Archive for the ‘Peace Rep News’ Category

International Day of Peace in Warsaw, POLAND

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

 

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WPPS Peace Representative in Poland, Jacek Koslovski, organized a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony in honor of the International Day of Peace.

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Mayor of Warsaw and Ambassador of Japan were involved.

Naomi Yamazaki, Secretary General of the Goi Peace Foundation attended as representative of Mr. Hiroo Saionji, President and Mrs. Masami Saionji, Chairperson of the Goi Peace Foundation.

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Jacek Kozlovski, WPPS Peace Representative works closely with the Japanese culture group in Poland such as: Tea, Bow and Arrow, Japanese fencing and more.

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Sonoko Tanaka, WPPS Peace Representative in Italy also attended.

 

The 2016 International Day of Peace Student Observance at the United Nations-USA

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By Rev. Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations for The World Peace Prayer Society

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The International Day of Peace student observance at the United Nations began in 1997, when the Education Outreach division of the Department of Public Information (DPI) decided to invite local students to observe five UN-appointed days, including the International Day of Peace, then marked on the third Tuesday in September, the annual opening day of the General Assembly. The World Peace Prayer Society’s UN Representative offered a World Peace Flag Ceremony with the Middle School students raising the flags of all the Member States. DPI agreed to try it, and from then on the World Peace Prayer Society and Pathways To Peace were NGO partners in planning this event each year, later joined by the United Religions Initiative and the Jane Goodall Institute.

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Over the years, the NGO partners worked with DPI on the annual theme and helped outreach to schools and entertainers. The NGOs also encouraged DPI to invite the Secretary-General into the student event from his ringing of the Peace Bell until his presence and that of the celebrity Messengers of Peace in attendance became a regular feature. They also succeeded in getting the UN to invite the students to offer short presentations on their own peace projects, which is always inspiring. And they asked for the students to be allowed to carry the flags outside to where the Secretary-General rings the Peace Bell.

In 2016, the 20th student observance of the International Day of Peace at the United Nations took peace to a whole new level – literally. After raising the flags high at the UN Peace Bell, the students processed in to their event, which was held in the prestigious General Assembly Hall! After a rousing hip-hop presentation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the students and asked them to become champions of the Global Goals.

Secretary-General Photo by D. Moldow 

Secretary-General
Photo by D. Moldow

The President of the 71st General Assembly also spoke. Then it was time for the Messengers of Peace. Actor Michael Douglas then took on the role of M.C., and then showed a video on disarmament.  Dr. Jane Goodall spoke touchingly about the need to preserve the natural world.

Dr. Jane Goodall Photo by David Willard

Dr. Jane Goodall
Photo by David Willard

Stevie Wonder told of overcoming his disability to reach millions with his music.

Stevie Wonder Photo by David Willard

Stevie Wonder
Photo by David Willard

Leonardo DiCaprio – a favorite with the students – showed a trailer for his new film about climate change.

Leonardo DiCaprio  Photo by David Willard

Leonardo DiCaprio
Photo by David Willard

And Midori played a stunning piece on her violin, before explaining the importance of giving children the experience of living arts.  Following the introduction of the Global Teacher Award honoree, Ms. Hanan Al Hroub of Palestine, all were treated to a beautiful series of songs performed by the Rainbow Choir of children from the Republic of Korea, which was very warmly received.

Rainbow Choir Photo by Ashley Young

Rainbow Choir
Photo by Ashley Young

But that wasn’t all! There were three Nobel Peace Prize laureates to speak to the youth about their passion for peace: Ms. Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, Ms. Leyma Gbowee of Liberia and Ms. Shirin Ebadi of Iran. As youth moderator Dena Mekawi took the podium, there were video links to the UN Peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Liberia, as well as a student presentation from Rome. Then six students offered brief presentations of their own peace projects, after which Mrs. Ban rang a peace bell inscribed with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” for a 12 noon Minute of Silence, as she has each year of her husband’s term as Secretary-General, which concludes this year.

Mrs. Ban rings the Peace Bell

Mrs. Ban rings the Peace Bell

Following the event, Deborah Moldow and Monica Willard presented Mrs. Ban with a desktop Peace Pole in recognition of her dedication to the students and to peace.

Mrs. Ban, Rev. Deborah Muldow & Monica Willard (from left to right)

Mrs. Ban, Rev. Deborah Muldow & Monica Willard (from left to right)

This spectacular morning of peace ended on a high note with the students being led in a chant of “SDGs – Building Blocks for Peace!” They will not forget their visit to the United Nations – where peace was celebrated at the highest level.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

UN Photo by Rick Bajornas

UN Photo by Rick Bajornas

World Peace Prayer Ceremony at Ananda European Center Assisi-ITALY

Monday, November 21st, 2016

On August 27th, we held a beautiful WPFC at Ananda Assisi, the European community of the followers of Paramhansa Yogananda, where people practice Yoga, meditation and prayers in order to awaken their divinity, to elevate and expand their consciousness. Around 200 people gathered not only from all over Italy but also from USA and other countries in Europe. I planned and prepared for this peace celebration day in a perfect collaboration with a team of Ananda Community.

