Acting for Justice Ministries

The Peace Church community has a vital commitment to working for justice. There are various teams working in a number of different areas, and these teams work together so that there is more collaboration in our efforts. We meet as the hub of a wheel that is moving into the world and acting for justice.

The following efforts represent the spokes of the wheel that are tied into the core of our values as a Christian community as well connecting us to efforts in healing and repairing God’s world.

Justice Ministry Teams

The following efforts represent the spokes of the wheel that are tied into the core of our values as a Christian community as well connecting us to efforts in healing and repairing God’s world.

Sanctuary Congregation Team

In September 2017, the congregation of Peace UCC voted overwhelmingly to become a Sanctuary Congregation. This designates our church building as a place where undocumented immigrants in immediate danger of deportation can take refuge while their immigration status is resolved. Read More

Mission Partners in East Timor, the Liddles

Tom, Monica, Hannah and Simon Liddle of our congregation continue living and working in East Timor, with plans to stay there through 2020. We continue to support them through our prayers and financial contributions. Read More

Open and Affirming Team

Our congregation continues to be open and affirming of our members and friends who identify as LGBTQ. This includes ongoing educational efforts in the congregation and support around issues that arise. We have been very active in the anti-bullying efforts especially for LGBTQ youth. Ministerial Staff provides pre-marital counseling and weddings for EVERYONE. We also have a support group at church for Transgender elders.

Dismantling Racism

The dismantling racism team meets on the second Thursday of the month at 3:30pm. The team’s work includes educating the congregation about white privilege and racial justice in general, building relationships with organizations led by folks of color and indigenous folks in the community, and providing opportunities for our congregation to live into the work of building the beloved community.

Recently, some of the ways of the ways the team has lived into that work is by partnering with local indigenous leaders to focus on the Doctrine of Discovery, which follows the larger United Church of Christ’s repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery; offering a series on whiteness called Cracking the Shell of Whiteness for the Peace community and beyond; hosting the MLK Interfaith Worship Service with St. Mark AME and the ongoing support of the Rev. Arthur Foy Scholarship Fund for youth of color. The team has also been very involved in the congregation’s work as a sanctuary congregation.

Food, Energy and Environment Team (FEET)

Our Feet team works in many different ways to honor the gift of creation. The Peace garden team raised over 300 pounds of vegetables in our backyard for the CHUM food shelf. Through the efforts of Denise Perry and our property team we became recognized as an Energy Star Building. We continue to work on ways to make our church more efficient. We also work as partners with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and Bag It Duluth. As Bill Mittlefehldt of the team writes,“Challenges are growing. Hope is our most renewable energy.”

Gun Safety

Many members of Peace Church, especially Joan Peterson, who also serves on the Brady Campaign, have worked hard on the issues of gun safety. We have repeatedly asked legislators to pass universal background checks, held many vigils following acts of gun violence and worked on the ASK Campaign, which encourages parents to ask if there is a gun in the home before their children play at another person’s home. We also declared Peace Church a gun free zone, no weapons are allowed on our property.

Jubilee Fund

The Jubilee Fund was established in 2009 as a way to support efforts to build the beloved community. Read more

Rev. Arthur Foy Scholarship for High School Seniors

In 2004 Reverend Arthur Foy III died in a tragic car accident. In an effort to continue the important work he did here in Duluth where he served as pastor of St. Mark AME church, a scholarship fund was established in his name for students of color. Reverend Foy saw education as a crucial step out of poverty and worked hard to make it more accessible for all. Each year the Foy Scholarship Fund awards $1000 to at least one student of color from our community to continue his/her education in a post-high school institution.

Reverend Foy’s vision of academic success for all youth stemmed from his belief that it’s not where you’re from, but where you’re going in life that’s important. Peace Church and St. Mark AME work together to keep this scholarship going. An annual celebration is held at St. Mark AME each June to award the scholarship.

If you are interested in being part of the Acting for Justice Hub, please join us. We meet on the 2nd Sunday of the month after the 10:30 am service. Call the office at 218.724.3637 for more information.

Acting for Justice Opportunities

Besides joining a team, there are various opportunities for getting involved in the community. For more information on getting started with one of these, please contact the church office at office@peaceucc.org or 218.724.3637.

