by Isaac Chandler
Pax Christi USA National Council Chair
Greetings to you all! I hope that the grace and peace of our Lord continue to shine upon you during this time. As I reflect upon my time as Chair of the National Council, I am filled with many feelings: feelings of hope, anxiety, and gratitude.
During this time we have all been changed by the pandemic, the rise of social justice movements, and by the change in the leadership of our government. In spite of all of these changes, Pax Christi USA’s membership has made its presence known. We have witnessed a proliferation of Pray-Study-Act opportunities and issued statements on a variety of timely topics, including: the withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan, the recent 9/11 anniversary, and the Black Lives Matter movement. It is my sincere HOPE that in this time of transition, Pax Christi USA will continue to speak out and educate our members on current events.
This pandemic has caused many of us to isolate ourselves and this may heighten feelings of high ANXIETY and stress. This anxiety and nervousness is exacerbated by all the news/media coverage of both information and misinformation regarding various issues. However, many of you used this time to learn new skills, read, and learn more about yourselves. You have taken this time to know yourselves and figure out where your passion lies. Many of you have found creative ways to stay connected with your local groups, state chapters and regions, and with the National Office. Zoom and GoToMeeting have made virtual meetings possible. Many of you have participated in our various study circles where books on timely topics as nuclear disarmament and the gospel of nonviolence are discussed within the context of our four priorities. As a National Council, monthly Zoom meetings have become the norm (pictured above: Isaac and Sherry Simon of the Pax Christi USA National Council earlier this month). This summer we made history by holding Pax Christi’s first virtual National Conference where over 400 of you participated in some way. A tremendous accomplishment!!!!
Finally, I leave you with a sincere sense of GRATITUDE. I am grateful for the leadership of our Executive Director, the National Office Staff, and the 2020-2021 National Council, without whose support and direction I would have been lost. Trust me when I say that all of these entities have worked hard throughout this entire time. They worked to make sure that we were continuing God’s work in spreading the gospel of nonviolence and most importantly, to propagate a sense of solidarity with our general membership.
Finally a note of gratitude to you, the membership of Pax Christi USA. Throughout this time, it YOU, the membership who let us know that you were there with us as well. You showed up for our programs. You commented on our posts. You clicked on our webpages and social media. You freely gave to us your time, your talent, and your treasure. Because of your generosity, the organization is as strong as ever; both in a programmatic and financial way are we able to continue to help keep you informed, engaged, and spiritually nourished. I hope we can continue to earn your trust and continue to lead on issues critical to our shared humanity.
As we move towards the 2022 year, your support is needed now more than ever before. Not only are we grappling with newer threats to our planet and our people, but also 2022 is a milestone year for us as it marks our 50th anniversary. A milestone like this must be marked as a sign to celebrate, and so we are looking to make the celebration one to remember. Plans are underway for the planning of our 50th Anniversary National Conference. Even if you are unable to join us there in person, there will be many opportunities to celebrate together, whether it be locally or regionally. This will be a celebration throughout 2022. We can’t mark this occasion without you.
Thank you all very much for your support of Pax Christi USA and of me. Serving you has been a tremendous honor. And don’t fear, I won’t be far away!!!