Advent 2015: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for Fourth Sunday of Advent
STUDY: Open letter from faith leaders to Donald Trump on his proposal to ban Muslims
ACT: Take action against the rising Islamophobia in our country
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Resources for the Fourth Week of Advent through the beginning of Christmas, Dec. 20-26
"Although we sing, 'All glory to God on High and on the earth be peace,' there seems to be today neither glory to God nor peace on earth. As long as it remains a hunger still unsatisfied, as long as Christ is not yet born, we have to look forward to him. When real peace is established, we will not need demonstrations, but it will be echoed in our life, not only in individual life, but in corporate life. Then we shall say Christ is born....Then we will not think of a particular day in the year as that of the birth of the Christ, but as an ever-recurring event which can be enacted in every life."  
~ Mahatma Gandhi

I want to thank you so much for journeying with us and the larger Pax Christi USA family throughout Advent. This is our final Pray-Study-Act (PSA) e-bulletin for the Advent season. We'll continue to send you short reflections to observe some of the days throughout the Christmas season and into the new year. As always, you can find links to everything we send out or post on our Advent webpage.
    We hope you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas! 

In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Dec. 20, Fourth Sunday of Advent
By Doris Donnelly 

The fourth week of Advent functions as a Grand Pause and returns us to the early days of Mary's pregnancy. The altered time sequence moves us back, in the closing days of this season, to a more contemplative way of being, to roots, to silence, to mystery-all of which have a way of getting sidetracked in the frenzy of preparations for the celebration. The fourth Sunday says-again and more emphatically-Be still. Let what is about to happen sink in.
     Be still enough to listen to the story as if for the first time. Mary and Elizabeth recognize that Yahweh's promise for each of them has borne fruit. In the excitement, the unborn John leaps in Elizabeth's womb. Curiously, the word used in scripture to designate the leaping means "an exultant delight in the liberating God." ...

* If you have not ordered this year's Advent booklet and would still like to do so, you can click here to purchase and download this version for your e-reader.
STUDY: Open letter from faith leaders to Donald Trump on his call to ban Muslims 
Initiated by Faith in Public Life 
Pax Christi USA signed onto this letter.

 As leaders in America's faith community, our institutions do not engage in partisan politics. We do, however, speak to important moral and ethical issues facing our nation.
   In this spirit, we write to express in the strongest possible terms our deep disappointment and even disgust with the proposal made by you to stop allowing Muslims to enter the United States.
    Our faith traditions demand that we extend a welcoming hand to those in need. America is an immigrant nation. We know that many have come to our country, and continue to do so, seeking religious freedom and an end to persecution. This is true for Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS today, and many others displaced by war, conflict and disaster.
    We remember that too many religious leaders stood silent as Jews fled Germany during Hitler's rise to power. In fact, some religious leaders and politicians argued that Jews should not be allowed into the United States during that period. In that same timeframe, too many religious leaders stood silent as Japanese-Americans were interned into camps as their patriotism was questioned. Bigotry and discrimination prevailed...

ACT: There is no place for Islamophobia
in American politics
from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations

Sign the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) petition calling on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to denounce Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric within the Republican Party.

Sponsored by CAIR, the petition includes a forward by award-winning Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-founder of Muslims for Ferguson and a member of the NY Justice League.
    In urging all Americans to sign the petition, Sarsour writes in part:

"I am a mother of three, a working woman, and a civil rights activist. I am also a Muslim. Since the November terror attack in Paris, we've seen an unprecedented rise in acts of discrimination, intimidation, and violence targeting American Muslims across the country. It makes me worry about my family, and our country.
    But, instead of calling for all Americans to rally together, a number of Republican presidential candidates and elected officials have been spreading baseless fear of Muslim Americans.
    Please sign the Council on American-Islamic Relation's (CAIR) petition. Call on the Republican Party to demonstrate leadership within the conservative movement by denouncing Islamophobia.
    Daesh (ISIS) wants to start a religious war. They are trying to make non-Muslims fear the peaceful Muslims in their communities like me and my family, forcing divisions between us and plunging the world into conflict."

Islamophobia is on the rise in America. Since the tragic Paris attacks and San Bernardino shootings, there have been more reports of Islamophobic discrimination, intimidation, threats, and violence targeting American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, and Islamic institutions than during any other period of time since the 9/11 terror attacks. Please sign the petition today.

Click here to sign the petition.