Daily Vigil and Sat. March for Syria

Please join us for an hour each day this week    12 Noon – 1 PM.    Now until Sept 9th as congress makes a decision on Syria strike.  Sat. Sept. 7, March from vigil to the Market.  Come to 250 Franklin Rd.; corner of Frankin and 3rd SW downtown.  Are you willing to make a stand and tell congress and our fellow citizens NOT to approve a strike on Syria?  Thanks!   Diplomatic relations need to continue and consequences for chemical use recognized and implemented to full extent of International Laws.  We do not need to continue the suffering of the people with US military strike.  Syria War Protest 8-31-13 (11)

James O’Dea AUDIO interview on initiations of a peace maker.

During the Summer of Peace 2013, groups around the world have been studying peace making and organizing in their communities.  James O’Dea former director of Amnesty International in D.C,  and teacher for the Institute for Noetic Sciences speaks of his experiences, and outlines the skills and qualities needed for peace makers now.  He has been working with “The Summer of Peace ” Initiative as discussed at end of interview with host Stephen Dinan of the Shift Network, and others in the field.

The MP3 recording is approximately  1 hour 15  mins     PeaceAmbassador-7InitiationsOfAGreatPeacemaker


Skills For Peace Making Workshop, August 7

Wednesday, August 7th,  6:30 – 8:30 in the Grandin Village, 1327 Grandin Rd. Roanoke, 24015.   The CODA building with FireFly Media.  Next to Valley Bank, across from Reid’s Furniture.  Skills in Peace Making:  An interactive question and answer session that offers skills in deep listening, basic conflict resolution, compassionate assertiveness, team building,  the neuropsychology of conflict, conflict coaching, leadership, dealing with difficult people, and emotional processing. The format will be informal and  interactive with some presentation by Kim depending on where the questions and conversations go.”

Kim Kristensen  balances his day job as a manager for the Dept. of Transportation  with teaching Leadership and Managing Conflict, Applied Psychology, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Sociology, and Management at several colleges and universities. Kim is a certified mediator with a Master’s degree in Social Sciences and a Bachelors degree in Management and Human Resource. He also is a Life Coach, men’s group leader, and former circus performer (which ties it all together).


Freedom From Gun Violence

Plowshare hosts:  Stories from Va. Tech families,  June 22  at 7 PM  Location:  The Roanoke Unitarian-Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd.

Presented by Andrew Goddard, of the Virginia Center for Public Safety and Catherine Koebel of the Coalition to  Stop Gun Violence .  Goddard is the father of Colin Goddard, survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Plowshare hopes to organize an action group to work on reducing gun violence as a result of this program. PLEASE spread word about this program to all your friends and groups.

Andrew Goddard has spent 20 years in international humanitarian relief and development, working and living in developing countries.  Andrew is the President of the Richmond Chapter of the Million Moms March Against Gun Violence.  He is a board member of both the Virginia Center for Public Safety and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. He also serves as Board Chair of the National Gun Victims Action Council.

The Virginia Center for Public Safety is a non-profit, non-partisan grass roots
organization dedicated to the reduction of gun violence in Virginia. VACPS
strives to accomplish this mission through awareness, education and advocacy.
VACPS members represent a cross-section of racial, religious, professional and
political groups.

Catherine Koebel grew up in Blacksburg, VA.  In the spring of 2007 her father
taught the 10am MWF class in Norris 207 at Virginia Tech. Jamie Bishop, the 9am  professor, was murdered, as were numerous students in his classroom. After the VT  massacre, due to the advocacy of family members of VT victims, “I found out about  the lax gun laws in this country. I’ve been volunteering and advocating for better  gun laws since 2009 in Richmond and nationally with Virginians for Responsible  Gun Laws, which is the Virginia campaign of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun
violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.

Their organizational structure is unique among national gun violence prevention
organizations. CSGV is comprised of 47 national organizations working to reduce
gun violence. Their coalition members include religious organizations, child
welfare advocates, public health professionals, and social justice
organizations. This diversity of member organizations allows us to reach a wide
variety of grassroots constituencies who share our vision of non-violence.



“Let’s transform the culture of violence into one of peace and healthy relations!”

For more information, contact Gary Sandman: plowshare@plowshareva.org     www.plowshareva.org

(Swords into plowshares:  weapons into garden tools)

What is Urbiculture? May 3rd, 7PM

What is Urbiculture?
Join us on Friday, May 3 for an overview of urbiculture. The term has a history going back to the 50′s and roughly means “having care of cities and city people.” Location: The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op 1319 Grandin Rd.    7PM
In practice, this may take us a step away from our comfort zones; into the ideology of being more connected with our environments and the people who live there.
The Urbiculture Foundation began when this philosophy was realized by Ron McCorkle in 2007. He soon started integrating permaculture principles into this and all sorts of new growth arose, including a desire to share this information.
Ron McCorkle is a permaculture teacher, neighborhood advocate and explorer of new ideas. Since 2007, he’s been understanding ways of integrating spiritual permaculture with his ways of living. He has studied life at its biological level and believes that there is much more at work than what we see.

Earth Day Roanoke, in the Grandin Village

2014 – Come out and enjoy the festivities and educational opportunities during Earth Day, Saturday, April 26;  10 Am – 4 PM.   We need volunteers at the Plowshare Booth, and appreciate your help.  We have literature, and T-shirts to share; and good conversation!   Please call Polly 598-1118 or e-mail acornbranch64@aol.com

Youth Peace Summit, March 9th, 2013

The first annual Plowshare Youth Peace Summit is  March 9th from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Roanoke, 2015 Grandin Rd.    The Summit is a day-long conference of workshops for youth ages 12-19.  The workshops are on peace, justice, art and living skills.

