In February of 2017, a small rectangular package arrived at our office in the Belfast Center. It was the official certificate recognizing us as a Peace Advocacy congregation.

This small package is the culmination of four years of effort, dating back to the congregational vote in the winter of 2013 to pursue becoming a Peace Advocacy congregation. At that time, a committee was formed consisting of Marty Daniels, Deane Perkins, Kathy Kreamer, and Neva Allen to identify and collect evidence of peace activities in our congregation.

Beginning in September of 2013, the committee began gathering documentation of peace-themed activities and sorting them into four categories:  International Peace; Personal Domestic, and Congregational Peace; Peace Lobbying and Activism; and Military Personnel Support.
Some of the activities we documented, such as our work with the Greater Bay Area Food Cupboard, has been going on for years. Other activities were prompted in part by the certification process. These would include Deane’s class on Non-Violent Communication, our Peace Meals, and a number of peace-themed worship services. Other activities, such as the Peace Festivals of 2014 and 2015 and the May 2016 workshop “The Role of Faith Communities in Serving Veterans” were designed specifically to meet certification requirements. This is, of course, the purpose of such initiatives: to nudge congregations to make more conscious and focused choices about our worship, adult programming, and community outreach.

The three-year period in which to gather documentation officially ended in September of 2016. The committee spent the fall working closely with Paul Eagle to put together the actual application, with all the publicity, photographs, news articles, and other attachments included as evidence of our efforts. Paul dedicated hours to the final document – thank you, Paul! – and in February we were recognized as an official Peace Advocacy congregation.

Our little committee is now officially done!
Marty Daniels, Chair

View the extensive application online here.