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On August 24th, in the center part of Italy where I live, we had a strong earthquake which caused a lot of destruction in many towns in three regions. This peace ceremony was planned to be held only three days after the disaster, and we were still having a lot of small but continuous earthquakes. I felt all that was happening must have already been planned in the divine world a long time ago. In the first part of the ceremony where each spiritual leader offered a talk and a peace prayer, we offered our deep prayers and meditation for those who were facing a very difficult moment and a lot of pain losing their families, friends and houses.

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I told them that in Japan and in every part of the world people were praying for Italy and supporting us, and said, “In 2011, when a terrible earthquake and tsunami hit one third of Japan, we received many messages of love and prayer supports from all over the word. Just like that time, now all the members of our associations and also many other people in different countries are constantly praying for Italy. Thoughts are energy and prayers reach to the hearts of people. We, Japanese people, know very well how much healing and encouragement a spiritual support and a thought of love can give to the people when they feel like to have lost everything.”

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The world top leader of Ananda Community, Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi talked first, Jyotish said “Every religion teaches the same thing, for example, in all sacred words of great masters of each religion says, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others” or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We follow the same teaching.”, and talked about the importance of respecting diversity and yet recognizing that we are all same in our original nature. Then, the talk was followed by our guests, a Camaldoli father(Christian), an Imam from Perugia, a Tibetan monk, a representative of Baha’i, and a director of My Life Design Foundation and of International School of Forgiveness.

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Tibetan monk said, talking about the disaster of earthquake, “In an emergency, unconditional love manifests and a pure desire of serving to and helping people becomes awakened in the heart of humanity. Rescue workers never care nor ask at all if the person in need to be saved is a man or a woman, of what age, or of which religion. There exists only a human being in need for a help. Our brothers and sisters are there asking for help. Rescue workers do not mind even to risk their own lives to save someone, in this beautiful action only shines a respect of life. Facing such a disaster, a beautiful heart of love and of compassion manifests in ourselves and we feel a sincere desire of helping others and a desire of offering love”. Also Imam, who is a surgeon, said, “All religions teach us to love others. None of the religions teaches us to take somebody’s life. When I operate a patient, I do not question if the patient is an Italian or a German, etc. The word Salam(Peace) contains Allah(God) within, Allah is Peace itself”.

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We concluded the first part with a short mediation guided by a leader of Ananda community, then we all went out of their beautiful temple and prepared for the World Peace Flag Ceremony. Everyone united immediately their voices and hearts as soon as we started, this was also the inauguration of my new large flag set, and I was very happy to use them for the first time for such a great event.

Spiritual leaders thanked me for being invited to be part of a wonderful ceremony, their faces were open and shining. My five partners of the ANANDA peace committee were all full of joy and said, “We held other Interfaith conferences in the past, but this is completely different. we never saw before today the representatives of different religions becoming so open to communicate with each other.” One of them said, “Next time we would love to organize the event over two days and create more prayer meetings, workshops, more collaborations with local spiritual groups, music and dance etc. It was an incredibly touching day, all the wonderful moments are still alive in me and I am sure they will continue to live forever in my heart. Many people were strongly moved and wholeheartedly felt deep resonance. There is no doubt that our peace ceremony elevated our consciousness, and not only the level of our consciousness was heightened but also we were expanded to the world at a horizontal level as well.”

Another peace committee member and one of the leaders of the community said, “While raising flags, my heart was filled with a deep emotion, we, all participants, shared the light of Love and Joy. All of you, World Peace Prayer Society members are truly beautiful ambassadors of Peace, who have been working for the creation of Peace in the Universe. Let’s build more and more wonderful days like this in the future. May all the hearts of humanity be filled with Peace and Harmony”.

Many people thanked me with tears in their eyes, many others hugged me with shining faces, saying that this World Peace Flag Ceremony was the best. I am so happy that we could offer our peace prayers with people who share the same spiritual understanding. It was a great joy to create a Light Field of Oneness together with people who have already elevated consciousness and who know the power of prayer.

Infinite Joy!!! Sonoko Tanaka, WPPS Representative in Italy

Mayor of Szklarska in Poreba accepts Peace Pole-POLAND

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

On September 23rd, in recognition of the International Day of Peace- members and staff of the World Peace Prayer Society ( WPPS) along with Sonoko Tanaka, WPPS Peace Representative in Italy presented the town of Szklarska, Poreba and its Major with a Peace Pole and dedication ceremony.

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Sonoko was also there to spread the peace education program in local schools.

