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Grassroots Effort by Mason City's Faith Community on the War

May 25, 2007

Congress appears ready to give President Bush the money he wants for the Iraq war, but a growing number of Iowa's religious leaders are hoping to create a different outcome the next time the president requests funding in September. Some members of the Iowa faith community are making plans at a grassroots level to put pressure on politicians to bring the troops home.

The Reverend John Gannett, pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Mason City, sees the debate over the war coming to a crossroads.

"As we get further into the war and the debate that's going right now begins to heat up in the fall, I think that will be a changing time."

Gannett says, after meeting with several pastors, his next move is to take the issue to the Mason City Ministerial Association in hopes they will take a stand.

"There is a war weariness now that we have not seen before, and there is a realization, I think, that something needs to be done beyond what is being done."

If the Mason City religious leaders take a position on the war, Gannett believes others statewide will do the same.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA