Minutes for MPJC Meeting of November 8, 2012

Present: Peter, Ron, Pam, Glenda Rae, Wanda, Galen, Rey

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for September 20: The minutes were approved as presented.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Violence Prevention - No one picked up on this. We thought that Ellyn would post a draft for us to consider since she suggested the topic.

        b. Getting mayor to endorse Violence Prevention resolution: Peter passed around copies of the resolution as well as the Wikipedia statement on Ceasefire, on whose efforts in Chicago the resolution was based. Since this coincided with our topic of the month we discussed both together. Pam pointed out how important it is to regulate the sale and possession of guns. In Britain no citizens and few police are allowed to own or carry firearms. It seems unlikely that the current congress will vote to restrict guns given the strength of the NRA. She noted how busy the gun shop on Grape and Catalpa was right after the election. Rey noted how the use of drones has escalated under Obama and now Iran is attempting to shoot them down.There was an attempt to bring the CEASEFIRE program to South Bend under Robinson Center auspices, but the person implementing it left town when the grant ran out. There needs to be funding to provide "boots on the ground" to have any chance of success. The Agape program attempted to provide role models for troubled teens, but CPNV withdrew its support and the Church of the Brethren's On Earth Peace (national sponsor of the program) forbade anyone to continue the program in South Bend.

        c. Library photo contest: We need a picture taken during the past year. Peter and Lois talked about possible subjects at the vigil on Monday, but he could not remember the details. He will ask Lois and get back to the group via the list serve.

        d. Center for History project: Lois had talked to Kristi Dunn, the person organizing this photo exhibit on the history of South Bend, about including photos of important peace and justice events and organizations in South Bend on September 21. No one could remember the results of that meeting, and Lois was in Atlanta during this MPJC meeting.

        e. Randall Shea potluck: We had almost 30 people at St. Augustine Fellowship Hall on November 7th to meet and listen to Randall Shea and his two daughters talk about their experience starting a school in a small Guatemalan village, and his plans for starting a high school and university there. The potluck food, as always, was delicious. Thanks to Ellyn for organizing the potluck and cooking several of the main dishes. The St. A's pastor and several parishioners came and they pitched in to help set up and clean up. This was much different from the speaker from Columbia we sponsored at Prince of Peace a few years ago when none of the parishioners showed up. We passed the hat and collected almost $750. Randall was delighted with both the turnout and the money. He will now be able to pay the staff at the school. One person expressed interest in going to the school to teach English. While we were there we heard about a bad earthquake in Guatemala, but Randall was not able to get in touch with his wife and two other children.

    3. Treasurer's Report: Our bank total is $117.43 with $5.56 in petty cash. Glenda Rae said that she has not yet received the video "Alhelm MLK on Palestine," we ordered last month, but this is not unusual. It may take 6 weeks to get here.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We discussed adopting Randall's school as an ongoing project. We have so few members that such a partnership will be hard to sustain. We decided to think further about this suggestion.

    2. Topic of the Month: Rey suggested that we think about climate change and the environment. He and Glenda Rae will be driving to Chicago on November 28 to attend the Do the Math event sponsored by 350.org at the Athenaeum theater. This program will talk about steps to provide a livable future for our planet. The name 350.org comes from the claim that we must get Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere down below 350 parts per million if we want to stop climate change. Since the talk is in late November, we decided to continue work on Violence Prevention in November and focus on the environment in December.

    3. MLK Day Tabling: Lois would like us to put the Bean Poll on wheels and move it around the exhibit area to gather more attention. She thought we would avoid the charge for the table and could use the money to take out an ad in the program. Those present at the meeting were doubtful that we would be allowed to do this. We had plenty of help for the table last year and anticipate the same amount this year. Rey thought that the fee was not to get the table but to be allowed to exhibit our information. Glenda Rae is on the committee and she will try to clarify this before the next meeting.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: The Little Taste of Peace will be held at Rhema Word on York Road on the Saturday before MLK Day. Glenda Rae said the the YWCA will handle reservations as they have done the last few years. St. Hedwig's was invited to host the event but they did not respond. Since MPJC is a sponsor of this event, we will post it on the website and send evites to those on the listserv.

Steve Francis organized a counter demonstration to the Rally for Religious Liberty in late October. He sent an email on the morning of the event and Rey and Penny Hughes were able to attend. Rey held a sign indicating he was a healthcare voter until the rally participants blocked him out. He had the MPJC bullhorn so was able to counter some of the rally speakers' claims that requiring churches to allow their insurance companies to pay for contraceptives is like the persecution of the churches and synagogues during WW2. He said it was a poorly disguised rally for Mourdock and the organizers were exhorting the crowd to vote for him.

    5. Next meeting: Wednesday, December 5 at 7pm at Peter and Ellyn's.