Together, we spread the gospel of peace and encourage cooperation locally, in the United States and globally. This podcast focuses on Peace with Justice Sunday within The United Methodist Church. Today we’re honored to have Deaconess Marjie Hrabe as our guest.
00:20 // Rich welcomes Deaconess Marjie Hrabe to the show.
00:33 // Marjie tells about PCIC.
01:02 // Marjie talks about the reasons PCIC exists.
01:56 // Marjie talks about her role within PCIC.
02:24 // Marjie talks about opportunities for volunteers within PCIC.
03:03 // Marjie tells how Peace with Justice Sunday connects with PCIC.
03:52 // Marjie tells why it is important to support Peace with Justice Sunday.
5:14 // Rich agrees with Marjie and highlights the impact of addressing justice issues.
05:35 // Marjie talks about some of the changes created by The United Methodist Church.
Rich – Well, hey everybody, welcome to the Peace with Justice Sunday podcast. Super excited today to have Deaconess Marjie Hrabe with us. Welcome to the show, Marjie.
Marjie – Thank you for having me.
Rich – I’m so glad that you’ve decided to spend some time with us today. You’re with the Pima County Interfaith Council. Why don’t you tell us about PCIC?
Marjie – PCIC started 25 years ago to celebrate [Inaudible 00:00:36], and it was started by a bunch of faith leaders and chums who realized that the poor and the underserved just needed help getting things done. So they quit their community organizing and started PCIC.
Rich – Nice. Now was that an issue that came to the fore that pushed the development of it, or was it like a straw that broke the camel’s back, or was it just a long burn of a bunch of different issues?
Marjie – It was a long burn of a bunch of different issues. No funding for us, or no improving the world, just all kinds of things. Both in the minority usually I have to fight with.
Rich – Yeah, absolutely. OK, so now tell us your role with PCIC.
Marjie – I am what’s called a senior leader, which means I’ve been around long, and it sounds too cushy. I kind of think I belong, it’s like it’s meant to be, but I’m the deaconess for this Methodist Church. We make a lifetime commitment to love, justice or serve, and I’m very passionate about justice. So when I help people, I just know I’m meant to be here.
Rich – Very cool. Now that’s a great topic to talk about, kind of the Methodist connection. Has the local Methodist church or churches been involved from the beginning?
Marjie – Well, it waxes and wanes like everything else, so it is back on the rise. The institution has about 33 member institutions, and I would say about six or seven of those right now are paying members, and several others are just about to come on board, which is exciting.
Rich – Now is it the kind of thing that local volunteers can get involved with – like maybe a volunteer from your church – can they plug in and help out?
Marjie – Sure, they do a teaching about volunteers, and they say there are primary, secondary and tertiary ones. I would be a primary because I do it all the time. Secondary is somebody who makes it as often as they can, as their schedule allows. Then a tertiary? would be somebody who steps in and out [Inaudible 00:02:44] on different issues. So yeah, there’s lots of opportunities, and for me, it’s about how often people get [Inaudible 00:02:53] and get them to [Inaudible 00:02:55].
Rich – OK, very cool. Now how does Peace with Justice Sunday connect with PCIC?
Marjie – Well, we applied for grants because most people don’t realize that grant money is just disappearing out there and we work on shoestring budget. Pima County itself is about the size of the state of Connecticut, so if you’re driving around, simply gas money is an issue for us. So you’ve got to top us literally to keep going.
Rich – That’s incredible. So now, what would you say to a church leader who’s listening in, who maybe they’re like, “Gosh there are a lot of special Sundays. I’m not too sure I necessarily want to kind of get behind this one, not that I have any problem with Peace of Justice, but just there’s a lot of asking, “What makes Peace with Justice Sunday particularly important to be a part of?”
Marjie – I’ve just read an article about overcoming the Good Samaritan syndrome, where you just feel like there’s so much out there to do and you’re one person and you cannot do it all. The thing with PCIC is that they have a lot of different issues and [Inaudible 00:04:05] people, so you don’t have to [Inaudible 00:04:08 – 00:04:22].
Rich – Interesting, very cool. Well, what else would you like to say to people who might be listening in, who are either interested in PCIC or Peace with Justice Sunday?
Marjie – I would like to say that it’s a great opportunity and privilege to be able to step out and be the face of The United Methodist Church on systemic change. We’re all good at doing mission work, but if we don’t do the justice, I like to say that we’re involved in church welfare. When you work with justice, you work with peace, but you work on that issue, and the person who’s dealing with that issue does not have to [Inaudible 00:05:01] and not just him or her but anybody in that situation. [Inaudible 00:05:09].
Rich – I don’t want people to miss that. I think that’s a great distinctive that when we work on justice issues, we’re helping, really, some systemic, long-term issues, ways that we can serve people over an extended period of time and, ultimately, change generations of families and people’s lives when we address some of these justice issues.
Marjie – Exactly. We don’t want to be known as just handing out bread to the poor, but to getting change. Now we have a huge history of creating change. Most people don’t realize that we started both Goodwill and the Salvation Army. The United Methodist Women started the Mother’s Day program in the United States. We have created lots of change, and we need to reimburse them.
Rich – Very good. Well, that’s a great way to end, great encouragement. Deaconess Marjie, I really appreciate you being here today and taking some time out.
Marjie – Sure, I hope to talk to you all again.
Rich – Thank you so much.
Marjie – Bye.
Rich – Bye-bye.