EPF Young Adult Newsletter         
Daring for peace -- a relentless pursuit. 
Greetings peacemakers!

We hope April's showers have left your community with beautiful May flowers, as we welcome in this glorious spring time. 

Splendid weather aside, it has been a trying start to this new month, as our nation grapples with the confounding circumstances surrounding Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore.  With another young black man lost, it may be easy to give up, to think that our pathway to peace is gone, that we are lost sheep on the countryside. 

As we continue to do the work God has given us to do, let us remember, we are not alone, and our Good Shepherd is always nearby.  We can get involved, and we can make a difference in our communities. 

Let us hold up in prayer Freddie, his community, and those working for peace.  

- Michael Kurth
EPF Young Adult Network Director
EPF Young Adult Network

This past month, our attention in the EPF Young Adult Network has focused on Freddie Gray and the incredible scenes from Baltimore, Maryland.  On April 12, Freddie, a 25 year old African-American male, was apprehended and arrested for carrying what police believed to be an illegal knife.  While in police custody, Freddie went into a coma, from which he would not recover, and ultimately passed away on April 19th.  In his autopsy, the coroner ruled his death a homicide, a result of injuries to his spinal cord.  


It is believed that these injuries were sustained while Freddie was being transported to jail after his arrest, while in police custody. According to the medical coroner, Freddie sustained multiple injuries during his unrestrained rough ride, including a broken neck, and a head injury which matches a bolt from the back of the van he was in. Baltimore's police commissioner has stated that Freddie was not properly secured inside the van, contrary to proper protocol. The six officers involved in the incident have been charged, some with murder, and have turned themselves in to authorities. 


Freddie's death has re-opened the familiar wounds from the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner.  Across our country, we are struggling with our response to these deaths. In Baltimore, protestors took to the streets. While some chose to take out their frustration through condemned looting, a great number chose peaceful demonstrations, showcasing unity and the need for reform.


The scenes that played out in Baltimore have forced many to consider the city's urban plight, the fallout from failed economic and educational policies and years of poor police-community relations.  Take for example, a study from 2014 comparing a youth's upbringing and life outlook in Baltimore to that of a youth in New Dehli, India and Ibadan, Nigeria. 


Many peaceful protests have occurred in response to Freddie's death and the continued mistreatment of black youth across America.  In Baltimore, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has been a leading provider of community healing, through presence and prayer.  Outside of Baltimore, protests in solidarity with Baltimore have popped up from New York to Chicago and Minneapolis.  This is a movement that peacemakers in our country are here to change for the better!


What you can do get involved?

  • PRAY -- While we may not be in Baltimore, let us lift up in prayer Freddie Gray, the city of Baltimore, those working for change 
  • BECOME INVOLVED PEACEMAKERS -- Many large metropolitan areas have had peaceful protests and prayer vigils.  Want to know about the next protest in New York or around the country? Follow EPF Young Adults on Facebook and Twitter, or... 
  • JUSTICE TOGETHER - A newly formed venture in the #BlackLivesMatter movement is the Center for the Eradication of Police Brutality, or Justice Together.  Sign up now for emails and ways to get involved come their June 2015 launch. 



 Sources: PBS, Baltimore Sun, Vocativ. 

The Buzz
What's going on around EPF and the Young Adult Network
EPF and the 
Death Penalty

Activists Seek Execution Ban

From The Living Church --   Episcopal Peace Fellowship hopes the Supreme Court's April 29 hearing on Oklahoma's use of Midazolam will lead to a ban of the death cocktail on constitutional grounds.


Oklahoma death row prisoners Richard Glossip, John Grant, Benjamin Cole and Charles Warren brought their case Glossip v. Cross, to the Supreme Court last year.


"When I read the cruel and pompous questions by the four male Supreme Court justices to defense attorney Robin Konrad, I felt we were in a North Korea courtroom - not the United States," said the Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles, EPF's executive director.


"Justice Samuel Alito said abolitionists caused this problem by waging a 'guerilla war against the death penalty,'" Liles said in response to a report on SCOTUSblog. "Justice Anthony Kennedy - viewed as a crucial fifth vote - expressed frustration with the 'resistance movement' causing more work for the court.


"Sister Helen Prejean, a longtime EPF friend, called out the court for allowing a 'blanket medical experimentation with killing people. ... There's no empirical, scientific way for them to find a humane way of killing,'" Liles said, quoting from a news report on Glossip v. Cross.

Presiding Bishop Elections

Last week, The Episcopal Church announced the four candidates who will be up for election as Presiding Bishop.  They are:

  • The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal (Southern Ohio)
  • The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (North Carolina)
  • The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas (Connecticut)
  • The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith (Southwest Florida)
To read a small profile on each candidate, visit the Nominee Report, found here. 

Who do you think should be selected? Who is the best fit to lead our Church the next couple of years?  Join the conversation and tell us on Twitter and Facebook!

We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our church through this transition in leadership and for the exciting new ministry to come. 
Closing Prayer

Prayer for a City - Book of Common Prayer



Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of
that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: 

Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth, especially Baltimore, MD.
Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life.
Send them honest and able leaders. Enable them to eliminate
poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail
with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and
women from different cultures and with differing talents may
find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 


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