Project Peace plans fall events

Founded three years ago by Sister Paulette Schroeder, Project Peace continues its mission to promote peace at personal, community, regional, national and international levels. The organization twice has sponsored a Peace Fair, several speakers, non-violence workshops and public peace rallies.

Schroeder said she believes peace must start with individuals and build from there.

“I think this is one area of life that people feel, generally, that they’re just not too responsible for it,” she said. “‘Somebody else is causing it, so it’s not up to us to resolve it.

“Project Peace is saying it’s the responsibility of every citizen to do what we can in our own contexts,” she said. “People can play a role at many levels.”

Schroeder also has written newspaper columns and given presentations in the area to be a voice for oppressed populations. This year, Project Peace will not stage another Peace Fair, but the group is to have a float Sept. 20 in the Heritage Festival Parade. The float theme is “Weed Out Violence: Plant Love.”

In an effort to boost membership and funds for Project Peace projects, the group also is to have an information table downtown during the festival. It is to feature literature and an interactive “connect the dots” display to show the links between poverty, war and the climate crisis. The booth also is to feature models of drones built by Mike Fagin. Schroeder said dozens of countries are using drones for war-related purposes.

“There will be some explanation to show how they are the new type of warfare,” Schroeder said. “We’re trying to point out some of the dangers.”

The drones are being included in conjunction with the efforts of Campaign Nonviolence to focus on drone warfare Sept. 21-27. The week is to conclude with International Peace Day Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.

Also Sept. 27, Schroeder has organized a benefit concert by British performer Paul Baker at 7:30 p.m. at The Ritz Theatre. Baker, from London, is a popular star of musical productions, including “Lion King,” “Chicago,” “Lucky Stiff” and “Starlight Express.” The concert is to feature Baker singing selections from favorite shows. All seats are $20 and available for purchase at The Ritz box office, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin, or from St. Francis. Call (419) 448-8544.

“Those who wish can go to Phat Cakes afterward to meet him,” Schroeder added.

The concert is intended to generate financial assistance for local residents to travel with her on a tour in Palestine in the spring of 2015. Schroeder spent three years serving assignments near Hebron with the Christian Peacemaker Team. Friends she made during that time serve as guides for the spring delegations. For the most recent trip, Schroeder was able to provide scholarships to allow two people to join the tour.

“I have found it to be effective to get more and more people exposed to the ‘truth on the ground’ in Palestine/Israel,” she said.

Project Peace is to sponsor another event at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 in St. Francis Chapel. This free program features guest speaker Paul K. Chappell, Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He also is the author of “The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World.” From his studies at West Point and a tour of duty in Iraq, he has concluded violence and war are not needed to resolve conflicts. His talk is called “Why Peace Is Possible: Exploring the Anatomy of Violence and War.”

For more details, see the Project Peace Facebook page or call Schroeder at (419) 447-0435, ext. 136.