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 7, July 2017
|Dr. Art Sutherland to lead|
healthcare legislation discussion
Republican senators are currently scrambling to find enough votes to push through the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”, their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act typically referred to as Obamacare. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has enumerated a number of concerns that they have expressed to lawmakers, noting that the BCRA does not honor the moral obligations they had provided them when senate discussions began.
In a June 22nd letter to the senate, the Bishops said, “It is precisely the detrimental impact on the poor and vulnerable that makes the BCRA unacceptable as written.”
This Tuesday evening, Pax Christi Memphis will discuss the proposed legislation, look at alternatives and suggest action that may provide a more favorable outcome for healthcare consumers.
Dr. Sutherland is state coordinator of the Tennessee chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program and is a member of the national board of directors. He has worked with the Healthy Memphis Common Table as an advocate for health equity initiatives that would improve population health. He is also
a member of the Memphis School of Servant Leadership and co-facilitates a course in social justice.
Dr. Sutherland received the Dr. Quentin Young Health Activist Award from PNHP in 2013.
As the discussion concludes, attendees will have the opportunity to submit letters to our senators and add personal comments as they see fit. We’ll take a brief look at groups and initiatives that have formed to address concerns around this issue.
|Outline for course on nonviolent living under development by Msgr. Kirk and committee |
As announced last month, Living Peacefully in a Violent World, a course led by Msgr. Albert Kirk, will be offered this fall at St. Louis Catholic Church, 203 S. White Station Road. The course will be offered as four two-hour sessions from 7-9 pm on consecutive Thursdays commencing Oct. 5th. Additionally,
it will be taught on two Saturdays, Oct. 14th and 28th, from 10 am until 2 pm.
In an outline submitted to the committee by Msgr. Kirk, he suggested possible texts such as Bishop Carroll T. Dozier’s pastoral letter Peace, Gift & Task, along with Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace Message.
Week one would include a look at difficult Old Testament scriptures with an explanation as to why these are not normative for us, and a
Week two may include a study of Catholic tradition in the early church, before and after 313 AD focusing on the influence of St. Augustine and the Just War Theory. That session will conclude with an examination of today’s reality, why the Just War Theory no longer works, with more from Bishop Dozier, Pope John XXIII and ideas from Vatican II.
In the third week session, Msgr. Kirk suggests studying Pope Francis’ “Christian Revolution” with a discussion on what nonviolence is and is not, active nonviolence, and nonviolence as a style of politics. We will examine historic achievements in nonviolence and introduce the “circle of relationships tool,” followed by a look at nonviolence between spouses, within families, in the workplace and neighborhoods.
Possible topics suggested for the final session are a discussion of Nuclear Disarmament (Vatican Statements to UN, etc.) and the Arms Race, violence in our cities, Pope Francis’ “Disarming the heart” and a call for us to become artisans of peace, building a “just peace” framework and a spirituality of nonviolence and a final study of nonviolent action related to personal nonviolence.
Msgr. Kirk will be away for much of the month, but fine-tuning of the course outline will resume upon his return in August. In the meantime, he has left us with this reflection on today’s scriptures reading, which will surely be included with materials from Living Peacefully in a Violent World.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
The One who comes is without violence in establishing peace.
This is the meekness of which Jesus speaks.
In his courage that faces death and suffering he reveals the true strength of his meek and humble ways.
It is up to us to discover a new meaning of being meek in the way to peace, the way that faces opposition and evil yet turns from doing personal violence.
In a world of retribution and gotcha we follow the One who walked the path of nonviolence.
When we forsake our own self-importance we can know the revelation of the One who sends Jesus to us.
In the simplicity of bread and wine we bend our faith to the message and we are charged to remember that truly Jesus remains with us and desires to walk with us as we share the truth of his way of living.
The backpacks purchased feature the Pax Christi
logo and reflective stripes
for pedestrian safety.
|Pax Christi will seek to fill backpacks for the poor and homeless|
An idea proposed at the June meeting has already received adequate funding for the first phase thanks to the generosity of just a few of our members and a wonderful new project is underway.
We often see the poor and homeless carry their meager belongings in flimsy plastic shopping bags or those designed to dispose of garbage.
Donation boxes similar to
this will soon be placed
in area churches to hold
Borrowing on an idea from Pax Christi Little Rock, it was suggested that we purchase a supply of sturdy drawstring backpacks, and attempt to fill them with items that might make life a bit easier for our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
In order to engage the broader community, donation boxes will be placed in area churches and other appropriate venues during the month of September.
Dr. Peter Gathje of Manna House approved of the idea and said his volunteers would fill the bags with items donated and distribute them appropriately to their clients in need.
Those wishing to donate items don’t have to wait until September. They will be accepted at Bartlett Art Printing & Graphic Design, 2919 Elmore Park #4 in Bartlett. Call 266-2464 to arrange. Anyone without time to shop may make a monetary contribution by mailing a check to: Pax Christi Memphis, 4043 Allison Ave., Memphis, TN 38122. Just designate “backpack project” in the memo area of your check. If your church, organization or place of business will facilitate a donation box during the month of September, please call the number above or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suggested items for donation include: toothpaste/toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, nail clippers, baby powder, Tylenol, soap, Kleenex, shaving gel/razors, Visine, Q-tips, feminine hygiene products, washcloths, socks, snack foods like granola bars, nuts, protein bars, fruit snacks, etc., and gum.
When you’re shopping, please consider picking up a few of these items for donation, or send a check and we’ll do the shopping for you.
Jerry Bettice presented a very comprehensive treasurer’s report at the June gathering and projected what expenses we might expect in the coming year.
Pax Christi Memphis continues to explore the possibility of hosting a meeting or retreat with PCUSA Executive Director Sr. Patrica Chappell. In the event a visit from Sr. Patty isn’t feasible, other retreat possibilities were discussed, including a proposed joint gathering with Pax Christi Little Rock. Whatever scenario is agreed upon, adequate funding must be obtained.
In view of the need for a boost in the treasury, it was suggested that dues be increased for Pax Christi members from $20 per family to $50. Member Karen Scott stepped up with a generous offer to phone Pax Christi members who don’t regularly attend and solicit additional funds. At this Tuesday’s meeting, Karen will report on her efforts.
Note from Kat McRitchie at Mom’s Demand Action
We hope you’re having a good summer! Thanks to all who attended or volunteered for the Wear Orange event last month! This month, we’re back to our monthly meetings. Next week we will get together to look at the upcoming season of events, and make local goals for how to reduce gun violence in Memphis.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 7-9 pm
Shady Grove Presbyterian Church
5330 Shady Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38120
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