The Church and Peace movement began 50 years ago. Over five
decades an ecumenical network of 75 corporate and individual members in 9
European countries has emerged from the initial discussions in Puidoux,
Switzerland, between representatives of the Historic Peace Churches and the
mainline churches in Europe.
During a symposium at the end of May we looked back on the
beginnings of Church and Peace. We discussed both current challenges and
priorities for the future. Our time together took place against the background
of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Shortly following our symposium the war
officially ended. Since then we have seen many examples of the profound hate
between ethnic groups in the area. Now the “other side” is being
threatened and driven out. Some who were victims previously have become
perpetrators while people who were perpetrators are the newest
The search for the whole truth in this significant conflict
was a central emphasis of the symposium at the Bienenberg. An important aspect
of this discussion was the question of our share of the political responsibility
for the conflict and of our task as a European network. There are and have been
many positive examples and encouraging initiatives by Christian communities in
the former Yugoslavia: despite the most recent fighting - and the accompanying
setbacks for their work - these groups have not let themselves be deterred from
continuing to work for understanding, reconciliation and the development of
civil society. The documentation from the anniversary symposium - the second
publication in the Theology and Peace pamphlet series - reports about these
initiatives. You are receiving this pamphlet together with this newsletter
rather than a standard Summer issue of “Church and Peace”. In
addition we are enclosing our first-ever annual report in order to give you an
overview of Church and Peace’s work in 1998 and the beginning of
The often-repeated request for prompt and manageable
information as well as thematic publications led us to the decision to publish,
on a trial basis until the end of the year, a newsletter and shorter pamphlets
in place of the quarterly journal you have been receiving. This arrangement will
include the publication “50 Years Ecumenical Dialogue and Peace Witness -
Church and Peace 1949-1999” later this year.
We wish to improve our publications and hope for your
agreement and understanding. We will give the opportunity for your comments and
feedback at the end of 1999.
We wish you a pleasant summer.
For the editorial team,
“love Truth and Peace” - Church and Peace
movement celebrates 50 years of peace witness and ecumenical
Christian witness for peace and the crisis in Kosovo were key
topics of discussion as members of churches, Christian communities and Christian
peace organizations from across Europe met on May 28-30th at the former European
Mennonite Bible School near Basel, Switzerland, to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the Church and Peace movement.
Participants at the weekend-long symposium explored ways in
which faith communities could realize the prophet Zechariah’s admonishment
to “love Truth and Peace” (8:19b). In his anniversary presentation
on Friday evening, Dr. Wolfgang Lienemann, professor at Berne Theological
Institute, examined the “The significance of the peace churches for the
church of Christ today”. A time of reflection on Saturday morning featured
the “Voices from the Past” of Wilfried Warneck, the first General
Secretary of Church & Peace, and Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Honorary President of
the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR). Two former volunteers
interviewed Warneck and Goss-Mayr about what the next generation should know
concerning the peace church vision and nonviolent social change.
The continuing military offensive in Kosovo and the presence
of several guests from Serbia greatly influenced the afternoon sessions. A
dialogue forum entitled “Joint Responsibility in a Changing Europe”
focused on the role of Christian and religious organizations in responding to
war, genocide and mass expulsion in the Balkans. The intensive, two-hour
discussion “in search of truth ‘around’ the war in
Yugoslavia” featured speakers from Pax Christi International, IFOR, Kairos
Europe, the Hungarian Bokor Movement, the del Vasto Communauté de
l’Arche, Mennonite Central Committee Europe and Church and Peace. Persons
from various other groups including Bread of Life in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, also
The symposium concluded with a moving and inspirational time
of worship on Sunday morning. Dr. Keith Clements, General Secretary of the
Conference of European Churches, spoke in his sermon of the need for churches to
develop liturgies of peace and to strive for transformation at a local level as
well as nationally and internationally.
Participants in the theology working group prepared a
declaration challenging communities of faith to live as peace churches and
proclaim the gospel of peace. The declaration states in part that peace churches
are to accept all persons, even those designated as the “enemy”,
while at the same time remaining true to the call to resist with nonviolence all
injustice and evil. Further, peace churches are to reject all forms of violence
and follow the example of Jesus in standing with victims of violence and
Those present indicated their approval of the document which
invites other Christians to “share in this life and vision”. The
Bienenberg Declaration is available in English, French and German from the
Church and Peace International Office.
The Gardener and the Squire
There once was a gardener who lived in a small village and had
a large garden. He built a strong fence around the garden so that the animals
running wild in the area could not get into the garden. Each morning he took a
walk in his garden and admired his flowers and plants.
