Pace e Bene Blog

AAANZ mailing 30th Nov.

Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold.” - Peace Pilgrim

Isaiah 2: 1-5
This is the message about Judah and Jerusalem that was given to me, Isaiah:  The days are coming when the mountain on which the LORD’s temple stands will be the greatest mountain of all.  It will tower above every other peak and hill, and all the world’s nations will come rushing to it like a flood.  People everywhere will say:  “Come, let’s go and climb the LORD’s mountain; let us worship in the temple of the God of Jacob.  There the LORD will teach us how to live right so that we can get our lives on track.”
The holy mountain will be the place of enlightenment.  In the holy city, the LORD’s truth will be made known.  The LORD will settle all disputes between nations, and sort out their competing claims.  They will turn weapons into welcome signs and bombs into tools and toys.  Never again will nations take up arms against one another; never again will young people be trained for war.  Come now, all you people of God, let us stick to the tracks that the LORD lights up!

©2001 Nathan Nettleton

Matthew 24: 36-44
Speaking in private with his followers, Jesus said:
 “Time has almost reached its goal, but just when that day and hour will come, nobody knows. The angels of heaven don’t know and not even the Son knows. The Conceiver of everything is the only one who knows. What I can tell you is this: things will be much the same when the New Human arrives as they were in Noah’s day. Before the flood burst upon them, people were going about their business as though everything was normal, right up until the day that Noah went aboard his boat. They didn’t suspect a thing until the flood hit and swept them all away. It will be just like that when the New Human hits the scene. Two mates will be working shoulder to shoulder; one will be taken and one will be left behind. Two women will be working on the one bench; one will be taken and one will be left behind. So keep your eyes open and your ears pricked, because you have no way of knowing which day will see your Lord arrive. Think about it. No one would ever let their houses get burgled if the house-breakers worked set hours and made appointments. You have got to be on the ready all the time, because you have no way of knowing when the New Human is going to show up.”
©2001 Nathan Nettleton

Wake-up call
Sunday, 2 December, Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 24:36-44
Few things are more complicated than trying to erect a new monument in the heart of Washington, D.C…On September 9, 1997, a gigantic crane cut through all of the red tape encircling Judiciary Square and lowered a four-ton sculpture to its permanent cement base.  What made this particular installation remarkable was the biblical symbolism of the sculpture’s design.  Titled “Guns into Plowshares,” this 16-foot-high steel plough blade consists of 3,000 handguns welded together to form the distinctive shape of the well-known farm implement.  [Mennonite] artist Esther Augsburger and her son worked for two and a half years with the Metro Police Department.  They moulded handguns that had been surrendered by local residents.  This simple plough announces a prophetic hope: the longstanding hope for the day when God will get God’s way, a way that will turn into grander than one governed by judges, bailiffs and parole officers.  In God’s society, gunpowder will become grain to feed the hungry.  Nations will be infected with love for each other.  Armies will develop amnesia and forget how to fight.

On the Road to Peace by John Dear S.J.: The Advent journey to peace (Part One)
Sunday is the beginning of Advent, my favourite liturgical season, a time of prayer, preparation, hope and peace. I suggest we look to Mary, Jesus’ teacher of peace and nonviolence, for clues over the next few weeks about how to welcome anew the God of peace. The Gospel of Luke portrays the Advent journey to peace in the three movements: first with the Annunciation as a scene of contemplative nonviolence, which leads to the Visitation as a scene of active nonviolence, and finally the Magnificat, as the epitome of prophetic nonviolence, the groundwork for Jesus’ great sermon.

Church in recovery:Sanctuary for the addicted
Many churches are adding ministries for people with addictions, but the Recovery Church blends 12-step principles with Christianity to inform and define its entire ministry. The congregation is one of a handful of such churches across the [USA], says Dale Ryan, director of the Fuller Institute for Recovery Ministry. “These kinds of churches aren’t started because the fear is we’re going to have really broken people here, and we’re going to need some healthy people to balance them out.” What healthy people look like, of course, often isn’t clear. A highlight for Campe was the Sunday morning he saw an unusual line-up of addicts and alcoholics sitting in the first row. “There were two former prostitutes, one active prostitute, an undercover narc, a judge, a school teacher and a ‘normie’ [a person without addictions]. I looked out and said, ‘There’s our church.’”

The hard life of Christians in Bethlehem
I was born in Bethlehem from a Christian family. My dad hails from a Lebanese-Syrian Maronite (Eastern Catholic) family. After his father’s death my dad took over as a church organist and played at the Lutheran church and Saint George’s Cathedral in East Jerusalem for 45 years. He also taught English at the Vatican-funded Bethlehem University and played the violin — a rare talent among the wild unruly Middle Eastern societies…’Everyone has little energy left to fight,’ my mother says. ‘Do you know anyone who lived under occupation for 40 years and stayed sane?’

Wednesday’s with Gandhi by Jarrod McKenna: In Jesus Love has won
 “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”

16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence
The campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) aims to highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence worldwide and work towards its elimination. It calls for greater political accountability on the part of states and governments to prevent GBV and hold perpetrators accountable.

Why, for the first time, I almost didn’t vote
For the first time in my life, I nearly declined to vote in last Saturday’s election. On the whole, I believe having a voice on polling day is something we should take seriously, even if we Australians are compelled to have an opinion.  So why then did I almost shun this responsibility?

Quick shift required in foreign policy
Kevin Rudd takes office at a dangerous but exciting moment of fundamental challenges to the traditional national sovereignty-based international agenda.
Foreign policy is about prioritisation of effort, assigning scarce Australian policy-making and diplomatic-practice resources to the highest priority needs. Three urgent issues require deft and speedy footwork by the new Labor government to bring Australian foreign policy into line with reality, after 12 years of misdirection under John Howard…These three challenges — climate change, peak oil and US-Iran — actually manifest the same underlying challenge to Australia’s traditional foreign policy vision. How can Australia move from our historic narrow concept of national interest, which has over-emphasised US bilateralism in international security and the obsessive pursuit of maximum resources-export dollars? How do we recover the larger vision, that both Whitlam and Evans pursued, of Australia as an active good international citizen, from which true national security flows?

Politics of fear
At a dark moment in American history, Franklin Roosevelt said to the American people: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”  Compare these words from Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural speech, spoken when the nation was in the midst of a frightening economic depression, to comments from Donald Rumsfeld, who as secretary of defence in 2006 instructed his staff on how to respond to a demand for his resignation: “Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.”

Send Nonviolence Postcards to friends and family!

The Anabaptist Vision
Early Anabaptists were persecuted during the Reformation by both Catholics and Protestants. Today, Anabaptism is being rediscovered as a theological vision which can inform the practice and faith of Christians from many different traditions.
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The new AAANZ mailing address for NZ is:P.O. Box 39-139 Harewood Christchurch 8545.

Picture of user Jarrod McKenna
Perth, WA