The Common Good
September-October 2003


by Elizabeth Palmberg | September-October 2003

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Books Through Bars needs Philadelphia-area volunteers to package donated books for individuals in prison. Contact Nicole,; (215) 727-8170 ext. 6.
  • Innisfree Village of Crozet, Va., seeks volunteers to live and work in family-style homes with adults with mental disabilities. Caregivers commit for at least a year and receive community, room and board, medical insurance, and a small stipend. Contact Nancy Chappell, (434) 823-5400;


  • "The Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing," a national educational speaking tour led by family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty, this year visits locations in Ohio in late September and early October. Contact Journey of Hope at 1-877-924-4483;
  • Amnesty International's National Weekend of Faith in Action on the Death Penalty (Oct. 10-12) invites faith communities, particularly those of color, to reflect, discuss, and take action. A comprehensive resource guidebook, including tools and ideas, is available. Contact Kristin Houlé,; (202) 544-0200 ext. 496.
  • School of the Americas Watch holds its annual vigil and nonviolent civil resistance on Nov. 22-23 in Fort Benning, Ga., to protest civil rights abuses in Latin America by U.S.-trained soldiers. Visit or contact (202) 234-3440.

    Retreats and Conferences

  • Temenos Catholic Worker of San Francisco is sponsoring Reverse Direction for Spiritual Directors, Sept. 11-14. This is an opportunity for spiritual directors to experience living and working with people on the margins in the Tenderloin area. Contact Father River Sims, (415) 305-2124;
  • Every Church a Peace Church and Christian Peacemaker Teams will sponsor a Christian Peacemaker Congress Sept. 25-28 in Youngstown, Ohio, addressing the racist underpinnings of our fear-driven national policies. Ruby Sales and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee co-founder Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. will speak. Contact CPT, (773) 277-0253;
  • The American Friends Service Committee hosts "Empire is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things" Oct. 10-12 at Simmons College in Boston, Mass. The conference will explore domestic and international ramifications of empire and will highlight initiatives to build longer-term alternatives to empire. Contact the AFSC, (215) 241-7000;
  • The Religious Working Group on the World Bank and IMF will sponsor "Faith in Practice: Connecting the Dots for Global Economic Justice," Sept. 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Topics include debt, AIDS, militarism, privatization, and local and global connection-making for people of faith. Contact Sister Susan Thompson,, (703) 624-1454.
  • "Prayer of Embodiment," a retreat focused on the richly embodied traditions of Christian contemplative prayer, will take place Sept. 19-24 in Germantown, Maryland. Contact Rev. Jim Dickerson,; (202) 332-0220.
  • "Family Violence: The Hidden Terrorism," an interfaith conference, takes place Oct. 24-25 in Lancaster, Pa. Workshops and keynotes will address family violence, the biology of trauma, and the church's response to violence against women. Contact the Samaritan Counseling Center, (717) 560-9969;
  • The Community of Christ holds "We are Family: Nurturing Families for Today and Tomorrow," a conference on family ministries, Nov. 7-9, in Independence, Mo. Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and others will give keynotes; there will be more than 30 workshops. Contact (816) 833-1000 ext. 1372;

    —Compiled by Elizabeth Palmberg

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