Interchange – 2008 – Peace Call – Richmond

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The peacemaking activities of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Richmond Friends Meeting bear witness to a range of local, regional, and national concerns. On the second Saturday of every month, we lead a silent “Take a Second for Peace” vigil and walk along our busy city Boulevard. The committee purchased “War is Not the Answer” yard signs and distributes them at no charge to Friends.

Members of the Committee have been an “informed presence” at several high schools career fairs with brochures and guidance about alternatives to military recruitment. With the Richmond Peace Education Center, we have improved the visibility and accessibility of the Opt Out form in the Richmond Public Schools information packets for parents and students, so that they can elect not to be contacted by military recruiters. Members of our Meeting have provided financial and volunteer leadership support for Quaker House in Fayetteville, NC.

Richmond Friends, along with the Peace Center and Midlothian Friends Meeting, provides ongoing oversight of Virginia’s “Eyes Wide Open” display, coordinating storage, maintenance and updating of the boots and signs for Virginia venues.

Our Meeting agreed on a minute opposing military action in Iran, and notified elected officials and the media of our position. The Committee organized two FCNL-related letter writing campaigns. Annually, our Meeting sponsors of the ecumenical and inter-religious International Day of Peace Vigil on September 21, with a silent vigil and candlelight walk that draws participants from area churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. And finally, last summer we hosted a forum for the Christian Peacemakers Team (Maurice Trimmer, Maury River Friends) and Alternatives to Violence coordinator, Hezron Masitsa from Kenya.

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