But one morning a horrible sight awaited him. The garden
looked as though a war had taken place there during the night. The flowers and
other plants had been pulled out of the ground or eaten, the flower beds were
all crushed, not one single leaf had been spared.
“It must have been a rabbit”, thought the gardener
and hurried off to the manor to report the incident and complain about the
rabbit. He spoke to the squire, “My lord, I demand justice! The rabbit has
destroyed my entire garden.”
“Are you certain that it was a rabbit?” asked the
“Yes, my lord, I have found his tracks.”
“Good. Let’s clear this up. Tomorrow we will go
hunting and get this rabbit. Go home quickly and get everything ready.
We’ll come by your house early tomorrow morning.”
And everything happened as planned. The next day the squire
arrived in the company of his men.
“I cannot go hunting without eating breakfast
first!” said the squire. “Do you have anything to
“Yes, my lord,” answered the gardener and went and
got a ham which the guests polished off in short order.
“That was an odd pig,” commented the squire as he
rubbed his stomach. “It only had one leg.”
Of course the poor animal did have more than one leg. There
was another ham hanging in the pantry. The gardener fetched it and the squire
and his men ate the whole thing.
And so it went with the rest of the pig, part by part, and by
the end the gardener pantry was completely empty. The contents of the cellar
suffered the same fate. Pork must be washed down with wine, and the squire and
his men were well aware of this fact.
When they had finally had enough to eat and drink, they were
sleepy. But you cannot go hunting when you are sleepy, not even if you are going
to hunt a rabbit. So the men had the gardener prepare them a place to lie down
and they fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up until evening when it
was almost dark. The squire stretched his stiff limbs and had the hunting horn
blown. Finally all the men had saddled their horses and rode back and forth
yelling loudly and the hunt began in right in the middle of the large
But it was all for nothing; they couldn’t find the
rabbit. In the very back of the garden a single, solitary cabbage plant had
escaped destruction, and the rabbit found a hiding place there beneath its
leaves. As the hunters came too close to the cabbage plant, the rabbit sprang up
and hopped quickly through a hole in the fence. The squire and his men ran after
the rabbit and in their haste broke the fence. They followed the rabbit to the
edge of the woods and then stopped and returned unhurriedly to the garden.
“I’m sorry,” said the squire. “You saw
with your own eyes that I did my best. But that darn animal was simply
And he rode away with his men.
The gardener stood in his garden which lay in ruins and
thought to himself, “It would have been better to clarify the matter
directly with the rabbit. These so-called ‘helpers’ have done more
damage than one hundred rabbits could ever do in one hundred
Dora Vaik, coordinator for the C&P East Europe region read
this fable during the evening program at the anniversary symposium. The origin
of the fable is not certain, but it most likely comes from Hungary.
Changing the leopard’s spots
The challenge to the Baptist Union to become a Peace
When asked by the Baptist Union in England and Wales (BU) in
the summer 1996 what kind of Union their members envisioned for the next
millennium, the Baptist Peace Fellowship (BPF) responded with a challenge: that
the Union should become a Peace Church.
As the idea of a Peace Church was foreign to most Baptists,
the BPF’s first task was to “put flesh on the bones” and
explain the concept. First the BPF wrote out a formal version of the challenge
and then issued a document “Steps on the Way” intended to illustrate
the effects adopting a peace church vision would have on the lives of Baptists,
their churches and their denomination. Revd Anne Wilkinson, Social Action
Advisor to the BU, arranged an informational day meeting. At this meeting Ruth
Gouldbourne of Bristol Baptist College traced the development of the peace
church vision and its link with Baptists’ Anabaptist roots. Mary Lou
Levitt of Quaker Peace and Service and Mark Thiessen Nation of the London
Mennonite Centre also made contributions.
It became evident during the meeting that there was to be no
clear consensus of views. Perhaps the leadership hesitated at fully endorsing
the peace church vision because they foresaw the divisions that the discussion
of ‘peace’ might bring. However participants promised that thinking
about the challenge would continue within the BU.
Reflection about ‘peace church’ surfaced from
another direction in the form of a report entitled “5 Core Values for
Gospel People” from a BU justice and peace working group. Though stopping
short of a clear commitment to pacifism, the Mission recommendations in the
report asked churches “To take up the suggestion of the Baptist Peace
Fellowship to explore the possibility and missionary impact of becoming a
‘Peace Church’, along the lines of the other historic peace churches
(e.g. Quakers, Mennonites)”. At present this Core Values report has been
sidelined, again because of fears of division.
