Just Peace

Staff at Mitchell High School

Regarding the staff at Mitchell High School see the article “All Mitchell High School staff members being ‘released,’ will have to go through a re-application process if they want to keep their jobs in Colorado Springs” on KKTV 11 News.

From Jerima King …”It comes to accountability of school board members and calling them out when they are not supporting the staff as they should.”
Email them!
Shawn.Gullixson@d11.org – President of the Board (Mitchell Alumni)
Julie.Ott@d11.org – Vice President of the Board
Jim.Mason@d11.org – Secretary of the Board
Parth.Melpakam@d11.org – Treasurer of the Board
Darleen.Daniels@d11.org – Director of the Board
Jason.Jorgenson@d11.org – Director of the Board
Chris.Wallis@d11.org – Director of the Board
Michael.Thomas@d11.org – Superintendent of District 11

10 Practice Norms for Peacemaking

Susan Brooks Thistlewaite and 22 other Christian Scholars (1994)

  1. Support non-violent direction action
  2. Take independent initiatives to reduce threat,
  3. Use cooperative conflict resolution
  4. Acknowledge responsibility for conflict and injustice and seek repentance and forgiveness.
  5. Advance democracy, human rights, and religious liberty.
  6. Foster just and sustainable economic development.
  7. Work with emerging cooperative forces in the international system.
  8. Strengthen the United Nations and international efforts for cooperation and human rights.
  9. Reduce offensive weapons and weapons trade.
  10. Encourage grassroots peacemaking groups and voluntary associations.

Vista Grande United Church of Christ is a Just Peace Church

(Adopted Aug. 5, 2018)

“We, the Covenantal Partners of Vista Grande Community Church United Church of Christ, declare ourselves a Just Peace Church. As a congregation and as individuals, we prayerfully strive to live out Jesus’ non-violent words and actions in treating all people and the environment with dignity and respect. With humility, we seek to establish relationships with others through what may be uncomfortable conversations. While calling attention to imbalances of power and privilege, we will promote peacemaking and work to resist and dismantle religious, political, economic and social systems of oppression. We acknowledge that peace and justice work is a dynamic process, and we will need to grow continually in our empathy in order to have a positive impact in our homes, neighborhoods, communities, nation and world.”

Moving Justice and Peace Forward: The beginnings

In June, The Executive Council approved a design for church T-shirts. The Just Peace committee proposed this idea so we would be a visible and unified presence at rallies, marches, picnics and other gatherings. Which we have been doing with Pride! The front reads: VISTA GRANDE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST with the comma logo. The back reads: DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY WALK HUMBLY NOW! The shirts are sapphire blue with white lettering. If you are interested in obtaining a T-shirt contact Dana Zimmerman at 719-313-0120 or treasurer@vgcc.org. The production timing for the shirts was perfect for Colorado Springs Pridefest weekend considering we participated in the Parade and had a booth.

On July 14, Vista Grande marched in the Parade as part of a UCC contingent of churches that included, Black Forest Community Church, Broadmoor Community Church and First Congregational Church. This was the first time that four UCC Churches in Colorado Springs organized and collectively participated in Pridefest together! We also partnered with the TRUE Center, a program of Children’s Hospital Colorado, currently located in Denver; to sponsor a booth informing the Colorado Springs community of services provided by the TRUE Center. One of the primary focuses they have, is to provide health care to Gender Diverse young people and their families. Care that includes, but is not limited to, endocrine care, hormonal therapy, social services, psychological services and referral services as necessary. Vista Grande continues to work with the TRUE Center, UCCS, Inside Out Youth Services and a few of Colorado Springs pediatric health care providers to make these services available in our community. It seems more likely that these services will come to fruition in Colorado Springs.

Also, in June we conducted a congregational survey regarding importance of current justice issues. The results of the survey indicated that Housing and Mental Health are the top concerns of the congregation at this time. As a result of this, the Just Peace Team has dedicated itself to begin participation in the meetings of the Coalition of Homeless Advocates and Providers (CHAP). This will provide us with much needed awareness of activities, resources, legislation and needs in our community. In regard to Mental Health, the decision was made to get in touch with the local National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) chapter and Rev. Amy the WISE Congregations for UCC facilitator. NAMI can help us navigate through our individual experiences and facilitate educational components for Vista Grande Covenantal Partners to participate in and possibly host. Rev Amy will be good at helping us learn to utilize and discern the various resources available to us. We see this as an opportunity for increased awareness and execution of our intentions to be Christ-like as we endeavor in our welcoming, acceptance and inclusion of ALL people. Thank you to all who completed the survey. You have been heard and we are moving us forward to action for us all.

Lastly, we would like to extend an invitation to each of you to join us at our new meeting time. beginning Sunday, October, 20 at 11:45am; the 3rd Sunday of each month.