Peacemaking

The Catholic Worker Movement after 75 Years

Christine Haider, 25, is preparing for her confirmation to the Roman Catholic Church. When asked about her confirmation name, she smiles broadly and says, "Dorothy." Seventy-five years since the founding of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin continue to call a new generation of the faithful to a radical gospel of nonviolent resistance to evil and hospitality to [...]

'A New Pentecost'

When we gathered outside Nairobi last November—245 leaders of Christian denominations and organizations from 72 countries—church history was made. At the four-day Global Christian Forum meeting, all parts of the global Christian family were officially represented, including Pentecostal, evangelical, Orthodox, Catholic, and historic Protestant churches. As Assemblies of God minister Mel Robeck put it, “I am stunned—we have here what might be described as a new Pentecost.”

Let me try to explain what a unique breakthrough this was. For decades, judgments and prejudices have separated evangelicals from mainline churches, Pentecostals from Catholics, and Baptists from Orthodox churches—the list goes on. Organizations such as the World Council of Churches have worked to bring the hope of unity, but Catholics have participated only cautiously from the side, and evangelicals and Pentecostals have stayed away. In short, the global body of Christ persistently suffers from deep divisions, distrust, and even hostility between its various parts, seriously injuring its witness and mission.

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Sojourners Magazine March 2008
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Soul-Freeing Pursuits

Children’s literature provides one of the most uplifting, energizing, and soul-freeing pursuits for any child—or any adult who cares about children. For those of us who live and breathe social justice or who grab at the edges of social justice whenever we can, children’s literature can be visionary, comforting, and challenging as we think about our own role in the peace and justice universe.

The following books are examples of the kind of children’s literature that is rooted in gospel values and has a role in creating a more just world. The books reflect themes of respect for self and others, nonviolent communication, dealing with anger and forgiveness, respect for the environment, the importance of play and creativity, our global interdependence, and courage in the face of war and injustice. These values are shown in both practical and magical ways.

For Young Children

Preschool to grade 3

On the Day You Were Born , by Debra Frasier. “On the eve of your birth, word of your coming passed from animal to animal …” are the opening words of this wonderful statement of the importance of each individual person. Harcourt Children’s Books, 1991.

A Ride on Mother’s Back, by Emery Bernhard. Illustrated by Durga Bernard. This book celebrates the different ways people carry their babies around the world. The illustrations are very appealing. Gulliver Books, 1996.

Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Leslie Staub. This is a strong statement of the connectedness among children all over the world. Voyager Books, 1997.

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, by Karen English. Collage art by Javaka Steptoe. Two girls, mired in a “never-going-to-be-friends-again day,” find a way to reforge their friendship. The graphics are stunning. Clarion Books, 2004.

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Sojourners Magazine November 2007
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The Power of Nonviolence

The news this afternoon from Myanmar/Burma is not good. A recent AP story said that



Soldiers clubbed and dragged away activists while firing tear gas and warning shots to break up demonstrations Friday before they could grow, and the government cut Internet access, raising fears that a deadly crackdown was set to intensify.


The government said 10 people have been killed since the violence began earlier this week, but British Prime [...]

Six Found Guilty Of Trying to See Their Senator

On Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007, six of us were found guilty in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by a federal judge for trying to visit the office of our senator. We will be sentenced in a few weeks.

It all started one year ago on Sept. 26, 2006. That day nine of us entered the Federal Building in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and tried to take the elevator to the third floor to the office of Sen. [...]

Pax Christi 'Returns to Roots'

Pax Christi International, the Brussels-based Catholic peace movement, elected a lay woman and an archbishop as co-presidents. The move to co-presidency for a position usually held by a bishop alone "returns [Pax Christi] to its roots and lifts up a model of shared leadership in the Catholic Church," according to the peace group.

Democratic Republic of the Congo's Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo and Marie Dennis, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in Washington, D.C., will begin their three-year tenure when current president Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem completes his term. Additionally, Pax Christi International's Secretary General Etienne de Jonghe will be succeeded by Claudette Werleigh, former prime minister of Haiti.

Monsengwo has been an outspoken critic of the Kabila government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a leader in promoting African unity and religious tolerance. Dennis has worked extensively in Latin America and Africa. She is chair of the Religious Working Group on the World Bank and IMF and was named one of Pax Christi USA's "Ambassadors of Peace."

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Sojourners Magazine September/October 2007
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