Archive for the ‘Community Event’ Category

Munich Peace Conference – Munich – Germany

Friday, February 16th, 2018
At the Munich Peace Conference
Old Munich Town Hall
February 16, 2018
The Munich Peace Conference is held annually bringing activists together to form alliances and discuss peace building.
WPPS Munich office headed by Dagmar Berkenberg hosted a booth with printed literature introducing the work of WPPS as well as desktop peace poles and various other giveaway items.
Banners with the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth, translated into multiple languages were also displayed prominently at the Old Munich Town Hall where the Conference took place.
Among the attendants was ICAN Germany founder Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm.  ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) won the 2017 Nobel Peace prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition.”  
 
Dagmar presents a Peace Pole to ICAN Germany founder Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm.
May peace be in Munich
May peace be in Germany

Flag Ceremony and Peace Pole dedications honoring The World Interfaith Harmony Week – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Representatives of various faith traditions, visionaries, musicians and artists from around the world came to Ethiopia, “Land of Origins”, to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week from 31 January until 7 February 2018.

The week began with a Unity Earth sponsored U-Day Festival – Convergence of Fire.  The two day spiritual retreat and opening ceremony of the U-Day Festival was held in sacred Lalibela where a ceremony to light the Torch of Peace, the Torch of Unity and the Torch of Compassion was presented in the presence of global spiritual and religious leaders, change-makers and musicians.

The highlight interfaith event took place on February 2nd in the Plenary Hall of the African Union Commission building under the theme, “Interfaith Cooperation to Promote a Culture of Peace, Harmony and Human Dignity.”  It was a most auspicious location as members of the African Union Peace and Security Council meet here on a regular basis to negotiate resolutions and programmes which affect the lives of millions of people on the African continent.

The African Union Commission Plenary Hall

Graced by the presence of H.E. Dr. Mulatu Theshome, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as well as His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Mrs. Amira ElFadil, nearly four hundred international religious, spiritual and cultural leaders and change-makers joined this official World Interfaith Harmony Week event to advocate how peaceful coexistence among religions and spiritual traditions fosters a sustainable and harmonious planet.

President Mulatu Teshome of Ethiopia delivers opening remarks and joins the moment of prayer to commence the program.

Prayers from various faith traditions were offered to open the program followed by the message “Treat others the way you want to be treated” coined in the Golden Rule read from different holy books by representatives from the Christian Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikh, Bahaï and from the indigenous native American, aboriginal and maori traditions.

Greetings and prayers were offered by His Holiness Abune Mathias (left), Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Shieikh Muhammed-Amin Jamal Omar (middle), President of Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council.

Inspirational messages from dignitaries were delivered for this auspicious occasion including a message from Mr. Hiroo Saionji, President of The Goi Peace Foundation and The World Peace Prayer Society which was read by Mr. Patrick U. Petit, representative of The Goi Peace Foundation.  In his message, Mr. Saionji stressed that the ‘divine spark’ inherent in each human being and in all living things is our common source of existence. He called upon and reminded participants to help igniting the divine spark in humanity’s consciousness in order for lasting peace and harmony to prevail on Earth.

Patrick Petit – Goi Peace Foundation

The World Peace Flag Ceremony was presented by Fumi Johns, Executive Director of WPPS as a grand finale of this auspicious event at the African Union Commission Headquarters.  Participants joined in prayer by offering their hearts and minds for peace to prevail in each single country while young Ethiopians carried with pride and dignity the respective flags of all the nearly 200 countries of the world. An atmosphere of oneness with diversity filled the room. Participants were ecstatic and deeply moved by the energy of oneness as the Flag Ceremony came to a dramatic close in the presence of all the member flags of the African Union.

Once the Ceremony came to a close and while the room was filled with a vibrating spirit of joyful unity, a Peace Pole was presented to the people of Ethiopia and to the African Union Commission followed by a series of desktop Peace Poles presented to religious and cultural dignitaries present at this commemorative event.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week event at the African Union Commission Headquarters was facilitated and orchestrated by H.E. Ambassador Mussie Hailu, WPPS Peace Representative in Ethiopia and Representative of the United Religious Initiative to Africa and to the African Union Commission, who worked tirelessly to make this special event happen, and to whom we would like to cordially express our deepest gratitude and respect.

