Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Peace witness is scheduled at Annual Conference in Richmond.

The Brethren Witness/Washington Office will lead a public rally for nonviolence at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Richmond, Va., on the afternoon of July 15. In partnership with the Richmond Peace Education Center and other peace groups in the area, the Tuesday afternoon event will call for an end to the violence of current wars and focus on the need for direct conversation and mediation with Iran.

The event will begin with a march from the Greater Richmond Convention Center, stepping off at 4:45 p.m. Participants will begin with prayer, and then walk to the Richmond City Plaza where they will be greeted by speakers, music, prayer, and drama. Organizers are Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, and Adria Scharf, director of the Richmond Peace Center. The event will close by 6 p.m.

Conference participants are encouraged to join in support of the Church of the Brethren’s 2004 and 2006 resolutions against the Iraq war, and to witness to 300 years of Brethren heritage as peacemakers. Organizers hope that Brethren can once again give faithful witness to being a peace church, and work in faithful partnership with area peacemakers toward a common goal.

In addition, plans are being made to exhibit the "Eyes Wide Open" display as part of the peace witness. The display was featured at Annual Conference in Charleston, W.Va., some years ago, and included a symbolic display of the boots representing the American soldiers who had been killed in the Iraq war. Since then the number of casualties in Iraq has grown to over 4,000, and the display can no longer be shown in its entirety. Individual states have developed their own displays. It is planned for the Virginia display to be at Annual Conference in Richmond as a visual memorial to the more than 100 Virginian men and women who have been killed in Iraq, as well as the thousands of Iraqi and ally casualties.

More information will be available at the Brethren Witness/Washington Office booth at the Exhibit Hall at Annual Conference in Richmond.

--Phil Jones is director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

Source: 7/3/2008 Newsline Extra

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