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.

Ezra Schomberg:  Remembering to Turn on the Light    

Ezra Schomberg:  Remembering to Turn on the Light    

The major social concern that I have is the number of world governments that do not provide basic necessities to their citizens. Our planet produces more than enough food to provide nutritious sustenance for everyone, but, because the distribution system is so...

Gayle Kelly: Equity for Kids

Gayle Kelly: Equity for Kids

The social issue that is most important to Gayle Kelly is closing the achievement gap, the racial divide in our state that starts so early.  “I think about it as equity for kids.”  Gayle, who recently retired as Executive Director of Minnesota Head Start, stepped into...

Dave Courtright: Quietly Building a Vibrant Community

Dave Courtright: Quietly Building a Vibrant Community

Dave Courtright is truly a silent runner, quietly but steadfastly doing what needs to be done. At Peace Church, he can be found hanging new gutters on the outside of the church, or crawling in ducts removing old and outdated metal from a former heating unit—and then...

Kathy Nelson: Living Her Love

Kathy Nelson: Living Her Love

It all began with a canoe trip into the Boundary Waters with her church youth group when Kathy was 13 or 14, a trip she describes as, “one of the best experiences of my life.”  Not long after, Kathy was the one taking church groups into the wilderness, and she’s been...

Bill Mittlefehldt:  The Renewable Possibility of Hope

Bill Mittlefehldt:  The Renewable Possibility of Hope

When he reflects on the issues that are most important to him, Bill Mittlefehldt focuses on inequality—the disproportionate opportunities that affect income and racial groups—and environmental justice.  He became aware of the dynamics of inequality as a student during...

Terese Tomanek: Care more!

Terese Tomanek: Care more!

Terese urges all of us, especially those of us who have comfortable lives, to care more.  For her, the greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourself, to treat others as we want to be treated.  She urges us to live out of love instead of fear.  When we live...

René Montgomery:  “Be change you wish to see in the world.”

René Montgomery:  “Be change you wish to see in the world.”

This familiar quotation by Mahatma Gandhi is the guiding force in René Montgomery’s life. These words hang on the wall in her office at Cloquet High School, where she teaches English. As a teacher for over 30 years, René works to ensure that her students are given...

Jesse Schomberg: Protecting What We Have Been Given

Jesse Schomberg: Protecting What We Have Been Given

Jesse was raised outside of Fairmont, Minnesota, on a small farm built from the hope, passion and drive of his parents, Gary and Nancy Schomberg. Gary was an engineering tech for the city of Fairmont in addition to working the farm and livestock. Nancy worked at a...

Crystal Kaczmarczyk: Activist for People and the Earth

Crystal Kaczmarczyk: Activist for People and the Earth

Crystal Kaczmarczyk is a senior at Duluth East High School. She is also a passionate, thoughtful Peace Church Climate Justice team member. When asked what social concerns or issues mattered most to her, she wisely responded that it’s hard to decide—they are all so...

Alison Wood: “Don’t be afraid to talk to teenagers”

Alison Wood: “Don’t be afraid to talk to teenagers”

Working as a teacher wasn’t always Alison Wood’s vision. Although she had helped at day camps and in Sunday School in high school (and had a mother who worked in a school library), it wasn’t until college that she realized that teaching might be a good path for her....

Sara Carlson:  A Guide for Love and Justice

Sara Carlson:  A Guide for Love and Justice

When asked what she would most like to change in the world, Sara initially responded with a wry smile. “Everything!” She then focused on the issues that matter most deeply to her: the environment and immigration. She wishes our national parks were safe, that water was...