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Register Now for May 21 Highmark Walk 2016 at HACC

Registration is now open for the annual Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community. Click HERE to join our team, make a donation, or become a business sponsor. Saturday, May 21, at HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College), A 5K Walk begins at 9:00 am and a one-mile Walk starts at 9:15 am. Here are five ways to support bcmPEACE from now through May 21:

  1. Sign up to walk on behalf of bcmPEACE.
  2. Bring a friend with you to walk for bcmPEACE.
  3. Make a donation, either yourself, or through your business. Donor businesses get some publicity out of it!
  4. Make a donation to support a specific walker who will represent you at the event.
  5. Pray for bcmPEACE, that God will pour out abundant supply of all the finances the ministry needs to do its work in Allison Hill. #BeThePeaceDotti Square

Excellent Resources From or About Dr. King

As promised, we wanted to share with you a collection of reviewed resources related to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this selected bibliography, you’ll find resources for children, biographical information about Dr. King, and commentary about his teaching, as well as his own written or recorded work.

We will periodically visit and review these resources throughout the year, so keep checking the blog for updates. We welcome any reflections or insights you glean as well. If you have positive, encouraging and helpful ideas to share, please email bcmPEACE and we’ll partner with you as a guest blogger. We support healthy, non-offensive sharing or testimonials in a spirit of cooperation and community building.

Thank you to the contributors of the ENGLEWOOD REVIEW for compiling this list, and dividing it into four parts — Books by Rev. Dr. King, Books about Rev. Dr. King, Books about the faith of Rev. Dr. King, and children’s resources about Rev. Dr. King. Something for everyone!

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Reading List

Save the Date! Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community 2016

This year, the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 9am at HACC’s Main Campus (Wildwood). Registration opens at 7:45am.

47 Health and Human Service organizations will be participating.

Last year over 2,300 walkers turned out to raise money for their charities. This year our goal at bcmPEACE is to raise $15,000. We keep 100% of the money raised because Highmark underwrites all of the event costs and logistical planning.

This event is open to anyone who loves to sponsor bcmPEACE in creative ways. Bring grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, sister and brother, even the baby in the stroller or the teammate with the broken leg in a wheelchair, and help raise money and awareness for Brethren Community Ministries.

Fun at Last Years Walk (1)

Allison Hill MLK Day of Service Brings Out the Best In Us

Since it’s true that “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve,” bcmPEACE partnered with many wonderful local organizations to host a Day of Service in Allison Hill in cooperation with a nationwide day dedicated to community improvement. Houses of worship, organizations, teams, and individuals of all ages and ethnicities- in all 50 states – donated time on Monday, January 18, 2016 to provide services in their neighborhoods.

Dennis Saylor of Brethren Housing Association and Daryn Bullock of First Church of the Brethren

Approximately 160 willing servants attended the Allison Hill MLK Day of Service. The program opened at Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, which was one of the partner organizations for the event. Other partner agencies include Hamilton Health Center, Latino Hispanic American Community Center, and Tri County Community Action.  Additionally, students from the Netherlands visiting Messiah College came as part of a cross-cultural experience, and volunteers through the YWCA’s YouthBuild program also joined in.

YWCA YouthBuild Volunteers

YWCA YouthBuild Volunteers

Each year, members of the Allison Hill community who teach and model Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophies and ethics are honored with the Drum Major Award from the Corporation for National Community Service. This year Ronald Johnson, Claude Phipps, and the executive director of bcmPEACE, Rev. Ron Tilley, were presented with Drum Major Awards. Pennsylvania Senator Rob Teplitz of the 15th Senatorial District and Harrisburg City Councilman Jeffrey Baltimore participated in the Day of Service.

Drum Major award to Rev Tilley

Senator Rob Teplitz presenting Ron Tilley with a MLK Drum Major for Service Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service

Why a “Drum Major” Award? In 1968, as Dr. King preached, he stated, “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness; and all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

In the words of Rev. Tilley, “My favorite quote of Dr. King is, ‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a garment of single destiny.’ The reality of our existence is that we are interconnected in the most profound manner. That inter-connectedness means that what happens to one of us affects all of us.”

The Allison Hill Day of Service will occur again next year Monday, January 16, 2017. In the meantime, continue following this blog as we introduce our readers to a collection of significant works by or about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dedicate time in 2016 to study his teachings and how they relate to our current context, and look for other opportunities to serve the community.

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Students and Community Members who worked on their day off to improve the neighborhood

Jesus Is the Reason…

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You’ve probably heard it said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Jesus Christ is the heart of Christmas; His birth is central to our belief that He is Emmanuel, God with us. “God with us” means that we’re not alone on earth, that there is supernatural power, help and love available to us through faith.

Jesus is more than just the reason for Christmas, though. Here at bcmPEACE, Jesus is the reason we do everything we do. The Bible says that we love because He loved us first. When we distribute food to the hungry, or clothes to the cold; when we teach parents how to set good examples and make good choices for their children, or teach someone how to use a computer; when we provide affordable housing or helpful referrals, we are loving people with the same love God has shown us through Jesus Christ.

