Last summer, 85-year-old Mennonite peace activist Peter Ediger decided to take his passion for peace to the churches in Las Vegas, where he lives. Peter works for Pace e Bene, the Franciscan nonviolence program. Like many of us, he’s concerned that the churches in the United States are ignoring, if not blatantly rejecting, the nonviolence of Jesus. So he wrote to area churches and announced that he would visit a different church every Sunday morning, keep vigil outside as parishioners entered and then join their worship service. During his vigil, he would hold up a large sign asking them about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount commandment, “Love your enemies.”
His one-man satyagraha campaign has been going on for six months now. When I heard about it, I called him to find out how it’s been and what he’s learned. He sent me a journal of his experiences.
From the start, he wanted to avoid self-righteousness, anger or violence, he wrote. “I hope I’m going in a spirit of love and less out of a spirit of judgment,” he wrote.