“Dee Campos-Davis is one of those cherished people ... who is insistently, patiently, lovingly and relentlessly nudging us toward the choices of caring service and action,” John Boonstra writes about Delona Campos-Davis, who received the Inspired Service and Action Award from Gorge Ecumenical Ministries on Jan. 26, in a potluck dinner event at Riverside Community Church.
Campos-Davis was honored for her work leading the Peace Village day camp each summer.
“She offers us the touch we need to force our choosing for communal justice and peace,” writes Boonstra. “And, anyone who knows her will tell you that she has a way of inviting us to live into those choices with a spirit of passionate compassion.”
Here is the rest of his remarks, edited for space reasons:
“A close friend of DeLona tells me that Dee grew up in a home where social justice issues were daily dinner conversation topics.
Taking action on issues of inequality and injustice were a central part of family life … We should all be so blessed.
Thankfully, Dee’s childhood lessons were lifetime teachings.
Cause that is how she and her spouse, Martin, raise their three sons. Lucas, Gabriel and Mateo.
She is a reader, a writer, a music lover, and a community activist
She is a Mama Bear, part of that collective of active spiritual environmentalists.
She works as a doula, helping moms to deliver new life into the world.
She actively supports the schools of her own children as they grow in the world.
While in college at Whitworth, Dee traveled through Central America and it transformed her life.
She graduated with a degree in peace studies that was informed both by her academic study and by her living with the victims of war-torn Central America.
For DeLona, peace became like an energy field more intense than war.
It is counter-cultural, robustly creative and borderless in its presence.
Throughout her living Dee teaches peace by modeling and living peace.
She moved to the Gorge and over the years has been (and is) a brooding spirit, nudging us toward and forcing us in the choices of peace.
She worked with local immigrants through Nuestra Comunidad Sana, a public health education non-profit.
She co-owned Small Planet Trading, a fair trade, progressive business, retail shop that connected small business ventures from the Global South with the local community.
In 2007, Dee co-founded Columbia Gorge Peace Village, a summer day camp where children, youth and adults together explore peace building from many angles nurturing nonviolent conflict resolution; and connecting peace-keeping within with peace-making among others out in the world.
Peace Village is both ecumenical and interfaith, one of the largest and most exemplary in the nation. And Dee has been the heart and backbone of it.
Along with a powerful and gifted group of other team leaders, she has sustained its beginnings, nurtured its development, and guided its evolution into what it is becoming an invaluable model of children’s peace education.
DeLona is an active member of Bethel Congregational UCC. She’s is active in its Just/Peace Ministry Team, is the church web master, and a loving, pastoral church leader.
I know this. While being pastor at Bethel, I watched her be that ever-faithful presence that guided us deeper in the labyrinth of congregational care, of justice-making, of peace advocacy and of spiritual formation.
Friends, our lives are blessed with wonderful people who come and go in the peace movement.
Our lives are blessed with well-intentioned folks who come and go in the work of peace and spiritual activism.
Our lives are blessed with gentle and restless spirited individuals who come and go as community organizers.
Dee does not come and go to the work of community building.
She does not come and go as a climate movement activist and earth steward.
She does not come and go into the movement for peace with justice. Not Dee. Because Dee is there all the time. She is a brooding spirit for the long haul.
So it is a special honor to present DeLona Campos-Davis with the 2014 GEM Award.
Because Dee is one of those precious brooding spirits nudging us to walk our labyrinth with integrity and love all the time!
She is grounded in something so deep that it keeps her engaged as one of those long-haul people — and that is the true calling of any brooding spirit who give us the touch we need to make the persistent choice of being ever-attentive.