P&J Newsletter


The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 5:10

March 24th, 8 am to 7:30 pm  Program for the “Israel Lobby and American Policy” Conference presented by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.  Held at the Washington Press Club.

This conference is dedicated to the memory of U.S. Ambassador Andrew I. Killgore, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

View more information at the conference website and purchase tickets online at IsraelLobbyAndAmericanPolicy.org or Eventbrite. Purchase admission before March 24 and receive a free one-year subscription to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine (non-subscribers only).

Saturday, March 25th, 12:30 to 4 pm Please join the Franciscan Action Network, the Climate Reality Project and the DC/MD/NoVA area Interfaith Power and Light for a FREE Catholics of Color workshop at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, 1621 Park Road NW Washington, DC 20010.  Grounded in our shared humanity, experiences, and faith, these community-oriented workshops will feature cross-sector conversations and trainings with a diverse group of partners united under a common banner of social, environmental, and climate justice. 

Free but you need to register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHJCLW6. 

March 26th, 2:30 to 4:30 pm – please see the fourth film in the Third Annual “Voices from the Holy Land” – Open Bethlehem.  This, and all of the other films in the series, will be shown in Perry Auditorium at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (map).

Free parking and free attendance.  No RSVP required.  Enter the garage from Wisconsin Avenue or Woodley St NW.  Enter Cathedral at the side entrance & take the elevator to the 7th floor.

Open Bethlehem spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. Drawn from 700 hours of original footage and rare archive material, Open Bethlehem follows the story of director Leila Sansour as she returns to her hometown as it is soon to be encircled by The Wall. Chronicling Sansour’s campaign to stop occupying Israeli forces encircling Bethlehem, this fierce and poignant story maps a determined and ongoing effort to unite Christians, Muslims and Jews in the desire for free access to the Holy City.

Welcome address by Rev. Timothy Tutt, Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ.  Film discussion moderated by Aziz Abu Sarah.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aivDpXxMhaA

Saturday, April 1, Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to Noon – Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore Spring Conference: Walking into the Future with Jesus, Martin, & Francis.

 Held at the Friends Meeting House – Dupont Circle – 2111 Florida Ave. NW, DC.

 To register, go to www.paxchristimetrodc.org and click on the Donate/Event Registration button. Suggested fee $35,  $10 for students.

 As the Trump presidency unfolds, panelists Terrence Rynne, Lisa Sharon Harper, and Rose Marie Berger will situate this historical moment in the context of Jesus’ radical nonviolence, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, and our hope for renewal in the church and the world.

Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore is a region of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and justice movement. Through prayer, study, and action, we work as individuals and in groups to build a just and peaceful world, witnessing to Jesus’s message and example of nonviolence.

April 2, 2017, 2:30 pm – please see the following film sin the Third Annual “Voices from the Holy Land” – Two Short Films: The Living of Pigeons and East Jerusalem: Six Voices.

These films, and all of the other films in the series, will be shown in Perry Auditorium at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (map).

Free parking and free attendance.  No RSVP required.  Enter the garage from Wisconsin Avenue or Woodley St NW.  Enter Cathedral at the side entrance & take the elevator to the 7th floor.

The Living of the Pigeons” (17 minutes) – Director: Baha’ Abu Shanab (22 years old student).

At 1:30 a.m., the bitter cold creeps through the streets leading to Checkpoint 300, a border crossing between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It is empty and silent. A coffee seller prepares his equipment. Near to him, a father arranges his goods on wooden planks, waiting for the arrival of hundreds of workers.

Full Film: https://vimeo.com/121999042   Password: daralkalima

“East Jerusalem: Six Voices” – B’Tselem and the Guardian gave six Palestinians and Israelis cameras to create video diaries of their lives in occupied East Jerusalem, under the shadow of the settlement enterprise. The diaries offer a glimpse into the impact of the volatile reality on their lives. This is one aspect of B’Tselem’s video project, in which the organization has given some 200 Palestinian families cameras to document violations of their rights.


