|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,
THREE MEMBER DOCUMENTARY CREW IS BACK AFTER AN EXCITING four months traveling across
country interviewing many of you who knew Peace Pilgrim, as well as those who have
just been inspired by her book. They tell about their pilgrimage in the centerfold.
Following is a little about their contributions to the project:
Gigi Orlowski had done extensive, detailed research of Peace Pilgrims first year
pilgrimage, coast-to-coast and border-to-border. They retraced her steps across the
David Muellers training and experience in filming is invaluable for the documentary.
He first discovered the Peace Pilgrim book in Tanzania where he was setting up an
international environmental project.
Claire Townsend had to rearrange her busy schedule in Los Angeles in order to leave her
film production company for four months. She interviewed friends of Peace Pilgrim across
the country who had invited them to stop by. Reports from those interviewed and from the
other two crew members are glowing.
Amirah Yates, a volunteer at our Peace Pilgrim Center and the crews production
coordinator, helped them contact those who called here, offering hospitality or
willingness to be interviewed.
They started their pilgrimage on June 29 at the Peace Pilgrim Center doing final
preparations for their journey. While here, our yearly 100,000 STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE
booklets arrived. The crew was delighted to film the unloading of the truck and stacking
boxes of STEPS in our garage. That truckload brought the number of STEPS in print to over
one million. (STEPS now has a non-glossy blue cover more ecological than the shiny
It has been great to receive front-page news articles with pictures of the crew from many
of you. If any of you have more articles from your local newspapers or church bulletins we
would like to add them to our files. Some of our articles have disappeared and we would
greatly appreciate any news articles, even though you may have sent one. Photocopies of
articles are quite acceptable.
It has been a delight to hear about their visits with those of you we have met and those
we know only from your letters and phone calls. Thanks for giving of your time and
hospitality. Sorry they werent able to include everyone who wanted them to stop by.
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Finally, after all these months, I have finished the recording of PEACE PILGRIM and now
happily send it to you in gratitude. Much time and money has gone into manifesting this
four-minute song. I sure hope you enjoy it. Through the lyrics and catchy upbeat melody I
have tried to convey the spirit and vision of Peace Pilgrim. There are always people in
the audience who respond to her message and want to know more. Its such an honor to
be a messenger of light and peace!
The voices of peace shall never be silenced. Im so very grateful for the day that
Peace Pilgrims soul-inspiring book came into my life. When I sing her song, I feel
shes right there beside me, igniting us all with her blazing light of love, purity
and truth. Her vitality is palpably electrifying!
Ive been doing a lot of concerts to promote the album and everywhere I go I talk
about Peace Pilgrim and give out STEPS and compact books you sent me. I always ask how
many people have heard of Peace Pilgrim and there are always at least three or four in the
audience who have.
Im leaving for France for a month long visit during which time Ill be
performing and teaching. Im taking along the STEPS booklet for my concerts there as
Shelleys beautiful album, I BECOME THE EAGLE, includes nature songs and WOMEN CRY
For a copy of her album send $12 to SPOTTED FAWN MUSIC, P0 Box 493, Bearsville, NY
INDIA As I was fortunate enough to go through the book Peace Pilgrim
for 15 Minutes at random, some pages only from a co-passenger during my bus travel
(Bangalore to Puttaparthi), it thrilled me to read word by word, in pages more thinkable,
to assimilate the contents, which I consider is the very sacred Treasure to the entire
universe. It was a play of word with the Divine. The spiritual springs of the Atma (soul).
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TWO AMERICAN HEROINESby Bill Hammaker
Sojourner Truth and Peace Pilgrim were two stalwart women who lived a century apart,
black and white, Afro and Anglo. Their lifetime legacies are a parallel paradigm worthy of
our utmost effort in story-telling to our progeny.
How dramatically different were the times in which they lived! But these two eminent
Americans were strikingly similar in so many ways. They were two of the twenty-two persons
chosen by Ray Berry for his recent extraordinary book, The Spiritual Athlete,
which as one distinguished reviewer wrote, This book is a reminder of the human
potential for integrity, rightness, and inner peace.
