The Winter Holidays - 2012 CEMany, if not most, Christians - and the majority of U.S. citizens and residents proclaim themselves to be Christians - celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with the shepherds and angels - Peace on Earth, Good Will to All.
A message from a Quaker Friend:
A world at peace. What a powerful possibility to consider! A world with no bombs falling on children in Gaza or Afghanistan. With the thousands of soldiers killed in pointless wars instead at home celebrating this season with their families. With a trillion dollars to spend on infrastructure and human needs at home.
Of course, real peace requires much more than ending war.
That's why the American Friends Service Committee addresses the seeds of violence within communities, removing the barriers to peace. We understand that nurturing the capacity for peace on a personal level is one essential step along the way to building peace in neighborhoods, cities, nations, and the world.
This year, we've seen our work for peace at every level make a real difference in people's lives.
The state of Maine established an AFSC-supported truth and reconciliation process http://afsc.org/story/facing-past-changing-future-maine - the first in the United States to focus on child welfare issues - encouraging healing and disclosing the truth about the removal of Native American children from their homes and tribes as part of a policy of forced assimilation.
Last month, the United States renewed its relationship with Myanmar (Burma) after decades of sanctions. For the past seven years, AFSC has been quietly working there in support and recognition of the tremendous forces for change http://afsc.org/story/mr-president-put-myanmar%E2%80%99s-people-first bubbling through the country's civil society.
Please enjoy a slideshow of photos from AFSC's work this year https://afsc.org/resource/building-peace-2012 to see what it looks like to build a world at peace in some of the communities where we work.
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
AFSC.org [ http://afsc.org ]
*Gift idea from QuakerBooks*
Our partners at Friends General Conference suggest the book "One City, Two Brothers" http://www.quakerbooks.org/one_city_two_brothers.phpas a holiday gift our supporters might be interested in giving this year.
This beautifully illustrated version of an old folktale tells how the city of Jerusalem came to be as two brothers find peace by seeing themselves in each other.
Visit QuakerBooks http://www.quakerbooks.org/, the online bookstore of Friends General Conference, to find this book and others when you search for "Israel" and "Palestine."
QuakerBooks also carries AFSC publications.
You might also be interested in subscribing https://www.fgcquaker.org/user/register to their e-newsletters, New at QuakerBooks http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/1003307/e074db1050/ARCHIVE and Book Musings http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/1003307/645ba10534/ARCHIVE
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah to all plazabummers.
Merry Christmas to all Christians and others who commemorate the birth of Jesus with celebrations.
I've already wished Happy Chanukah (it's over) to the Jews.
And for others who celebrate the Holiday season;
- Happy Bodhi Day to the Buddhists.
- Sunny Solstice to the Native Americans, and others around the world (including Athiests) aligned with Mother Gaia and Father Sol,
- Roistering Saturnalia to the Nova Romans and Neopagans,
- Joyous Yule to the Wiccans,
- Good Kwanzaa to African-Americans of sub-Saharan heritage,
- Merry Omisoka to the Japanese-Americans,
- Festive Shabe-Yaldal greetings to the Persian-Americans,
- Joyful Return of the Wandering Goddess Day to the Orthodox Kemetic Egyptian-Americans,
- and last, but not least -
- Fun-filled Festivus for the rest of us.