The event is open to all youth and is FREE!yps_flyer-finalresized

Registrations available at the door 9 – 9:45 am.

Workshops include :  Choose one in each time.

10-11 AM- A.)”Global Solidarity; Building Bridges Across the World” with Caroline Stanfill; B.) “Peers Creating Peace” with Katie Zawacki & Sarah Caplan; C.) “Repurposing for Art’s Sake!” with Keri Jackson & Marleigh Walsh.

11 AM-noon  -  A.) “Overcome Poverty: What Can Youth Do to Help the Poor” with Caroline Stanfill & Sarah Caplan; B.) “Step Team Dancing” with Daniel Donner; C.)  “Peacebuilding” with Sue Williams & Josh Caplan.

1-2  PM-  A.) “The Art of Family” with Debi Ellis; B.)  “Your Turn to Cook 101″ with Nancy Maurelli & Josh Caplan; C.) “Peace, Justice & Youth in Islam” with Saleem Ahmed and Nolan Wages;

2-3 PM-  A.)  “Theater for Teens” with Les Epstein; B.) “Off the Hook/On the Hook: Let’s Talk about Oppression” with S.J. Creek; C.)  “Yoga for Teens” with Ann Egge

Free breakfast and lunch as well as local teen Musician (Sharayah Spears), to play during breaks.  Conference attenders can earn community service hours for attending the YPS.  Plowshare hired youth organizers to plan and work at the Youth Peace Summit. We will also have adult volunteers to help out. Our schedule will be: 9-10 AM-Registration & free breakfast & opening speaker.   10-11AM-Three workshops to choose from, 11-noon-Three workshops Noon-1 PM-Free lunch & band 1-2 PM- Three workshops 2-3 PM-Three workshops 4-5 PM-Evaluation 4-5 PM-Music & clean-up & good-byes To register 2014-Youth-Peace-Summit-Registration-Form or for other information, please contact Gary Sandman at 540-989-0393 or plowshare@plowshareva.org

Building Peace One Couple at a Time

Saturday, FEBRUARY 16, 2013, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

“Better Marriages—Better Families—Better Communities—Better Countries—Better World—A Way to World Peace!”     plowshare t-shirt 002

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with Dr. Gerald and Mrs. Eleanor Roller, certified “Better Marriage” trainers with over twenty-five years’ experience. Join them for an interactive program describing the four essentials of a good relationship:

  • commitment to grow together;
  • effective communication;
  • the ability to resolve conflict creatively;
  • expressions of appreciation and intimacy.

This is a FREE event for anyone in a committed relationship. . There will be a break with light refreshments, but please have lunch before arriving.

Salem Public Library, 28 East Main Street, Salem 24153

For more information or to RSVP (optional but appreciated), please phone either the Rollers at 540-343-7994 OR Nancy Maurelli at 540-345-3405 or email localfood@cox.net .


Witness against torture

Plowshare Peace Center will participate in the annual Witness Against Torture from January 6 to 12.  This will be our fourth year of doing so.  We ask people to take at least one day during that period, though you are welcome to take on more.  If you would like to join the fast, please contact Joan Wages at 745-2455 or jmgw42@yahoo.com.  More information about Witness Against Torture is at www.witnesstorture.org.

Write a letter about Gun Control, please

Our good friend, Edna Whittier, has sent a sample letter if you wish to contact local politicians about the UN International Arms Treaty.  She also recommends that you contact President Obama and provides a contact address.  Again, you can reach your local politician through “http://www.contactingthecongress.org/“.
The following is a sample of the email I sent to President Obama and Senator Warner.
I googled “president obama’s phone number email address” and got “http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call
I filled out the form and wrote the following. I also did the same google for Senator Warner and will for Senator Kaine. And, for what it is worth, I will do the same for my representative Morgan Griffith.
Please feel free to use any or all of this sample to copy and paste to your representatives, the president, etc.

Dear ——
This is in support of the UN International Arms Trade Treaty and reducing the number of rounds in a firearms magazine clip, restoring the Assault Weapons Ban, enforcing background checks for firearms and eliminating the gun show loopholes.
This is a healthcare issue, a homeland security issue and a foreign policy issue.
Please help reduce the number of deaths by American-born terrorists using assault weapons by banning such weapons.
Please reduce the number of bullets in a clip. Remember that there would have been more killed at the Arizona shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords except that the shooter had to reload and a woman grabbed his arm so that he couldn’t reload.
Please help save women and children in Africa by supporting and signing the UN International Arms Trade Treaty.
Dear friends, Some Plowshare supporters are continuing to talk informally about efforts we might make to reduce gun violence.  In the meantime, here is something you can do.  The United Nations is working on an international treaty to regulate the global arms trade.  The National Rifle Association -and until recently President Obama -oppose this.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives urging them to support a treaty.  A contact form can be found at “http://www.contactingthecongress.org/“. It should be clear to us all after these many years that politicians will do nothing about gun violence unless citizens pressure them.  Only you can do something about this. Below is more information from the show “Democracy Now!”,
ARM TREATY INFORMATION As the debate over gun control intensifies in the United States, work continues on an international treaty to regulate the global arms trade. On Monday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to reopen negotiations on the treaty. The United States dropped its opposition after stonewalling talks in July, a move that prompted critics to accuse President Obama of caving to congressional Republicans and the National Rifle Association in an election year. “I have not seen anywhere else in the world a gun lobby that has the same level of influence
on its own government as the NRA does in the United States,” says Andrew Feinstein, author of “The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade” and a former African National Congress member of Parliament in South Africa. “The U.S.
buys and sells almost as much weaponry as the rest of the world combined. So what happens in the U.S. is going to have enormous impact on the rest of the world.” The Amy Goodman Show 12-26-12 You can find the show on this web site