May peace be in Ethiopia
May peace prevail on earth

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security accepts Peace Pole – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

WPPS sister organization, The Goi Peace Foundation presented a Peace Pole to H.E. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security on 2 February 2018 for his outstanding leadership in peacemaking and security building, and for tirelessly implementing the African Peace and Security Architecture across the African continent.

The unveiling of the Peace Pole in the lobby of the Peace and Security Building.

Despite of the great challenges Ambassador Chergui and his staff are facing in the creation of a culture of peace and prosperity in Africa, they have never let themselves discouraged by all sorts of difficult circumstances, but despite all odds, continue keeping good faith and feeling compassionate in their noble mission to bring peace in all corners of Africa. To “silencing the guns” by the year 2020 and “sustaining peace” in Africa is the utmost objective of the AU Department for Peace and Security.

Patrick U. Petit, Representative of the Goi Peace Foundation, presents Peace Pole to H.E. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security.

In his remarks, Ambassador Chergui expressed his gratitude for having received this Peace Pole which he will permanently display at the entrance lobby of the Nyerere Peace and Security Building. In his words, the universal message of peace, May Peace Prevail on Earth, should remind, inspire and encourage his Department staff day by day, as well as visitors to the Building to implement humanity’s collective aspiration. Ambassador Chergui also stressed that his ambition lies in the vision that every individual on Earth should embrace peace in its thoughts, words and deeds on a daily basis.
The AU Department of Peace and Security is located in the Nyerere Peace and Security Building on the facility of African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Goi Peace Foundation and the AU Department for Peace and Security are looking forward to further collaboration in the field of peace education, women and peace, peace through arts, and conflict prevention in the nearest future.
Please visit the website of the African Union Department for Peace and Security at http://www.peaceau.org

 

Shamanic Plant Medicine Journey 2017-Wassaic, NY-USA

Monday, December 18th, 2017

A six-month intensive to connect deeply with the sacred medicine plants for healing and spiritual evolution.

The students were taught to heal by utilizing Plant Elixirs and create healing art. They also learned to bring the plant’s energies into their daily lives and communities and work with the Music of the Plants as another form of communication.

Classes were held from July-December one weekend per month at The World Peace Sanctuary, facilitated by Karine Gordineer of Green Girl Herbs and Healing.

 

Peace Pals International 20th Anniversary Celebration, Geneva, Switzerland

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

21 November 2017

It was an event to be remembered with International Partners #NatureForAll and DiversEarth celebrating with IUCN council members from over 30 countries and special guests from Geneva and abroad.

The event began with guests arriving to Cite Du Temps located in the heart of Geneva, Switzerland and in the middle of the Rhone River.  Guests were able to admire the artwork and faces of children which was displayed on various digital frames throughout the event hall.

The event began at 7:30pm with introductions in English and French by Sean Southey of #NatureForAll and Liza Zogib of DiversEarth both partners/collaborators of this year’s Peace Pals International Art Exhibition and awards. We also heard from John G. Robinson, IUCN Vice President and Councilor for North America and the Caribbean; and Chief Conservation Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society who expressed his congratulations to all the children who participated this year and left us with words of wisdom.

 

Liza Zobig, Director, Sandra Spissenger, Operations and Divya Venkatesh, Communications, spoke about their work with DiversEarth and their invaluable participation with this year’s contest, with the theme “Nature For All ~ Loving The Earth.”  Liza, Sandra and Divya were our team on the ground and with their help and expertise in Geneva, this event was an absolute success.

Fumi Johns Stewart, executive director of The World Peace Prayer Society and Jules Lamore, Director of the Peace Pals International program spoke briefly about Peace Pals International and the importance of Peace and Nature for all children and what it means to the youth who participate.  This year we received over 4,000 works of art and we encouraged all guests to encourage educators, parents and children from their communities to continue supporting this worthwhile program.

An audio visual concert was performed by Kenji Williams of Bella Gaia who took us through a 20-minute presentation of imagery accompanied by his violin playing.  Kenji’s magnificent visual concert allowed us to see the world through the eyes of NASA which left the audience speechless and stunned with a greater understanding and love for our planet.

