity Cathedral
Notes from August 4th, 2019 meeting at Trinity Cathedral