Sojourner Truth, named Isabella when born in 1797 to a cellar-dwelling New York slave
family, became a Moses for freedom, and was possibly the first activist for womens
rights in our country. She lived during the terms of fifteen of our first sixteen
presidents. On February 4, 1986, more than a century after her death on March 26, 1883,
she was honored by a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
Beginning with no book-learning, her achievements were mind-boggling! Her
one-on-one visit with President Lincoln and his signing of her Life Book at that time was
a triumphant day. Never a seeker of fame, never a quitter, Sojourner continued after age
seventy to campaign for the needs of black citizens. More presidents and senators
signed her Book of life.
In 1852, at a Womens Rights convention in Akron, Ohio, she made what was doubtless
the speech of her life, when she said, Aint I a Woman? and ended with
her challenge to women to get the world right-side up.
What were some of the similar qualities in the lives of Sojourner Truth and Peace Pilgrim?
Both of them:
* Were founded fully upon faith in God and in their fellow humans yet had no
traditional religious training.
* Were courageous, compassionate and fearless, yet grew up with no traditional
* Discovered themselves; found their maturity as adults in their forties. Chose special
missions and significant goals.
* Climbed on the soapbox or stump or wagon and spoke with resonant tones of authority.
* Reached out to others; talked to anyone who would listen. Won the hearts and minds of
thousands nationwide and beyond.
* Abandoned their original given names and adopted names defining the goals to which
they directed their lives.
* Renounced violence, racism and sexism.
* Lived actively with abundant energy.
* Were sustained and inspired by the Quakers.
* Heralded consummate goals for humanity.
* Confronted the social evils of their times with undaunted courage.
* Went to Washington, D.C.; carried their concerns to our Presidents.
* Dressed plainly, very simply.
* Have been memorialized with their pictures in books, on book covers, their words and
thoughts in the public media.
* Each spoke of their realization that there is no place where God is not.
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GLEN CANYON RETREAT ADVENTURE
People had such a good time and were so deeply inspired on last Julys Wilderness
Retreat on Lake Powell that we are planning an encore journey.
Using a 50-foot houseboat as our ark, eighteen participants (ranging from a
young Wall Street broker to retired Great Peace Marchers) floated through the awesome
labyrinths of Utahs Glen Canyon to swim in clear, deep water caves, explore Anasazi
ruins tucked into the sheer walls of the Escalante Arm, follow the flight of herons, and
even discover our own secluded Peace Pilgrim Bay! Six lively days on Lake Powell produced
close bonds between us, nurtured by Cheryl Canfields meditations and talks, Chris
Zimmermans heavenly singing, and Peaces simple principles.
Cheryl and I (with retreat veteran Rona Levein) will be taking just 14 people to Lake
Powell this June 12 through 18. Would you care to join us? The cost will be about $400 and
includes ample vegetarian meals. Well visit Rainbow Bridge, and explore side
canyons, coves, and archaeology not visited this year. For details and an application,
write to Canyon (Richard Polese), Peace Pilgrim Wilderness Retreats, P0 Box
1295, Santa Fe, NM 87504, or call me at
(505) 983-1412 Richard Polese
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IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH BAKER 1903-1991
A few years ago Elizabeth was given the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by
Ohio University. Wife of John Baker, president emeritus of Ohio University, she was one of
the earliest supporters of our Peace Pilgrim activities. Following the Bakers
recommendation, we became a non-profit organization. This has made possible low-cost,
non-profit bulk mailings and enabled donors to contribute tax-exempt gifts.
Elizabeth put us in contact with George Dolnikowski, a Russian emigree and professor
emeritus of Juniata College in Pennsylvania. He translated our book and STEPS booklet into
Russian, making it possible for 50,000 Russian Steps booklets and 20,000 Russian Peace
Pilgrim books to be printed in Moscow.
How right the Bakers were when they wrote to us a few years ago, We both feel the
translation would be timely and probably could get wide distribution in Russia.
