September 2018 – Minutes

CLJP Minutes September 11, 2018
Monticello Room, Westminster Canterbury

Present: Taylor Beard, Hal Horan, Dave Warren, Peter Weatherly, Bob McAdams, Chip Sanders, Jean Hammond, Carroll Houle, John Peale, Phil Best, Matthew Crane. Burnie Davis, Carol Muntz, Jean Newsom

Horan opened with prayer honoring fire fighters and other first responders on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and petitioning the Holy Spirit to move Congress to continue funding for their medical care.

Sanders presided.

The Minutes of the May 8 meeting prepared by Horan were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Since the May 8 balance of 2,566.85, the only change that Beard reported was an expense of 100.00 paid to Hospice of the Piedmont as a memorial for member Bill Kerner who died on July 7, resulting in a balance for September 11 of 2,466.85.

Beard also has placed several members on the inactive list who had not contributed dues for some time.  He also distributed his updated membership list, requesting members to check his accuracy.  Should there be any corrections, a new list will be emailed to members.

McAdams gave two announcements:

Dr. Allen Lynch, a professor in the Department of Politics at UVA who has written several books on the political situation in Russia, will give his perspective on WHY PUTIN DIDN’T COLLABORATE WITH TRUMP at 3:00 pm, on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church—Unitarian Universalist, 717 Rugby Road.

McAdams attended an event in May, featuring Fr. John Deere, S.J., in which the nonviolent peace activist proposed a new way of developing a more peaceful community by practicing what he called “following the dots,” finding those elements in society that encourage an angry, fearful culture, such economic inequality, homelessness, lack of affordable housing, the prevalence of fire arms, tribalism, etc.. Ways are found to address them, lowering their impact, allowing more just solutions, creating a more hopeful community where folks may each take their responsible places and mutually enjoy the peaceful results.

So, on this year’s International Day of Peace will be a result of John Deere’s wholistic approach with the C’ville Center for Peace and Justice presenting “GROWING THE CIRCLES OF TRUST AND CARE,” An Interactive Program to Explore Pathways to a Nonviolent Society, on September 21, at 7:00 PM, at The Haven, 112 W. Market St. For more information

Program: Peter introduced his brother, The Rev. John Weatherly, a newly retired Episcopal priest who has served as a military chaplain, including tours in Iraq and Bosnia, witnessing first hand how conflicts impact the individual as well as the community and nation as a whole.

In Iraq it has been the Shiites and Sunnis; in Bosnia, it has been the Bosnians, predominately Muslims; in Serbia where the Orthodox church comprise the majority; and Croatia, in which the Roman Catholics with a Franciscan emphasis are the major influence.

The chaplains worked closely with the U.S. Institute of Peace, trained to “develop Peacebuilding skills and promote religious coexistence.” All of this is tied to the Dayton Accords, the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, United States, on November 1, 1995, and formally signed in Paris, France, on 14 December 14, 1995. These accords put an end to the 3 1⁄2-year-long Bosnian War, one of the Yugoslav Wars.

Weatherly spoke of as many as 30 or more packages sent from schools and other groups, to be shared by the unit, being placed at the chaplain’s door.  This is a pre-caution against a package that may be booby trapped.

Weatherly shared the story of one such package which was employed in the chaplains’ mission. It was filled with an abundant supply of soccer balls and several inflators.  Armed with these items, the group entered a typical town filled with deserted streets. A ball was thrown far down one street. Eventually one curious boy emerged.  He kicked it for a while, attracting other youths to open their doors.  Other balls came bouncing down and games began filling streets and the possibility of soldiers and the town folk getting to know each other the long road of shared angers, fears and hopes—the possibility of peace building.

Each of the three—Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia can justify their hatred of each other by telling stories of the horrors that happened to members of their families and neighbors. The work is to get the groups to see the need for some kind of reconciliation if peace is going to have a chance.

One possible model is South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where the offending party is offered amnesty, dependent on the honest depth of the offender’s confession and repentance.

Weatherly also reminded us that America has always seen the need for a military chaplaincy, even before our founding, when the Continental Congress established it on July 29, 1775, to be exact. He also made the important point that, by its very nature, the chaplaincy had, from its very beginning, to be a kind of “interfaith cooperative,” there being so many different faiths represented in the ranks.

The meeting adjourned at  2:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Hal Horan, Recording Secretary