Where does the BPF go from here? Norman Kember, BPF Secretary,
highlights the following points:
1. Realization of a challenge such as the BPF’s to the
BU to become a Peace Church is a long-term process requiring preparation and
optimism. This can be seen through both the failed attempt of the URC in
Britain during the years 1989-91 to make that denomination a Just Peace Church
and the positive decision of the United Church of Christ in the USA to declare
themselves a Just Peace Church in 1985. Four years of study and preparation
preceded the latter decision.
2. There is already some openness in our churches for peace
church issues, but education work and getting people involved on a local level
are crucial. Baptists are a “tough nut to crack” - partly due to
local government of churches and partly to an emphasis on evangelism in the
narrower sense of that word. However, a positive development is a more sceptical
attitude towards military action. In general the patriotic fervor for war has
diminished so that there was much heart-searching over support for Suez,
Falklands and Gulf actions. Yet, at the same time there is little knowledge of
the part that nonviolence played in the demise of Soviet style communism in
Eastern Europe and the Philippines etc. Thought about current conflicts
concentrates on the ethical dilemmas raised by calls for military intervention
in Bosnia, Kosovo, Central Africa. Nonviolence is not generally
In recent years the Baptist annual assembly has been persuaded
to address specific issues such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the arms trade,
landmines etc. However such resolutions generally have little impact on the
activities of local congregations. The one exception has been in support for the
Jubilee 2000 Campaign - so there is hope!
3. Churches must tap into existing peace church resources. The
BPF has been grateful for the work of Alan and Ellie Kreider on the spirituality
of peacemaking and the concept of a ‘peace church’. Kreiders
together with Thiessen Nation helped the BPF prepare a Peace Church file to
accompany the official BU ‘5 Core Values’ study guide. Congregations
have been receptive to workshops on conflict resolution within the churches, and
Revd Viv Lassetter, Union staff member, has been trained as a Baptist resource
person in conflict resolution.
So the BPF seeks a way ahead, step by step, to bring about
changes. One possibility would be to open debate within the churches by bringing
a ‘Peace Church’ resolution to the BU Assembly in 2000, even though
the resolution would almost inevitably be voted down. In order to progress it
will be necessary to seek the support of influential members in the Baptist
community and to find sympathy for peace churches views among those BU members
not yet willing to commit themselves to membership of the BPF.
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Fifteen years ago Ronald Sider made a staggering declaration
at the 11th Mennonite World Conference in Strasbourg, France. Sider, professor
at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and member of the Brethren in Christ
Church, said that it was a good witness for Christians to refuse to participate
in war or violence. Good - but insufficient.
"What would happen,” he declared, “if we in the
Christian church developed a new nonviolent peacekeeping force of 100,000
persons ready to move into violent conflicts ?... Do we not have as much courage
and faith as soldiers ?... Unless we are prepared to risk injury and death in
nonviolent opposition to the injustice our societies foster we should confess
that we never really meant the cross was an alternative to the sword... I
believe praying, Spirit-filled, nonviolent peacekeeping forces would, by God's
special grace, be able to end the violence and nurture justice."
What has become of this challenge?
Taken seriously by the Council of Moderators and Secretaries
(CMS) of the Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Mennonite Brethren churches in
North America, this challenge resulted first in discussion and then a call for
an in-depth study in 1986 by the Peace Section of Mennonite Central Committee
(MCC). After much prayer and dialogue with the churches, the CMS approved a
proposal for the founding of “Christian Peacemaker Teams” (CPT). The
first training session took place in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1989. 120 people
participated in this session consisting of Bible study, workshops and
CPT’s vocation is to send teams of Christians trained in
techniques of nonviolent action into situations of conflict around the world.
CPT reports back to the international community and the churches supporting the
initiative about the human rights abuses, the violence and the injustice the
team experiences in its respective situation. CPT’s presence as
international observers contributes to a de-escalation of violence. Members of
CPT are often confronted directly during nonviolent actions or public meetings
by armed groups.
CPT has functioned as an organization for twelve years now.
Currently CPT has a Corps of 12 full-time workers and 51 Reservists ready to
intervene in emergency situations during violent conflicts. These interventions
take place at the request of inhabitants of the affected area. And the number of
requests continues to increase....
Some of the places where CPT is/has been active include:
Hebron (Gaza strip) since June 1995. CPT works together with
both Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers to try and hinder the systematic
demolition of Palestinian houses by Israeli authorities.
Richmond ,Virginia, USA. At the request of the churches in
Richmond, a team was formed in a poor area of the city with 6,000 inhabitants.
CPT organizes neighborhood patrols and “safe” spaces for dialogue
and trains the community to intervene quickly when violence erupts.
