Here’s a quick rundown of the program for this year’s Pacific Life Community retreat! We hope to see many of you there and anticipate a rich and enlightening experience that should re-energize us in our quest for nuclear abolition!
Sunday, March 5 – We will gather Sunday afternoon with registration from 2 to 4 followed by dinner, introductions, and an icebreaker. The informal evening ends with music/singing featuring local musician Peter Gallagher, who hails from Portland by way of Tacoma.
Monday, March 6 – Monday is a full day! After breakfast, we’ll hear regional reports from our PLC Community members (please be prepared to offer a brief [3-5 min] rundown on highlights from the past year from your organization).
For the keynote address, Seattle Archdiocese Sisters Kathleen Pruitt and Chauncey Boyle will present an interactive retrospective on the life and work of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. Archbishop Hunthausen played an important role in the early days of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action during the struggle to halt the arrival of nuclear weapons and materials at the Kitsap-Bangor Trident submarine base, which he famously called “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.” While Archbishop Hunthausen will not be able to join us personally for this event, we will have the opportunity to send him our greetings and love.
In the afternoon, there will be an interactive panel discussing the discernment process, experience and consequences of nonviolent direct action against nuclear weapons with peacemakers Dennis Apel, Susan Crane and Steve Kelly. Later we’ll have updates from our members who have been to Jeju, Standing Rock, Peace Walks and the recent anti-nuclear conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.
For those wishing to take part in the Tuesday morning action at Bangor Naval Base, we’ll discuss a plan of nonviolent direct action, putting into practice what we learn from Dennis, Susan and Steve earlier in the day. There will be time set aside for letter-writing, poster- and banner-making.
To cap off Monday evening, musician James Morgan will lead us in songs of resistance and the evening will wrap up with an important new documentary by the Australian filmmaker journalist John Pilger, “The Coming War on China” — a free film event that is open to the public. See the trailer for the documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3hbtM_NJ0s
Tuesday, March 7 – Tuesday morning after breakfast, we’ll head to the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo (approx. 30 minutes’ drive north) and gather to recite the Pledge of Nonviolence before marching (weather permitting) to the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base for a vigil, holy Mass and action. Then we’ll regroup at the Ground Zero Center to learn about its history; we may want to tie peace some cranes to the border fence as a symbolic reminder that peace is always possible as an alternative to nuclear war. We’ll enjoy a light lunch before a closing prayer and say goodbye.
A more detailed, hour-by-hour agenda will be available in your welcome packet at check-in on Sunday afternoon (2-3 pm).
We would like to encourage everyone to read “A Still and Quiet Conscience – The Archbishop who Challenged a Pope, a President and a Church” by John McCoy before your arrival at PLC. It is available at most independent booksellers, online and (hopefully) in libraries everywhere.