[Episcopal News Service] With the nation about to mark the Iraq war's fourth year, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is asking Episcopalians churchwide to join in affirming the work of the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, and its March 16 services planned for Washington, D.C.
Ongoing Peace Witness initiatives include prayer and fasting, study of the Bible and the practice of non-violence, and the creation of weekly witness events in local communities.
The organization plans two March 16 Peace Witness services, one at Washington National Cathedral, and another at Washington D.C.'s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Full text of Jefferts Schori's statement follows:
“I urge awareness of and prayers for the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, to be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on March 16(note GC Resolution D020). As followers of Jesus, we are called to work for peace with justice in all contexts. The continuing war in Iraq demands our best efforts in seeking peace. May the Prince of Peace help us all to find peace in our day.”
The work of the Peace Witness organization is also endorsed by the churchwide Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
Christ, no one on earth really wants the pain and horror of war. We do not want to kill or be killed, to hurt or be hurt. But we all see injustice, and sometimes it makes us angry and we see no other way to right the wrong except by war. Christ, teach us the ways of peace! Calm our angry hearts and grant to all peoples and their leaders patience in the search for peace and justice. Help us to be ready to give up some of our comforts and power and pride, so that war will leave the face of the earth and we may work for you in peace.
(by Avery Brooks, in Plain Prayers in a Complicated World)