Chipas, Mexico. CPT, together with members of the Mayan
pacifist group, Las Abejas, hold nonviolent vigils and worship services at army
bases as a challenge to the heavy military presence in the area.
Sometimes remarkable ideas are allowed to die. I am grateful
to God that men and women in the United States have taken this appeal
CPT is looking for volunteers with a mature faith and some
experience in peace work and nonviolent action. For more information contact
Christian Peacemaker Teams; PO Box 6508; Chicago, IL 60680; USA. Tel: +1 312 455
1199; Fax: +1 312 666 2677; Email: email@example.com
Sylvie Gudin Poupaert
Refugees stream back to Kosovo, prompting shifts in MCC aid
The situation is changing dramatically in the Balkans, and
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) staff are discussing how MCC can adjust its
assistance to Yugoslav war victims. Great needs continue, not only in Kosovo,
Albania and Serbia but also in other areas of the former Yugoslavia, such as
Bosnia and Croatia.
“Refugees in Albania are returning to Kosovo in
masses,” reported Hansuli Gerber, MCC’s Europe program director in a
June 23 phone call. As a result, MCC staff are assessing how some MCC resources
originally intend-ed for Kosovar refugees in Albania can be shifted. Kosovars
are returning to destroyed homes and towns. MCC plans to ship kits to the area
containing soap and other hygiene items.
MCC volunteers Dan and Evanna Hess continue working with
refugees in Albania. In response to the desire for revenge expressed by some of
the Kosovars, the Hesses are planning peace-building trainings. The Hesses have
also helped initiate a project to supply health education book-lets to refugees
who have been coping with crowded conditions in Albanian camps, combined with
the blazing heat of an Adriatic summer.
Last week MCC worker Harold Otto returned to Belgrade, Serbia,
where he is assisting MCC partner Bread of Life in planning how to respond to
needs created by NATO bombing. “Most of my time is spent
listening,” comments Otto. “People say they are thankful that
someone listens as they express fear for the future, weariness and
confusion.” Some MCC refugee kits will go to war victims in Serbia. As
well, an MCC shipment of food and supplies for children is headed for 1,000
families in Pancevo, near Belgrade.
In Croatia and Bosnia, where people are still trying to
recover from earlier violence and wars, MCC is helping supply sheep, hens and
farming tools. As well Swiss Mennonites have collected refugee kits for Kosovar
refugees around Sarajevo.
“MCC is being stretched and will be stretched to make
wise and efficient use of the means entrusted to us,” accord-ing to
Gerber. “We will plan as well as we can and take one day after another as
MCC News Service, June 25, 1999
Nonviolent Intervention in the Conflicts of the Former
The Balkan Peace Team (BPT) is a project which places
international volunteers in areas of the former Yugoslavia where their presence
and skills can be useful to local advocates of peace and human rights. Teams are
nonpartisan in their approach, seeking to support groups and individuals on all
sides of a conflict. BPT is a cooperation project including groups from the
Church and Peace network such as Brethren Service, Dutch Mennonite working group
Ex-Yugoslavia, Eirene and International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
There are two branches of the BPT, one based in Split,
Croatia, (Otvorene Oci) and one in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (BPT-FRY).
BPT-FRY has been working in Serbia and Kosovo since 1994 and is continuing its
work in the region, with a base of operations in Macedonia. BPT-FRY is currently
reshaping its project activities to adapt to the disasters that the war has
brought to both Serbian and Albanian societies and to support local NGOs in the
new struggles that they face. Its goal and mandate, however, remain as important
as ever: to support civil society initiatives and to encourage and foster
dialogue and other bridge-building efforts between Serbs and Albanians.
To that aim, some of BPT-FRY’s programmatic goals for
the next four months are:
1. maintaining a presence in the area
2. further travel and research (in Albania and Bosnia) with
visits to Serbian, Kosovo Albanian and international NGOs working with refugees
as well as refugee self-organizing efforts.
3. networking among the various dispersed and divided
4. children's camp project. Initiative of a Kosovo Albanian
man concerned about how Albanian children are now surrounded by images that
encourage them to hate all Serbs. The idea of the camp project is to give
children a needed break from the tensions of refugee life and to address the
need to unlearn this hatred.
5. building links to the 10,000 Serbian refugees in Macedonia
who are mostly overlooked by the aid agencies. Through its contacts with Serbian
NGOs, BPT-FRY will seek to build contacts and trust in this community and bring
these refugees into contact with services and support.
6. conscientious objectors. BPT will look into the situation
facing conscientious objectors and military resisters in both communities, those
who resist or desert the Yugoslav military and those who choose not to join the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK).
