ON THE LINE: August 2014 edition includes Ambassadors in action, new organizer in MI, and more!

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. 

PAX CHRISTI USA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOSEPH FAHEY HELPS LEAD CD ACTION ON JOBS: On July 29th hundreds of low-wage federal contract workers from landmark federal buildings in our nation’s capital walked off their jobs saying the President’s recent $10.10 Executive Order is not enough to afford the American Dream. This is the 9th strike in the past year by low-wage federal contract workers at federal buildings like Union Station, the Pentagon, Smithsonian Museums, The National Zoo and the Ronald Reagan Building. In a dramatic escalation, the workers and national faith leaders, including Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey, engaged in civil disobedience in the street in front of Union Station by holding an “Interfaith Breaking of the Bread” ceremony… Read more coverage of the action at http://goodjobsnation.org/when-workers-fight/

PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey (far left) participates in a "breaking bread" civil disobedience action in support of striking workers in D.C. (photo by Jean Stokan)

PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey (far left)  co-leads a “breaking bread” civil disobedience action in support of striking workers in D.C. (photo by Jean Stokan)

PAX CHRISTI LOCAL GROUPS PARTICIPATING IN CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE: Pax Christi USA is an endorser of Campaign Nonviolence, and many of our local groups are planning to take part in the campaign’s week of actions between September 21-27. For example, Pax Christi Memphis members have been involved in planning for the week of actions in their area, including a retreat with Rev. Charles McCarthy, a Community Forum on Gun Violence, and a children’s poster contest. To get involved in your area, go to http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/ for more information.

WELCOME ALISON ZACHARIAS, NEW STATE ORGANIZER FOR PC MICHIGAN: Alison Zacharias is the new State Organizer for Pax Christi Michigan. She is very committed to the spirituality of nonviolence and passionate about Pax Christi’s Prayer/Study/Action model. She is from Canton, Michigan, and graduated in 2013 from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, with a degree in English. While at Michigan State, Alison completed an internship with Meta Peace Team, an international nonprofit peace and justice organization that seeks to pursue peace through active nonviolence and create an alternative to militarism through empowered peacemaking, where one of her primary efforts was partaking in the campaign for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison. Alison loves to read and write, draw and paint, travel, spend time with her cat and dogs, and is working on expanding her vegetarian cooking skills. Welcome Alison!

PCUSA AMBASSADORS OF PEACE HOSTING FUNDRAISER FOR FILM ABOUT BISHOP GUMBLETON: Bill and Mary Carry, Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace from Michigan, will be hosting a fundraising party on Sunday, September 14th in support of the film “American Prophet,” which depicts the life and ministry of PCUSA Teacher of Peace Bishop Tom Gumbleton. The fundraiser includes meeting Jasmine Rivera, an award-winning director, producer and screen writer from the Detroit area. For more detailed information about the film and its production, you can visit www.americanprophetfilm.com.  Donations from those who cannot attend the event can be made out to Fractured Atlas, and sent to the Carry’s at 2375 Avondale W, Sylvan Lake, MI 48320.

PC FARGO/MOORHEAD (ND) MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN INTERFAITH PEACE GATHERING: Ellen Mahli and Cathy Schwinden of Pax Christi Fargo/Moorhead were featured in a newspaper article covering an interfaith prayer vigil for peace in the Middle East. They read excerpts from the Pax Christi statement on violence in the Middle East and used former National Council member Fr. Jim Hug’s prayer (featured on the PCUSA website), as well as a quote from Pope Francis. You can read more at http://www.inforum.com/content/muslims-jews-other-faiths-gather-pray-peace.

