People of faith united by a passion for justice, commitment to community and a practice of hope.
SOPHIA Prayer Breakfast
Fundraiser and Silent Auction
April 23, 2016
Paul K Chappell, Keynote Speaker
SOPHIA supporters gathered for a prayerful, inspiring morning. As over 130 SOPHIA supporters re-connected with others passionate about social justice, the need for change and acting on our faith values, we were reminded of our progress, and called to action to continue our work. SOPHIA welcomed United Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Waukesha as a new member.
The Keynote Speaker was Captain Paul K. Chappell, a 2002 West Point graduate who served in Iraq, now an author, an international speaker, and Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, who also leads workshops on peace.
Hope – Paul gave us Hope for change, realistic hope. He reviewed progress that has been made in social justice issues nationally and internationally, and reviewed how that progress has been made.
Paul challenged us to be ‘literate in our shared humanity’. Through building relationships, we look at common values and needs. Examples that we all related to pointed out how irrational phobias/fears often direct our actions, interfering with more rational behaviors.
Paul directed us to seek common ground, build relationships, look at our shared humanity. Although people have been traumatized by experiencing or inflicting aggression, he emphasized that no human has ever felt traumatized by receiving or initiating an act of kindness, or being respected. We are born with peaceful tendencies; and ‘learn’ to wage war or inflict trauma. Most human conflicts begin when one party feels disrespected. Truly listening to others and respecting others, increasing our shared humanity is the first step in ‘waging peace’.
Rebecca Moczulewski, a TIP Task Force member, shared her experience of Legislative Advocacy – the efforts of ordinary citizens to influence legislators and the legislative process. As she sought to connect with her core energies, she found a drive within herself to act. Rebecca reminded us that as people of faith, we all share the worldview that ALL people belong to One Human Family. We care for those who are marginalized, forgotten by society.
Through legislative advocacy, we share our vision of a world where people can reach their full potential. We share this worldview of hope and transformation with those in power – working to change public policy to improve communities. The social teachings of the world’s great religions are remarkably similar – sharing the worldview that humanity binds us.
Through legislative advocacy, we can live our values. We insure our legislators know what their constituents believe, we stand with those disenfranchised, we speak for more vulnerable people who may be unable to speak for themselves.
Rebecca overcame her resistance to being active and speaking out; she directed us to do the same.
We must remember that political, social and economic issues are relevant to our faith. Through legislative advocacy, we can co-create a world of peace and justice with God.
The Breakfast ended with an exhilirating Closing Prayer – a dance by the Danza Azteca Tonantzin – a group of Mexican Aztec dancers from Appleton, dancing their traditional dance.