Eastern Mennonite University

A Prayerful Response to the Conflict in Gaza

Prompted by the recent violence in Gaza - which since Dec. 27 has claimed the lives of more than 1,300 Palestinians as well as 13 Israelis - EMU's student-run Peace Fellowship has planned a panel discussion and community prayer service.

A ceasefire in Gaza was declared on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009, but the repeated violence has taken a toll. In addition to those reported killed, more than 5,000 were wounded during this latest siege.

Discussion Panel

Peace Fellowship is sponsoring an informational panel about the conflict Wed., Jan. 21, 8 p.m. in the Common Grounds coffeehouse in the University Commons. Several individuals with personal experience related to the Gaza region will share their stories, providing historical context for the region and discussing what might happen in the coming weeks. Lisa Schirch, EMU professor of peacebuilding, is one of the panelists.

Service of Lament

"Hear our Prayer," a service of lament, will be held 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25 at Community Mennonite Church, South High and Water Streets, Harrisonburg.

People of all faiths and political perspectives are invited to join in prayer and songs of response to the violence in Gaza and Israel.

"Come join us as we cry out for peace in the local community and around the world," said student coordinator Larisa Zehr of Pittsburgh, Pa.

A candle lighting and procession to Court Square will follow the service.

For more information on these events, contact Larisa Zehr at or Michelle Kennell at .


The links on the right lead to reflections by EMU students, faculty, staff, alumni on the Gaza situation.

Rania Kharma, an EMU alumnus from Gaza, wrote of the ongoing crisis in Gaza, where she lives, in the Fall 2007/Winter 2008 issue of Peacebuilder, CJP's alumni magazine.

Kharma's family and friends, such as fellow conflict transformation graduate Bonnie Price Lofton, followed the worsening situation in Gaza through regular e-mails with Kharma, until the communication ended in 2008.

--article by Jim Bishop and Marcy Gineris; posted Jan. 20, 2009