GUEST BLOG: Thanks to EPF from The Rev. William Exner

This is a  Note of Thanks from outgoing EPF-NEC Vice Chair The Rev. Wm. Exner, former Rector, St. Matthew's Goffstown

"Gratitude, Appreciation and a deeper understanding of what it means and what it takes to be a peacemaker are my take-a-ways from two decades serving on the National Executive Council of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. It has been quite a ride! From the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Jerusalem to Central America and virtually every corner of our nation (rural and urban) the call for social justice and active faithful nonviolence remains an imperative for Christian response. EPF has been a constant sane and prophetic asset to the Church and peace making partners worldwide. The hours and days of prayer, study, program development and coalition building, plus the incredible souls with whom I have had the honor of serving the Prince of Peace have been fulfilling and inspiring.

Looking back over the last couple of decades EPF has upheld human labor, called for a stop to endless regional warfare, questioned the ethics of drone strikes and high-tech warfare, upheld the need for a just and peaceful resolution to the occupation of Palestine (come on House of Bishops!), advocated for Selective Conscientious Objection Status in the military along with better support for the families of those serving in the armed forces. We have also called for universal single payer health care in our nation, an end to human trafficking and more humane immigration policies and environmental responsibility.

Looking ahead the recent NEC gathering in Dallas generated promise and commitment as the new Chair Rev. Bob Davidson, of the Diocese of Colorado, and the new EPF Chaplain Bishop Gene Robinson, of the Diocese of Washington joined with Executive Director Rev. Allison Liles, of the Diocese of Virginia, to encourage the current Council to move forward fearlessly with the prophetic witness of peacemaking in 2016 and beyond.

Much as I will miss NEC there is no question that EPF is in very good hands and deserving of renewed support and prayers from the Presiding Bishop to people in the pews on Sundays. I feel the Spirit moving us ever closer to being an instrument of God’s reconciliation and peace in the world.

At every Eucharist we pray that there may be justice and peace on the earth. I am blessed beyond measure to have had the opportunity to serve on NEC. I look forward to relying on EPF to continue to equip all Episcopalians to make that prayer a reality. Thank you, Thank you. Thank God!"

Faithfully, Rev. Wm. Exner