Advent 2012: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for First Sunday of Advent
STUDY: Voices of Hope, Women of Wisdom
ACT: Pax Christi Metro New York's Anti-war Toys Campaign
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First Week of Advent, Dec. 2-8, 2012
Greetings of peace!  

This past year, I had the good fortune of being able to walk through the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The Pax Christi USA National Council decided to take the visit during their meeting and staff participated in the outing. Perhaps no figure in U.S. history looms larger than MLK for those of us who believe in nonviolence, hope for peace and struggle for justice. 
As this Advent season approached, I found myself going back to look at the photos from that visit. The Memorial includes various quotes from Dr. King, engraved in the stone walls. One of my favorite quotes has always been, "We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Toward justice.
If any liturgical season can help us to understand this deep reality of which Dr. King spoke, I think it is Advent. The stories of our Scripture throughout Advent speak of God's shalom, God's peace, and "present-among-us-but-not-here-yet" reign of God. The birth of Christ, the coming of the Prince of Peace is the point, perhaps, where the arc of the universe indeed begins to bend toward justice.
As we do each year, we'll be sending out reflections and resources which we hope will help you and your community to pray, study and act for peace with justice this Advent season. We'll send an Advent PSA e-bulletin each week through New Year's highlighting some of these resources. For additional Advent resources, we hope you'll visit our Advent resource page on the website. We'll be adding more to the page each week throughout the season. If you have something you think others would be interested in, send it my way and I will try to include as many as I can!
In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Dec. 2, First Sunday of Advent
By Marie Dennis

Jeremiah 33:14-16 | Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14 | 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2 | Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves" (Lk 21:25).


Encouraged to read the signs of the times and to prepare for the coming of a Savior, we enter Advent in awe and more than a little anxious. Even a cursory glance at the state of our world reveals good reasons for concern: war, threats of war, and numerous, dreadful consequences of war; disinformation, enemy-making, and exclusion; an unthinkable gap worldwide between the 1% and the 99%, with millions of people living in absolute poverty; and increasingly visible signs of ecological catastrophe.


"But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand" (Luke 21:28). Do we dare to believe this Promise-and what does it mean?...

STUDY: Voices of Hope, Women of Wisdom
For Pax Christi USA's 40th anniversary year, we have published a very special Advent reflection booklet holding up the voices of hope and wisdom that come from four of the most prophetic and visionary women in our movement. We asked the authors to reflect on this Advent season's readings and to share from their perspective and experiences what the readings evoke regarding the signs of the times, and how far we've come in this 40 year journey and how far we have yet to go.  We asked them to share their hope and their wisdom for the journey.


The authors of this year's reflection booklet are  Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International; Dr. Mary Jo Iozzio, Professor of Moral Theology at Barry University in FL and member of the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team; Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU, Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace; and Cathy Woodson, community organizer and current member of the PCUSA National Council.
The booklet is an excellent resource for individuals, families or small groups, as well as an introduction to Pax Christi USA's work and mission for someone new. There are reflections on each day's scriptural readings throughout the season.


ACT: Pax Christi Metro New York's
Anti-war Toys Campaign

Each year, Pax Christi Metro New York undertakes an "anti-war toys campaign," aimed at encouraging adults to "give gifts of peace: toys and games that encourage group play, cooperation and old-fashioned fun" to children, that offer families quality time together--rather than video games and toys that glamorize violence. 


PC Metro New York produces leaflets to hand out to shoppers, to share with friends and families, and post to websites and elsewhere. They also offer a draft letter to the editor on the subject which you can craft and use for your own communities. 


Click here and scroll down to find links to PDF and MSWord versions of the leaflets (in both Christian and non-religious language), as well as sample letters to the editor.


You can forward them by e-mail, print them out, post them, copy and distribute.  Let's help make the birthday of the Prince of Peace a time to promote peace, not war.