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That same evening we all visited the Aikido dojo where we planted a Peace Pole a few years ago and had a good meeting with the aikido group.

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Jacek Kozlowski
WPPS, Peace Representative in Poland

Celebrating IDP -20th anniversary of the 49th Peace Pole erected on Peace Mountain in Peace City-Kosice, SLOVAKIA

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Dear friends in peace,

Sending you the report from Slovakia:
September 15th this year was a great day for 120 children including their teachers and parents supporting Peace activities.

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We celebrated the 20th aniversary of the 49th Peace Pole erected on Peace Mountain which is 1242 kilometers high. Peace Mountain, in Peace City is located in Kosice, the east part of Slovakia.  Peace City is visited by many foreign tourist every year-most of them are Japanese.
The activity was held to celebrate the upcoming IDP- “International Day of Peace.”

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500The World Peace Flag Ceremony took place for European COUNTRIES and relay standards for all COUNTRIES was presented.

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It was a special occasion for all participants to see the 15 year old ribbon on the standards. They were from the project in 2001-the LONGEST PEACE message in the world–it is a 3700 meter long ribbon with the message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in different languages.

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This year’s activity was finished with reading peace greetings for schools in European COUNTRIES.

Klarka Hodnicova, WPPS Peace Representative, NM-Kosice, Slovakia

PBS39 Television at 839 Sesame-rededicates Its Peace Pole on the 2016 International Day of Peace- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

By Rev. Deborah Moldow
Representative to the United Nations for the World Peace Prayer Society

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Monica Willard, Representative to the United Nations for the United Religions Initiative and longtime Peace Representative of the World Peace Prayer Society, organized a beautiful rededication ceremony for the Peace Pole that had been installed on “Sesame Street” by the PBS television station in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th 2001. This wonderful location is right in front of the famous Steel Stacks that have been preserved as a monument to the steel industry that built the area. It is now a most unusual attraction, including a park-like area where concerts and other festive events are offered.

The event began at 10:00 in the morning with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s International Day of Peace video message played on the outdoor JumboTron over the door of PBS39.

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High school students from the Lehigh Valley Charter Arts choir set the tone with a lovely a capella performance. Introductory remarks about the International Day of Peace were offered by Mrs. Willard, and Deborah Moldow of the World Peace Prayer Society led a moment of silence for world peace.

Tim Fallon, the CEO of PBS39, delivered a warm welcoming speech that acknowledged the Peace Poles around the world that “represent the oneness of humanity’s wish for a world at peace.” Then a representative of Mayor Donchez read a proclamation specially prepared for the PBS39 Peace Pole Rededication.

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Monica welcomed 60 fourth grade students from Donegan Elementary School to raise the flags of all nations one by one in a World Peace Flag Ceremony conducted to a PowerPoint presentation of the countries of the world on the JumboTron screen that had been prepared for the United Nations.

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The Charter Arts Choir concluded the event with another uplifting song of peace. The event was covered by all the local media, calling the attention of everyone in the Lehigh Valley to the PBS39 Peace Pole and the International Day of Peace.

Tim Fallon, Monica Willard, Deborah Moldow

Tim Fallon, Monica Willard, Deborah Moldow

Photos from Lehigh Valley Live online:   Leghigh Valley Live

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Peace Pole to Deputy Governor-NIGERIA, AFRICA

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Our meeting today was with the Deputy of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Mr Moses Ekpo, MFR at the exco chambers of old Governor’s office and 18 members of The World Peace Prayers Society (WPPS) Nigeria Chapter. The event was colorful!

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A Desktop Peace Pole, Peace Button, Stickers, past program of event for IDP, a Compendium of Events of WPPS Nigeria photo booklet, and background information about WPPS was presented to the deputy governor while stickers were distributed to all.

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A peace song I composed with the peace message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth ” was sung by all.

Amongst the issues we discussed, was the 2016 International Day of Peace, inclusion of the peace message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in the state program and for him to become a member / adviser of WPPS in Nigeria, which he accepted.

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We need your prayers for more successful plans in Nigeria for WPPS in 2016 and in the future.

At the end of our meeting, the deputy governor took a photograph with the group.

Press coverage in both print and electronic is now going on.

Attached are a few photographs and more to come when the photographer and videographer submit their work.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute my little quota for peace in this regard.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.

Sincerely,

Mojima Etokudo
WPPS, Peace Representative
Nigeria, AFRICA

2016 Season for Nonviolence World Peace Flag Ceremony, New York, NY-USA

Monday, April 4th, 2016

March 15, 2016

Educators George S. Anthony and Lindy P. Crescitelli, founders of Stand Up and Lead, organized an outstanding event in observance of the 2016 Season for Nonviolence at the United Federation of Teachers headquarters in New York City. In attendance were approximately 500 students from various middle and high schools around the city.