Interfaith Vigil for Peace in the Middle East held in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of Cathy Schwinden)

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East held in July in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of Cathy Schwinden, PC-Fargo/Moorhead)

PC INDIANAPOLIS MEMBER PARTICIPATES IN DELEGATION ON IMMIGRATION TO GERMANY: Last month, a delegation of 14 Americans, including Pax Christi Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs, traveled to Germany to participate in the American Council on Germany’s 2014 Study Tour on Immigration Policy. The purpose of the Study Tour is for participants to better understand the European perspective and to acquire an understanding of the ways in which German society is adapting to the inevitable changes brought about by immigration. Participants had an opportunity to engage with Germans from the public and private sectors and to share ideas about best practices. They met with government officials, political leaders, business people, academics, journalists, and non-governmental organizations. Here are the Study Tour participants at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Pax Christi Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs in Berlin (photo courtesy of Val Fillenwarth)

PC Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs in Berlin (w/ group). Terri is the Director of the Indianapolis Immigrant Welcome Center. (photo courtesy of Val Fillenwarth)

PCUSA REGIONAL LEADERS GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: Pax Christi USA hosted a leadership summit during the weekend of June 27-29 to coincide with its annual Momentum event. It is the first time in several years that Pax Christi USA has gathered together its regional coordinators, the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, the National Council and the National Staff. Nearly 50 leaders attended. The summit began with sessions specially designed for various groups present at the summit. Friday afternoon included a large group gathering for reflection, discussion and small group work. The evening event was Momentum 2014, featuring presentations by the 2013 Teacher of Peace Mary Meg McCarthy, Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK, and Ivone Guillen of Sojourners on immigration reform… To read more, go to: https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/06/28/news-pax-christi-usa-hosts-leadership-summit-in-washington-d-c/

Pax Christi USA Regional Leaders

Pax Christi USA Regional Leaders

PC SPRINGFIELD (IL) MEMBER WRITES EDITORIAL ON CHILDREN AT THE BORDER: Former National Council member and PC Springfield (IL) member, Diane Lopez Hughes, published the following column on the children at the border in the Springfield newspaper. “In light of the current humanitarian crisis at our borders, each of us would do well to think like a parent. Fleeing from hunger and violence in their home countries, we can only imagine how frightened the children must be, leaving behind everything they know to make the harsh and dangerous journey across Mexico to the U.S. border. Imagine the terrifying conditions that must necessitate parents sending their children into life-threatening circumstances for the possibility of safety, security and a better future. How demoralizing it must be for some of the parents not to have the resources to feed their children or insure their safety…” Read the entire column at http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140725/OPINION/140729670?sect=Columns&map=2012

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Sept. 20 – South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference, “Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery,” with Sr. Ruthmary Powers, HM and Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM in Watertown, SD; http://www.presentationsisters.org/events/event/south-dakota-pax-christi-peace-conference/

Sept. 21 – International Day of Peace, http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Sept. 21-27 – Campaign Nonviolence week of actions, http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/

Oct. 4 – Global Day of Action Against the Use of Drones for Killing and Surveillance, http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/

Oct. 4-11 – Keep Space for Peace week, http://www.space4peace.org/

Oct. 25-26 – Pax Christi Florida’s State Assembly calling for an end to the death penalty, Tallahassee; http://paxchristiflorida.org/

Nov. 1 – Pax Christi Massachusetts’ state assembly with Rev. Sam Smith at Holy Cross College on “The Militarization of Our Youth and the ‘I Will Not Kill’ Campaign”; http://paxchristima.org/

Quicklinks:

Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi hosted an August 6th prayer vigil in commemoration of all those who have died in war on the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki … PC New Mexico member Bud Ryan and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear were on Santa Fe radio discussing nuclear disarmament and their annual vigil at Los Alamos … Pax Christi Michigan co-sponsored and participated in “On the Road to Ground the Drones,” an anti-drone demonstration and walk that took place from June 3-14, starting in Chicago and ending in Battle Creek, Michigan. You can see pictures from the event here … Check out Pax Christi El Paso’s websitePax Christi Fargo/Moorhead is hosting this exhibit on “Boycott and Economic Activism” this fall and think that other groups might be interested too … Read this column on women religious from Pax Christi USA Teachers of Peace Joan Chittiser, osb and Mary Lou Kownacki, osbPax Christi Southwest Florida coordinator Dave Montrose had a piece published in the local paper on the situation in Gaza … Pax Christi Long Island (NY) member Jacqueline Jill Rito wrote a moving open letter related to mothers and the violence in Gaza … Pax Christi International’s August 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2014 edition of The Peace Current

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