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Swiss Churchman to Visit EMS

Peter Dettwiler, from the Ecumenical Office of the Swiss Reformed Church in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, will be visiting Eastern Mennonite Seminary on Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13.

Peter was instrumental in planning the Reconciliation Conference held in Zurich, Switzerland on June 26, 2004 for the Swiss Reformed Church and descendants of the early Anabaptists.

Felix Manz and other early Anabaptist martyrs
An artist's depiction of the execution of Felix Manz and other early Anabaptist martyrs who were put to death in Zurich. Peter Dettwiler spoke at the 2004 dedication of a plaque honoring the fallen churchmen. (Photo courtesy of Zurich City Archives)

This conference was the occasion for the unveiling of a plaque beside the Limmat River commemorating Felix Manz and other early Anabaptist martyrs who were executed in Zurich. (Read an account of Manz's death as told at the dedication of the plaque.)

Peter is coming to the U.S. for the upcoming conference, "Unlocking our Inheritance: Anabaptist Reconciliation & Healing Conference" to be held in Lancaster County, Pa., from April 7-9; and his visit to Harrisonburg will follow that conference.

Peter and his wife Helen (who will not be with him on this trip) spent an exchange year at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond many years ago during his theological studies. They later made the acquaintance of Dorothy Jean Weaver, professor of New Testament at EMS, in 1981-82, when she was an exchange student in Berne, Switzerland on the same exchange program.

Peter is interested in getting acquainted with the EMS community while he is here; and he will be participating in a variety of community events. He will be speaking in the EMS/Graduate Counseling Chapel service at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12. And he will likewise be speaking in Nate Yoder's Church History class at 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

If you wish to invite Peter to speak in a class, or if you wish to schedule a conversation with him, please contact Dorothy Jean Weaver by e-mail at or by phone at (540) 432-4276.