Pax Christi, the Peace of Christ, strives to create a world that reflects this peace by witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. Although the majority of members are Roman Catholic, Pax Christi is open to all people who want to work for peace in the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus.
Pax Christi Memphis meets the second Tuesday of
every month at the Quaker Meetinghouse located at 3387 Walnut Grove, Memphis, TN 38111. Additional parking is available on Prescott, or in the Kroger Parking lot across the street.
For more information, or if you need a ride to our meeting, call Janice Vanderhaar at 362-9364.
Building peace, economic & interracial justice through a spirituality of nonviolence
News and Notes
Number 4, April 2017
Discussion planned on maintaining consistency with PCUSA’s Statement of Purpose
We will examine some of the literature published by Pax Christi USA, and discuss ways we can more effectively promote peace and justice in the current political climate.
We are called upon to work toward peace in our personal lives and in communities of reflection and action to transform structures of society. Pax Christi USA rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice, and respect for creation.
Additional discussion will center around the advisory committee’s meeting with Bishop Holley, and with upcoming plans for our city’s hosting of Campaign Nonviolence’s National gathering.
We hope also to be updated by Hugh Taylor regarding the organizing efforts of MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action & Hope).
Discussion will commence following a potluck meal at 6:30 pm.
|Pax Christi Advisory Committee|
has fruitful meeting with Bishop
The Most Reverend Martin D. Holley, installed recently as the fifth Bishop of Memphis, met for nearly 90 minutes with members of the advisory committee of Pax Christi Memphis on Friday, April 7th. The consensus among those attending was that the meeting was a productive introduction and found the Bishop to be engaging and attentive.
Janice Vanderhaar presented a brief history of the important part Memphis played in the establishment of Pax Christi USA, highlighting the significant role of our first Bishop, Carroll Dozier, as a nationally recognized peacemaker. She pointed out that Bishop Dozier’s portrait is prominently displayed outside the National Civil Rights Museum.
Bishop Martin Holley
Members told the Bishop that they would provide him with a copy of Peace, gift & task, Dozier’s pastoral letter authored with the help of Pax Christi Memphis members in the early 1970’s.
Bishop Holley, who had three brothers who served in the Vietnam War, stated that he was no pacifist and said a number of times that he felt the US Military was a necessary deterrent. He did agree that war is no answer to solving conflicts and that the US spends far too much on national defense. He told the committee that a majority of his fellow bishops felt the same way.
“It is important to constantly preach the message of peace,” he told the committee. “Evil against evil will constantly escalate more.”
While claiming he couldn’t tell parish priests “what to preach,” Bishop Holley did say he would advocate for peace and “put it front of them.”
The real power for change, however, lies with the people in the pew he said, adding “Our problems won’t be solved with politics.”
Bishop Holley appeared to be open to the possibility of having Pax Chrisi Executive Director Sister Patty Chappell speak to an assemblage of Diocesan Priests at some point in the future, but emphasized that he would have to present the idea to the appropriate boards and councils.
After just a few months in his new role, he appeared to be impressed with the charity exhibited by the Memphis Community.
“I have never seen a city do so much for the poor,” he said, adding that he is excited by the appointment of a new director at Catholic Charities, and the possibility of creating new jobs through that agency.
He emphasized time and again the importance of jobs in combating violent crime, stating that he felt the creation of jobs was more important than establishing a just wage.
“With the breakdown of the family, people need meaningful opportunity,” he said.
Along with Janice Vanderhaar, others representing Pax Christi Memphis were Deacon Henry Littleton, Msgr. Albert Kirk and Paul Crum.
Pax Christi Memphis was happy to be present at the 2nd Annual MusliMeMfest festival, a celebration of the community to enrich the human experience in Memphis. Muslims in Memphis’ mission is to foster an interest in building bridges and strengthening relationships between the diverse peoples of Memphis and Shelby County. Funded almost entirely by generous sponsors and supported by the City of Memphis, the MusliMeMfest is free to the public. Pictured above staffing the PCM booth are Karen Scott and Deacon Henry Littleton. Others who worked the booth at the March 25th event were Judy and Jerry Bettice, Brenda Hale, Janice Vanderhaar, Ed Wallin and Paul Crum.
Activism and music blend interest
at well attended
It is not the responsibility of marginalized groups to explain their oppression, according to Sydney Kesler, College Student Organizer for the Official Black Lives Matter Chapter in Memphis.
“People must be free to be who they are,” Ms. Kessler told Pax Christi members at the March gathering. “We must first acknowledge our own privilege, and that involves a litany of different things.”
The campus leader presented a brief history of the BLM movement, pointing out that there was an “official” organization and network while some groups existed outside of it.
“Violence is often more than physical,” she said. “Our goal is to live in a place that exists without violence.
“Every time that we don’t identify people as who they are, we are violent,” she continued. “Because we are restricting people to be who we think they should be.”
Ms. Kessler and some of her supporters who attended the meeting pointed to the need for transformative justice in government institutions and the education system.
They urged their audience to support the cause by trusting the marginalized groups.
“We must trust them to lead us,” Ms. Kessler concluded.
A last minute addition to the March agenda was entertainment by folk musicians Nell Levin and Michael August who comprise the Shelby Bottom Duo. Opening and closing our meeting with their music, the duo also promoted their Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement.
“We have played for many good causes including the environment, and economic and social justice. Our interest is to meld music, fun and a higher consciousness,” they write on their Facebook page, where fans can keep track of their current engagements.
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