Church celebrates 'International Day of Peace' Sunday

Linda LeTendre doesn't expect many of the people who attend this weekend's Peace and Justice Fair to take the same avenues she has to promote peace.

LeTendre frequently takes part in peace protests and demonstrations. She's been arrested eight times.

For LeTendre, it's a matter of principle. Raised a Roman Catholic, LeTendre later became a Quaker, and she believes if you're going to be a Christian, you don't go to war. You just don't do it.

But she knows that taking a literal stand for peace makes some people uncomfortable. And that's fine -- in fact, she considers protesting something of a calling, one that not everyone receives, or answers.

There are plenty of other ways to get involved in the peace movement, and she hopes that the Peace and Justice Fair will open people's eyes to that.

"We're hoping to get some general folks who want to get involved in peacemaking but don't have the faintest clue where to start," she said.

"There is something for everyone," organizer Elizabeth Meehan said. "If you're a conservative or a liberal, you will find something to do there. It's not a hippie, tie-dyed shirt sort of event."

So what sort of event is it? It's equal parts education and entertainment. The fair kicks off at noon on Sunday, Sept. 20, at The Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church of Saratoga Springs, with several booths offering information. More than 30 organizations are taking part, including Pennies for Peace, which supports education in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Curbstone Press, a printing company that focuses on social issues; and Bread for the World, a Christian coalition that fights hunger and poverty. Several local groups, such as Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Saratoga Peace Alliance and Schenectady Neighbors for Peace, will also be represented.

Some booths will have petitions to sign, while others will simply strive to teach fairgoers about practices like buying fair trade goods.

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