Archive for February, 2012

World Interfaith Harmony Week Program Brings Spirit of Peace to UN General Assembly

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

“Common Ground for the Common Good” NYC, New York-USA
February 7th, 2012

A rare event took place in the UN General Assembly on February 7, 2012: religious and secular leaders from around the world gathered to affirm “Common Ground for the Common Good” to mark the close of the second annual World Interfaith Harmony Week (February 1-7).

The program, hosted by the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, was organized by a team of UN NGO representatives that included Deborah Moldow of the World Peace Prayer Society and WPPS Peace Representative Monica Willard, both officers of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN.

The program featured Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and diverse voices, religious and secular, from all over the world, echoing the theme of harmony and the foundation of values shared by both religious groups and the United Nations itself. Four “pillars” of the President of the General Assembly were also addressed: Conflict Mediation; Disaster Prevention and Response; Revitalization of the UN; and Sustainable Development.

The star speaker of the day was young Yuka Saionji, daughter of Chairperson Masami Saionji and President Hiroo Saionji of the World Peace Prayer Society. Ms. Saionji has been working among the Japanese youth who lost so much during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and needed to find the confidence to rebuild. She brought tears to everyone’s eyes as she spoke movingly of the importance of prayer, and how much the prayers and support from around the world brought comfort to the Japanese people – and she received a standing ovation.

Monica Willard, who represents the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations, stated that the purpose of the event, which honored GA Resolution A/RES/65/5 establishing World Interfaith Harmony Week, was to fill the General Assembly with love. This was accomplished with speakers offering the wisdom of their traditions and also with music, which included an indigenous flute, a chamber ensemble and the Salvation Army New York Staff Band. The Children’s Theater Company offered a delightful presentation of peace quotes and a song of unity by a joyful troupe of young people.

The spiritual highlight of the program was a tree ceremony, co-led by Deborah Moldow with Taj Hamad of the Universal Peace Federation. Representatives of eleven religions were invited to come forward to give water to a common tree, symbolic of nurturing our common ground. The beautiful music of Paul Winter, a member of the WPPS Founding Advisory Board, was a magnificent complement to the ceremony. Deborah closed with “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

All speakers and organizers came onto the stage for the final music of the ceremony and the concluding remarks of the President of the General Assembly, who stated that, “the fruits of religious dialogue and understanding offer the hope of a new era of peace for all humanity.”

In the great hall of the nations of the world, 1200 active listeners – along with many watching the webcast from different parts of the world – each held a shared vision of a culture of peace throughout the program. The Peace Pole next to the stage silently expressed our “Common Ground for the Common Good,” as it anchored a new spirit of harmony and peace.

Executive Director speaks about “Peace Culture in Japan”- Wassaic, NY-USA

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

February 5th, 2012

Fumi Johns-Stewart, Executive Director of The World Peace Prayer Society graciously accepted an invitation to meet with Mr. David Janes, at The World Peace Sanctuary, headquarters of The World Peace Prayer Society.

Mr. David Janes is the Director of Foundation Grants and Assistant to the President at the United States-Japan Foundation.

Mr. Janes is also a doctoral candidate in sociology at The New School for Social Research and is currently engaged in research regarding “peace culture in Japan.”

“May PEACE PREVAIL on Earth” World Peace Prayer Ceremony, BULUSAN, SORSOGON, PHILIPPINES

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

February, 14th, 2012
Taken at Bulusan Lake, Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP), Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Mario Toots- Fungo, WPPS Peace Representative in the PHILIPPINES

Spreading the “Peace Message” in MOROCCO

Thursday, February 9th, 2012


While in Morocco for a Peace Pole dedication ceremony and a World Peace Flag Ceremony in honor of the Dahkla International Gathering, Fumi Johns-Stewart, Executive Director of The World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) met so many peace loving people. Here are just a few of the many very special guests who were honored to accept stickers from Ms. Stewart bearing the peace message, May Peace Prevail On Earth.

