Thursday, January 10, 2008

Feed Your Enemy

“If your enemy is hungry feed him” Romans 12:20
I know that many of you out there are likely planning your own event to observe the upcoming anniversary of the Iraq War, but I would like to invite you to join the Summit Interfaith Peace Coalition in what we hope will become a statewide movement. No matter what your plans we ask that you incorporate a food drive into your observance. If the peace groups across the state can reinforce the same theme that we choose to spend money on bullets and bombs and neglect to feed our children I think at the very least we can get some good media attention.

The Summit Interfaith Peace Coalition, of which Pax Christi Summit is a member, is reorganizing. Instead of monthly vigils and peace walks we will begin meeting monthly to promote a broader agenda of peace and justice. Our first meeting is this Thursday January 10th at 7:00 pm at the Unitarian Church at the corner of Waldron and Springfield Avenue in Summit.

On the Agenda is the planning of the annual observance of the anniversary of the Iraq War.

The date is currently set for Saturday March 15th.

We will be holding a Food Not Bombs type event. The idea is to focus on the social initiatives we are neglecting as a result of military spending.

The mission statement will be something like this:

We produce enough food to feed everyone
We can find shelter for everyone
We have the resources to care for the sick and injured
We can provide everyone with a good education
We do not accept wars for oil (or any other natural resource)

We will have some kind of prayer service we will also have speakers and music, perhaps even an art show. We will be collecting money, like we did last year, for the “Deployed Military Spouses Fund” which is administered by the Women’s Opportunity Center of Burlington County.

We will also be collecting food for local food banks and hopefully serving food to the homeless, underprivileged and anyone else who happens by. This will be an all day event and will be collecting signatures on petitions and distributing literature on poverty, hunger and military spending. The location is yet to be determined.

All of this will be supported with press releases, leafleting, emails, etc. to get as much attention as possible.

Whether you want to join us in our observance or you would like to hold your own in accordance with the above theme as a part of a state wide coalition, please let me know. You can email me at No matter what you decide, let me know what your plans are. It is always great to hear the wonderful ideas that other peace groups come up with.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Little Hope for the New Year

"But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope." Galatians 5:5

On December 17th, Governor Corzine signed New Jersey's death penalty abolition bill into law. As a Catholic this reminded me that, ultimately, punishment and forgiveness rest in the hands of the Lord. As a peacemaker it provided me with a great feeling of hope.

Thank you to Celeste Fitzgerald and Lorry Post of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, who over a decade ago had faith that their efforts could end the use of capital punishment in New Jersey. As a result, this December in New Jersey, justice has won out over vengeance and love has prevailed over violence. With the New Year upon us, I can only imagine what may be possible now that we have little hope from what has been accomplished and great faith in the prospect for positive change.