The Peace Pals Awards were officiated by Jules Lamore of Peace Pals International who invited 12 presenters to join her on stage to present the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from the 4 age categories.  The presenters represented their organizations; The World Peace Prayer Society, DiversEarth, IUCN and special young guests from The International School of Geneva.  Everyone in attendance celebrated the winners as the room filled with applaud for each of the talented 12 winners.

Following the awards ceremony for Peace Pals International Art Contest, Liza Zogib announced the local winners from The International School of Geneva, Switzerland.

Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists from both the international and local contests. The winners can be viewed by visiting:  http://wppspeacepals.org/2017-winners-and-finalists/

During the program, Fumi Johns Stewart and Jules Lamore presented IUCN with an 8 language Peace Pole to be on permanent display at the IUCN offices in Gland, Switzerland.  Kathy MacKinnonm Chair WCPA, Kristen Walker, Chair, CEESP and Sean Southey, Chair CEC received the Peace Pole on behalf of IUCN.  In addition, desktop Peace Poles were gifted to Liza, Sandra and Divya of IUCN as a special  thanks for all their heartfelt assistance in Geneva.

 

 

 

The event ended with our World Peace Flag Ceremony Finale, which was led by Fumi Johns Stewart.  There wasn’t a silent voice in the theatre as people waved their flags for each and every country in the world as they sent peace to every country by name with a special emphasis for our host country, “May Peace be in Switzerland – May Peace Prevail On Earth.”

After the Finale, the guests were invited to view the art exhibition which featured the 12 winners from the 4 age categories and the 40 finalists of the 20th Anniversary Peace Pals Art Exhibition and Awards.  Many of our guests took selfies of themselves with winning artwork from their countries.

We would like to thank our partners and supporters for making this event a great success.

Please view the video to see highlights from the event.

May Peace Prevail On Earth
Please visit Peace Pals International to see all the winners and finalists.

International Day of Peace at the Sacramento State Capitol – USA

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

September 23rd, 2017

The International Day of Peace event was hosted by The United Nations Sacramento Chapter President, Kate Van Buren on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.  Local peace builders and organizations gathered to celebrate this occasion in the spirit of peace and goodwill in the very heart of California.
As part of the opening welcome, volunteer WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie, spoke about the universal message of hope and prayer for peace, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” to attendees at the Peace Day Celebration.

WPPS Peace Representative, Major Reneé Marie

 

Following the welcome speeches, Fumi Johns-Stewart and Major Reneé Marie presented the World Peace Flag Ceremony honoring all sovereign nations by invoking the World Peace Prayer as participants placed the corresponding flag cards around the Peace Pole.  Participants held hands in a moment of silence to conclude the ceremony while speaking the Universal Message of hope for Peace, May Peace Prevail On Earth in unison, three times.  It was a very moving community event.

Peace was sent to all sovereign nations on every continent around the world.

 

Peace Builders gather for a group photo with the flags of every nation around the Peace Pole.

 

The Sacramento Chapter of the U.N. led our Peace Walk which concluded the celebration honoring The International Day of Peace.

Photos by Brendan Woolley

World Peace Prayer Society Brings It All Together in Washington DC – USA for IDP

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

As part of The World Peace Prayer Societies participation in numerous International Day of Peace 2017 events, Jim Dugan, Manager of The World Peace Sanctuary in New York, presented a United States Flag Ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Monument in Washington DC as a highlight of the “March to Restore Civility” created by Ken Nwadike and the Free Hugs Project. This is the same spot that Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream “ speach. Speakers from varied backgrounds included Sargent Tommy Norman who is a Positive Police Practices Specialist from the North Little Rock PD along with other nationally known Police Officers, Native American Activist Eryn Wise, Daryl Davis (African American Activist who built bridges with Ku Klux Klan members), International Peace Educator Dr. Arthur Romano, Bobby Seale (Founder  of the Black Panther Party) and many many others. The US Flag Ceremony included the US Territories and the Indigenous Unity Flag.

L to R, Jim Dugan and Sally Damon. Photo from C-SPAN

You can watch the entire event, all the speakers and Flag Ceremony here on the C-SPAN website. C-SPAN broadcast the entire rally (the Flag Ceremony is at 1 hour and 6 minutes in part 1):
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-1/march-civility-rally-part-1
https://www.c-span.org/video/?434436-101/march-civility-rally-part-2
Here is a short video on the event and the featured speakers:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkjnSJE-aPg

World Peace Flag Ceremony calls for Peace to Prevail – Spokane, Washington – USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

May peace prevail” were the words attendees repeated the night of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, in the Hemmingson Center.