Hicham Bahloul, Moroccan Actor and Ms. Fumi Johns Steward, Executive Director of The World Peace Prayer Society

Peace Pole in District of Darjeeling, Kurseong – INDIA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Just seen this in a garden in Darjeeling, Kurseong, India.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!
Hope you are all well.
Love and Light

Peace Pole in Historic District, Fishkill, New York – USA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


This is a peace pole located on Main Street in Fishkill, NY. It is located in front of the Du Bois House, one of the earliest buildings in the village dating from approximately 1750 AD. Today, the DuBois House contains offices of the First Reformed Church and the Fishkill Food Pantry.

Two Peace Poles were recently dedicated at the new Embassy compound at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest – ROMANIA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Hello Ms. Fumi-Johns Stewart and happy new year. I am writing at long last to send you information about the dedication of the two Peace Poles at U.S. Embassy Bucharest earlier this Fall.

The day was an important milestone for the Embassy and for Romania – we are very honored to be the home of two Peace Poles.

I want to say that I very much appreciate the wonderful way in which you all took care to make sure we had the Peace Poles in time, I’m only sorry that our Ambassador was way-laid by other urgencies that demanded his attention away from this project. As you’ll see from the photos, the Peace Pole do look wonderful in place on the grounds of the new Embassy here in Bucharest and the reception for them among staff and visitors has been wonderful.

It’s been a pleasure to work with your organization and I hope to be able to do so again; thank you for what you do around the world to envision and bring about peace. And thank you for your patience with us!

Best wishes for your continued success in 2012 and beyond; I hope that our paths will cross again in the future.

Two Peace Poles were recently dedicated at the new Embassy compound at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest Romania. Coinciding with the U.S. government’s move to the new compound located just north of Bucharest; over 50 staff along with dignitaries from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony led by Deputy Chief of Mission, Duane Butcher.

The two Peace Poles, one installed in the Consular Section’s Garden and the other near the Embassy’s main entrance, host the phrase “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in 16 languages, all of which are spoken in Romania or in the neighboring countries. Embassy staff gathered for the dedication ceremony and “May Peace Prevail On Earth” was spoken in each of the featured languages by a native speaker of the language among the staff members and dignitaries gathered. Several group photos were taken as well to document the historic occasion.

The Peace Poles are believed to be the first planted at an American Embassy abroad and an estimated 400 people pass by the Peace Poles each work day.

Laurie J. Meininger
Deputy Consul General U.S. Embassy Bucharest

These are everywhere in Ojai – Peace Poles in Ojai, California – USA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


This one is at a shop on Montgomery Street (near the downtown Ojai main drag). When I saw one at the Farmer and the Cook (a really cool restaurant), I told the waitress about my friend (you-WPPS!) and asked her why I was seeing so many. She said, ‘oh, those are everywhere in Ojai’… go figure!

Leslie Zimmerman–Sent from my iPhone

Shop on Montgomery Street, Ojai, California

Peace Pole – East Lake Community Learning Garden – Atlanta, Georgia USA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Peace Pole – East Lake Community Learning Garden – Atlanta, Georgia USA

Peace Pole Planting Ceremony in Rulindo – RWANDA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Dear friends of Shalom Educating for Peace

Please find attached a short description and photograph of our very meaningful Peace Pole Planting Ceremony in Rulindo District, Rwanda. This ceremony forms part of our long term involvement in the Gako Cell of Rulindo District where we are walking alongside that community as they work towards peace and reconciliation.

Click image to view PDF

With thanks again to the Goi Foundation in Japan, the mayor and district authorities of Rulindo, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Linny and Leb Traubman, A Peace of Life, Canada/Rwanda, our guests from the US and Europe, the Rwandan media, members of the SEP board and the community of Gako Cell for this memorable occassion.

In peace,
Jean de Dieu Basabose, Cori Wielenga and Mary Coffman
Shalom Educating for Peace