For more information or to give financial support, contact
Balkan Peace Team, Ringstr. 9a, D-32427 Minden, Germany; Tel: 49-571-20776,
taken from Balkan Peace Team June 1999 Report
Toxic pollution is one by-product of war in Yugoslavia
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia has stopped but consequences of the
war remain in the air, soil and water.
In late March Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) partners in
Belgrade, Serbia, requested prayer that a large chemical refinery in nearby
Pancevo not be hit by NATO bombs. Their worst fears that toxic chemicals would
spew out were confirmed when the refinery was bombed several times during the
war. Hansuli Gerber, MCC’s Europe program director, notes "the long-term
effects [of pollution] on the populations not only of Yugoslavia but in the
entire region have not yet been analyzed." He adds that the "damage is worse
than anyone in the West is ready to believe”.
MCC News Service, June 25, 1999
Bridges for Cities in Serbia, Montenegro and
In early May at the height of the NATO bombing, Herbert
Froehlich, Church and Peace individual member, formulated the following
suggestion for a project to overcome the isolation caused by the war in the
Republic of Yugoslavia. Froehlich is a Catholic priest and member of Pax
Cities with bridges, in different areas of Europe, would offer
a “Bridge Partnership” to Serbian, Montenegran and Kosovar cities
whose own bridges have been destroyed by war. The core of this partnership would
be a commitment to rebuilding a bridge destroyed by the NATO bombing. This
commitment would entail involving those persons in reconstruction whose goal was
to attack a government and instead assaulted the soul, the culture and the
economy of many people.
Explanation (to be signed by city
We commit ourselves to this project because, through the
destruction of this bridge and others like it, the fragile elements of exchange
and mutual respect necessary for the multicultural co-existence of the peoples
of Europe were also destroyed.
With this project we do not deny in any way that the
destruction of this bridge and others like it occurred in a context of expulsion
and humiliation of a people: the Albanian population in the Kosovo region of the
current Republic of Yugoslavia.
We admit that the abhorrent act of expulsion and its
consequences was not stopped following the NATO bombing but rather was
intensified in a dramatic fashion.
We admit that those responsible for the terror and expulsion
were not affected in any decisive manner by the bombing; instead many citizens
of the current Republic of Yugoslavian and surrounding countries suffered its
We feel that a commitment such as this project is urgently
needed because the absence of such gestures builds or enforces walls of
alienation and mistrust.
We feel that a commitment such as this project is urgently
needed because the impoverishment of one people cannot be abolished by allowing
the impoverishment of another people; rather it is necessary to prevent the
impoverishment of an entire region.
We feel that a commitment such as this project is imperative
because we wish to make a contribution to a just and peaceful Europe which will
then make its own contribution to a just and peaceful world.
Herbert welcomes comments and/or suggestions concerning this
text and the project in general.
Herbert Froehlich, Blumenstr. 23, D-69115 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 130218, Fax: +49 6221 130225, Email:
“Salt to the World”
Peace House at the Assembly of the Evangelical Church in
“You are salt to the world. Have salt in yourselves; and
be at peace with one another” (Math 5:13, Mark 9:50). Expanding this motto
of the Assembly of the Evangelical Church in Germany , Initiative Schalom
organized a Peace House together with Ohne Rüstung Leben (ORL) and Church
and Peace members German Mennonite Peace Committee (DMFK) and the German
Activities in the Peace House centered on the theme of
creative, nonviolent, constructive conflict resolution. The House explored the
topic of “peace” through workshops, discussion, presentations,
expositions and a meditation room. Participants in the Civilian Peace Service
projects in the Balkans and the Caucasus reported about their experiences.
Several workshops were offered on the topic of mediation. “Courageous
civilian intervention” was a further theme focusing on concrete action.
Leni Schüttel from Initiative Schalom explored the Assembly motto in
several “Bibliodrama” seminars. A round table discussion was held
concerning the new NATO strategy. A meeting place for people from different
peace groups, the Peace House also fostered discussion and exchange with
Our hosts, the Stuttgart-Forststrasse Baptist Church, offered
their church center for our use. A café run by members of the
congregation created an open and inviting ambiance. I was impressed by and
thankful for the church members’ untiring involvement in this ecumenical
event, an involvement which is usually hard to find in our Baptist
Unfortunately we as different grassroots groups were not
successful in having our concerns and Peace House program integrated into the
official Assembly program. Despite this we, together with the Baptist
congregation in Stuttgart, decided to go ahead with the risk of organizing the
Peace House. We were able to publicize the Peace House through a nationwide
mailing and distribution of the program at the Informational Market during the
Altogether it was a colorful, balanced program of celebration,
work, discussion and simply relaxing. If the visitors of the Peace House have
taken “peace”with them in even a small piece, idea or thought,
then all of the energy and preparation work will have been worthwhile.
