When Peace is our deepest purpose and value, Peacemaking invites others with like-souled commitments to join us in the work. Peacemaking is far bigger than finding Peace within ourselves. The saying goes, “Think globally, act locally.” For the most part, we act locally as Peacemakers — after thinking globally as we are charged to do. Our communities are where we have the biggest impact and can help Peace to become the most ‘contagious.’ 

Recently, the Daily Item featured Mia Chapman — female scholar/athlete of the year. Speaking about her service to the Community, Mia said, “This community has given me a lot; it’s the place I grew up,” said Chapman. “Being able to give back to this community is really an amazing feeling.” Reflecting on the community project in which she’d engaged, Mia added, “It’s a good thing that everybody should participate in — some kind of community service.” Yes, exactly! 

How are you engaged in community service? In what ways do you consider service Peacemaking? How is it connected to the work of others.

I believe our acts of Peacemaking are directly connected. I serve as the president of a small nonprofit that provides period products for poor or low wealth menstruators. It is not simply people’s dignity that is interrupted when people lack products. The lack of period products keeps women and children from work, from school, and full participation in their lives and ours. This is why we call this program Shape of Justice, and why our slogan is: “Sometimes the shape of Justice is a tampon.” (You can find more about it here: https://shapeofjustice.org) The organization just received a generous and much needed $10,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Circle which will allow us to expand our services to providing incontinence products. Like period products, the incontinence products enable individuals to participate fully in their lives.

The work of Shape of Justice fills me with pride. What makes me even prouder is that this work is done by only three people volunteering their time and expertise. As a result, period products show up across rural PA in 12 counties at 40 sites. It’s a simple model that works — and, if you have an idea for another product you wanted to provide, we’re happy to share the model. If this is your idea of Peacemaking and you want to volunteer with us, would love to have you join us. 

However you choose to be involved in Peacemaking, many hands and hearts make light work of helping our neighbors. That simply, you join the ranks of Peacemakers in your community! There are many local and global organizations doing great work for you to join.  Perhaps you want to start a new project to address a specific need in your community.  As Margaret Mead wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Peacemaking happens when we engage in acts of service in our communities, whether we join existing organizations or develop new ones. These local acts of Peacemaking have the potential to expand globally when we reach across the chasms of politics, religion, and socioeconomic differences. When we view ourselves and each other as simply good-hearted folk with the desire to live in a community where everyone is welcome, Peace is possible. Won’t you come make Peace with me?

Salaam, Shalom, Peace.  Blessed Be.