Sergei Badayev recently wrote from the Russian Peace Pilgrim Center in Moscow that they
have placed 175
Russian Peace Pilgrim books in Moscow public libraries. Also they have sent 400 books to
Russian prisons and filled
requests for more than 700 books throughout Russia.
One of our readers wrote to us:
I would like to make a few comments on the Russian STEPS. Having studied them, I
find the Russian text to have a beautiful and often poetic quality, with at times a
biblical flavor. An example would be the use of the word Comforter (sometimes
translated as Counselor). This makes it consistent with the original English
STEPS. I have to admit that even with the best Russian-English dictionaries at my
disposal, I never could have retained the same beautiful flavor had I translated STEPS. It
was obviously translated by a highly-educated, well-read individual (or individuals) with
knowledge of poetry, as well as conversational speech.
Elizabeth started writing to us soon after Peace Pilgrims transition, before we
compiled the book: Meeting her was the most inspiring event of our year, wonderful
to know that such a person could exist today full of the Christ-like spirit.
After receiving the book she wrote, thanking us, It contains much I didnt
know. After all, my acquaintance with her lasted just about 20 minutes. She made a great
and important impact in my life, and this book arrives at a point when I need all the help
I can get. I shall read it every day and find the strength and solace I need in walking my
path towards the everlasting light.
Letters from her through the years: I would like to help perpetuate and spread her
message. John and I often read her book at night and are enthusiastic as ever
about giving out PEACE PILGRIM to our friends and people who have problems and need
help. Peace Pilgrim has become almost my bedside bible. Thro
Episcopal ministers are using the books for study groups.
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BAKER PEACE STUDIES PROGRAM
In 1982 John and Elizabeth Baker established an endowment for a Peace Studies Program
at Ohio University. In her inaugural address Elizabeth said, I can only speak as one
of the millions of ordinary people all around the world who are deeply concerned about the
nuclear age and how to keep the peace. It is the most important issue in the world
today. In Newsletter 5 we told more about this important Peace Studies program.
After Elizabeths death John Baker published a book of her writings. There is a page
in the prose section where Elizabeth calls Peace Pilgrim the most unforgettable person she
ever met. Here is one of our favorite poems from the poetry section:
Oh how I love to look up to the night sky
To lift my eyes to the dark drift of clouds
Against a luminous sky beyond
To look beyond the darkness to the light
To lift my spirit to beauty and serenity.
To feel the sweet and sane freshness of nature
Always dewy fresh as if newly created.
The earth and air and water
Are the wonders of creation.
My prayer is to be one with them
A part of Gods creation
To be as I was intended to be.
I need to feed my soul on beauty.
Perhaps this is ones first duty
To stay close to the wonder of Gods creation.
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BLUE DOVE PRESS
Jeff Blom has lived and worked devotedly with us for four years. He was our computer
expert who taught us how to use computers and publish newsletters. He was also in charge
of special projects, such as the Russian and Spanish translations of STEPS and PEACE
PILGRIM. He was co-director with Cheryl Canfield of eight wilderness retreats. He is now
creating a new project in San Diego. Jeff writes:
Blue Dove Press is dedicated to publishing, promoting and distributing books and tapes on
the lives of the saints and masters of Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish and
other spiritual traditions of the world, as well as the scriptures of these religions and
also inspirational works. We plan on distributing books of other publishers.
A book on the complete life of Krishna, revered by many Hindus as an incarnation of God,
is due around the middle of next year. We are also publishing an autobiographical account
of the pilgrimage of Swami Ramdas who, like Peace Pilgrim, lived in faith on the road
without accepting money, and whose life, like hers, exhibited the power of love to
transform. If you would like to receive a catalogue or free newsletter, write to Blue Dove
Press, P0 Box 261611, San Diego, CA 92196 or call (619) 271-0490.
