Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Iowa Peace Network Annual Open House & Holiday Gift Fair Held

The Iowa Peace Network Annual Open House and Holiday Gift Fair held December 6 was a success- held at the Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren.

By Christine Sheller, staff, Iowa Peace Network

Thanks to all who helped make our IPN Open House and Holiday Gift Fair a success- those who advertised, attended, and those who helped out with the fair by being a vendor, and for the speakers!

The IPN Annual Open House was held 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm in the fellowship hall of Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, the building in which the Iowa Peace Network office is housed.  We thank the members of Stover, also, for their generosity in sharing their fellowship hall with us.

Around 2:30 pm our program began.  We first heard from Erika McCroskey, Director of Catholic Peace Ministry (CPM), about the street theatre she has been doing with CPM volunteers at the many opportunities we, as Iowans, have, to make our voice heard at the various presidential candidates’ events scheduled in Iowa..  They are raising awareness of how much money goes to the military industrial complex, and also Citizens United- the deal that corporations are now “people” and can contribute to presidential campaigns.  She had two pictures to share- one of her dressed as a senator, and the other of a volunteer dressed as Miss Education.  She explained they are bringing a little sense of humor into the serious issues.

Speaker Kevin Rutlege continued with this topic.  He also spoke about bird-dogging at these events (asking questions to the candidates and getting their statements on specific issues) and did a caucus training.  Rutlege is Grassroots Education Coordinator at AFSC’s Governing Under the Influence project/ Presidential Campaign Project.  We had some audience participation after the presentations, and some good conversation about these issues.

A good amount of money was raised for many of the vendors.  Vendors included: Heifer International, Church World Service, Catholic Peace Ministry, AFSC, Guatemalan fair-trade handicrafts (Heart of the Sky fair trade items), Equal Exchange, and of course Iowa Peace Network.

Thanks again to all who helped &/ or attended!  It was a success because of you. 


  1. I photographed a fundraising conference here recently. What a wonderful place for photos. I almost always hate being anywhere at 6am, but this breakfast event proved an exception. The manger and his staff from venue NYC were extremely professional.