Next gathering Nov. 8, 7 pm  • Quaker Meetinghouse • 3387 Walnut Grove  • Memphis    

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

Suzanne Martin to offer Mindfulness presentation at November meeting
Mindfulness, described as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, will be the focus of a presentation by Suzanne Martin at Pax Christi’s November 8th meeting.
Suzanne, who teaches Mindfulness and Religion at Immaculate Conception Cathedral School, received training through Mindful Schools in Oakland, CA, where she participated in foundational, curriculum and communication courses. She is currently in her fourth year at Immaculate Conception.

She explained that Mindfulness is the awareness that comes from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
“It’s like exercise for your mind, building the attention muscle in your brain,” she said. “A lot of science in the last few years has documented the benefits of mindfulness: greater concentration, self-awareness, to notice and shift out of unhelpful routines, being more responsive and less reactive, being aware of thoughts, emotions, and impulses to act,
the ability to let go, acceptance, to live in the present, not the past or future.”
Suzanne said she would share some simple routines with Pax Christi members and guests. Please plan to attend what promises to be a very informative and beneficial presentation.

Researchers are finding that mindfulness meditation helps people overcome many health-related issues such as stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, substance abuse, and much more. They’re also finding that the practice helps people enhance their mental capabilities such as abstract thinking, memory, and creativity. It even helps people improve their leadership and social skills.

The cause of Peace has had my share of efforts, taking the ultra non-resistance ground - that a Christian cannot consistently uphold,
and actively support, a government based on the sword, or whose ultimate resort is to the destroying weapons.

Lucretia Mott

The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in
these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people’s hearts... his people were his temple, and he dwelt in them.

George Fox


Ciscels present fascinating program on Quaker history and beliefs
Carol and David Ciscel brought Pax Christi members a most interesting program on the history and practices of Quakers at our October 11th gathering. Speaking in tandem, the couple explained the origins of the Society of Friends, highlighting individuals important to its history,
explained how they themselves became members and revealed the structure of a normal worship service.
Carol noted that the Friends began as a grass-roots movement and talked at length about George Fox, who as a young man in the midst of the English Civil War, traveled to London in 1643 to begin a quest to answer his own questions and satisfy his longings. His travels, during which he would study and hold long discussions with clergymen, helped him shape his own religious beliefs.

By 1647 Fox began preaching publicly and began to attract a following who at first called themselves “Children of the Light” or “Friends of the Truth” and later simply “Friends.” Known as a religious dissenter, Fox’s beliefs led him to distance himself from the established church. Early on he wrote: “... as I had forsaken the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those esteemed the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition”; and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.”
Carol noted that Quaker’s devotion to peace comes from a theological belief that we have a direct connection to the divine, and no need for mediations to “hireling priests.” We are equal in the way that matters most. Therefore, to bear arms against one another is to bear arms against God.
Fox traveled in North America in 1671 and spent about two years here.
Almost immediately he was accused of stirring up a slave revolt in the West Indies, and was forced to write a letter to the governor refuting the charges. When he arrived in Maryland he met with other Quakers and with Native Americans as well, and was impressed by their general demeanor, which he said was “courteous and loving”. After traveling around the American colonies, he returned to England in 1673 confident that the Quaker movement was firmly established here.
Obviously well-studied in Quaker history, Carol, who retired from teaching history at the University of Memphis, went on to provide a fascinating narrative of the Friends’ role in resisting violence in the first and second World Wars and beyond.
She also spoke of the important role Quakers played in the abolitionist movement and noted that in the 1700s Quakers were united in the belief that the enslaved had a “natural and just right of liberty” and no Quaker should think to claim a human being as property. Slavery was, in Quaker eyes, a “national evil.”
Women’s Rights were another area Carol noted where the Friends were ahead of history. She highlighted Lucretia Mott, a noted Quaker pastor who formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840.
David Ciscel said he became interested in the Society of Friends as a result of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era. He had been a proponent for Civil Rights as a young student and found common ground with a friend who shared with him his Quaker beliefs.
The Ciscels provided information on how their group typically worships, and how as a congregation they reach decisions by mutual consent. No decisions are finalized unless all agree. The Friends are firmly committed  to the cause of peace.

Did you Know?

... that Pax Christi is not the only group that enjoys the hospitality of the Memphis Friends?
The Memphis Zen Group meets there on Mondays at 5:45 p.m. and the Black Lives Matter steering committee meets every first Sunday.
Memphis Friends runs a Food Pantry, collects t-shirts for Manna House, diapers for the Family Safety Center and boxtops for
Bellevue Middle School.
They began Worship Sharing for an LGBT group in October.

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