My heart pounds a little harder in my chest when I hear the words of Isaiah in the first reading at the beginning of each Advent:
They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.
I know that you too must feel a stirring in your soul, a holy longing for the day when that vision proves true.
Each of us in Pax Christi USA is doing something to hasten that day. We’re advocating in our communities for common sense ways to mitigate the gun violence that has become an all-too-regular occurrence on our streets and in our schools. We’re lobbying our city councils to pass resolutions in support of nuclear disarmament as part of the “Back from the Brink” campaign. We’re confronting the personal and systemic racism which continues to perpetrate deep spiritual and social brokenness in our church and communities. We’re standing in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable – our sisters and brothers at the border, in prisons, and on the street. And we’re raising awareness on how militarism and economic exploitation are both factors in and results of the climate crisis which endangers us all.
Our scripture also reminds us that “[w]ithout a vision, the people perish”. We thrive because of the vision that Isaiah has given us. This Advent, and as we celebrate Christmas, I pray that the vision sustains you, that it burns bright in all that you do and in all that we do together as Pax Christi USA.
Lastly, I want to share with you my excitement for the days ahead. It has now been two months since I started as the Executive Director of Pax Christi USA. I’ve used these months to evaluate where we’re at and to listen as so many of you have shared with me your hopes and dreams for where we can go together. These next few months we’ll be rolling out some changes and new directions for Pax Christi USA for 2020 and beyond. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback and seeing many of you in person in the coming year!
Of course, we need your support to continue to build this movement. If you have the means, I hope you’ll take a moment now to offer a contribution quickly and securely. I cannot thank you enough for your trust and your generosity. I hope this is a season of peace for you and for all the world.
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA