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Peace & Life Connections #251
March 13, 2015

Austin Conference Reflections
        Organizer Lisa Stiller reports: “The purpose was to help people make connections between life issues and provide concrete ways to get involved in advocacy and action. Judging from comments overheard from participants, the workshops were thought-provoking. There were viewpoints people hadn't previously considered.  Although most were ‘members of the choir’ I know there were a few who felt challenged. We draw people with different views.
        From comments on evaluation forms, Sr. Helen Prejean and Abby Johnson had a huge impact. Sr. Helen put a human face on those that have been executed, said one participant. Abby Johnson was described as a brave and honest woman. Both referenced the connections between the death penalty and abortion in their speeches.
        So we explore new venues and new connections and partners for regional events. If your faith community or organization would like to help host a CL event or conference in your area, please let us know how we can help. If you’re having an event relating to any CL issue, we would love to have a table, a workshop, or be present. Contact”
251 Austin

Photo --
Left: Barbara Budde, Social Justice Director for the Diocese of Austin
Middle: Thad Crouch, St Ignatius the Martyr Church in Austin
Right: Lisa Stiller, CL Board member
Major Outreach Opportunities
       We spread the CL message to thousands of people through buttons, bumper stickers, ads, and our online presence, but sometimes reaching hearts and minds requires more time to explain and dialog: the personal touch.  Therefore, one of our most productive outreach activities is staffing exhibits at conferences and interacting directly with activists eager to learn something new.
        We cover many small conferences easily, but we have several large opportunities soon, each with thousands of attendees, where we can make a major impact:
* The Religion Education Congress in Anaheim, California normally has around 40,000 people.  
* The Wild Goose Festival in July in North Carolina, where we annually have a remarkably successful table.
* The 100th anniversary conference of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in April in the Hague (international travel involved).
* The World Parliament of Religions, held in different parts of the world every few years, will be in Salt Lake City in October.  
* The Nobel Peace Laureates Youth Summit, held in different parts of the world each year, will be in Atlanta, Georgia, in November.
       We have the people power to cover these events (though more volunteers are always welcome), but the travel and booth expenses are more than we budgeted for.
        Donations of any size are welcome to help us get the word out to this large and varied set of audiences.
CL Endorser Wins Templeton Prize
251 Templeton
        Founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities for people with and without intellectual disabilities to live and work together as peers, Jean Vanier has won the 2015 Templeton Prize. See also this article in the Huffington Post.


Happy 25th!
          CL member group Feminists for Nonviolent Choices is celebrating its 25th anniversary, including several speaking engagements by actress Margaret Colin. 
251 FNV

Quotation of the Week
Brennan Manning
The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

       We are not pro-life simply because we are warding off death. We are pro-life to the extent that we are men and women for others, all others; to the extent that no human flesh is a stranger to us; to the extent that we can touch the hand of another in love; to the extent that for us there are no “others.”
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