“We shall confront the suffering of the earth and its displaced peoples, with a thought of the heart manifested in community life…”
- from Principles of the House of Peace, 1990
In 1990 the House of Peace opened its doors to victims of war. The generous historic rooms of Rogers Manse (whose 290-year history includes shelter for the religiously persecuted and hospitality for those who would seek “A Great Awakening”) have received hundreds of guests in need of the healing streams of community life.
In 1990 the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was being adopted internationally—a new start for new generations. Today, we look on nearly three decades of our striving in a world of war-broken and tragically displaced refugees and we ask: What of this “thought of the heart” which created our House of Peace, as a space attempting a fullness of moral values? In the face of violent decades of unfathomable pain, what of a small community daily struggling to heal the wounds of endless wars?
As uncounted and unknown civilians die in vast regions of abandonment, a constant stream of families and children have received shelter and protection, strength of community, and warmth of love here in Ipswich. Desperate parents, war-disoriented children, veteran peace-makers, students, companions with special needs and special gifts, the dying and the soon to be born, have all formed our life, re-formed our vision and blessed our every day and night.
Our community of the House of Peace—a thought of the heart—has been blessed by the accompaniment of a stream of selflessly generous friends who have responded to the wounds. For every sufferer driven from home, warm blankets, clothes, gifts have appeared; for every deprivation and hunger, nourishing food has been given; for every financial crisis, generous donations have been contributed; for every corner of house, barn and gardens, woods and hilltop sacred to the Agawam people, inspired helpers filled with enthusiasm have come; for every need of soul and heart, the love of friend and stranger has been shared.
Surrounded by the gentle wisdom and boundless warmth of our large, growing, often invisible community of volunteers, donors, supporters in every form, the House of Peace continues to collaborate and consecrate the substance of suffering toward the passage to healing. With deep trust in the future and boundless gratitude for the encouragement of friends near and far, in companionship with all “wounded healers,” our hearts break in atonement for a century of violence and in hope for a great awakening to the promise of peace.