Sister Pierrette new prioress of the Grandchamp
The Grandchamp Community celebrated the handing-over of the
office of prioress on July 22 in Areuse, Switzerland. Sister Minke, prioress for
29 years, gave a lively farewell speech and described the three year-long
process of prayer and discernment to find and select her successor.
At the request of Christian Hohmann, I had the honor of
representing Church and Peace at the celebration. I was accompanied by my
daughter Julia, who spent time at Grandchamp herself ten years ago.
W e sensed that it would be a big celebration when we arrived
at Grandchamp and were directed to a parking place in the meadow. Sister
Christel from the Sonnenhof retreat centre welcomed us in the courtyard and
placed our formal letter of greeting into a large basket. Most of the community
members were dressed festively in white. Members of other communities and orders
also came to the celebration. In her speech Sister Minke greeted more than 40
pastors as well as family members and many friends of the community.
There wasn’t room for all of the approximately 400
participants in the “Ark”, the worship centre with wooden walls
interspersed with colorful panes of glass. In the courtyard in a large tent the
other persons present could watch the celebration on one of several TV monitors.
I was moved by the spirit tangible in the “worship service” and
deeply touched by the radical decision of these woman for a life of service. All
of the approximately 60 Community members each pledged to support the new
Following the celebration of the Eucharist there was time for
meeting old acquaintances and making new ones. At the meal following the
commissioning service, I brought Sister Pierrette congratulations and best
wishes from the Church and Peace network. Sister Irmtraud also joined us and we
had the opportunity to talk together.
The celebration closed with a symbolic act of blessing and
15 years after the First European Peace Church Consultation in
the Peace Church in Braunfels, Germany, approximately 100 synod members and
guests assembled in that same building on 26 June 1999 for an extraordinary
synod concerning the situation in Kosovo. Following an introductory address by
the former bishop of Magdeburg,participants formed small groups to discuss
topics such as personal implication in “undeclared” wars,
alternative methods of conflict resolution including peacemaker teams and peace
ministry training, refugee concerns and the new NATO strategy. The meeting was
organized by the District Synodal Committee and the Peace Committee of the
Braunfels Church District, chaired by Christian Hohmann. (C.H./Trans:
Church and Peace General Secretary Christian Hohmann was one
of approximately 1000 guests gathered on June 5 and 6, 1999 at the
Christusbruderschaft Selbitz north of Munich for the community’s 50th
anniversary celebration. The Christusbruderschaft was founded in 1949 and is a
religious order within the Lutheran Church. Today the community has 121 members
in its main house in Selbitz, Germany, and smaller groups in Botswana and
different parts of Germany. The community understands its mission as witnessing
to God’s presence in day-to-day life, particularly in difficult or
conflict-laden moments. (C.H./Trans: TRM)
The War is Over - Can We Prevent Further Wars? This question
will be the focal point of a weekend seminar organized by Church and Peace and
Oekumenischer Dienst on November 12-14 at the Imshausen Community near Bebra,
Germany. Beginning with reports from Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Serbia and
Kosovo, the weekend will examine the contribution of peace services to crisis
management in conflict situations. The goal is also to give participants input
and ideas for their own work for peace. The seminar is intended to be a part of
preparations for the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence to begin in 2001.
Seminar languages are German and English. For more information
contact the Church and Peace International Office or Oekumenischer Dienst,
Mittelstrasse 4, D-34474 Wethen, Tel: +49 5694 -8033, Fax: -1532, Email:
beginning 1 Jan 2000
• enjoy being with children?
• have interest in meeting new people?
• want to experience life in an open, ecumenical
• know something about finances and
...then get in touch with us right away!!!
We are looking for a volunteer to work 10 hours a week with
each of the following groups/people in Laufdorf, Germany:
1. the International Office of Church and Peace
Duties would include: regular bookkeeping and data entry, home
banking and responding to donations (using PC programs Quicken, Word for Windows
and America On Line); library data entry; document and periodical archiving;
mailing of newsletters, journals and invitations to meetings and
2. the Laufdorf cluster of the Laurentiuskonvent
The ecumenical community “Laurentiuskonvent” with
its numerous local groups has been in existence for over 40 years. The
Laurentiuskonvent resulted from the Christian intentional community movement
before, during and following the Second World War. Christian discipleship is
carried out in ecumenical community life, joint prayer and meals, discussion,
sharing of cars and food and social action for those on the margins of society.
The Laufdorf cluster offers seminars, Bible courses, thematic evenings and
training in nonviolent conflict resolution. Members live in the village center
in different houses.
