UK visit of Christian peace activist Gene Stoltzfus

UK visit of Christian peace activist Gene Stoltzfus

By staff writers
9 Jan 2009

[Scroll down for visit itinerary and resources]

[Press Release: http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8334 ]

Pioneering Christian peace activist and organizer Gene Stoltzfus will be in Britain and Ireland from 16 January 2009, speaking about nonviolent intervention in situations of conflict and injustice. With the tragedy unfolding in Gaza, the trip could not be more timely. The visit is part of a larger tour.

Gene Stoltzfus was the director of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) since its founding in 1988 until September 2004. CPT trains and places violence reduction teams in high conflict situations like Iraq, the West Bank, Colombia and various native or indigenous communities in the United States and Canada.

In the Americas, Teams and peacemaker delegations have worked in Chiapas, Vieques, Puerto Rico and Washington DC. Meanwhile, investigative teams have visited Chechnya, Afghanistan, Congo and the Philippines.

Stoltzfus traveled to Iraq immediately before the first Gulf War in 1991 and spent extensive time in Iraq again in 2003, consulting with Muslim and Christian clerics, Iraqi human rights leaders, families of Iraqi detainees and talking with American administrators and soldiers.

Gene's commitment to peacemaking is rooted in his experience in Vietnam as a conscientious objector with International Voluntary Service during the US military escalation there from 1963-68.

He recalls that watching the helicopter personnel unloading their cargo of bloodied bodies in Saigon set him "on the search to make sense of life and death where the terms of survival, meaning and culture don't forbid killing. I had to ask myself," he said, "whether I was as willing to die for my conviction as the Vietnamese and American soldiers all around me were being asked to do."

His peacemaking is also solidly rooted in theology, derived from his own Mennonite commitment, and the theory and practice of nonviolent action, conflict transformation, resistance and social change.

For the most up-to-date information, check out Gene's blog "Peace Talk" at http://gstoltzfus.blogspot.com/

Dates and venues

16 January, 7:30pm - Sustaining Spirit, Body & Mind for Long Term, Disciplined Peacemaking

Friends’ Meeting House, 43 St. Giles, OXFORD, tel: 01865 557373

17 January, 3:00pm - Case Studies - Peacemakers in the Midst of War

Friends' Meeting House, South Terrace, HASTINGS, tel: 014 2443 7820

18 January, 2:15pm - How can we regain a sense of compassion in the face of the frustrations of activism?

London Islamic Network for the Environment, at 14 Shepherds Hill, LONDON, tel: 0845 456 3960

18 January, 7:30pm - Invitation to Global Peacemaking

Cheap Street Church Hall, Cheap Street, SHERBORNE, email: l.docksey at yahoo.co.uk

19 January, 7:30pm - Following the Call to Peacemaking: the experience of Christian Peacemaker

The Friary Church Hall, Crawley Town Centre, Hasslett Avenue, CRAWLEY tel: 0129 354 2853

20 January, 7:30pm - Iraq as a case study: does nonviolence work in this century?

Friends Meeting House, 2 Church Street, READING, tel: 0118 9671362

21 January, 2:00pm - Case Study — Peacemakers in the Midst of War: Iraq

CCR Training Room, Peace Studies Department, Pemberton Building, BRADFORD, tel: 012 7423 5171

21 January, 7:30pm - Bending Our Lives to Active Peacemaking

South Parade Baptist Church, Kirkstall Lane, Headingley, LEEDS, LS6 3LF, tel: 0113 2754989

22 January, 6:30pm - Peacemaking and Anger

St. Ethelburga’s, 78, Bishopsgate, LONDON, EC2N 4AG, tel: 020 7496 1610

23 January, 6:30pm - Does Nonviolence Work?

Friends’ Meeting House, Hill Street, COVENTRY, CV1 4AN, tel: 024 7667 8735

24 January, 9:30am - A Peacemaking Vision: a Seminar on Realities and Risks

London Mennonite Centre, 14 Shepherds Hill, LONDON, N6 5AQ, tel: 0845 450 0214

25 January, 8:15pm - Case Study — Peacemakers in the Midst of War: Iraq

Cordner Hall, Cooke Centenary Church, BELFAST, BT7 2FW, email: reconsec at tcd.ie

26 January, 7:00pm - Does Nonviolence work in this Century?

Bishop Lloyd's Palace, 51-53 Watergate Row, CHESTER, CH1 2LE, tel: 0759 003 1388

27 January, 7:00pm - Does Nonviolence work in this Century?

Friends’ Meeting House, Dean Street, BANGOR, email: mail at bangorpeace.co.uk

28 January, 7:00pm - Following the Call to Peacemaking: The Experience of Christian Peacemaker Teams

Evesham Methodist Church, Bridge St, WR11 4SF EVESHAM, email: gematthews at tiscali.co.uk

29 January, 7:00pm - Case Study: Peacemakers in the Midst of War - Iraq

Quaker Meeting House Bean street, HULL, HU3 2PR, tel: 079 5292 8829

30 January, 7:30pm - Burns’ Night: Iraq, A Case Study in Peacemaking

The Christian Centre, Glebe Street, FALKIRK, tel: 013 2471 6231

31 January, 2:00pm - Bending Our Lives to Active Peacemaking

Bull Street Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, BIRMINGHAM, B4 6AF, forbesbarbarae at yahoo.co.uk

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Further information and resources:

* 'A chance to hear about nonviolence', by Wilson Tan - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/8335

* Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) - http://www.cpt.org

* CPT in the UK: http://www.cptuk.org.uk

* In Harms Way, the official history of Christian Peacemaker Teams may be purchased through Ekklesia here: http://books.ekklesia.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=2354

* Gene Stolzfus: http://gstoltzfus.blogspot.com/

* 118 Days: Christian Peacemaker Teams held Hostage in Iraq, edited by Tricia gates Brown - http://books.ekklesia.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=2248

* Hostage in Iraq, by Norman Kember - http://books.ekklesia.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=1966

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