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Dear Readers,
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 victims.

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 1999.

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,
Christian Hohmann
Trans: TRM

“love Truth and Peace” - Church and Peace movement celebrates 50 years of peace witness and ecumenical dialogue

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 made contributions.

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 oppression.

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.

Terri Miller

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 squire.
“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 eat?”
“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 garden.
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 smarter.”
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 years.”

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.

Trans: TRM

Changing the leopard’s spots
The challenge to the Baptist Union to become a Peace Church

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 discussed.
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.

Norman Kember
Adapted: TRM

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 nonviolence methods.

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 seriously.

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 protected]

Sylvie Gudin Poupaert
Trans: TRM

Refugees stream back to Kosovo, prompting shifts in MCC aid plans
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 God’s grace.”
MCC News Service, June 25, 1999

Nonviolent Intervention in the Conflicts of the Former Yugoslavia
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 communities
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, Email: [email protected]

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 Kosovo

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 Christi.

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 government/inhabitants):
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 effects.
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: [email protected]

“Salt to the World”
Peace House at the Assembly of the Evangelical Church in Germany

“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 Quakers.

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 information booths.

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 churches.

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 Assembly.

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.

Kerstin Horst-Rößle
Trans: TRM

Sister Pierrette new prioress of the Grandchamp Community
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 prioress.
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 informal dancing.
Christa Voigt
Trans: TRM

In Brief....
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: TRM)

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: [email protected]

Volunteer wanted!
beginning 1 Jan 2000

Do you
• enjoy being with children?
• have interest in meeting new people?
• want to experience life in an open, ecumenical Christian community?
• know something about finances and bookkeeping?
...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 conferences.
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 Office.

*Language classes are available in Wetzlar; some members of the Laurentiuskonvent and office staff speak French and/or English.

C.H./Trans: TRM

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 known.

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: «[email protected]». 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 States
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. (QPS)

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: (The Messenger, May 99)

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. £4.50
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. £8.99
To order: Metanoia Book Service, 14 Shepherds Hill, London N6 5AQ. Tel: (+44) 020-8340 8775, Email: [email protected]

Internet addresses
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. (The Peace Board 2/99)

The Bruderhof communities are hoping to raise awareness of the human cost of war through a new Website 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 99)

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
“Reconciling Divided Communities”
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 peace.
For more information contact: Mrs. Anne Malins, 32 Priory Street, Colchester CO1 2QA, UK.

Other important events
International Day of Peace. 14 September 1999.

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: [email protected]

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 Mennonite Centre.

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 Mennonite Centre

Peacemaker Congress 2000. Co-sponsored by Christian Peacemaker Teams and New Call to Peacemaking. Speakers: Walter Wink and CPT workers.
27-30 December. Location Washington D.C. For info: John K. Stoner, New Call to Peacemaking, P.O.Box 500, Akron, PA 17501, USA.