Thursday, April 2, 2020

Book Review: Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson


By Christine Sheller

Just Mercy is a weaving of personal narrative, storytelling, and reasons to hope in the midst of a criminal justice system that’s broken.  Stevenson begins with some facts about incarceration and execution, along with his story about how he came to be founder and director of EJI- Equal Justice Initiative.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Iowa Peace Network Endorses Int'l. Conference "Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race"

By Christine Sheller

"Those who say a world without nuclear weapons is impossible need to get out of the way of those who are making it happen.” - Beatrice Fihn, ICAN

Iowa Peace Network recently endorsed the “Stop the New Nuclear Arms Race” scheduled for May 22-25, 2020 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Nukewatch, the Nuclear Resister, and the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA), were planners for the event. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Why are we talking about trauma? Is that the right word?


By Katie Mansfield, reprinted with permission; first published electronically from STAR/ Center for Justice and Rebuilding partnered with EMU (Eastern Mennonite University) based in Virginia.  A partner in St. Paul, MN as well.  Go to www.emu.edu/star to see more.

Harm is a word that can represent the impact of actions that create pain and stress. These actions may be intentional or unintentional.
In some cases, the creator/originator of the harm is unaware of actions’ impact or unavailable to be accountable for the impact. Not all harms lead to a trauma response, though many harmful situations can contribute to daily stress.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Using My Teaspoon to Make a Difference


By Susan Brogden, first published electronically by Churches for Middle East Peace, reprinted with permission

Just a little over one year ago, I returned from a three-month term of service with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). I lived in Bethlehem, experienced daily life in this Palestinian city, saw both its beauty and its devastation, witnessed both the warmth and the despair of the Palestinian people. Hardly a day passes when I don’t long to return.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Great Turn out for Climate Crisis Parade Feb. 1

By Christine Sheller

The Climate Crisis Parade held Saturday noon Feb. 1, organized by Bold Iowa along with cosponsoring organizations (numbering approximately 50) was amazing to see.  Bold Iowa reported approximately 1000 were present.  Unfortunately, there was not a lot of media attention, although there were reporters and photographers present!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

As Trump escalates tension with Iran, 2020 candidates need clear vision for peace

By Arnie Alpert and Jon Krieg, American Friends Service Committee; reprinted with permission, first printed in the Des Moines Register and Concord Monitor


Just (less than a week) before votes are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire, the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and Iraqi militia members has at last put matters of foreign and military policy at the center of the presidential campaign agenda.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Review: The Opposite of Hate by Sally Kohn

By:  Jess Hoffert

Hate: It’s a word that gets tossed around all-too-freely these days, from “I hate brussels
sprouts” to “I hate that person.” In her all-too-timely 2018 book The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing our Humanity,” CNN political commentator Sally Kohn digs deep into the roots of hate, identifying what true hate is before using case studies, interviews and personal experience to identify how and why we hate others.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

CALLING ALL PIPELINE OPPONENTS! WRITE TO THE IUB!


Reprinted with permission

We need as many pipeline opponents as possible to write to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and ask the board to stand strong against the aggressive tactics of Dakota Access. The pipeline company has been pushing officials in Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota to double the amount of oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We can and must stop them.

Staying Connected


by: Jessica Reznicek, first printed in the Hildegard House CatholicWorker Newsletter, Duluth MN
newsletter, Fall, 2019 News letter p. 7; reprinted with permission


Time certainly can reveal to us so much about who we truly are when we are attentive and present in our journey. As I grow, everything within me seems to be slowing down. Calming down. And I like it.

Peter Wigginton, mission and refugee worker in Ecuador speaks to JPOG in eastern Iowa




By:  Holly Blosser Yoder, reprinted with permission; first published for JPOG email list

Over thirty persons enjoyed listening to Peter Wigginton describe church mission and refugee work in Ecuador at a JPOG meeting on November 24, 2019 at East Union Mennonite Church.