Peace Booth at 2017 NC State Fair

On Tuesday I committed to coordinate a half day of service sponsored by the Wake County Lutheran Peace Fellowship chapter at this year’s state fair. I have added to our calendar the fair itself (Oct 12-22) and the Monday morning/afternoon time slot that is usually assigned to our volunteers.

I will need to recruit 6 volunteers to work two hours each between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on Oct 16. If YOU are interested, please let me know anytime.

There will also be an orientation/training program for volunteers on a weekday evening about a week before the fair opens. This is not on the calendar yet, because the dates can vary.

The theme for this year’s Peace Booth will be announced later.

Urgent alert in re refugee resettlement

My contact person at Lutheran Services Carolinas forwarded the information below.

Dear Valued Volunteers,  Community Partners and friends,

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LSC’s national VOLAG), has met with the Trump administration in Washington and we have received some discouraging news. But we will  continue doing this important work with even more resolution and passion. We still do not know exactly how/when  our local resettlement services will be effected.

Now more than ever, as federal funding which keeps our programs running is at stake, we recognize the importance of compassionate community members like yourself carrying on the banner of welcome and hope to refugees in our community.

Official LIRS press statement:

http://lirs.org/press-inquiries/press-room/condemns-the-trump-administrations-actions-against-refugees-and-migrants/

A statement from the LSC Director:

We have seen media reports that President Trump will make an announcement stopping refugee resettlement for certain nationalities and/or religions, among pausing resettlement altogether.

Now that the announcement has gotten media attention, we want to lift up voices in particular DIRECTLY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP expressing opposition, in an effort to hopefully change these plans. We need to take action NOW.

Only if you are comfortable with sharing, please share this with our volunteers, churches, other faith leaders, supporters!

PLEASE DO FOUR THINGS IMMEDIATELY:

1. Sign this petition stating opposition to any plans to stop refugee resettlement. Remember to confirm your sign-on via your email, otherwise it won’t be counted.

2. Tweet @realDonaldTrump & @POTUS – Samples (please personalize from your group):

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS Don’t stop welcoming refugees. Resettlement demonstrates the best of our values #RefugeesWelcome

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS Keep America welcoming. Refugee resettlement is a proud American legacy with bipartisan support #RefugeesWelcome

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS People of faith OPPOSE a religious litmus test for refugees bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees hias.org/1500rabbis #RefugeesWelcome

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS Denying Muslim refugees safety is an affront to religious liberty #RefugeesWelcome bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees hias.org/1500rabbis.

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS More than 800 faith leaders are opposed to any policy that would keep Muslim refugees from seeking safety: bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees

.@realDonaldTrump & @POTUS Christians oppose policies that would deny Muslims refuge and preference Christians bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees

3. Send the White House a Facebook message at Facebook.com/WhiteHouse AND submit an electronic message at whitehouse.gov/contactSamples (please personalize from your group):

 President Trump, We are hearing that you will stop refugee resettlement based on someone’s nationality or religion. As a faith group, we are STRONGLY opposed to any policy change that would deny access to refugees based on their religion or nationality. Please reject such ideas, as a religious litmus test for safety is an affront to religious liberty.

As faith groups that work with thousands of members of our communities in churches and synagogues across the country to welcome refugees every day, we oppose any plan to reduce refugee admissions and to prevent Muslim refugees from being resettled in the United States. We urge you to allow the U.S. refugee program to continue to resettle refugees that need our protection regardless of where they come from or how they pray.  Thank you for your leadership in ensuring the U.S. remains a beacon of hope for all those who are persecuted that seek peace, safety and freedom. bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees

More than 800 faith leaders: “The U.S. Refugee Resettlement program has been and should remain open to those of any religious tradition who face persecution on account of the reasons enumerated under U.S. law. We oppose any proposal that would prevent Syrian refugees or individuals who practice Islam and other faiths from accessing the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Proposals that would have the U.S. State Department disqualify refugees from protection based on their nationality or religion fly in the face of the very principles this nation was built upon, contradict the legacy of leadership our country has historically demonstrated, and dishonor our shared humanity.” bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees
 4. Share this BROADLY.

Also, we are re-opening the sign on letter, so that any faith leaders who are not on the letter and would like to be can sign up at http://bit.ly/FaithLeaders4Refugees.

Thanks everyone. Please note that we still do not know when an executive order will be released or what the specifics are. Right now we are just focusing on tweeting, facebooking, and communicating through the petition. We will continue to send information as we receive it and are still planning on broader action alerts following any announcement that would turn our back on refugees.


Bedrija Jazic
Service Team Leader
Refugee and Immigrant Services
Lutheran Services Carolinas
1118 Union Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803/461-2637
bjazic@lscarolinas.net

 

 

January 2017 events

I have added two events to the website calendar for next week. Sunday, 3:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the annual remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr sponsored by the Triangle conference Lutheran churches; and Tuesday 7:00 p.m. a peace and justice themed meeting at Highland UMC on Ridge Road we’ll attend in lieu of scheduling our own Lutheran Peace meeting this month. Sue Woodling has more specific information about the Highland meeting, in addition to what is posted on the calendar.

