Category Archives: Programs

Take Us Out to the Ballgame! Butler’s Bunch Youth Outing

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Thanks to Butler’s Bunch, an initiative of the Mark L. Butler Foundation, 25 teens and several adult volunteers from the Agape-Satyagraha conflict resolution and leadership development training program of bcmPEACE were invited to attend a Harrisburg Senators baseball game.

Butler’s Bunch was founded by Mark L. Butler (MLB, owner of Ollie’s Bargain Outlets and majority owner of the Harrisburg Senators) in 2012 as a program interested in partnering with agencies in the community who work with underprivileged children and youth to Make Life Better (MLB).

The “Butler’s Bunch” program includes complimentary ticket packages to watch Senators games at FNB Field.   The ticket packages donated by Butler’s Bunch to bcmPEACE’s Agape-Satyagraha program included for every attendee a complimentary game ticket, dinner voucher redeemable at the ballpark, custom t-shirt and transportation to and from bcmPEACE.  To be eligible, Agape-Satyagraha youth regularly attended the weekly meeting and demonstrated positive behavior and good choices.

They can’t wait to go again!  Their next time out to the FNB Field will be Wednesday, August 17, as part of Butler’s Bunch.  Thanks Butler’s Bunch!

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“Wear Orange” Rally Raises Awareness, Helps Community Grieve

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Each T-shirt symbolizes a Harrisburg resident who lost their life to gun violence.

Members of bcmPEACE youth leadership development program Agape-Satyagraha gathered together in an “Orange-Out” celebration at the State Capitol building on June 2. Along with our youth, representatives from the Harrisburg Chapter of Heeding God’s Call, Mom’s Demand Action, and members of Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren and other local faith communities, also joined in. The Capitol Building lit up in orange for the event.

The rally was organized as part of the national Mom’s Demand Action’s “Wear Orange Thursday,” where supporters of gun violent prevention reform gathered in communities across the country to protest gaps in gun violence prevention laws, stand up against gun violence, and show support for families of gun violence victims.

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Teenagers from bcmPEACE;s Agape-Satyagraha peacemaking program showed their support.

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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

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/

bcmPEACE Honors Local Peacemakers at Annual Event

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Agape-Satyagraha Graduates with Board Chair Don V. Mitchell and Executive Director Rev. Ron Tilley

What a fantastic way to launch October!

An enthusiastic crowd of supporters gathered at Best Western Premier on Thursday, October 1, to attend the 10th Annual bcmPEACE Banquet and Silent Auction.

Activities for the evening included a wonderful catered feast, a silent auction filled with a wide assortment of goods and services, a caricature  artist, live music by Leah J, and the main event: Honoring men and women who work hard to bring peace to the community.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Debra Heath-Thornton, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Central Penn College. With her extensive background, education and experience in restorative justice and leadership development; she encouraged the audience, particularly the youth participating in the Agape-Satyagraha peace studies program, to continue living lives of integrity, shining like lights in the community.

Graduates of Agape-Satyagraha (shown above from left to right) are: Andrew Rodriguez, Mylea Evans, Jiovannie Cruz, Laishon Coles, and Ashly Lopez (not shown). They have excelled in learning to recognize conflict, developing interpersonal peacemaking skills, mediating and negotiating conflict, and understanding justice and systems of power.

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Keynote Speaker Dr. Debra Heath-Thornton and fellow Peacemaker Award recipients Gerald W. Rhoades and Charla J. Plaines

In addition to Dr. Debra Heath-Thorton, two others were honored with 2015 Peacemaker Awards: Gerald W. Rhoades, the founder of the Agape-Satyagraha youth peace studies program, and Charla J. Plaines, the Reentry Coordinator for the Office of Criminal Justice System Improvements of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Thanks to Executive Director Ron Tilley, bcmPEACE Board Chair Don V. Mitchell, the members of the Board of Directors, and a special welcome to the newly appointed members of the Board.

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“Be the Peace” and Join Brethren Community Ministries (bcmPEACE) for its 10th Annual Banquet & Silent Auction

Thursday, October 1, 2015

6:30PM – 8:30PM

Best Western Premier

800 East Park Drive
Harrisburg, PA   17111

Tickets are $50/person.  Be a table captain, purchase a table of eight (8) for $400.  Support bcmPEACE programs through sponsorship. Sponsorship levels available from $5000 down to the $100 level. 

