Our Mission Statement

Inspired by the vision of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching, the members of the Justice and Peace Committee at Our Lady of the Lake Parish seek to foster ways which promote the dignity of all persons and all creation and bring about justice and peace. Challenged by the example of Christ, the group strives to follow and to teach, by example, this foundational dimension of our Faith.

Christmas Giving Ideas

As we celebrate Jesus’ birth during the Christmas season, we share our joyfulness with others through acts of giving. We invite you to use this season to bring yourself and your loved ones closer to God by choosing gifts that reflect the true meaning of Christmas. By being intentional with your gift giving, you can help to shape our local and global community in ways that promote social justice and other Catholic values.

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
-- Mother Teresa

Put Others First

Fair-Trade & Socially Responsible Shopping

  • Ten Thousand Villages, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 101, Seattle 98115. 206-524-9223. Web site

  • SERRV International is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting global poverty through fair and ethical trade. Shop for the best in global artistry and traditional craftsmanship through SERRV http://www.serrv.org/

  • Local fall craft shows offer gifts for sale that are handmade and support local artisans.

Simplify Holiday Prep

  • Follow the lead of REI (#OptOutside) & Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action 

(Buy Nothing Day) and forego shopping on Black Friday to plan/coordinate the gift of outdoor events with friends & family.

  • Take a cue from the Magi for the kids and give 3 gifts: 1 they need, 1 they wish for, 1 surprise.

  • Make & repurpose your own decorations & gift-wrap.

  • Send Christmas postcards instead of cards or make your own cards.

  • Make a pact with relatives & friends to not exchange gifts but instead spend time or a dinner together.

  • Draw names instead of buying for everyone in the family.

  • Create memories in re-using your holiday crèche or other seasonal items from year to year.

There must be more to life than having everything!
-- Maurice Sendak

Practice Simple & Sustainable Giving

  • Buy family oriented gifts, like board or yard games, instead of individual gifts.

  • Avoid junk toys that will quickly break and end up in the trash.

  • Shopping Spree Repurposed: Get together with family and friends and have fun shopping at local second-hand and consignment shops. Donate your household unneeded items at the same time!

  • Swap toys with Santa. Along with cookies and milk, leave (gently used) old toys under the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to “take back to the North Pole.”

  • Give children a gift of music or sports lessons to encourage and enjoy experience over ‘things’.

  • Bring out the holiday books each year and have a group read aloud, along with a cup of hot chocolate.

  • Make a book of family recipes, stories or photos to share.

  • Start a book exchange and discuss books, or give everyone in your family the same book and host a discussion group in February.

  • Consider Homemade gifts and exchanges. Giving a baked treat, handmade scarf or pot holder, or a handmade card, is always a welcome gift.

  • Give the gift of time ... Make coupons for friends and family to help with chores, bake treats, or spend time doing something with the recipient that you know they will enjoy.

  • Give the gift of time ... Make a plan to gather as a group several times through the year to volunteer at your local foodbank, and then tie in the volunteer time with a meal or cup of coffee together to catch up.

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Weekly Announcements

Read the Justice and Peace Committee bulletin announcements each weekend in the Our Lady of the Lake Parish bulletin under the "Justice & Peace" column. Click here, and select this week's bulletin, then go to the "Justice and Peace" section.


Short essays expressing thoughts by Committee members inspired by Catholic Social Teaching


Upcoming events and announcements


Exchanges with other individuals and organizations


Some of our favorite prayers and meditations on peace and justice


A list of books and articles we have studied


Links to other organizations and online resources


Our Catholic Parish in Seattle, WA. If you got here from that Web site, simply close this window to return.

Email us at