Tag Archives: peace

Alpena’s 30 Days of Peace

“This year’s 30 Days of Peace observance takes on more significance than ever before.” (Alpena News 11/13/13) Alpena Pax Christi (including the Alpena Peace Coalition) felt this challenge more than ever as they planned a month long calendar of activities that revolve around the need for peace locally, nationally and around the world.  The 7th annual 2013 Thirty Days officially began on Sept. 11 with a mayoral proclamation on behalf of the city of Alpena to recognize its importance. Following are some of the events:

  • A LARCC opening service in the style of Taize was led at Trinity Episcopal Church
  • The First Congregational United Church of Christ offered contemplative services on four consecutive Mondays. These reflective services included soft music, readings on non-violence and prayers for peace 
  • A Taize service with music and periods of silence focused on Sacred Creation was prayed at Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Noon liturgies each Wednesday at Trinity Episcopal Church wove awareness of the need for peace with global events as they were happening.
  • The 7th annual Peace Contest was held for area students. The month long contest ended with a formal ceremony hosted by All Saints Catholic School where the mayor of Alpena presented students awards.
  • All Saints Catholic School sponsored a “Penny Drop For Peace” during the 30 Days and students presented $75.00 to the Alpena Peace Coalition at the student awards ceremony.
  • A Friday coffeehouse jazz and blues night featured student project winners who presented their original works to the public.
  • Popcorn, movies and discussions were held on Friday evenings at Grace Lutheran Church. 
  • St. Paul Lutheran Women’s Interfaith Study Group presented a well-attended panel discussion on peace and unity
  • The crowning event of the 30 Days was the 7th annual Peace Concert hosted by St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Area musicians offered expressions of peace through their music to a church that was filled to capacity. Guest performer Gemini, a Christian folk artist/composer/singer from Toronto, Canada performed her second year at the concert.Image

The Alpena Newspaper continued its overwhelming support of the 30 Days events by featuring weekly interviews of Peace Coalition members who explained the events of the coming week and their significance. In addition, local television coverage of events kept the community aware of the 30 Days.  The Alpena Peace Coalition observed how fortunate they are in continuing to have such great media coverage and community support.  Each year the events have grown in popularity and attendance.

The Peace Coalition has received many expressions of gratitude.  The 3rd grade  teacher of a winning entry called to report that the young boy chose to use his $25 prize not on himself but to purchase three books on bullying which he donated to the school library. Another supporter who attended many of the events summed it up beautifully in a thank you card.  She wrote, “You people give us hope and assurance that this world is a good place. Thank you for doing what you do.”

(The core planning group for the Alpena Peace Coalition’s 30 Days of Peace initiative includes, seated from left, Sally Buza, Sylvia Owens, Sister Catherine Anderson and Jim DesRocher. Standing are Sister Mary Hughes, Carol Skiba, Rev. Tom Orth and Duffy Gorski. Not pictured are Rev. Bruce Michaud, Rev. Bob Case and Betsy Adamus),

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Pax Christi Michigan Organizer

ImagePart-time contractual position

PCM MISSION STATEMENT: Pax Christi Michigan (PCM) builds peace and justice by articulating the ideal of Christian nonviolence, applying the Gospel of nonviolence to personal life and to the structures of society through PRAYER/STUDY/ACTION.

JOB DESCRIPTION:  Candidate must oppose war and all forms of violence and embrace Catholic Social Teaching.  The objective of this position is to nurture our current constituency and expand/grow the organization.

Create and maintain small Pax Christi groups;  maintain office operations;  liaison with PCUSA and other peace & justice groups;  facilitate opportunities for the membership for Prayer, Study, and Action opportunities;  develop strategies for communicating the Pax Christi message;  develop youth involvement; assist with coordinating the annual conference and annual retreat;  create and distribute regularly our newsletter; attend PCM state council quarterly meetings; and submit a quarterly report.

MAIN PURPOSE:  To increase membership, and PCM’s presence within Michigan.

REQUIREMENTS:

·         Self-motivated

·         Technological expertise:  Must be fluent in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, have basic database understanding, and knowledge in the use of social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.).

·         Office skills:  Skilled with writing, editing, maintaining files, answering phone calls and email well and in a timely fashion, etc.

·         Demonstrated organizing skills

·         Comfortable with public speaking/presentations

·         Ability to work well with others in a collaborative work style & demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills

·         Has a strong peace and justice background, and embraces & understands Catholic Social Teaching

LENGTH OF CONTRACT:  This will be a one year contract, contingent upon satisfactory 30 day and 6 month reviews.  Contract is subject to annual renewal.

SALARY/REMUNERATION:  Contract pays $14,400 per year, paid in monthly installments.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATON:

TO APPLY:   Send resume and Letter of Interest to paxchristi.mi@gmail.com

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PCM Member Mary Anne Perrone’s Recent Trip to Honduras

