Friday, February 17, 2012

Peter Ediger RIP

I am grieving for a man I never met.
I am grieving for a man's whose life and vision I only discovered online  last month
I am grieving for a a man who I wish to imitate in his bold witness to masculinity and peace-making.
I am grieving for a man whose story I am proud to share online that others may be bold and courageous in their living.
I am grieving the death of  Peter J. Ediger, poet, prophet and peacemaker.

Peter, died in Las Vegas February 16 after a brief illness. Ediger resided in Las Vegas , where he co-founded Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in 1989 with the Franciscan Friars of California.

The lifelong activist and advocate for nonviolence, social justice and Christian pacifism had recently directed his prophetic words to local churches, challenging them to obey Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.” In addition to regular work with Pace e Bene, he worked part time for Family Promise and served as a member of the Las Vegas Catholic Worker community until near his death.

Born to Jacob H. Ediger and Margaretha (Wiens) in central Kansas in 1926, Ediger was ordained by the General Conference Mennonite Church (now Mennonite Church USA) in 1954 and pastored several Mennonite congregations until 1986.

He was preceded in death by ex-wife Marjorie Reimer Ediger and brothers Abraham and Menno, and survived by sisters Katherina Epp, Marie Regehr, Anne Martin, and Elma Kauffman; children Irene, Joe, Janice and Duane; and grandchildren Jack, Greta and Sallie.

The memorial service is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4601 W. Lake Meade Blvd , Las Vegas .
Source for this material: Duane Ediger, 

The Australian Connection: A Reflection from Brendan Mckeague
Peter's ongoing generous support and encouragement over the years helped us to create something fresh and innovative here in Australia - I recall many clarifying emails and phone calls during the course of our first few years as we established and consolidated our own identity down-under. Peter was instrumental in providing so much practical assistance also - he made dozens of trips to the LA Post Office (Mail Centre) lugging cartons of FVTW and ENGAGE, bound for eager audiences in this far-away land across the ocean.

And as we gather in our various locations to celebrate one magnificent life well-lived, by my reckoning at 8am Wednesday Feb 22nd in Perth, Western Australia, (I can hear Pete chuckling at the notion that he passed away in Australia about sixteen hours before he passed away in LA) - I send you blessings of joy and gratitude for having had the privilege and the pleasure of meeting this grand man at various crossing points in my life. He has meant much to me then and will continue to mean much to me now and beyond.
Pace E Bene Newsletter February 2012
We at Pace e Bene are deeply grateful for the wisdom and many gifts that our brother Peter brought to our community. Perhaps some of the most memorable experiences we had with Peter were the times when he would sing with gusto and passion.  His voice, faith, and committment to justice always came together in a beautiful melody.  Here are two examples that keep this memory alive!
Finally, I thought I would share with you a poem Peter wrote some time ago.  We read it to him during the Mass Friar Louie Vitale celebrated at Peter's bedside in the hospital a few days ago.  Though we could not know what the days ahead would hold for Peter, there was a sense that this poem of his was in his thoughts and dreams:
Some nights
While not tending now
but rather counting
sheep awaiting sleep,
from somewhere
in the coming time
my aging ears are hearing
angels singing. 

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