Duties would include: helping in the kitchen and with grocery
shopping and car pooling; preparing seminar and guest rooms; assisting
individual members as needed. The volunteer would be welcome to participate in
and help plan seminars.
3. Marion and Michael Dorn
Marion and Michael are members of the Laurentiuskonvent and
have two small children, Felix and Rebecca (ages 1 and 3). The volunteer would
work as an au pair for the Dorns.
Blaise Amstutz is currently filling this volunteer position
and will finish his term at the end of December 1999. Thus we would like a
volunteer for one year beginning in January 2000.
We are looking for someone who is team-oriented and open to
meeting new people. German-language ability is preferred*. A business/commerce
degree or training is preferred but not required. The volunteer should enjoy
being with children.
The volunteer would receive room, board and insurance and a
monthly allowance of 300 DM.
Laufdorf is located 7 miles form Wetzlar, a town of 50,000
people approximately 60 km north of Frankfurt.
For more details contact the Church and Peace International
*Language classes are available in Wetzlar; some members of
the Laurentiuskonvent and office staff speak French and/or English.
Quaker Peace and Service
Shin Yasui Memorial Writing Prize - £100
Shin Yasui was a young Japanese peace worker who devoted his
life to the causes of peace and justice. In June 1998, at the age of 26, he was
tragically killed in a car accident in Austria on his way back to Bosnia where
he had worked for two years as a volunteer in the most difficult circumstances.
He encouraged Croat and Moslem children in the divided city of Mostar to make a
thousand paper cranes on Hiroshima Day and float them on the waters of the
River Neretva as a symbol of unity on the very dividing line between the two
communities. Then, in a much more dangerous situation, in 1997, he moved alone
to the Bosnian Serb controlled town of Foca, the scene of dreadful atrocities
against Muslims in the recent war. He befriended the children and put them in
touch after years of isolation with youth groups of different ethnicity in other
parts of Bosnia. After five months of obstruction and intimidation and finally
serious death threats by the local mayor, he was forced to leave for Sarajevo,
where he continued his work in support of local youth. One of his strongest
achievements was in writing reports exposing the consequences of the failure of
western authorities to arrest war criminals even when their whereabouts was well
In Shin Yasui’s memory, Quaker Peace and Service offers
a prize of £100 for the best entry in a writing competition. Contributions,
in prose or otherwise, of a maximum of 2,500 words, should be a personal
reflection relating to peace and justice, written in English, typed and sent in
electronic form (e mail) or paper form to Helen Bradford, QPS, Euston Road,
London NW1 2BJ; Email address: «firstname.lastname@example.org». Entrants should
be aged 18-25. Submission deadline is 30 September 1999.
The winner will be announced by 30 November 1999. The decision
of the judges (drawn from QPS Former Yugoslavia Project Management Group and QPS
Peace Committee) will be final. QPS
Quaker Peace and Service Representative in the post-Yugoslav
The role of the two Representatives based in Sarajevo is to be
a stable presence and to act as supporters, consultants and trainers to a core
of key voluntary groups working for local empowerment and the improvement of
relations within and between communities in the region. The current programme
has been established for one year.
Candidates will be expected to have in advance or be able to
acquire very rapidly from the basis of another Slavonic language an active
working knowledge of Bosnian/Serbian /Croatian. Experience of living and
working abroad and of the NGO world, preferably in former Yugoslavia, ability
to work flexibly in an unpredictable environment, basic computer skills and ease
of working in a small team will be strong advantages. Owing to UK employment law
the post is restricted to European Union passport holders. The appointment is
for two years with possibility of extending for up to two additional years.
Peace Be With You
Eileen Egan, co-founder of Pax Christi USA, revives the
ancient gospel message of nonviolence and applies this message to our lives
today. She shows how Jesus’ message of nonviolence was replaced by the
teaching of “justified warfare” advocated by Augustine, Aquinas, and
other theologians. In Part One, Egan traces the history of “justified
warfare” up to the present century when peacemakers were finally heard in
their call to return to the teaching of gospel nonviolence. In Part Two, she
articulates the spirituality and theology of peace, drawing on biblical texts,
church teachings and the practice of contemporary peacemakers. She concludes by
offering an extended reflection on the life and witness of Dorothy Day who
exemplified the spirit and practice of peace for our time.
To order contact Orbis Books in the US at 1 800-258-5838.