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all of you who have kept me in mind, in heart, in prayer, in the light while I have been here in Honduras. I have very much felt and appreciated it all. And I know that your concern for the people here can only have grown stronger, and I’m grateful for that.
Today is my last day here of a very short time — two weeks is such a drop in the bucket, and I am in deep admiration for those who are here accompanying for 3 months, 6 months, one year and more.
I have felt safe and well the whole time I’ve been here. Sometimes I have felt useful, sometimes not so much. The nature of accompaniment is to be ready when there is a need…and in-between, wait…or document what you recently did. To give you a thumbnail sketch of what I personally was able to be involved in here during my short stay:
  • accompanied Dina Meza, a journalist who was the target of some horrible death (and sexual violence) threats two months ago, and whose case prompted action by Amnesty International, to the march on the 3rd anniversary of the coup d’etat that took place on June 28. She, of course, circulated freely and quickly through the crowd, snapping pictures and interviewing people, including two of the foremost leaders of the resistance movement here. I donned a “human rights worker” vest and did my best to keep up with her!
  • accompanied a team from COFADEH (a premier human rights organization here) to the city of San Pedro Sula (toward the north of the country) for a Forum on Human Rights, Non-violence and Peace. Bertha Oliva, the director of COFADEH spoke, along with the now-presidential candidate, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of the president deposed in the coup 3 years ago. The car ride alone was about 5 hours each way, so “accompanying” means long hours on the road!
  • went on another day-long trip (south this time), accompanying an organizing team from COFADEH who had a meeting with people from the community of Zacate Grande, with university students and with representatives of popular organizations, all working together on a project for a public cultural/artistic/experiential event in the city of Choluteca to raise the consciousness of the citizens there as to the great richness of their area and to the great threat to their land, their way of life and their human rights as the richest families in the country conspire with the govt. to take ancestral lands from the people of Zacate Grande to develop beachfront mansions for the elite — and all along the way, attacking the citizens who try to stop this process.
  • And along the way, I have done some translating, some report-writing and had interesting meetings with people in the movement here. Two days ago I was able to attend a workshop of community-based journalists (radio, print, internet, etc.) here in Tegucigalpa, along with 5 journalists from Germany and Austria who have come to spend 3 months in Honduras to do their own accompaniment project with Honduran journalists, especially 3 community radio stations that are struggling to keep their communities informed while under threat and attack by the powers that be. Honduras now is the most dangerous country for journalists with an unbelievable number of assassinations in the last 3 years.
So, dear friends, I am fine. Happy to have had the privilege to be here, happy to be going home to my family tomorrow. And with the hope of being able to continue accompanying from afar the brave souls doing the relentless work of advocating for human rights here in Honduras. Please stay tuned to any mainstream news about Honduras (there is hardly any) and look at it with a very critical eye. More importantly, search out alternative, trusted sites to keep informed and/or sign up for action alerts. Just a few weeks ago a congressional letter was circulated and signed by over 80 congress members — a letter directed at Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, regarding the continuing, relentless persecution of the LGBTI community in Honduras — another favorite target of the police/military/death squads here.
With thanks and hope,
Mary Anne

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10th Anniversary of 9/11 Peace Vigil @ The State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan – Sep. 2011

Ann Francis (Peace Education Center/GLNAWI/Red Cedar Friends), Kevin ‘Mr. Peace” Szawala, and Joan Tirak (Pax Christi Michigan).

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by | August 4, 2012 · 5:49 PM

Get Involved With the Movement – – Literally!

Pax Christi Michigan Supports “A Moveable Peace”

At the United States Social Forum in Detroit, representatives of peace and justice groups throughout Michigan met to discuss a problem that confronts us all: millions in Michigan care about peace and justice, but too few act, and our organizations are often too separate.

We concluded that too many people feel unheard and so don’t speak or act, and activists don’t cooperate enough in reaching out and listening.  We decided to launch an effort creating and expanding the commons, establishing times and places all over the state to advance a conversation: what does peace and justice mean in our hometowns, as well as worldwide?  How much money goes for war? And how could Michigan become more of a “state for peace?”

One of our primary goals is to listen to what people say and to develop a petition from the people, urging the creation of an official state of Michigan Commission for Peace and Justice, similar to commissions already established in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Berkeley, California, and to the proposed United States Department of Peace.

Using the Michigan Peace Network as a hub of communication and coordination, we have carried on this vision through meetings and discussions, designing the specific efforts that will make Moveable Peace a reality. We now invite groups and individuals throughout Michigan to join us in expanding the commons, and in creating a lasting culture of peace and justice.

Moveable Peace 2011 will consist of the following events:

Community Events Converging

Moveable Peace promotes community events moving the conversations on peace and justice all over the state, creating a presence in Fourth of July parades, and converging by Labor Day at the Mackinac Bridge walk and in the Detroit Labor Day march with a report on our listening and with a call for a state commission to facilitate the agenda for peace and justice coming from the communities of Michigan.

Mackinac Bridge Peace Gathering

The weekend festival and bridge walk at the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day will be a capstone event of Moveable Peace, uniting our diverse efforts so that we can send a message of peace and solidarity that will be heard throughout the state.

Budget Priorities Roadshow

The Budget Priorities Roadshow will be a mobile exhibit/performance that will travel to communities across the state to engage people in a discussion of the Federal Government spending on various projects, especially the large portion of the discretionary budget that goes to the Pentagon. Through the use of an interactive “penny poll,” participants will have a chance to compare their budget priorities to the Federal discretionary budget spending.  Communities hosting the Roadshow will also be encouraged to hold supporting events such as performances, forums, or movie showings.

Peace Walk to Lansing

From July 30 through August 9, groups will participate in a “Peace Walk,” traveling on foot to Lansing from Kalamazoo, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw.  The walk’s emphasis is on stopping in towns, cities, and villages along the way, highlighting the cost of military spending, listening to local residents, and then compiling their concerns and hopes.

Commission for Peace and Justice Petition

At many of our events, we will gather support and signatures for a petition to establish a Michigan Commission for Peace and Justice.  Our goal will be to present this petition to our governor and our state legislature as the Moveable Peace events draw to a close.

Detroit Labor Day Parade

Moveable Peace will have a presence in the Detroit Labor Day Parade.

For more information about Moveable Peace, or to get involved, click here to contact us by way of the Michigan Peace Network.  Be sure to mention that you’d like to join Moveable Peace, and let us know where you’re located.

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