***** (Back to TOC)
SPIRIT OF PEACE
On July 2nd, the three of us, Claire Townsend, David Mueller, and Gigi Orlowski,
departed from Hemet at around 10 pm in the light of the full moon with a total of $900 on
us to cover all our road expenses. We had to drive by night to keep our trusty air-cooled
77 VW van (nicknamed Mildred Ryder) running in the hot desert climate. We had
to make a beeline for Texas to catch our first interview in Dallas. Unplanned, the date of
that first interview turned out to be July 7th the anniversary of Peace
Pilgrims death one of many such synchronous events, which affirmed us at
Retracing Peace Pilgrims original 1953 coast-to-coast pilgrimage which meant
taking old highways and byways
we went north through Oklahoma and Kansas then east across the flooded
Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to Chicago then into Indiana, through Ohio and
Pennsylvania to Maryland and New Jersey then up north again for a tour of New
Following a weeks break over Labor Day, we reconvened and began our journey
homewards in some cases meeting new people, and making return visits to others.
After a rainy September east of the Mississippi River, we drove into a gorgeous Indian
Summer to the west of it. Having optimistically packed away the few warm clothes we had,
we promptly met up with our first snow the morning of October 8th just outside Laramie,
We touched down in Los Angeles just shy of four months from the day wed left
and we still hadnt spent all the $900. As Peace Pilgrim said,
arent people good! We were fed, sheltered, refueled and even clothed
when we hit a cold snap in Indiana. Once we even found an anonymous $100 bill tucked
behind our windshield wiper!
Most of the people we interviewed on our cross-country trip were old friends of Peace
Pilgrims. A few had never met her but had been inspired by the book. We had two long
visits with Peace Pilgrims family her sister, brother, brother-in-law, niece,
Were now on a shorter loop to Northern California to meet with one of the five
compilers of the book. After Thanksgiving, well go on a loop through the Southwest
to meet with the prisoners in Arizona who have developed an inner peace program taught
within the prison; to interview another compiler of the book who lives in Santa Fe; and to
meet up with the Texas lawyers now teaching and practicing mediation as a result of being
inspired by Peace Pilgrims STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklet.
Needless to say, our lives will never be the same. We have met many extraordinary
individuals along the way and because of our decision to make this film on faith,
just as Peace Pilgrim walked her pilgrimages, we have been able to experience how deeply
lives are touched when there is an opportunity to give and receive in this way. Spiritual
law works. When ones motivation is to serve, and the work is needful to others,
ones needs will be met.
Some Highlights: While every day of our trip unfolded with an unending variety of
surprises and pleasures, we thought wed pick out a few of the many delightful
encounters and adventures we had.
As many of you know, Peace Pilgrim experienced what she called tests during
the first year of her pilgrimage. We were no different. In fact, we experienced our first
test just one hour after leaving Los Angeles when our starter failed twice. After
the second failure, Dave had to push-start us out of a major intersection in 110 degree
heat. Understandably, he had an attack of the worry habit, envisioning having to
push-start the van across America. But the solution, which came by wonderful chance, was
simple banging on the solenoid with a monkey wrench.
We were warned by a mechanic before leaving LA that the one thing the van desperately
needed was new tires, but we didnt have enough money to buy them. So we asked
ourselves, What would Peace Pilgrim do? We realized shed walk until the
shoes fell off her feet. So we drove until we had our first blowout in Kansas at
which point wed been given enough money to buy a whole new set of tires.
We wondered how Peace Pilgrim could sleep so soundly outdoors, no matter where she lay
down. One night we camped in the fork of a swampy river in hot weather with no wind and
ended up being of service to a host of hungry mosquitoes. We carried the resulting welts
In Valparaiso, Indiana, we were commenting on how kind everyone was, when a woman answered
brightly, Hoosier Hospitality. (We thought she said, Whos your
hospitality?) Since we hadnt yet been offered a place to stay that night, we
answered, We dont know yet. The woman stared at us blankly. It
wasnt until later that we noticed every Indiana license plate reads, Hoosier
Every once in awhile, wed have to turn someones home into a mini-production
office, so we could plug our camera into a television set and review the footage wed
shot. The most memorable such office we had was in a stud barn on a horse farm in
Burtonsville, Maryland, where the stud stallion watched our dailies with us with apparent
great interest, which was encouraging.