Helping Refugees in Raleigh

Last month, a poster appeared at church, by which Lutheran Services Carolinas advertised seeking a property they could rent for use as a Welcome House for newly arrived refugees in transition or financially struggling single-mother refugee families. (They may actually wish to have two such properties, though the poster didn’t say so.) My understanding is they had been quietly, but ineffectively, looking for this for a year or so before someone thought of advertising directly in the churches.

The afternoon of the first day I saw the poster, I contacted the program manager and offered our condominium that we have had vacant since the end of 2015. We were able to reach an agreement, and they will lease our condo for the next 12 months. There will be refugees (from Syria most likely) in for brief durations while LSC arranges more permanent housing.

Message from the Peace Booth Steering Committee

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

The Steering Committee of The Peace Booth wishes to convey our most sincere appreciation for all you and your volunteers did to make this year’s Peace Booth such a success. We had very high participation in our petitions, garnering the most signatures ever on a petition, 1,980 on our petition to fund more Veteran’s Courts in North Carolina.

Final petition count for #ThePeaceBooth:

  • Support Veterans Courts: 1980
  • Welcome Refugees: 1340
  • Police Camera Transparency: 1740

We had many visitors to the booth, including many people who stopped in to take part in our social media “experiment” and envision themselves as a peacemaker. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves and that we can count on you to return next year.

We have the Peace Pole… and so can you! If any group would like to have it for a month or so, please let us know – we would like for it to be traveling symbol of peace.

Similarly, if your community has a place to display this year’s “Follow is to Peace” backdrop, a wonderful piece of art painted by Joe McTaggert, let us know; we would be happy to donate it.

Please watch our Twitter feed and/or our Facebook page throughout the year!

Did you know you can get a peace quote every day a NCPeaceBooth.org? Check it out! DM us if you have a quote to share.

— The Peace Booth (@ThePeaceBooth) October 26, 2016David Biesack

The Peace Booth Steering Committee

September 2016 news

After a summer hiatus, we had a meeting at Holy Trinity ELCA church. We attempted to listen to a recent podcast in which Glen Gersmehl was interviewed by Jerry Iversen on Simple Living Works. Because of technical difficulties, this was not successful. So we will try again at our next meeting. We also discussed the topics bulleted below.
¶ We decided to meet bimonthly instead of monthly, meet at churches and offer educational or public interest presentations to attract visitors. The next meeting is to be held Nov. 10 at Grace Lutheran Church. (See the website’s calendar.)
¶ Campaign Nonviolence NC Week is under way. Tomorrow is the United Nations International Day of Peace observance. Next Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 is the “Festival” workshop day. The location is Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 3313 Wade Avenue.
¶ Peace Booth at the State Fair. On Oct. 17 we need 3 more volunteers to work 2-hour shift between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Please contact me directly if you are interested.
¶ Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine makes another visit to North Carolina March 24-26, 2017. A dinner program Friday March 24 in Raleigh; a morning/lunch meeting in Chapel Hill Saturday, March 25, and Sunday worship service at Duke Chapel March 26.

August 2016 Meetings

The Peace Fellowship has decided to not hold a business meeting this month. Some of us want to attend a Memorial Prayer Service at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church that is scheduled at our usual meeting time on Aug 18. (See the calendar for some more info about the Prayer Service.) Please join us at Pullen.

There is also a Wake County CROP Walk Kick-off meeting that evening.

We anticipate having a regular meeting on Sep 15. It will probably be set at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church instead of one of the restaurants, to facilitate a media presentation.

The Peace Booth at the 2016 State Fair

The theme for 2016 is social media-inspired, “Follow us to Peace #ThePeaceBooth.  Celebrate with us this year as we mark The Peace Booth’s 65th year at the NC State Fair! The North Carolina State Fair runs October 13 through October 23 this year. We will be there every day, thanks to our many volunteers! We hope you will visit.

Wake County Lutheran Peace Fellowship is responsible for staffing the Peace Booth on Monday, Oct. 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with six volunteers who each work two hours within this time period. We arrange for free admission to the fair on the volunteer date. Volunteers are also asked to attend one orientation session for training, on either Monday, Oct. 10 or Tuesday, Oct 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Community UCC Church. (These events are posted on our website’s calendar.)

Please let me know if you are interested in helping or if you know of other people who would probably like to help but have not been asked. (You are also welcome to share this announcement directly.)

Leo Robert Klohr, 1932-2016

Leo Klohr died in Raleigh, NC on May 24, 2016 after a long period of endurance with cancer. Our sympathy is offered to his family.

He was active in the peace and justice movement in many ways, including leadership of this Lutheran Peace Fellowship chapter, as well as service to the national office’s board,  and the Peace Booth at the N.C. State Fair  Committee.