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A mission of peace
By Jane Fosberry Enos
April 17, 2009
Ipswich Chronicle

Ipswich —

A small group of monks trekking across the state spreading their message of peace will be arriving in Ipswich on Wednesday for a stopover at the House of Peace on High Street.

Their arrival coincides with International Women’s Day, a coincidence that will be celebrated at a potluck supper Wednesday night at First Church.

“This year we’re very conscious that both events involve saying no to war,” said Carrie Schuchardt, who, with her husband John, runs the House of Peace as a temporary home for refugees of war who are making a new start here.

“Reclaiming the Ground of Peace” is the theme of the monks as they spend four weeks walking from their Peace Pagoda in Leverett, arriving at the Statehouse on March 20.

This theme, as well as “Women Say No to War!” will be celebrated at the March 8 potluck dinner at the First Congregational Church, 1 Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich. The event is hosted by Rev. Rebecca Brown and First Church and sponsored by the North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice.

A potluck supper will be served at 6 p.m. followed by a program at 7:30 p.m. Performers include Kristine Malpica and Alyce Underhill, drummers and singers, and Mary Casey, folk singer.

“It is kind of a wonderful coming together on the impulses of the walk and those who honor women on this day,” said Schuchardt.

She said the Buddhist order of monks, Nipponzan Myohoji, are deeply devoted to bringing about peace and nonviolence. “They pray and walk for peace all over the world,” she said.

A brochure proclaiming the efforts of the walk includes this quote from the Most. Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii, founder of the order: “Weapons that can destroy everything have already been made. That is why we must seek a power that surpasses violence. This is called non-violence and it is what humanity is searching for.”

The monks are also reaching out to mayors and municipalities around the world to join Mayors for Peace at the invitation of the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki “to become a force directly linked to grass roots populations calling for the complete abolition of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020.”

The peace marchers will be walking from North Andover to Ipswich on Wednesday, March 8, to spend the night at the House of Peace and with neighbors. On Thursday, March 9, the walkers will leave at about 8:30 a.m. to head to Essex for a luncheon there before heading to Gloucester. On Friday, they will walk from Gloucester to Beverly and Salem.

The public is welcome to join the monks at any time during the Walk for a New Spring.

For more information, call the House of Peace at 978-356-9395.

Copyright © 2009 Ipswich Chronicle
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.

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