(Pax Christi International Newsletter, May 99)
The Journey Toward Reconciliation by John Paul
Lederach. From real-life stories and the Bible story, Lederach finds God seeking
reconciliation throughout history. $10.99. Available from Herald Press in the
US, Tel: +1 800 759 4447, Internet: www.mph.org. (The Messenger, May
Available from Metanoia Book Service:
Coals of Fire by Elizabeth Hershberger Bauman.
Stories of men and women from various times and countries who showed the
universal power of Christian love by returning good for evil. Children’s
book that will challenge readers regardless of their age.
Seeking Peace: Notes and Conversations Along the
Way by Johann Christoph Arnold. “Peace has nothing to do with
passivity or resignation. It is not for the spineless or self-absorbed ... Peace
demands that we live honestly before God, before others and in the light of our
own conscience.” £10.00
Way of Peace: Peace Meditations and Prayers from
Around the World by Hannah Ward and Jennifer wild. A thoughtful and
inspiring collection of prayers and meditations focusing on world peace.
To order: Metanoia Book Service, 14 Shepherds Hill,
London N6 5AQ. Tel: (+44) 020-8340 8775, Email:
The Northern Friends Peace Board now has its own website
with information about the Board, its publications, activities, news and action
ideas and a selection of articles from The Peace Board.
http://www.gn.apc.org/nfpb (The Peace Board 2/99)
The Bruderhof communities are hoping to raise awareness
of the human cost of war through a new Website http://www.WARisHELL.com. The
site features war veteran stories from the new book Hell, Healing and Resistance
by Dan Hallock from Plough Publishing House (Bruderhof). Both the website and
the book explore the question of how a war can ever be justified and what
happens emotionally, mentally and spiritually to a human being who is taught to
kill. (J. & D. Manke, Bruderhof; In communion April
Peace to the City! Stories of Hope: Videos from each of
the seven cities in the Peace to the City Campaign of the Programme to Overcome
Violence. Each locally-produced, 30-minute video shares imaginative efforts to
overcome violence through cross-community work to reconcile communities drawn
into conflict. US$20/CHF30. Order from WCC Publications, PO Box 2100, CH - 1211
Geneva 2. Phone: +41 22 791 6379. (WCC POV resource list)
Church & Peace
Britain and Ireland
Regional Conference on Friday 9 to Sunday 11 June 2000 at
The Ammerdown Centre, Radstock near Bath
Urban, national and religious perspectives. Emphasis on
British and European experience. Opportunity to learn from skilled peacemakers.
Discussions, practical and creative work-shops. Working out a theology of
For more information contact: Mrs. Anne Malins, 32 Priory
Street, Colchester CO1 2QA, UK.
Other important events
International Day of Peace. 14 September
Launch of the UN Year for a Culture of Peace 2000,
UNESCO. 21 September 1999
“War and the Culture of Peace in Early
Christianity”. A look at whether the early church was pacifist.
Examination of the social commitments and compromises of the early church and at
the way these affect-ed Christian attitudes to war and violence. Led by Alan
Kreider of the Centre for the Study of Christanity and Culture at Regent’s
Park College, Oxford.
18 September. Cost: £18/£9 (lunch provided)
Location: London Mennonite Centre, 14 Shepherds Hill, London N6 5AQ. Tel: (+44)
020-8340 8775, Email: Menno@compuserve.com
Peace Week Pax Christi Netherlands, Local Capacities for
Peace. 19-26 September 1999.
“Making Peace with Conflict in the Church”.
Introductory level workshop exploring ways to work more creatively with
conflict in the church. Led by Alastair McKay, director of Brdige Builders, and
Andrew Lewis-Smith, family therapist.
16 October. Cost: £25/£13. Location: London
Faith into Practice - Living Our Quaker Testimonies
Today. Discussion and worship on traditional and “contempoary”
Quaker testimonies including peace, simplicity, equality, social and racial
justice. Led by Marion McNaughton of Woodbrooke Quaker Centre and Brenda Rigby
of the Northern Friends Peace Board.
1-5 November. Cost: £145 (full board and tuition).
Apply directly to The Wardens, Glenthorne, Easedale Road, Grasmere, Ambleside,
Cumbria LA22 9QF. Tel: (+44) 015394 35389
“Anabaptist Habits in a Modern World”.
Reflection on habits such as discipleship, peace making, service and mutual aid
which have characterised Anabaptist communities since the 16th century. Led by
Donald B. Kraybill, author and sociologist.
13 November. Cost: £18/£9. Location: London
Peacemaker Congress 2000. Co-sponsored by Christian
Peacemaker Teams and New Call to Peacemaking. Speakers: Walter Wink and CPT
27-30 December. Location Washington D.C. For info: John
K. Stoner, New Call to Peacemaking, P.O.Box 500, Akron, PA 17501, USA.