Welcome address by Rev. Susan Wilder, Grace Presbyterian Church.  Film discussion moderated by Alan Kieswetter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

April 15, 2017, 6 to 9 pmChesapeake PSR Annual Dinner – Guest speaker Dr. Ira Helfand, co-President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, will speak on the growing danger of nuclear war and what we can do about it. 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD.

APRIL 21-24, 20172017 Ecumenical Advocacy Days – Confronting Chaos, Forging Community.


When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed the question, “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” in his book of the same title 50 years ago, no one could have imagined that we would still be wrestling with this question today. In that same year on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before Dr. King was assassinated, he spoke at Riverside Church in New York addressing the intersectionality of “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” as the principal challenges of the time. Five decades later, Dr. King’s prophetic insights and challenges – and the stark choice between chaos and community — are incredibly current.

Sadly, we have witnessed chaos in many of our communities, challenging us as people of faith to speak and act boldly and courageously to end racism, materialism and militarism.

Over the past year, our nation has experienced a divisive election in which racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry were a constant. We still find racism an open wound in our nation, resulting in the disproportionate killing of black and brown bodies and stunting their lives through unjust economic and social structures. The militarization of our police is a reflection not only of broken communal values, but also a lopsided foreign policy that spends drastically more on defense than diplomacy or development. Militarism continues to be the United States’ overriding approach to resolving conflict, despite studies that show the effectiveness of peacebuilding and the power of non-violence. Extreme materialism threatens our souls and our very planet, as prosperity narratives and unchecked capitalism spreads despite overwhelming scientific evidence that our current path is unsustainable. As in Dr. King’s time, we teeter precariously between chaos and community.  A new time calls for new strategies. The dynamic movement of people of faith and conscience today to challenge these “giant triplets” of chaos is taking different forms from those of the civil rights era. But the same courage and commitment to bring about national and social transformation animates the new generation of activists. This year’s EAD gathering will address racism/white privilege, economic injustice and militarization at home and abroad.

Join us in Washington for Confronting Chaos, Forging Community from April 21-24, 2017 to grapple with the intersectionality of racism, materialism, and militarism, and learn more about the impact they have around the world, in our communities, and in our own lives. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking with other Christians, we will face the current manifestations of these ‘triplets’ and together advocate for change in public policy that better reflects the Beloved Community about which Dr. King spoke. After a weekend filled with education and training, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will culminate with a Lobby Day on Monday, April 24, 2017, where participants will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress. We seek to renew this revolutionary spirit as we affirm the vision of a day when ‘Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.’” (Isa: 40:3).

April 27, 9 am to 5:30 pm – TOWARD A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN NUCLEAR WEAPONS POLICY.  Held at United States Capitol Visitor Center – Congressional Meeting Room South

(CVC-217).  Starts with a continental breakfast.  Lunch also included.

Current realities call for a transformational change in nuclear weapons policy. This all-day conference will bring together scientists, policy experts, and religious leaders to discuss what must be done to pave the way for a nuclear weapons-free world. Convened by Soka Gakkai International-USA, cosponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility and other groups.  For more information, contact Daniel Hall dhall@sgi-usa.org.

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala – Black Tie.  The Arab American Institute Foundation cordially invites you to attend the 19th annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala.

2017 Awardees include Greg SimonNajeeb Halaby Award for Public Service; The Arc of the United States, Award for Institutional Excellence and Steve Coll, Anthony Shadid Award for Excellence in Journalism.

 Tickets | Sponsorships | About the Awards | Accommodations

Held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H Street NW | Washington, D.C.

April 29, 2017Washington, DC – People’s Climate March.  While climate change destabilizes the weather, contributes to air pollution and helps spread disease, climate denial has taken root in the Administration. Join us and thousands of others as we voice our concern: March with us in the People’s Climate March, April 29 in Washington, DC. Sign up here.


