A Call to a Resistance Church

cw logo 2

On Thursday, I am leading a class at St Mary’s University Twickenham, on the Catholic Worker movement and its place in Catholic Social Tradition. In particular, in relation to liberation theology and Catholic Social Teaching. So I have been looking up some old Catholic Worker articles from some years ago, that impressed me and stayed with me in their clarity and inspired me with their Gospel radicalism.

The first is by Frank Cordaro, probably the best known Catholic Worker in the USA today, at least among those in the movement. His “Call to a Resistance Church” outlines how to read the life of Jesus as the life of a non-violent activist, as well as God incarnate. While Frank was writing in the 1990’s, this is a reading of the Gospels that is today being integrated into a ‘christology from below’.  According to Scripture scholars there can be little doubt that the Gospels show us a Jesus whose non-violence was a “central part of his life and teaching” (see this article by Terrence J Wynne).

Frank outlines “Four Marks of A Resistance Church”: Downward  mobility, identification with the poor and oppressed, non-violent resistance to injustice, and intentional communities. Download it here as a PDF: A CAll to a Resistance Church – Frank Cordaro

The second was written in the late 80’s. Originally entitled “Christian Radicalism in the United. States: The Catholic Worker Tradition” this article by Mark White and Angela Jones into the true Gospel radicalism of Catholic Worker thought and practice: radical in the sense of the Latin meaning of the word. The Latin ‘radix’ meaning ‘root’, indicates how the Catholic Worker vision gets down to the fundamentals of the Gospel as well as the issues of our age, such as the what it means to ‘live’ God’s Kingdom or Reign as a ‘spiritual revolution’. Reading this it is crystal clear why most of today’s radical movements are not too radical, but not radical enough, as they do not get to the spiritual roots of our crises. See here for their article.

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MiChA: Midlands Christian Action Witness for Peace

Advent Leaflet Front

“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares
and their spears into sickles.

Nation shall not lift sword against nation,

and there shall be no more training for war.

Everyone shall live under their own vine and fig tree

with no one to make them afraid”

(Micah 4:3 – 4)

MiChA is a small Christian peace group in the Midlands. There are two branches, one in Birmingham, and one in Nottingham. We are dedicated to planting our mustard seed of God’s reign of peace and justice. We try to play our small part in bringing alive this beautiful vision of the prophet Micah, so that God’s will may be done on earth as in heaven. We are trying to live in this reign of God which full of life and joy, by witnessing to God’s peace.

We have done this in four ways so far.

First, on the streets of Birmingham with our regular prayer, protest and witness vigils outside HSBC on the corner of New Street and Corporation Street. We are calling for HSBC to cease its involvement in financing the arms trade. It is one of the big players in supporting the arms trade. Andrew Feinstein, author of  “Shadow World” has called the arms trade “the most corrupt trade in the world”. The dates and times for our upcoming Advent 2018 vigils are on the leaflet posted above.

Image result for roxel protest

Second, we have organised protest and prayer vigils outside the Roxel factory outside Kidderminster, where propulsion systems are made for missiles, including the Brimstone and Stormshadow missiles being sold to Saudi Arabia. It is known that Saudi Arabia is firing missiles into Yemen as part of their aggression there which is leaving millions of innocent people at risk of death by starvation and disease.

Third, the Nottingham branch have been praying and vigilling monthly outside the Heckler and Koch arms factory there, and have had some interesting dialogue with passersby coming to and from Gregory Street tram stop, Warhammer World over the road, and people going into and out of the industrial estate where the Heckler and Koch factory is based. Among them, have been members of Trent Vineyard Church which is next to the arms factory. We pray that their members and leadership will hear the Gospel call to witness for peace, given the scandalous activities taking place next door.

MiChA Vigil Oct 18

MiChA Nottingham& and visitors

We have also taken part in the  ‘No Faith In War’ days at the the ‘Stop DSEi’ Arms Fair protests at the ExCEL Centre in east London. We hope to be there again in 2019, assuming the arms fair continues. The Stop the Arms Fair week will run, during the arms fair set up week, from September 2nd – 7th. The arms fair itself is on September 10th – 13th.

TO CONTACT US:

Email: micha@peacehub.org.uk

Phone: MiChA Birmingham: 0121 772 7933 / 07985 728 464

MiChA Nottingham: 07804 640 643

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithResistNetworkUK/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FandRnetwork