The brief homily which follows was prepared as the core of a closing worship service which concluded a conference attended by US and Soviet religious leaders. The conference, entitled "The Challenges of Peace and Justice: Responses from the Religious Communities of the US and USSR," was sponsored by US-USSR Bridges for Peace of Norwich, Vermont. It was held at the Arch Street Friends Meeting, and was organized in cooperation with the American Friends Service Committee and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends. The Soviet participants at the conference, 14 in number, were delegates sent by the Russian Orthodox Church at the request of Bridges for Peace. They included clergy and lay members of Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic churches in the USSR; and a member of the Soviet Jewish community. This delegation was in the US from April 3-17, 1986 . The conference took place on April 15, near the end of their journey. A meeting held the day before the conference with the Philadelphia Council on Soviet Jewry, to discuss issues around official Soviet emigration policy as it pertained to Jewish persons in the USSR, provided part of the inspiration for the remarks in the homily.



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