FCNL reminds us that President Trump signed a revised version of the Muslim ban executive order from January on Monday. But make no mistake: This new executive order still discriminates against Muslims and bars refugees from entering our country.

Please write a letter to the editor speaking out against President Trump’s most recent executive order on refugees and immigrants.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Muslim ban from the Trump administration. In January, President Trump issued an executive order halting refugee admissions and effectively banning Muslims from seven countries. After states filed lawsuits — arguing that the order violated the U.S. Constitution — a federal court suspended it pending further review.

Now President Trump is trying to circumvent the court’s decision by signing a new version with only superficial changes. The revised executive order addresses due process concerns for permanent legal residents and people with existing visas, but it still maintains a list of Muslim-majority countries whose residents are barred from entering the United States

Make sure your members of Congress know that minor tweaks to the old order aren’t enough. We will continue to raise our voices in opposition until our nation actively welcomes refugees and people of all faiths. Please send a letter today.

Center for Constitutional Rights on Sanctuary and solidarity with immigrants as round-ups begin. 

While the Muslim ban seeks a whitening and Christianizing of the U.S. by keeping certain people out, Trump’s executive order on immigration and the regulations issued by DHS pursuant to it serve the same goal by detaining and deporting millions of predominantly brown-skinned immigrants.

CCR denounced the executive order immediately, calling it “brutal” and “a betrayal of our most important political, moral, and constitutional values.” And in January, together with our partners at the Immigrant Defense Project, we published a toolkit to inform the public about ways to protect against ICE’s unlawful tactics. Meanwhile, protesters have taken to the streets by the thousands in response to stepped-up ICE raids and churches are creating networks of safe houses and sanctuary spaces.

Whereas Muslims are equated with terrorists by the administration and its followers, immigrants are equated with criminals. The White Nationalist House claims that ICE is only rounding up criminal aliens, but by sleigh of hand they are simply redefining most undocumented immigrants as criminals. The DHS rules call for rounding up not just those with criminal convictions (like Guadalupe Garcia, who had used a false social security number, a necessity in order to work), but those merely charged with any crime; those not yet charged with a crime (people who “have committed acts which constitute a chargeable criminal offense”); and those who “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security” – in other words, anyone they want to.

Under these circumstances, racist policing strategies like broken windows (which intentionally targets low-level offenses like turnstile jumping) that ensnare millions in the criminal justice system become additionally a tool of Trump’s ethnic cleansing regime. Sanctuary cities like New York, which refuse to ask for or pass on immigration status information to federal authorities, thus have a long way to go before they can truly claim to be safe harbor for immigrants. Immigrant communities and rights advocates have been calling on Mayor de Blasio specifically to end the NYPD’s broken windows policy.

“Sanctuary cities must extend protection from all forms of state-sanctioned violence, especially those that overlap,” CCR Bertha Justice Institute Fellow Stephanie Llanes wrote last month. “Radical transformation is needed and, for better or for worse, Trump’s presidency presents an opportunity to change our local and state policies—not only to reduce harm, not only to create shields, but also to create true sanctuaries.”

CCR maintains and regularly updates a collection of “Resources for the Resistance” that serves as a hub page for everything from protest calendars to toolkits and know-your-rights trainings to reading lists and curricula. Check it out and share it with fellow resisters!

“Reaction to refugee ban by religious ranges from concern to opposition” – https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2017/03/07/reaction-refugee-ban-religious-ranges-concern-opposition/

Nonviolence, the UN and Pope Francis  – The following, approximately hour long, video is from a recent UN Meeting on “Nonviolent Approaches”.  Local (and international) peace leader Marie Dennis and others presented at the UN.  You can watch this presentation at the following site:




Jewish Voice For Peace asks you to support  Issa Amro.  Can you add to the 12,000 signatures?  Go to https://freeissa.org/ to take action.


Issa Amro, a friend to many at JVP will be facing military trial for his non-violent activism in a few days.


