Peter J. Ediger, poet, prophet and peacemaker, died peacefully in Las Vegas on Thursday, February 16 after a brief illness.
Peter co-founded Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service in 1989 and worked with our organization for many years.
Peter was a lifelong activist and advocate for Gospel nonviolence and social justice. Over the past six months he had visited local churches reminding them that Jesus called us to love our enemies.
In addition to his work with Pace e Bene, he worked with Family Promise, a local organization that assisted homeless familes. For many years he was actively involved with the Nevada Desert Experience, and served as a member of the core group of the Las Vegas Catholic Worker.
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 Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV.
For more information, contact Ryan Hall at, email@example.com or (510) 268-8765. See peterediger.blogspot.com for a blog that followed events during Peter's illness.
Pace e Bene wants to thank all who were praying for and supporting Peter over the past two weeks. Your emails and phone calls were deeply appreciated.
For the Pace e Bene Community
Some of us from Pace e Bene were able to spend time with Peter in his final days, including LR Berger, Ryan Hall, and Louie Vitale. Many members of Peter's extended community walked with Peter during this illness, including family members, folks from the Las Vegas Catholic Worker, and Jim Haber and Mary Lou Anderson. It was an honor to accompany Peter in this powerful journey.
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!
• Peter Ediger singing his submission for the "Say Your Peace" video contest held by the September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
• After the Creech 14 trial in Las Vegas ended with the judge deciding to take some months to render his decision, the defendants and supporters returned to Bartlett Ave. to decompress. Peter Ediger led the assembled in a rousing rendition of "Alabare."
Finally, we would like to 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 at te time 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:
While not tending now
but rather counting
sheep awaiting sleep,
in the coming time
my aging ears are hearing