Archive for September, 2017

Peace Pole Rededication at Chapel at Croton Falls, New York – USA

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Interfaith Sunday Celebrates International Day of Peace

What an amazing guest graced our Interfaith Sunday on September 17, 2017 celebrating the U.N. International Day of Peace at the Chapel at Croton Falls in Westchester, NY! Kulavadhuta Satpurananda, a delightful master from India of many traditions, shared his wisdom and a meditation and even joined our Peace Pole rededication. We also heard from Muslim Sunera Rahman about the plight of the Rohingya entering her native land of Bangladesh; from Pastor Hans Hallundbaek about the “peace telegraph”; and kirtan music performed by Miriam ‘Sita’ Zernis. It was a joy to celebrate the International Day of Peace with this truly interfaith program.

 

 

 

The Peace Day event, organized by Rev. Deborah Moldow, includes an annual rededication of the Chapel’s Peace Pole, which was planted at the time of Dr. Hallundbaek’s first sermon welcoming the head of the Hudson River Presbytery in 2006, at the suggestion of a mutual friend of Hans and Deborah, Danny Martin. The prayer for peace has become an integrated part of the church’s worship since that time.

Dr. Hallundbaek says:

The planting of a Peace Pole was a natural manifestation of love for life, planet, community, and the recognition of our profound need for Peace in the world. It was also a recognition that the church needed to take a stance.

 “This planting and the subsequent rededications each year, as well as the annual Symphony of Peace Prayer services, are no doubt the single most significant and enduring contributions we, have made to the Croton Falls Chapel and the community.”    

This year once again, people of different faiths gathered around the Peace Pole bearing flags of many nations to affirm the Peace Pole’s universal message: May Peace Prevail on Earth!

16th Annual Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology – International Day of Peace – New York City – USA

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

The 16th annual Vigil 4 Peace & Ecology hosted by Susana Bastaricca brought together artists, musicians, dancers, and the United Nations NGO community for a day of celebration in Central Park. From flamenco and butoh dance to group meditation, the event provided an open environment for the greater NYC community to interact within an event parallel to the International Day of Peace.

 

 

The day concluded with a World Peace flag ceremony coordinated by Rev. Deborah Moldow, who had honored Susana Bastaricca with a certificate of commemoration of her service to community-­‐building and spreading the message MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH, naming her as the latest Peace Representative within the World Peace Prayer Society community.

 

International Day of Peace observance at the URI Global Staff and Council meeting in Sarajevo, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Friday, September 15th, 2017

On September 15th, 2017, the United Religions Initiative (URI) observed the International Day of Peace with a World Peace Flag Ceremony at our Global Council and Staff meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The event opened with Amb. Mussie Hailu introducing the International Day of Peace video message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.  URI founder,The Right Reverend William Swing, read The Nuclear Prayer that he originally wrote for our Voices for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons Cooperation Circle. (The prayer can be found at www.nuclearprayer.org.)

URI UN Team:Victor Kazanjian, Monica Willard, Maria Crespo, and Mussie Hailu

The flags were presented by 80 people from 40 different countries and displayed around a Peace Pole to create a sacred place in the center of our meeting space.   “May Peace Prevail on Earth” was sung together to open, close and to take time to pray together during the ceremony. URI has cooperation Circles in 102 countries, so The World Peace Flag Ceremony connected our meeting to our members and to the UN observance that was also held on September 15th.

URI Trustee Chief Phil Lane used the sacred space as the center to bless the 20 young participants and future generations

 

The Flags after the ceremony at the Peace Pole with Ribbons panels that were held during The Nuclear Prayer

May Peace Prevail on Earth,
Monica

Monica Willard
United Religions Initiative (URI),
United Nations Representative

Together for Peace: International Day of Peace Program at the Tillman Chapel, Church Center for the United Nations – USA

Friday, September 15th, 2017

 

Friday, September 15, 2017
2:00-4:00pm

Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations, under the loving stewardship of Rev. Dionne Boissiere for the United Methodist Women, once again hosted a day honoring the United Nations International Day of Peace. Multiple events with a sacred slant took place on Friday, September 15th, beginning with the U.N. webcast of the Secretary-General ringing the Peace Bell at 9:30 a.m.

The World Peace Prayer Society partnered this year with Children of the Earth, the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program and UNITE, organizations that arranged for a busload of 48 refugee students to attend the United Nations International Day of Peace student observance. Many of these young people from various countries were working for peace in different ways, so we offered to create a program together that would showcase the youth projects and then let the youth lead a World Peace Flag Ceremony.