We wondered why, given all the walking she did, Peace Pilgrim wasnt slimmer than she
was until we realized she had stumbled upon the best cooks in America. After only
one month on the road, it was a struggle for us to fit into the few clothes wed
brought along with us.
Wed painted our van with The Spirit of Peace on the front and sides in
the hopes of inviting the lively curiosity of others toward us, much as Peace
Pilgrims tunic did for her. However, we soon found out that even as the slowest
vehicle on the road at 55 mph, the best people could do was flash us the peace
sign and we got a lot of those.
Peace Pilgrims record for sermons in a single day was something like seven. We had a
similar day in Indiana when we did five interviews, one right after another. In addition,
we were interviewed by the local TV station and at one point we were filming them
filming us filming them. It got pretty confusing.
We did give one sermon at a Congregational Church in New Hampshire which resulted
in the minister requesting 80 books one for each church family. But our most
notorious performance was in a Church of the Brethren. Wed been asked to do
something for the childrens time in the service; so we put on a skit
recreating the episode when Peace Pilgrim was booked for vagrancy and was thrown into jail
with a group of loose women. Gigi narrated. Claire got to play Peace Pilgrim. Dave played
both the Cop and the generic Loose Woman. At the end, we had everyone in the congregation
standing up, twirling their arms, and singing, Fountain of Love.
For reasons beyond our control, our schedule constantly changed. As synchronicity would
have it, the one day we spent in Washington, D.C. was the day Israel and the PLO signed
their peace treaty. The air was thick with excitement. We spent the day with a
Congressmans wife, Annette Lantos, who is handing out Peace Pilgrim books to those
members of Congress she believes are open to receiving Peaces message.
We had dinner that night with a young woman who had called out of the blue, after reading
Newsletter #19, to offer us dinner and a place to sleep that night. By the time the day
was through this day of momentous occasion in the turbulent history of the Middle
East we realized wed been fed Middle Eastern food for both lunch and dinner!
The next morning we rose early to teach a high school class on Alternatives to Violence.
We also interviewed the teacher, Colman McCarthy, a Washington Post syndicated columnist
who teaches peace in several public schools and colleges. lie is also the director of the
CENTER FOR TEACHING PEACE in Washington, D.C. that offers an eight-week home study course
in peacemaking. [See newsletter #9 for more about this remarkable man and for the address
of the Center.] All in all, it was a very powerful and stirring 24 hours in our
Whats Next: Weve shared only personal stories with you for now because
we want to save what weve learned about Peace Pilgrim for the film stories
about her childhood, her transition from Mildred to Peace Pilgrim, and her death. We hope
to have the finished film ready by the fall of 1994. While it will be a challenge to
condense the 90+ hours of tape down to a 90-minute film, we feel good about our decision
to gather so much material, because it will serve to strengthen the archive for future
researchers who come to the Friends of Peace Pilgrim Center in Hemet, California. And
although we cannot say at this time exactly how or where the circumstances will come
together to enable us to finish the film, we feel confident that we will continue to be
funded and that needs will continue to be met. We are extremely grateful to all of you who
have given so much of your time and your
resources to see that this film is made, and that it lives up to its name: The
Spirit of Peace.
P.S. To all of you who loaned us books fear not! We will return them to you soon,
and gratefully. Thank you. Even our reading needs were met! A special thank you also to
all the non-vegetarians out there who valiantly altered their own cooking and eating
habits to accommodate us well done!