What’s this mean? Well, it means that Issa, someone who’s made it his life’s work to pursue and teach nonviolent solutions may be prosecuted and in all likelihood incarcerated. And violent settlers, protected by IDF soldiers, will continue unpunished and free.


Issa is being prosecuted for his political effectiveness. Plain and simple.


You may know Issa from the Open Shuhada Street campaigns spearheaded by his organization Youth Against Settlements (YAS). He founded YAS in his hometown of Hebron, and teaches documentary photography and video as a defense to everyday violence and harassment.


Issa is on trial for pulling back the curtain on the ugly apartheid of segregated streets and shuttered shops in Hebron. His tours to clergy, authors, internationals of all kinds, show a truth that Israel’s relentless multi-million dollar PR would prefer no one sees.


It’s a sign of desperate times that Israel’s courts are hounding a UN-recognized Human Rights Defender. In fact, you can stream his address to the UN Monday right here. Israel’s military prosecutors have dug deep into the archives to drum up a host of bogus charges against him.


As a student of the great nonviolent leaders, including Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Issa wields and teaches the power of nonviolence against brutal military occupation. If Issa didn’t make international headlines on MSNBC, The Guardian, NPR, VICE, and social media, I doubt very much that they would have brought him to trial.


Israel’s military court has a 99.74% conviction rate — even try to wrap your head around that. So we have to act now. We cannot let him, or other human rights defenders down.


Go to https://freeissa.org/ and add your name.



Offsbore Wind Is Finally Getting Ready to come to Maryland but your help is needed.  Chesapeake Climate Action Network says Maryland is on the verge of becoming a true clean energy leader.

In coming months, Maryland will have the opportunity to become host to the largest offshore windfarm on the East Coast. This would be groundbreaking for Maryland’s economy and environment, opening up the state to a burgeoning industry.


The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) is currently deciding whether to approve the state’s first offshore wind energy project. Which means this: the time is NOW to speak up for offshore wind and to help protect Maryland’s climate, health, and clean energy economy.


There are two key things you can do right now. First, add your name to the petition to tell the PSC that you want offshore wind. Then, sign up to attend one (or both!) of two upcoming special hearings on offshore wind on March 25 and 30.


If the PSC approves an offshore wind project, Maryland will become a leader in this emerging industry and could serve as a hub for future projects along the East Coast. By investing in wind power, Maryland will be investing in thousands of family-sustaining jobs, cleaner air and water, and a more stable climate. And Baltimore could become the hub for the manufacturing and construction jobs that will make this vision a reality in our state. But the PSC must quickly approve an offshore wind project or Maryland will miss out on the economic, health, jobs, and climate benefits of wind power.


First: Sign the petition. The PSC needs to know there’s strong public support for offshore wind! By signing the petition, you can help lift up our collective voice to ensure that Maryland does not lose out on the thousands of family-supporting jobs, economic growth, and countless health benefits that will come from developing clean energy through offshore wind.


Second: Attend a hearing and present testimonyThe PSC will be holding two hearings on offshore wind applications over the next two weeks. The first one is in Berlin, MD on the Eastern Shore, and the second is in Annapolis. We’ll be at the hearings delivering petition signatures from Marylanders supporting offshore wind. The PSC will be hearing arguments from both sides. We need to show up in big numbers to make sure the PSC knows that Marylanders want offshore windpower.


Here are the hearing details:

PSC Offshore Wind Hearing in Berlin  When: Saturday, March 25, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm  Where: Stephen Decatur Middle School Cafeteria, 9815 Seahawk Road, Berlin, MD 21811

PSC Offshore Wind Hearing in Annapolis  When: Thursday, March 30, 2017 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  Where: Joint Committee Hearing Room Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401

JUST ARCHIVE: Please see the  archive of  the Peace and Justice Newsletter – no. 337 – 012417  for many peace and justice events coming up in the next days, weeks and months in the region.

REFLECTION:  Our faith calls us into a position of non-compliance… Our resistance is an act of supreme faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. – Alison Harrington


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