On Sept. 21 students one by one added a flag to the spiral during the World Peace Flag Ceremony, hosted by Communities for Justice, Pax Christi and One Peace, Many Paths.

 

“So, we’re doing this this night with honoring all of the flags of the nation,” said Hank Broeckling, co-director at One Peace, Many Paths, adding that they started the ceremony six years before.

Broeckling said the purpose of the ceremony is to connect with other people and nations around the world to “rise above the energy of discord, the energy of dissention,” and move beyond that by sharing energy and love with those around the world.

“We really appreciate the joy that you bring by sharing your time tonight to be here to think about how we come together in a time of such divisiveness,” Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies said. “And we think about, locally, the challenges that we’re facing with Freeman [high school], when we think about, globally, the challenges that we’re facing with [North] Korea, and yet we remember that we’re all part of the same community together.”

Hoover added the ceremony was an opportunity to take action and demonstrate “the mosaic of the world that we all belong to.”

Sister Anne Bosserman, from Pax Christi, discussed how two years ago, 194 nations signed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

These goals focused on issues including poverty, hunger, gender equality, clean water, access to energy, education, economic growth, conservation of marine life, desertification, climate change, inequality and many others.

“These are the global goals for 2030, and Spokane is already accomplishing some of them,” Bosserman said, later reading the summary of the goals found in the preamble of the United Nations global goals along with two other speakers.

Before blessing the ground where the flags were placed, a collection basket was brought out to help raise money for victims of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean area.

During the blessing, attendees joined hands in a circle around the space where the flags would be placed while Broeckling gave the blessing.

“I ask you to know that each one of us is a representative of God this night,” Broeckling said during the blessing. “We are the hands and feet of God in this world and that when we come here we bring with us energy and light and love to do our work.”

Broeckling then asked attendees to give their love and light to bless the ground, “to fill it with light and energy, and to sustain it and lift the energy up,” so it can be carried by the flags to the countries around the world.

Before the start of flag presentation, Joan Broeckling, co-director of One Peace, Many Paths, gave a brief history of the ceremony.

Atlanta celebrates International Day of Peace – Georgia – USA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

WPPS Peace Representative Andrea Kay Smith from Atlanta, Georgia, USA took part in an International Day of Peace event which took place at the local Atlanta Public Library.  The event was part of the Libraries for Peace initiative which will become an annual project.

Andrea shared a booth to highlight the many peace initiatives in Atlanta including Atlanta Peace Trails, a program that maps Peace Poles and Peace Monuments in Atlanta http://www.atlantapeacetrails.com, World Peace Trails and her own peace program, Partnerships in Peace.  The Peace Pole carries the peace message in  English, Creole, Swahili & Farsi.
 
May peace be in Atlanta

South Sudan Plants First Peace Pole!

Thursday, September 21st, 2017
On the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2017, the Republic of South Sudan planted her first official Peace Pole in the City Council of Juba.  WPPS Peace Representative Mussie Hailu of Ethiopia organized the dedication in the capital city marking the planting of the first Peace Pole in the Republic of South Sudan.
The official ceremony was presided over by the Mayor of Juba City Council Hon. Stephen Wan Michael, religious leaders and other officials and representatives of the communities.

Mussie Hailu, standing to the right of Peace Pole, with South Sudanese officials.

 
Early in the year, Mussie who is also Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative in Africa (URI-Africa) signed an agreement with WPPS to work in partnership to promote a culture of peace in Africa through the universal peace prayer  May Peace Prevail on Earth.
 
The Mayor appreciated the effort of URI-Africa & WPPS in promoting peaceful co-existence and he said that peace initiative of the two organizations is very much needed more than ever in South Sudan. The Mayor also expressed his gratitude to URI-Africa and WPPS for dedicating and planting the first peace pole in the republic of South Sudan.
 
On the same occasion, URI – Africa facilitated the City of Juba to become a member organization of Mayors for Peace International based in Hiroshima and also fostered a working partnership between the City of Juba and the UN-Habitat/UNEP Regional Office for Africa. 
 
May Peace be in South Sudan
May Peace Prevail On Earth