John 3:16 says, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not decay and die, but live forever.” The next verse is so encouraging. John 3:17 assures us, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” 1 John 3:1 declares, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Not only at Christmas, but all year long, at bcmPEACE Jesus is THE REASON. He is the reason we love our community. He is the reason we serve all year long. You could say that He is the Reason for all Seasons! #bcmPEACE #BeThePeace @bcmPEACE

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The song with that title talks about kids jingle-belling and folks greeting each other with heartwarming phrases like, “Be of good cheer!” Here in Pennsylvania, winter is around the corner, and the night time temperatures are dropping lower and lower.

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Pastor Belita D. Mitchell preaching during Advent 2015, Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren.

bcmPEACE is grateful for the Harrisburg Food Ministry, Central PA Food Bank, and Christ Community Church’s warm clothing drive, and other agencies throughout the area who are giving away coats, hats, scarves, gloves/mittens to under-resourced neighbors in our community. We seek to practice that level of generosity all year long, not just at Christmas.

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Winter Coats, Scarves, Hats, and Gloves ready to be distributed on Friday, December 11, 2015.

Brethren Community Ministries, now known as bcmPEACE, partners with Samara to offer parenting classes, local food banks to distribute food weekly, Agape-Satyagraha and On Earth Peace to teach local youth how to effectively resolve conflict and eliminate violence, the PSU Extension and EFNEP to provide food and nutrition courses, Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren to offer opportunities for worship and Bible Study outside of a traditional Sunday morning format (in English and Spanish), and many other wonderful benevolent agencies in our community who assist with housing placement needs, utility discounts, and other financial aid.

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Sister Waverly Chadwick ending her weekly Friday morning Bible Study with a closing circle of prayer and praise.

The most wonderful time of the year? Any time our volunteers and staff are partnering with other churches and organizations to improve the quality of life for the good people of Allison Hill and the Greater Harrisburg Area. Be of good cheer! Thank you for your ongoing prayers, volunteer hours, and financial contributions. Be the Peace! @bcmpeace #BeThePeace

Many Reasons to Give to bcmPEACE #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, December 1, is #GivingTuesday. After Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday, and Cyber Monday, many people have spent their wad. The cash is gone. It’s all either been eaten or materialized.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for generosity. For those with expansive hearts who want to see their money go to something worthwhile, Giving Tuesday is a reminder that some of the best gifts we give are intangible, and that giving money to a good cause has far-reaching implications, feels more satisfying, and for faith-based initiatives like ours, has eternal significance.

Visit www.bcmpeace.org, or call 717-234-0415, extension 20, to arrange for your year-end tax-deductible contribution. Be the peace. Support Brethren Community Ministries today. #likeandshare #GivingTuesday #DonateNow

bcmPEACE GivingTuesday

Sonya Rivers Turns Grief into Hope and Healing

Sonya Rivers is now mentoring youth to learn healthy ways to resolve conflicts and de-escalate violence. Her brother was killed last year by gun violence. She worships at Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, and is finding ways through her personal grief to create a positive future for herself and her community.

Thanks to Patriot News/Penn Live’s support, the Agape-Satyagraha peacemaking initiative is gaining notoriety in the greater Harrisburg area.

In Fall 2015, they sent a crew to meet the youth participants and adult mentors of the program. Follow the link above to hear what these peacemakers desire to see in their community, and in what ways they are making peace happen at home, at school, and on the streets.2015 Grad Shot

Community Youth Level Up for PEACE

We are celebrating the successful elevation of three of the participants in the Agape-Satyagraha program. As they move through the program, acquiring knowledge and mastering skills, they achieve higher and higher levels until they graduate.

Recently, these three outstanding young people have shown that they are working hard, taking the program seriously, and putting into practice all they are learning about being peacemakers in the real world.

KC Tilley (right) successfully completed the first level, WHITE level. In WHITE level, participants learn to understand the meaning of conflict, conflict resolution, and how conflicts escalate. Why is Supreme (left) smiling so broadly in this photo?  Since Supreme Funn “sponsored” KC, he receives $5 every time KC passes a level. A-S KC Mii’Angel Cotton (left) has also successfully completed the WHITE level, like KC. She is pictured here with her mentor, Ms. Alice Smith (right), a dedicated volunteer for bcmPEACE and Agape-Satyagraha.A-S MiiAngel
Finally, congratulations are in order for Terrian Simmons (left), who is pictured below with mentor Sonya Rivers (right). Terrian completed the GREEN level, which is the second level of Agape-Satyagraha. In GREEN level, participants learn how emotions are involved in conflict. They learn the value of simply calming down as a way to begin de-escalating a conflict, and then other steps such as: Distract yourself, Relax your body, and Talk through affirmations that allow you to take control of the situation in a calm, peaceful way.A-S Terrian

To learn more about Agape-Satyagraha, visit our page at http://www.bcmpeace.org/services/agape-satyagraha-conflict-resolution-training/