'Report from Iraq' May 5 at Unitarian U. Church

“Report from Iraq” will be the subject of a special Peace & Justice meeting at 7:39 p.m., Thursday, May 5, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner St. Special guest will be Peggy Gish of Athens, Ohio, who recently returned from her fifth trip to Iraq, working with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). She was there for a total of 16 months in the past two and a half years. The team in Iraq has worked to support nonviolence movements, promote fair treatment of Iraqi detainees, and witness the conditions of life under the occupation.

Gish’s recent book, Iraq: A Journey of Hope and Peace, tells the story of her personal experiences and the work of CPT in Iraq before, during and after the 2003 war.

Gish makes real the horrors of war and her passionate vision for peace. The book includes stories of sleeping in a tent during the bombing, villages surrounded by razor wire, being deported out of Iraq, working for justice for Iraqi prisoners, creating relationships with Iraqi citizens, and through it all, seeking the way of Jesus’ nonviolent suffering love.

Gish is a mother, grandmother, farmer, community mediator and former co-director of the Appalachian Peace and Justice Network in southeastern Ohio. She is a member of the Church of the Brethren and a part of New Covenant Fellowship, a communal church.

Christian Peacemaker Teams currently has other violence reduction teams working in Hebron, the West Bank, Colombia, Canada with Native American communities and the Arizona/Mexican border. It is supported by the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church USA, and Friends United Meeting.

This program is sponsored by Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee with an assist from Rockford Urban Ministries, and the Social Responsibilities Committee of the UU Church.

More info: Stanley Campbell, director of Rockford Urban Ministries, 964-7111.

From the April 27-May 3, 2005, issue

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