This year, On Earth Peace remembered Veteran’s Day with two events addressing issues of faith and militarism.
Messiah Church of the Brethren, in Kansas City, Mo., hosted an all-day workshop on Nov. 11 titled, “A Faithful Response: Supporting and Welcoming Those Who Choose Conscientious Objection or Military Service.” Susanna Farahat of the On Earth Peace staff facilitated sessions on Christian nonviolence and sharing stories in community, and joined with the 27 participants in welcoming Laura Partridge of the American Friends Service Committee, and J.D. Wright, of Vietnam Veterans of America. Kansas City pastors Barbra Davis and Sonja Griffith led the group in opening and closing worship services, encouraging participants to listen for God’s word in seeking a faithful response.
“I just realized I’m a conscientious objector.” These words came from a participant at the Southern Ohio District Fall Youth Rally on the theme, “Reclaiming God’s Grace: You and Your World.” The rally took place Nov. 10-12 at Camp Woodland Altars, near Peebles, Ohio. Fourteen youth joined Matt Guynn, a staff member of On Earth Peace, for Bible study, worship, contemplative prayer, singing, workshop sessions, and a talent show and singalong. The rally focused on the love God extends to each person and the “boomerang” effect of Jesus’ nonviolence, in the words of youth participant Elizabeth Smith from Beavercreek Church of the Brethren. A short film festival included faith testimonies from veterans of the Civil Rights movement, an introduction to Christian conscientious objection, and two new On Earth Peace video productions: a film on military recruitment and faith, and a documentary on Church of the Brethren relief programs in Europe after World War II.
Please check the On Earth Peace website www.brethren.org/oepa for more information about these and other events, or to order either video from On Earth Peace.