As an exiting board member and longer standing friend of the CKCPJ Council, I would like to offer some heartfelt reflections. Serving on the Board and getting to know many of you and others over the years has been a real privilege that has taught me about many forms of justice and levels of injustice in an ‘up and close’ personal way. It has challenged me to re-evaluate my thinking and assess my own personal values. It has forced me to move outside of my own comfort zone and interact with people, issues and actions that would have never been a part of my sheltered life as a white, (somewhat) middle class woman from the Bible Belt—and a reluctant introvert forced to find her own voice through speaking and writing to stand up for others and their daily strife and struggles. It has given me a deep appreciation for what I have been privileged to have earned and learned and even deeper for others that never had such opportunities. I have lived more deeply because of having known you all—individually and collectively.
This organization has undergone many changes in leadership, organizational structure and growing pains but it has always remained true to its vision and followed its passion for “justice for all”. Anyone who believes that this peace and justice work is for sissies has not been in the trenches—it takes real courage to do the grunt work—not only sweating and getting your hands dirty but sometimes getting your heart wounded by the hurtful words and experiences. But being a part of such a group of committed people true to their own convictions can offer healing and salve the wounds of the (un)human conditions. Such WORK will push you to your personal limits and beyond but it will make you grow into a more caring and compassionate human being—by doing for and giving to others. Call it karma, Law of Reciprocity or whatever you want—but it is gaining far more than you give, by receiving through struggle. It is truly a gift you give yourself by giving to others and it keeps on giving.
To all of those who have gone before to prepare the path and those who have walked and worked alongside me in the struggle for peace and justice, I offer you my greatest gratitude. To all of those who are considering or should consider joining in this peace and justice work, I offer you a challenge to move beyond your self to a higher sense of self through service to others. I can’t promise that it will be easy but it will be well worth the effort. Peace and Justice for all—much love to each of you.