  • Damiano Center Soup Kitchen: Prepare and serve food the second Sunday of the month. Shifts at 1:30 or 4:30 about 3 times per year. See Schedule.
  • Loaves and Fishes/Dorothy Day House: Prepare and deliver a meal for 12 to 15 people on a Monday evening about 3 times per year. See Schedule.
  • Thursday Evening meal for CHUM: Donate food, and/or help prepare and/or serve a meal the 3rd Thursday of the month. Food prepared and sandwiches made in the Peace kitchen during the afternoon, & served at CHUM from 4-6pm. (An email is sent to the list the week of the dinner, and you can respond if you can help out in any way—donating food, making sandwiches, or serving at CHUM.)
  • Wednesday morning breakfast: Help to prepare pancakes and other food every other Wednesday at the CHUM Drop In Center at 9am.
  • Community Garden: Help raise vegetables for CHUM in garden behind Peace.
  • Habitat for Humanity “Brush with Kindness:” One day during the summer to rehabilitate a house for someone needing help.
  • Provide rides for people needing transportation to church.

Voices for Justice

Peace Church has a vital commitment to working for justice. We are energized and heartened by hearing each other’s stories. Here are brief stories from members of our community to help us learn from each other while we expand our visions and hopes.

Cindy Macaulay: Shining her Light

Cindy Macaulay’s warm presence and friendly smile make people feel welcome at Peace Church. She is a quietly active person around Peace—helping with coffee hour, serving as a lay reader, coordinating shared ministries, participating in spiritual journey groups. As she...

Robin Davidson: Support on a Healing Journey

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured” — B. K.S. Iyngar If you are ever at Peace Church on a Monday morning, you may see many of our people gathering in the Fireside Room for Robin Davidson’s Soma Yoga class, and then...

Jim Pospisil: Creating Harmony

Jim Pospisil believes that the connection between his work and justice boils down to one simple idea: “If you have a gift, it must be shared. Who am I to deny the possibility of love and beauty in this world?” As the music director at Peace Church, Jim shares his...

John Wakefield: Advocating Equal Health Care for Everyone

A son of the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota, John grew up in Buhl, the fifth of six children, proud of his half-Finnish ancestry acquired through his mother. The family identified itself as Lutheran, but didn’t attend services. John joined...

Diana Oestreich: Fighting for Peace With Love

“I don’t know what Saul heard on his road,” Diana Oestreich said, “but my conversion was in a tent in the desert during the Iraq war.” She was twenty-three years old, a combat medic with the Army National Guard. She slept at night with a 9mm beretta by her side. And...

Andy Fena: “Faith is what you do!”

Andy Fena is a “true blue” Northern Minnesotan. “True,” because he is a native son, born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota in a family with nine other siblings, with Andy as the youngest and his oldest sibling being his sister Lynn, 18 years his senior. “Blue,” because...

John Clark Pegg: Honoring Interdependence and Seeking Justice

John Pegg grew up in a suburban New York City family, where his parents emphasized the value of education, equity, work, and service. These values provided critical guidance during the deepening of John’s spiritual life. He was raised in Long Island, and his father...

Betty Greene: Focusing on Fairness and Equity

Betty Greene was raised in Robbinsdale, in a family where both her mother and father emphasized that fairness was a core family value. As Betty moved from the Twin Cities to Carbondale, Illinois, and then to Duluth, each new context added focus to her understanding of...

Lyn Clark Pegg: Seeking Balance and Justice for All Creation

One topic that Lyn Clark Pegg cannot remain silent about is unfairness and inequity. “I cannot tolerate intentional human-inflicted suffering—on the earth, on people, on all of creation.” She believes that equity, fairness, balance, and justice are interwoven...

Gary John Boelhower: A Lifelong Journey for Justice

Gary John Boelhower is a recently retired Professor of Theology and Ethics at the College of St. Scholastica, a lifelong justice and peace activist, and the current Moderator of Peace Church. Gary grew up in a rural community in south central Wisconsin, where his...

Jack O’Connell: Finding a Voice through Leadership

Jack O’Connell’s current justice work is focused on mental illness in high school. In response to a number of recent suicides, he has been reflecting and taking action to help ensure that his classmates have the support they need. “Being a leader in school means you...