Archive for August, 2017

The Hill Center Dedicates Peace Pole, New Hampshire-USA

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

The Hill Center Dedicates Peace Pole
By Dot Maver

On Sunday August 27, 2017, 50 local community members and friends from far and wide gathered at The Hill Center in Walpole, New Hampshire for a dedication of a Peace Pole.

A World Peace Flag Ceremony led by Rev. Deborah Moldow, who also offered an original anthem, honored a re-dedication of The Hill, which had served for many years as Psychosynthesis Education Center, and is now a Peacebuilding Center.

It was also a joyful celebration of 85 years for Tara Stuart, a beloved world traveler and server.

Tara Stuart and Dot Maver

World Peace Flag Ceremony led by Rev. Deborah Moldow

The Hill Peace Pole

Little Artists for Peace – Peace Pals International – Cuiabá, Brazil

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

When I heard about the Annual Peace Pals International Art Exhibition and Awards project I immediately thought of the many children in Brazil, my native country, and in England where I live, which I would like to invite to this wonderful initiative. We cannot be neutral in the face of the great need for peace in the world and this would be a great opportunity for children not only to participate in a contest but to get in touch with the PEACE theme.

Then, after getting in touch with the project, I planned to gather “Little Artists for Peace”. That would be the name of my work groups and I started my contribution with this significant project, which has Art as an ally.

As I had planned a trip to Brazil, I saw the opportunity to work with children from the school Escola Municipal de Educação Básica Maria Tomich Monteiro da Silva (EMEB), in the city of Cuiabá, Brazil. Teacher Vania Campos is a dedicated education professional, who has stood out for making a difference in the classroom. I contacted her, who immediately accepted the challenge.

The school has as Director the Teacher Maria Estevina Mendes de Souza, a young educator who runs the institution, with almost 400 students (according to the school sense of 2016) with a lot of competence and affection. Maria Estevina authorized the accomplishment of my work in the school institution.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Nature for Everyone – Loving the Earth”, and after following the initial directions of the project, the children made their individual drawings, but in a united way, exchanging ideas, talking to each other about the theme. It was a wonderful day!

When we started the conversation about the drawings, the children showed a lot of interest in knowing the work of the winners of previous years, drawings of children from all over the world, so even in school was having other activities that prevented the organization of a more formal exhibition, We present the drawings for the students, with improvised form.

I believe in art as a transforming expression, as a form of aesthetic expression capable of educating critical thinking for the construction of another reality from an existing reality.

Its importance is made by being essentially human. To bet on an education through art is, first and foremost, to choose to bring to the educational environment what we have most essential: the capacity to create and recreate. Therefore, art can be seen as a form of language of strong pedagogical character where the child expresses him/herself to speak about the world and to the world. It is a bearer of meaning, an expression of thought that precedes a practice.

In this way, artistic expression, allowing the dialogue between the real life and the desired life, can nourish and strengthen the desire for change, for a better world.

All drawings must contain, in addition to the name and age of the author, the message “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, written by him/herself.

After finishing the drawings, we talked a little more about the activity and the message that should convey. Some children asked about the details of the contest, others said they liked to draw, but what I felt most important in developing the project was the fact that every child was able to express the importance of being there, participating in something in the name of PEACE.

Sonia Palma
Nuneaton – England.
July 2017.

Peace Pals International winner from Romania spots Peace Pole at Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

“May peace prevail on Earth” is an international art contest I keep darling since I was 8 years old and every year I take the chance to learn about peace from different point of views. Peace has become a symbol of my education as I take pleasure drawing human beings living in harmony with nature and animals. This contest nourished human values I will treasure my whole life.

While being invited to Toyota Dream car international art contest ceremony in Japan, I took the chance to visit Kyoto, the former capital of Japan in year 1000, which is home to multiple UNESCO heritage sites.

On my way to Arashiyama bamboo forest, “May peace prevail on Earth” peace pole was standing there like a welcoming bamboo tree.

Peace is a hard learnt lesson in Japan as memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb in Second World War is present in many pictures that can be seen in Kyoto Museum for World Peace. A replica of Guernica, by Picasso is on display here.
As peace starts from within ourselves, many meditation sites are present in zen gardens, water streams and open spaces found in temples like Tenryu-ji, Kinkaku-ji or Fushimi Inari Taisha.

It was a divine experience and I feel blessed to have had it.

Kind regards,
Ada Ciontu

Peace United Church of Christ, dedicates Peace Pole- Elkader, Iowa-USA

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

August-2017, the Peace United Church of Christ-(UCC)- located in Elkader, Iowa, has recently completed its Peace Pole.

