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
|Historian, economist and anthropologist to present program on Quaker history and practices on October 11th|
Since December 2014 Pax Christi Memphis has enjoyed the hospitality of the Memphis Friends, who have so generously allowed us to use the beautiful Quaker Meetinghouse for our monthly gatherings. Most of our members are familiar with the long tradition of peacemaking fostered by the Religious Society of Friends, however, many have expressed an interest in learning more about Quaker history and practices.
This Tuesday, we will be privileged to hear from Carol and David Ciscel of the Memphis Friends. Both have been members of Memphis Friends for over 30 years, and have been active in their annual event – Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association – for at least 20 of those years. David is currently active in Quaker EarthCare Witness, a national orgainziation of Friends concerned about climate change.
Many Pax Christi members know David through his work with local labor rights and living wage initiatives, and also with his involvement with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. He taught in undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Memphis for 33 years, and was Dean of the School of Business at CBU. He has published more than 200 academic articles on a variety of topics.
Carol is an educator as well – an historian who was also a faculty member at the University of Memphis.
"I read Quaker history quite a bit – just finished a book on how the Civil War challenged the Friends' peace testimony," she told us. "None of this means we know everything about it, but I think we could engage in a lively discussion with Pax Christi."
Carol said her husband joined Friends in Iowa in the 70s to find a community of people opposed to the Vietnam War and brings that personal experience to the narrative.
"Oh, and our clerk, Laura Helper-Ferris might come with us," Carol added. "She comes from a family with a Quaker background – they knew Rufus Jones, a weighty Quaker in the early 20th century – and she is an anthropologist."
With a diversity of backgrounds and disciplines, these speakers will surely provide an entertaining and informative session for our meeting this Tuesday. The program will begin at 7 pm, preceded by our usual potluck dinner at 6:30. Please plan to attend.
Campaign Nonviolence Actions received much publicity including coverage on at least three local TV stations during the week of action Sept. 18-24. Many Pax Christi members participated in a number of events.
Pax Christi members and friends from a prayer group met on October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence, for a prayer service and discussion. Deacon Henry Littleton brough some artwork from his school, Our Lady of Sorrows in Frayser and displayed it on the front lawn of Jerry and Judy Bettice's home.
Will ask PCUSA Executive Director to visit
In November, we hope to hear a presentation on Mindfulness by Suzanne Martin.
Mindfulness is a much discussed practice in our modern culture. It is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.
Large population-based research studies have indicated that the practice of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and perceived health. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both. We will surely benefit from Suzanne's presentation.
Other discussion at the September gathering touched on establishing dialogue with our new Bishop, Martin D. Holley, particularly on "The Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference statement: An Appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel Nonviolence." Jerry Bettice indicated that the document might also be discussed during a prayer service at the their home on October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence.
Msgr. Al Kirk suggested we might focus attention on a recent statement on Iran: Nuclear Weapons and Nonviolence, and Carol Carson brought up our support of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.
It was further suggested that we contact Sr. Patti Chappelle of Pax Christi USA about a trip to Memphis in early 2017. Paul Crum reported that he had been contacted by friends in Little Rock about the formation of a Pax Christi chapter there, and wondered if Sr. Patti might include a presentation to address their group as well.
A few goals for the coming year were proposed, mostly aimed at presenting the Pax Christi message to the broader Catholic Community, and deeloping strategies to achieve our aims. It was suggested that we contact the editor at FAITH West Tennessee about a feature article on our group, as well as David Waters at The Commercial Appeal. Others urged that we consider programs addressing nuclear proliferation and related environmental issues.