RSVP by September 24 (Sponsors & Individuals)

 Click here for more information about Sponsorship Opportunities

This Special Evening features:

Sumptuous Buffet

(including Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes)

Dessert Bar

Kosher Meal (Upon Advance Request)

Silent Auction

Special Speaker Dr. Debra Heath-Thornton

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Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost at Central Penn College

Special music by Leah J. Hileman

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Professional writer, minister and independent recording artist and author of over 300 originals songs

Honoring of our Agape-Satyagraha 2015 Graduates

Honoring of our 2015 Peacemaker Awardees

Click here to purchase tickets, make a donation or pay for a sponsorship online

Tickets, donations and sponsorships can be paid online at Eventbrite or via check made payable to “bcmPEACE” or “BCM” and mailed to:

bcmPEACE
219 Hummel St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104

For more information email: bethepeacebanquet@gmail.com

Call: 717-525-7565

You can donate a quality silent auction item through September 18.  Items we are seeking:

  • Handcrafted Items (quilts, woodcraft, etc.)
  • Gift Baskets (themed items, gift certificates, etc.)
  • Sports, Recreation, Entertainment Items (vacations, hotel stays, sports tickets, etc.)

RSVP by September 24 (Sponsors & Individuals)

NOTE:  If you purchase your tickets online you can print your receipt but there is no need to bring any actual “tickets” to the event.  There are no paper tickets for the event.  After you have paid for you ticket your name will be on our list of attendees and when you arrive we will let you know where your assigned seat is.  Let us know if you have a seating preference.  If you pay via check we’ll send you a receipt in the mail or via email if we have your email on file.  Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walk-ins at this event.

bcmPEACE Hooray For Youth Accomplishments

Completing the White Level

Agape-Satyagraha –This program uses peer mentoring to teach non-violent conflict resolution and social change leadership skills to over fifty community youth in grades 6-12.

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Hip Hip Hooray for our @bcmPEACE youth involved in Agape-Satyagraha who have completed one of the 5 levels of conflict resolution. These levels are White, Green, Blue, Brown and Black. Thirty-seven times bcmPEACE recognized teens completing a level this year, this is just a few of them.

Another White Level photo 1 photo 2

Hanging Out

At the 2014 BE the PEACE banquet we are recognizing the four teens who have completed the Black level (so far this year) and who now serve as peer mentors.

Teens have learned how to choose a different path than violence and use their conflict resolution skills to be community leaders. After “graduating” by finishing the Black level, teens serve as peer mentors passing on what they’ve learned and experienced…keeping it real!

Teens have earned trips to Hershey Park and West Shore’s Hamden Pool.

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Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community Update:

You helped us raise $15,162 for the people of the South Allison Hill neighborhood and surrounding area.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Here are some pictures from the event…

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Friends Forever

KIDS SUMMER PROGRAM

Our kid’s summer program is called FRIENDS FOREVER. Our goal for the program is to band together as friends to prevent bullying and violence in our schools and our community.  The first week went well! The older children showed great leadership by following directions, cleaning up, and helping with the younger ones!! We would like to thank all the volunteers for helping make the first week a success and we’re looking forward to a great summer. We would also like to thank the Lord for having the first week run smoothly and for blessing us with a registration of 26 kids in the program! On Wednesdays and Thursdays, we are receiving volunteers from an organization called Youth Works. Our wonderful team of interns, Karen Johnson, Amy Otstott, and Lily Smith, planned and are carrying out this ministry, Beverly and Brittany Miller from First Church are assisting them. This ministry is a partnership between Brethren Housing Association, Brethren Community Ministries and Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren. Here is a poll from the first week:

Favorite meal: chicken nuggets and macaroni & cheese

Favorite craft: water bottles

What they learned about: Bullying, Anti-bully pledge, Rules/consequences of program, Whisper down the lane: lesson on how fast rumors spread

Games they played: Dodge ball, Four-square, Mother May I, Back-to-Back: learned how to trust one another