Peace UCC began as Friedens Evangelical Church, later became Friedens Evangelical and Reformed Church and eventually, Peace United Church of Christ. Friedens, (German for Peace), has helped shape the Church identity since its inception in 1905.

Elkader was named for Emir Abdelkader, an Algerian leader who was Muslim. Elkader is an agricultural county seat in Northeast Iowa, with currently approximately 1250 residents. Elkader’s sister city is Mascara, Algeria. A Peace Pole in a small park area outside of City Hall has a matching Peace Pole in Mascara. Peace UCC is located one block from City Hall, both on Main Street.

Peace UCC is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ. The denomination has many firsts to its credit: the first woman ordained to the ministry, the first African American ordained to the ministry, the denomination that stood up in court for those on the Amistad slave ship, the first major denomination to support marriage equality. The list goes on and on, but one key point in the denomination’s history is that one of our ministers was a missionary who helped put the Algonquin tribal language into the written word, resulting in publication of The Eliot Indian Bible (officially: Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God, aka: Algonquin Bible), the first Christian Bible to published in British North America. English Puritan missionary John Eliot produced a translation of the Geneva Bible into the Indian Massachusett language. (Wikipedia)

Many of the members of Peace UCC are from a German heritage. Some are African American, some from European heritage such as Norwegian, Danish. A nearby town called Postville suffered a blow from INS when many Spanish speaking residents were deported years ago, and yet the community deals with the splitting apart of families in 2008. Algerian residents in our sister city of Mascara speak many languages including Arabic and French. Thus our Peace Pole has eight languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, French, Algonquin, and German.

Response to the new Peace Pole outside of Peace United Church of Christ has been overwhelmingly supportive. The white, red and black of the pole are Central Community High School colors, with the school one block away from the Church. The base of the Peace Pole is in silver, the color of all street sign poles throughout the city.

Pastor Jon Haack
Peace United Church of Christ
301 North Main Street
Elkader, Iowa 52043

Rotarians Plant Peace Pole in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – 2017

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

San Miguel de Allende is often referred to as the Heart of Mexico.  It is an old colonial town with a 600 year old history.  As a UNESCO World Heritage City, San Miguel de Allende is proud of it’s history, cobblestone lanes and traditional architecture.

On a bright summer day in San Miguel a historic Peace Pole dedication took place on August 2nd in the local Park Juarez.

Tom Snider, Peace Coordinator of the English speaking Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende Midday spearheaded the project and formed a partnership with the Spanish speaking Rotario San Miguel bringing the two cultures together in this remarkable endeavor.  The event was in the planning for the past two years with fund raising activities and negotiations with the city of San Miguel to obtain all the permits necessary to install the Peace Pole in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 3 meters tall peace pole was crafted out of cantera stone in keeping with the strict regulations of the Heritage Site.  The peace message was carved on the stone in English, Spanish and the native languages of Otomi and Nahuatl and adorned by braille and Mexican sign language at the base.  The Rotary logo was also carved at the base to honor the efforts of all the Rotarians that contributed toward this project.

The dedication event was started with words of prayer and blessings offered by the native Otomi and Nahuatl elders followed by a number of speeches by Soledad Sanchez, Rotary District Representative, President Fred Collins of the English speaking Rotary Midday, President Alberto Carbajo of the Spanish speaking Rotary Club of San Miguel and other community leaders who were came to celebrate the occasion.

After the unveiling of the Peace Pole, a World Peace Flag Ceremony was presented by Fumi Johns Stewart, Director of WPPS and Patricia Ann Talley, Peace Representative of WPPS in Zihuatanejo, Mexico who came to attend the event.  Youths carried the flags of the world while all in attendance gathered around the Peace Pole to send their wishes for peace to prevail in every country on earth with great enthusiasm.

After the Flag Ceremony, youth and adults alike joined as one heart and one mind in a Peace Walk which led from the park to the Jardin center of town.  The walk was led by a Nahuatl elder, youth and other enthusiastic community members who carried the flags of the world while repeating the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth and in many countries around the world.  The walk ended at the world renown La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, which is the current parish church of the City. 

Closing speeches were presented at the front steps of the church to conclude this memorable event by Rotarians, members of Pax Cultura and representatives of the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish Faiths.

With the planting of this magnificent Rotary Peace Pole in San Miguel, a huge seed was planted in the Heart of Mexico.  There are now plans to encourage other Rotary Clubs throughout Mexico to join the Peace Pole network.  Thank you Rotarians for your dedication to Peace through Service!

May peace be in Mexico
May Peace Prevail On Earth