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Area clergy forum prays for peace in public service here

About 70 people gathered last week on Skokie’s Village Green, in Niles Township, to pray for peace in a ceremony organized by the Niles Township Clergy Forum.

Forum spokesman the Rev. Pete Campbell said the gathering drew members of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindi, Buddhist, Jain and Baha'i communities from Skokie and the surrounding area.

All were united in a desire that the war between American and allied troops and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s troops end as soon as possible, said Campbell.

He is pastor of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 8201 N. Karlov.

The ceremony was held on the green next to Skokie Village Hall at 5127 Oakton St. It included prayers and brief commentary from speakers. Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen attended, Campbell said.

“We prayed for peace, for those who had died and for their families. We prayed for unity and for healing, for justice, for leadership, for those

who are over there. And we prayed for guidance,” he said.

Clergy forum leaders had talked for at least a month about having a prayer vigil on the Sunday afternoon following any invasion, he said.

The event was intended to be apolitical, he added.

“There were some religious leaders who were more comfortable with the war and others who were far less comfortable.”

“But we were all in agreement that we wanted peace to come as soon as possible.”

©Copyright 2003, Pioneer Press, Niles Herald-Spectator (IL, USA)

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