Thank you for joining Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness for our 2015 Annual Meeting on January 25 at Lancaster Friends Meeting House. Members of Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness’ engaged community enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship and valuable discussion lead by an informative and lively panel.
“The purpose of this meeting is to activate our network,” started Urbane Peachy, President. “Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness is a viable organization dedicated to promoting biblical values of justice, care of creation, peace and non-violent solutions to conflict. We are an experimental venture.”
“In what ways do we promote biblical and human values now and into the future?” continued Urbane. “How do we reach our growing network of nearly 1,000 members comprised of over 40 congregations?” Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness’ upcoming events plan to attract broad attendance and community involvement — February 7th’s discussion lead by Rev. Bob Birch on Boycott, Divestment and Sanction and the March 4-5th event lead by Dr. John Tirman among them.
Immediately after a short business meeting, members enjoyed an informative open forum focused on addressing the creation of a sustainable and just world for God’s creation. Malinda Clatterbuck opened the conversation by offering personal insight into key environmental issues posed by Conestoga Township’s proposed natural gas pipeline. “This issue speaks towards the power of unchecked capitalism,” said Malinda. “We depend on the health of the earth — there is a symbiotic relationship here. We must observe care of creation.”
Owner of Upohar, Srirupa Dasgupta, lead discussion on equitable business practices to support people and communities in transition. “Upohar reaches individuals under stringent language, cultural and economic barriers. I employ refugees and offer livable wages — it is imperative that we lend a hand to these communities,” said Srirupa.
CeaseFirePa’s Fred Pinguel addressed concerns regarding gun violence in Pennsylvania. “How to we engage with each other?” asked Fred. “There are two issues to consider when addressing gun violence: means to secure safe spaces in the community and choosing what society we’d like to live in.”
Dr. William Ehrhart, educator and editor of the Veterans for Peace National Newsletter, concluded the afternoon’s discussion by addressing the military industrial complex and how it undermines a secure, sustainable and just world. “We don’t have the money to facilitate infrastructure ventures but we have the money to support facets of the military such as hell-fire missiles?” asked William.
This informative afternoon served as a valuable resource for Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witnesses’ community. The immediate outcome of the meeting is that Malinda and Mark Clatterbuck will be available for congregational presentations. We thank you for your continued involvement and look forward to a year of growth, continued community involvement and steps — large and small — towards peace and prosperity! Please enjoy a gallery of Sunday’s images below: