On Monday, September 21st, millions of people around the world will honor and celebrate the International Day of Peace, established in 1981 by the United Nations. At the same time streams of refugees are fleeing areas of conflict around the world, especially from the wars in the Middle East. People honor peace, people see the need for peace, but wars rage on.
For Peace Day this year, we will learn about and honor efforts by some champions of peace who work to bridge the divides of enmity that fuel conflicts and wars. We will also hold a “Be the Peace” meditation in concert with thousands of similar meditations around the world. We will do all this in the Social Hall at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist, 117 Rugby Road in Charlottesville. Our program will follow this schedule:
– 6:00 gather in the Social Hall
– 6:15 begin the “Be the Peace” meditation
– 6:45 close the meditation with a musical interlude provided by Heena Reiter
– 7:00 begin a panel conversation on Bridging the Divides of Enmity
– 8:30 conclude the event
Our panel will include:
Roy Hange who serves as co-pastor of the Charlottesville Mennonite Church and has worked with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Roy has spent many years in the Middle East and has extensive knowledge of the conflicts in that region.
Mary Reed who has worked to help AIDs victims in Rwanda, currently co-leads a program to help rebuild rural education in Cambodia, and resides most of the time at Thosamling, a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in northern India.
Carroll Houle who, as a priest with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers of the Catholic Church, served in Tanzania for 21 years, in Kenya for 17 years, and at the United Nations in New York for 5 years.
Our panelists will share insights from their experiences. Everyone attending can do the same, all in hope of strengthening our vision of a more just and peaceful world. This event is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia and the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.