George with Peace Pole   Keynote Speaker Minniejean Brown-Trickey
            George Anthony             Minniejean Brown-Trickey

The keynote speaker was Minniejean Brown-Trickey of the original Little Rock Nine that integrated the first high school in Arkansas in 1957. She recalled her unique experience and how she learned to hold her head up high. Her daughter, filmmaker Spirit Trickey, also spoke about her mother’s remarkable leadership.

Student Monologues on Exclusion

Student Presenter with Gandhi

 

There were wonderful student presentations in music, poetry and prose from six New York area schools, including a brilliant dramatic skit about Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Skit
Rhythm Ensemble from Harlem

Deborah Moldow led a World Peace Flag ceremony with a musical chant sung by students, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation created specially for the day, featuring the event flyer that included the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” A team of young volunteers distributed the flags of all nations. Deborah led the ceremony in call-and-response style, asking the student holding the flag of the country called out to stand, along with anyone from that country. Minniejean Brown-Trickey proudly waved the American flag.

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Deborah also brought a Youth Arts Peace Pole decorated by students at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY to display during the event, hoping to inspire some of the schools to make one of their own.

Deborah with Flag Ceremony Singers Deborah Leads Flag Ceremony with PowerPoint

There was an inspiring closing speech by longtime WPPS supporter Jennifer Kim of the Peace School in Chicago, who heads the U.N. Education Peace Team with George Anthony, encouraging the students to bring the spirit of nonviolence forward to the International Day of Peace on September 21st.

Jennifer Kim Speaks - with Peace Pole
                                         Jennifer Kim

George Anthony and Lindy P. Crescitelli truly outdid themselves this year, organizing a most inspiring event for the Season for Nonviolence.

George Anthony, Deborah & Lindy Crescitelli
   George Anthony, Deborah & Lindy Crescitelli

Nearly 1000  gathered “United Against Hate-United For Peace”  Sacramento, California-USA

Monday, February 29th, 2016

December 19th, 2015

In front of the California State Capitol building, nearly 1000 people gathered from different religious and ethnic backgrounds to express  solidarity, to both condemn the terror attacks in San Bernardino (and Paris), and to also unite against all kinds of intolerance, especially increased targeting of the Muslim community at home and abroad.

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Major Reneé Marie, U.S. Army Reserve Officer and Volunteer Representative of The World Peace Prayer Society, Sacramento, CA shared the Peace Pole for this event.

Media: http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/rally-against-hate-staged-in-sacramento-california/article_072a1054-b573-11e5-a29b-9bee3664bd3a.html

The Peace Pole Garden Project
(on Facebook)

The Fuji Declaration at the United Nations in honor of World Interfaith Harmony Week-USA

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

February 3, 2016

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Mrs. Saionji joined other distinguished government and U.N. speakers, religious, and heads of international organizations to discuss the importance of interfaith solidarity in ensuring the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The event was organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in partnership with the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations.

The heart of her speech was the introduction of the Fuji Declaration, launched in May 2015. She encouraged people in all fields to be part of the Fuji Declaration, to bring forth the divine spark that links all people in unity while encouraging our diversity to shine through.

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As one of the organizers of the event, The High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, invited Mrs. Saionji to join other distinguished speakers to offer innovative approaches to developing a spirit of partnerships among religious communities and the United Nations.

Al Nasser Speaks

The first of two panels addressed interfaith harmony as key to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Remarks were offered by representatives from the Permanent Mission of Jordan, the Observer Mission of the Holy See, UNESCO, American Jewish World Service, and the Ifa Heritage Institute in Nigeria. These speakers offered diverse cultural perspectives, setting the stage for Mrs. Saionji, introduced as the Chairperson of three organizations: The World Peace Prayer Society, Byakko Shinko Kai and The Goi Peace Foundation.

Panel 1

To open her remarks, Mrs. Saionji called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “a roadmap to a new civilization.” The slides accompanying her presentation showed activities at Fuji Sanctuary in Japan and the planting of Peace Poles around the world. She spoke about the annual Symphony of Peace Prayers organized at Fuji Sanctuary since 2005 which hosted the launch program for the Fuji Declaration in 2015.

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The highlight of her talk focused on the Fuji Declaration encouraging people in all fields to recognize and awaken to the ‘divine spark’ which exists within the human heart for a more sustainable world community. She asked, “What would relationships between religions or governments look like if we all understood that every individual has this divine spark? Could this understanding open the door to a new era of unity in diversity that empowers the work of the United Nations?”

L-R: Deborah Moldow- UN Rep for WPPS, Masami Saionji-Chairperson of WPPS, Victor Kazanjian-Executive Director of URI, Maki Saionji Kawamura-WPPS, Fumi Johns-Stewart-Executive Director of WPPS

May Peace Prevail On Earth!