These shopkeepers have been delightful and so willing to incorporate posters made by Tiffin Middle School, by Crossweah, and by Calvert Catholic to help bring greater awareness to the opioid crisis here in Tiffin and elsewhere. The Nonviolence Cities Campaign here in Tiffin is seeking to help all citizens in Tiffin take on the responsibility to raise their voices on behalf of their kids, their family members and friends and to really assume a moral responsibility in getting help for them before it is too late.
Imagining a World without War
| BECOMING QUIET, REFLECTIVE
This season with its shimmering snowfalls, with darkness during more hours of the days, with news that shocks us over and over throughout our whole being, begs solitude, reflection, quiet moments “stolen” from our otherwise busy days. What a good time to list the good gifts shared during 2016, to reflect on the tough things that crossed our paths and on the people who stood by us so faithfully.
What a good time, too, to ask the qustion: How can I personally further God’s kingdom of love and justice during 2017? What am I seeing that is very possible for me to take on in this struggle to further God’s dream for our world? Find your spot. Give thought and prayer a heavier weight this holy season. Together, our lives can become very strong.
|Would you like to be a supporter of Project Peace:? Pray that we learn the way of nonviolence, spread this newsletter or promote events, donate to Project Peace before the end of the year.—tax deductible: Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin. (subject line: “Project Peace”)|
| December 2017
|Project Peace…Imagining a World without War|
|Dear family, friends, supporters (In every way) of Project Peace,
The deepest peace of soul and mind be yours during this holy season upon us! Admittedly, it is so difficult to embrace the world as it is— like Jesus did when he joined us fully, totally human—during a time of Roman Occupation in Palestine. This season, it seems, is a time to reflect and quietly celebrate our humanity, a huge gift given to help us live life abundantly, joyfully, in solidarity with all humanity throughout our glorious but hurting world. Chilly and snowy, icy weather urges us to pace ourselves more slowly. Is it possible that we open our hearts widely to everyone like the Prince of Peace urges us to? Let the winter of 2017 be marked by special efforts to: act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God of LOVE.
| Will these Calvert Catholic 7th. Graders Have a Future of nonviolence?
Sr. Nazik Matty from Iraq asked, “Which of the wars we have been in is a just war? In my country, there was no just war. War is the mother of ignorance, isolation and poverty. Please tell the world there is no such thing as a just war.”
“I want to suggest that a just peace ethic, consistent with active nonviolence, is a better way for the Catholic Church to engage in dialogue with others about conflict and war….A just peace approach offers a vision of human flourishing with a corresponding ethic to guide our actions…human dignity and thriving relationships…. A just peace approach has many advantages to just war approaches….less risk of abuse and it better helps us to imagine, and commit to nonviolent practices, while cultivating just peace consistently throughout all stages of conflict….” Eli McCarthy
These seventh graders are participating in the Transformation of Tiffin into a Peacemaking Town….watch for their projects displayed in store windows, etc. This effort will be town-wide throughout the coming months. Since we can’t count on greater peace happening from the top government ranks, let’s work grassroots with patience, diligence, full participation. Www.facebook.com/projectpeacetiffin
|Nonviolence Cities Campaign
Slowly, slowly Tiffin is taking on the challenge of becoming a peacemaking community. At the city council on November 20, sr. Paulette handed out a file to each member of the Council with explanations of the project. There was a commendation made by Dawn Iannantuono and hopefully there will be follow-up led by Jim Roberts in his committee. The Art Expressions Project is now going forward in two schools.
|Good News toward a Nonviolent Culture
We hear tragic news each day: the massacres, the shootings, the overdoses, etc. It’s time for a little
1. 9 bicycles were given to local men in recovery. These had been stolen bikes
2. Peace Poles will be set up at local schools with a short ritual to explain the significance.
3. Pope Francis has declared the death penalty now inadmissible— it is no longer allowed by the official church. It is a form of vengeance.
4. In Puerto Rico, there is now a “well coordinated relief system at Puerto Rico’s 500 parishes in all 6 dioceses. 90% of the people will have their electric power normalized by Dec. 15!”
I WALK FOR PEACE
Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day; so Tiffin will be celebrating and advocating for everyone’s human dignity by taking a walk around town both as a FAITH WALK to honor the Prince of Peace and as a way to join together during this holy season to acknowledge the Truth that each of us has human dignity. This truth demands equality for all. Sunday, Dec. 10, 1:00 Tiffin courthouse. Www.projectpeacetiffin.com
|Project Peace Advisory Board’s Comments
I’ve invited each of the Project Peace advisory board members to speak to each of us: Here are Fr. Steve Blum’s words:
“This Advent season we await the coming of the Prince of Peace—Jesus Christ. This ‘coming’ indicates Jesus’ historical coming in Christmas, the future coming of Jesus—the ‘Parousia’ and his present coming into our lives every day. Sometimes in our obsessive busyness and worry over holiday madness, we can miss the Lord’s coming, and therefore, do not feel his peace. Jesus, the Prince of Peace is always with us. He loves us with a tender, grace-filled heart that overcomes all obstacles and all evil. Look for his peace; pray for His peace; extend His peace to those around you. Remember, His peace always begins at home! “ Www.facebook.com/projectpeacetiffin
| 100 yrs. since the Nakba of the Palestinians
It is 100 yrs. since the British handed Palestine over to the Israelis in the Balfour Declaration.. The Jewish leadership did not obey the command of this declaration: to observe the rights of the Palestinians. The Mandate of 1917 actually prepared the way for the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. Now England cannot only apologize for allowing the Nakba to happen, but can also take a greater part in insuring justice toward the Palestinians today. mondoweiss.net/2017/11/declarations-apologize-palestinian/
Tomorrow at Tiffin Middle School we will explore how words can be used as bullets. This will be the 5th. nonviolence skill the students will try to make as practical as possible in their day to day life. Generally the kids agree that “stupid” “ugly” and “worthless” are the three most ugly words that someone can call them.
