September, 2017

On the Road to Peace

 

 

Dear friends,

 

The news continues to leave me reeling—KKK and neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville and killing a young nonviolent activist; Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” and start nuclear war with North Korea; cancelling DACA and affecting the lives of nearly a million young immigrants; ongoing cuts to education, healthcare, and environmental protections; hurricanes Harvey and Irma, yet pulling out of the Paris accords; and so forth.

 

The best response to this systemic insanity by our government is organized grassroots nonviolent action, and that’s what my friends and I have been working on all year.

 

This month, between September 16-24, Campaign Nonviolence has organized over 1000 nonviolent actions across the USA, covering all fifty states. People will be taking to the streets and speaking out against racism, poverty, war, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, and for the coming of a new culture of peace and nonviolence.

 

Every action is documented on our website. See: www.campaignnonviolence.org Check it out! It an amazing accomplishment, lost to the mainstream culture, but true nonetheless.

We’ve also hired a media group to help promote these actions. They sent out a press release to all the national media in the US, and will make follow up calls to encourage press coverage.

Friends at the Center for Action and Contemplation will send out notices about Campaign Nonviolence in Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily spiritual meditations, which go out daily to some 250,000 people. Our social media firm hopes to reach far more people than that through our facebook and twitter work.

 

For my part, I will be in Cincinnati on Sept. 20th to help launch “Nonviolent Cincinnati,” as a new movement to transform Cincinnati, end racism, gun violence, poverty, war-making, and environmental destruction in their community, and help Cincinnati become a city of nonviolence. This, too, is a hopeful breakthrough! (part of our Nonviolent Cities project; see the website.)

 

Later, I will travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for their “Peacefest” in the town park, where there will be speeches, music, food and peace and justice information. They are expecting 1000 people! They too hope to transform Lancaster into “Nonviolent Lancaster.” If you are nearby on Sept. 24th, join us!

 

Meanwhile, I continue to work with the Vatican on our nonviolence project. I was asked last month to do various writing projects on nonviolence for them. I will join Cardinal Turkson for a dialogue on the church’s stand on nonviolence at the University of San Diego, Cal., in early Oct.

 

I finished two new books this summer: a book of prayers called Radical Prayers which will be available from Pace e Bene this November; and They Will Inherit the Earth: Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of Climate Change, which will be published by Orbis Books early next year. I hope to go on a national book tour next spring about this book. Please consider hosting me for a talk and a book signing in your church, school or community center next year, and write me! Thank you!

 

The only response to injustice, violence and tyranny is organized grassroots nonviolence. That, for me, is the will of God for these times. Jesus continues to send us forth to announce God’s reign as “lambs into the midst of wolves.” Together, I hope we respond to the call and do our part.

 

My hope and prayer is that God might bless you on your journey of peace and nonviolence, and we might all carry on the Gospel mission of peacemaking and nonviolence. Thank you for supporting me and Campaign Nonviolence. May the God of peace bless you and us all abundantly!

 

–Fr. John