Peace Communities

Service in a Post-Election World

From Hands and Feet / YAV - AVL Briana Joseph... 


In today’s blog, I want to switch things up a bit and talk briefly about why I feel the work I’m doing through the Young Adult Volunteers program is so important in America’s current post-election state. But before I do that, let me tell you a little bit more about what it is that I do.

Vigil for Immigrant Rights - Albany, NY

After a seemingly endless and often times sad election, we met as a community, as we always do, on the second Monday of the month for one of our New Sanctuary Open meetings at the Albany Catholic Worker house.   We prayed and decided to hold our annual Vigil for Immigrant Rights and calling to Close the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. New Sanctuary holds this annual vigil in remembrance of four Catholic sisters murdered in El Salvador in 1980, by graduates of the School of the Americas.

In solidarity with locked out Honeywell workers

On May 9th, contract negotiations between Honeywell Aerospace and their workers at plants in Green Island, NY and South Bend, IN broke down, and the workers (members of United Auto Workers) were immediately locked out of work. Replacement workers have been brought in for these past months while the workers remain locked out, seeking to negotiate a fair contract.   Moral Monday in support of Honeywell workers

Finding my Job

I don’t think anyone would argue about the beauty of the mountains. They have been especially stunning this fall. A few weeks ago, we went to Max Patch to see what all the hype was about. The hike was short but steep, but we huffed and puffed our way up. The views were more magnificent than I could describe. One of my housemates told me that you could see four other states from the top. It was so amazing.

Totally Not Qualified and Learning...

Over the past 2 and half months now I’ve been working at Green Opportunities. It’s a place that does job training classes for adults and also offers a job club for people to get help working on resumes and cover letters and finding jobs. I’m working as a case manger for 25 and up. Talk about feeling totally not qualified for something and terrified. But that’s YAV year right y’all?

What Do You Do at Mercy Junction?

What do you do at Mercy Junction? What is it? Are you a church or what?
I get that question a lot.
I have an elevator speech.

Pain and Love on the Basketball Court

There are lots of basketball games that happen on my backyard Tuesday/Thursday court. Many get quite animated, with a group of mostly brown boys ranging from 10-16 teaming up for 3 on 3 on our 25’ square pad with a nice big Plexiglas backboard. Occasionally there’ll be some strife, but surprisingly little, and even fewer real injuries occur.

Keeping Faith While Living Amidst Contrasts

The past few weeks have been an exercise in contrasts for Cana Community, as I’m sure they have been for you. At the end of October, our neighborhood celebrated “Arts Café,” an annual event that features artists, music, food, and hayrides. We also celebrated The Local Cup (TLC), a coffee house that was started and is run by local volunteers. Then came November and the shock of the election.

Pastors Seeking the Well-Being of the City

We were twenty folks from eleven congregations in our neighborhood. Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Quaker and members of a Mennonite intentional community. Half Black and half white.

With support from our PPF grant, for the last year-and-a half, I’ve been building and re-building relationships with pastors and faith leaders in our neighborhood, the Near Northwest of South Bend. We are one square mile, with 3,600 people (about 40% Black, 60% white), two schools, a great neighborhood bar and seventeen churches or faith ministries. We have one of South Bend’s highest concentrations of PhDs and high school drops in our square mile.