Wish us well.
|I WALK FOR PEACE and HUMAN DIGNITY
Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day; so Tiffin will be celebrating and advocating for everyone’s human dignity by taking a walk around town both as a FAITH WALK to honor the Prince of Peace and as a way to join together during this holy season to acknowledge the Truth that each of us has human dignity. Jesus said this beautifully in becoming ONE OF US. Sunday, Dec. 10, 3:30 Tiffin courthouse. I hope to see you. Www.projectpeacetiffin.com
To make an online tax-deductible donation please click here or mail check/money order to:
SOA Watch, PO Box 43523, Washington, DC 20010.
Amazing news! This week US congresswoman Betty McCollum introduced a bill to end Israeli detention of Palestinian children! It is historic legislation and we need you to help get as many members of congress to sign onto it as possible.
This week I wrote for the Forward about my experience being arrested with Palestinian children. It was the most heartbreaking experience I have ever had:
They were clearly terrified; many of them were crying. Under Israeli law, once at the police station or army base, arrestees are supposed to have their handcuffs and blindfolds removed. This law was disregarded. That the children, who had not been part of the demonstration, remained blindfolded and handcuffed, showed not just a blatant and willful violation of the law, but real cruelty on the part of the Israeli forces.
Read the full article here. Then tell your Member of Congress to add their name to this historic legislation.
Each year, between 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested and detained in Israeli military court. 75% of them are physically assaulted and 90% of them are denied the right to have a parent or attorney present during interrogation. Not only is Israel the only country in the world that subjects children to a military court system, but only Palestinian, and not Israeli, children are arrested and prosecuted by the military. It is segregated and unequal!
Representative McCollum introduced the bill with nine cosponsors: Reps. Blumenauer (D-OR), Carson (D-IN), Conyers (D-MI), Davis (D-IL), DeFazio (D-OR), Grijalva (D-AZ), Gutiérrez (D-IL), Pingree (D-ME), Pocan (D-WI). Tell your Member of Congress to join these brave leaders by adding their names now!
The legislation is endorsed by American Friends Service Committee, Center for Constitutional Rights, Churches for Middle East Peace, CODEPINK, Defense of Children International, Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) and US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
This is a historic moment for the US and a source of hope for all of us on the ground living under occupation. It gives me strength as I continue my military court trial.
Towards the protection of Palestinian children and the end of Israeli apartheid.
Friday, November 3, 2017
CAC’s core faculty member, Cynthia Bourgeault, shares insights from other mystics—current and past—to reveal mercy at the heart of the universe. She shares the theological implications of quantum physics from contemporary Episcopal preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor:
Where is God in this picture? God is all over the place. God is up there, down here, inside my skin and out. God is the web, the energy, the space, the light—not captured in them, as if any of those concepts were more real than what unites them—but revealed in that singular, vast net of relationship that animates everything that is. . . . At this point in my thinking, it is not enough for me to proclaim that God is responsible for all this unity. Instead, I want to proclaim that God is the unity—the very energy, the very intelligence, the very elegance and passion that make it all go. 
Barbara’s point may seem like a nuance, but it is a crucially important one. Our visible, created universe is not simply an object created by a wholly other God in order to manifest God’s love, but the created universe is that love itself—the very heart of God, fully expressive in the dimension of time and form.
When we speak in these terms, of course, we begin to use the classic language of the mystics, the language of visionary utterance. For Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) the name in German for mercy was Barmherzigkeit—“warmheartedness.” Boehme saw mercy as “the holy element”: the root energy out of which all else in the visible universe is made. The Mercy is “holy substantiality”—the innermost essence of being itself. It is that “river of God,” running like the sap through the tree of life. 
Lest we be inclined to discount this insight as merely the rambling of a God-intoxicated mystic, it is astonishing to discover virtually an identical insight revealed by the eminently sane psychotherapist Gerald May (1940-2005). May affirms that from a clinical standpoint, once the various differentiations and feeling-tones have been stripped away from our subjective emotional life, what remains is a raw, root energy that is, finally, none other than divine love. “It is as if agape [divine love] were the base metal, irreducible and unadulterated,” he writes. “The universe runs on an energy that is, at its core, unconditionally loving.” 
May’s vision of agape—divine love—is very close to Boehme’s (and my own) notion of the Mercy. Far from pity or condescension, it is the very heartbeat of God resonant in creation; the warmth that pulses through all things as the divine Mystery flows out into created form.
Date: 2 November 2017
Tiffin Area Pax Christi’s next meeting—November 2, 2017 at 7 p.m. will feature Findlay-based writer-photographer, filmmaker Carole Elchert with a presentation, Activismo: Art & Dissidence in Cuba. In 2015, Elchert and Philip Sugden spent 6 days in Cuba interviewing and filming Havana artists. Later they interviewed US-based Cuban artists for a documentary that discusses how art functions to produce social transformation through activism and dissidence. The November 2 meeting hosts Carole with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by the Teaser for their upcoming documentary.
The meeting will take place at St. Francis Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Donations for the speaker and contributions to the film will be accepted. Please call 419-306-0658 if you have any questions.