Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.
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Strategic nonviolent movements are one of the most potent forces in the world. They oust dictators, change policy and realize the hopes of communities. For over 100 years FOR has strengthened the movements that reshape society through our work in Black Lives Matter, training in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, training in Jail Support and Fiscal Sponsorship.
Relationships established through strong communities are the glue of our work. We ground ourselves in relationships of accountability and a spirituality that spans faith traditions. We help build communities that reflect our vision of Beloved Community through our Chapters, Networks & Affiliates, Interreligious Engagement & Understanding, Intentional Communities and Retreats for Movement Leaders & Activists.
We see nonviolence as a way of life, a moral commitment, and a social tool. As a branch of IFOR's international network we work with partners around the world to end militarism in all of its forms, working through the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Nations Advocacy, Demilitarizing Communities, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Anti-drone Initiatives and #GiveRefugeesRest.
I am overjoyed to report the election this weekend of my dear friend Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto to the episcopacy in the United Methodist Church! She was elected in an unanimous vote by the UMC's Western Jurisdiction on Friday night, on the 17th ballot, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
As she is the first openly-LGBTQI person to be elected bishop in our denomination (in which I am also ordained), I extend on behalf of the Fellowship of Reconciliation a message of congratulatory love to Bishop Karen Oliveto and her wife, Deaconness Robin Ridenour, at this historic achievement!
Bishop Oliveto has served as senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco for the past eight years, breaking the “stained glass ceiling” as the first woman to lead one of the largest 100 congregations in our denomination. Glide is world-renowned for its dynamic ministry of grace and joy-filled music and worship combined with its missional commitment to social change, healing, and restorative justice.
An outstanding preacher and theologian, Bishop Karen Oliveto is uniquely qualified to join the United Methodist Council of Bishops. She has held numerous national positions of leadership in the denomination and has served as a professor and administrator at the Pacific School of Religion (California), Brite Divinity School (Texas), and Drew University (New Jersey).
Two months ago, I wrote to you when 110 other LGBTQI Methodist clergypersons joined me in coming out to our denomination, on the eve of our global quadrennial gathering. Demanding that our gifts to the ministry be fully recognized and received for the first time, we appealed to United Methodists and other people of faith to support us in that historic moment. That action was part of a groundswell movement that has called for full inclusion of LGBTQI persons in the United Methodist Church.
Today we can already celebrate the next step on that journey. There is no question in my mind that Bishop Oliveto's place at the Council of Bishops will save lives and be a beacon of hope across the globe.
I have been deeply blessed to coordinate support for Bishop Oliveto’s election. The outpouring from around the globe of gratitude, healing, and commitment to stand with her in historic election has been immense. You, the members and friends of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, have been with me in that work.
Send a congratulatory message to Bishop Karen Oliveto on this occasion of her historic election as an episcopal leader in the United Methodist Church. I will gladly deliver your message to her this week!
Grace and peace,
Rev. Kristin Stoneking
Rev. Kristin Stoneking is the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Photos courtesy of Kristin Stoneking: (1) Kristin with Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto at her episcopal consecration on Saturday, July 16; (2) Kristin flanked by Karen Oliveto and her spouse, Robin Ridenour, immediately following the election on Friday, July 15.
We focus on building movements and peace networks by acting as a resource hub for activists, organizers and communities. Through our network of chapters and affiliates we connect movements at the grassroots level.
We provide workshops, educational resources, strategic consulting, and speaking engagements for diverse audiences. We run young adult leadership development programs and nonviolent direct action trainings for front line movements.
We're part of a global Fellowship growing a vibrant, creative, international and intergenerational peace and justice movement. More than 70,000 consituents in the US participate in our base-building work. Join us!
For over 100 years FOR members have led the strategic application of nonviolence to political and social change movements worldwide. We honor and count among our number Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Thich Nhat Hanh, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Muriel Lester, Sulak Sivaraksa, James Lawson, Jean and Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Andre and Magda Trocme and many more.
FOR recognizes individuals and organizations who make exceptional contributions to peace, justice and reconciliation. We honor unsung grassroots activists with the Local Hero Award, US justice leaders with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, and international peacemakers with the Pfeffer Peace Award.
Since 1918 FOR has produced publications and a national journal to shape and reflect learning on the power of nonviolent social change. Since 1934 that award-winning journal has appeared under the title Fellowship, now issued twice yearly in summer and winter. FOR's national newsletter, Witness, is produced in spring and fall and provides highlights of campaigns and projects led by grassroots FOR chapters and affiliates.