The program, called “Together for Peace,” was directed by Heidi Tappan. It began with a warm greeting from Rev. Dionne, acknowledging all the programs that day celebrating the International Day of Peace at Tillman Chapel. Diverse students from the UNITE program introduced their impressive projects for human rights, environmental sustainability, youth art, and combatting discrimination, all illustrated by PowerPoint slides.  The student presentations were as follows:

  • Pabitra Bhattarai with her experience with Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program as a refugee;
  • Aden Haji with his program Building Blocks to Success at the Boys and Girls Club in Burlington.
  • Sam Cowles with his version of the Climate Reality’s 100% committed campaign and I AM PRO SNOW to combat climate change in the ski communities of Vermont;
  • Olivia LaPierre and her role as an ambassador for Be Zero, a zero-waste organization and role as the chair of the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequity to address racism in environmental activism;
  • Victoria Los talking about their group, UNITE;
  • Audrey Grant and Zymora Davinchi with their photography project, POC: Power of Color, where they share the stories and beauty of people of color in Vermont.

Those in the audience asked questions and expressed their admiration and encouragement.

 

The refugee group then presented a dynamic video called “The Change,” made by students, that invited us all to share in Peace, Connection, and Love.

Refugee students from different countries rose to say, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in their native languages.

It was then time for the World Peace Flag Ceremony, which the young people introduced and implemented. Brandon Perdomo, WPPS UN Youth Representative, provided flute accompaniment, while UN Rep Deborah Moldow helped with the country names. The flags were handed to the students with care by Akiko Imaizumi and Reiko Kamozawa. Everyone present prayed for every country in the United Nations, and Deborah was introduced thank everyone and to close the ceremony by presenting the flag of the United Nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The group organizer, Laurie Stavrand of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, said, “Thank you so much for all of your help in putting together this event and for all of the work you have done. Our students had a wonderful time and we look forward to working with you again.” Next year, we hope to put this group together with another student group for a lively exchange of peace projects and another beautiful World Peace Flag Ceremony.

Student Observance of the International Day of Peace – United Nations – New York – USA

Friday, September 15th, 2017

The United Nations hosted its annual Student Observance of the International Day of Peace honoring the message of the TOGETHER campaign – safety and dignity for all. The event began with an outdoor moment of silence with a ceremonial ringing of the garden’s bell by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which was complimented by a display of nations flags, compliments of the World Peace Prayer Society, held with pride by an international array of students. Honorable guests including S.G. Guterres and Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake then filed into Conference Room 4, welcoming valuable discussions of the Sustainable Development Goals, and hope for a diplomatic future amongst nations, including their leaders and their people. Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall offered a stunning testimony to the power of small grassroots efforts in addressing political voices including the pressing issue of our disruption of natural life and the impacts of our collective actions on the climate.

Students presented their own projects to address global issues. From Mater Day (New Jersey) school’s online tool kit to pursue peace in education, to Roots and Shoots, to the international Peace Crane Project, the passionate testimonies of the youth flooded the room with hope and a sense of forward-­‐motion toward a progressive global community. Musical guests (Omnia and Leila) Hegazy gifted attendees with stunning harmonies to original songs of belonging, home, and strength rooted in shared humanity.

We were joined via camera with the United Nations HQ in Bogota, Colombia, who offered stories of peace efforts within the country in the aftermath of a generation-­‐long civil war. Refugee students Saja Almogalli and Wendo Mbilizi presented personal stories of perseverance through struggle, change, and cultural boundaries. They then presented the peace bell, created from melted weapons of war, courtesy of the World Peace Prayer Society, which was rung, followed by a moment of silence, during which time the message “MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH” was present on the screens visible to the world.

Following this conference, members of the World Peace Prayer Society, Civil Society, and students filled the United Nations Church Center for even more presentations by youth of Vermont, who gathered under an image with the message “Vermont Youth UNITE Together For Peace.” Presentations centered on racial violence and prejudice visible and invisible in our modern world. The youth then facilitated a World Peace Flag Ceremony alongside Rev. Deborah Moldow with use of the flags provided by the World Peace Prayer Society. Youth Representative to the United Nations Brandon Perdomo played variations of the uplifting theme of “Chariots of Fire,” as attendees including members of the NGO community raised their flags in unity for wishes of global peace and harmony.

Universal Spirituality plants Peace Pole in SWITZERLAND

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

The Universal Spirituality gathering was organized by the Schweiberalp Center of Unity in Villa Unspunnen, Switzerland from 8th to the 10th of September.


The gathering was attended by a group of dedicated peace workers from various cultures and traditions to empower the spirit of spiritual oneness and global harmony.

A Peace Pole was gifted to the Villa by Keiko Ito who traveled from Japan to make the presentation.

A World Peace Flag Ceremony was also presented around the Peace Pole surrounded by friend of WPPS including with Patrick McCullum who played the World Peace violin.