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We receive letters from friends of Peace Pilgrim who were interviewed and fell in
love with our crew:
FROM PENNSYLVANIA George Dolnikowski, the translator of our Russian book
and STEPS. Claire, Gigi, and Dave are very special kind of people friendly,
intelligent, harmonious, healthy looking, peace inspiring individuals. It was a short
encounter, but it will remain a memorable one. They are true representatives of THE SPIRIT
FROM MASSACHUSETTS Michelle Gordon. You arrived with an air of calm
about you. I felt a sense of peaceful acceptance and love. During the interview I felt
such loving curiosity and sharing, that I was able to express some feelings that had only
been feelings for a very long time. Whenever I felt unsure about how what I was expressing
was being interpreted, I could connect to your calm aura of encouragement and know that
you understood. I was able to express my feelings in an unhurried, logical way. I even
surprised myself with what I was saying. The next day I listened to Peace Pilgrims
SPIRITUAL GROWTH tape and understood the quote, As I lived up to the highest light I
had, higher and higher light came to me." Your questions toward the end made me think
about the message in a way I had not done before.
My personal experience with the team during the interview was that I was part of a
wonderful spiritual experience. The focused energy of all of us brought new understanding
of peace and love and the connectedness of all each individual spark of spirit
igniting a beautiful flame of truth. This was truly a powerful experience for me.
The gathering on Wednesday night was wonderful. I had never experienced how others felt
when they read the book. I think many of us are moved the same way isnt that
amazing! Most people took home an extra book to give to friends and relatives, and
Im grateful to have spread the message of Peace in that way. You all left behind
something very special a quiet sense of friendship, acceptance and peace. I
cant wait to see the movie.
FROM VIRGINIA As you are surely well aware, your travels touch the lives of
people in a way that may be even more important ultimately than completing the actual
project which necessitated the traveling in the first place. I thank the universe that
there are such exceptional people like you three slipping into the thoughts and actions of
all those you meet on your travels. I am most thankful to have been one of them. With an
appreciative and inspired heart, Monique.
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INNER PEACE PRISON PROGRAM
by Richard Ostrander
Thank you so much for the books and pamphlets; and particularly for sharing the letter
concerning the peace workshop happening at the Arizona Department of
I am currently living in a dormitory reserved for persons involved in the unit substance
abuse program; that is to say, people more or less interested in changing their lives. And
I was pleasantly surprised to see the pamphlets on Inner Peace go like the proverbial
hotcakes. We have so many pamphlets that more or less lay around and are
not so with Peace Pilgrim!
I read a great deal of self-help pop psychology books. Some are very good,
many are impractical or misdirecting in their advice. I have yet to come across a book
more practical, simple, and inspiring than Peace Pilgrims life and works. The peace
and comfort that others reportedly get from the Christian Bible, I get from this simple
little work. Here was a truly beautiful lady who lived in our time, and spoke
our language. Her words were simple and to the point; there is no room for
misinterpretation; her words cant be twisted to mean something altogether different;
there are no myths surrounding her origin or person, and what she had to say was an
unadulterated echo of what enlightened persons have been saying since the dawn of man. She
was, and is, a priceless gift from Divine Love to mortal man. Just the thought of her
A LAY MISSIONARY The Peace Pilgrim book was given to me as a gift by a
friend and co-lay missioner. A sort of rebirth happened to me after reading the book.
Ive shared it with my friends, and they too were greatly inspired. The book became
like a Bible to us. We use it for reflections, and it has been a great source of strength
and inspiration, especially in our work and mission. We want to become part of the network
of Friends of Peace Pilgrim and help to spread of her message, particularly for the
slum dwellers where we are having our mission.
SOUTH AFRICA Men and women of good will across South Africa donned the
blue ribbon of peace this week (September 1993), paused for prayer and reflection, and
hoped for a better, safer future. South Africa needs a peace movement so powerful and so
united that it cannot be ignored, an anti-war movement with the strength and influence of
the campaign which got the United States out of Vietnam, and of the Velvet Revolution
which brought down Czechoslovakias Stalinist government four years ago. Its
not going to be easy to make the politicians listen. But blue ribbon day has shown that
there are enough men and women who feel strongly about ending the violence and preventing
civil war to make a broad movement for peace in South Africa work.
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FIRE IN THE SOUL by Joan Borysenko,
An Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club
Several months ago we began receiving many requests for books from those who read FIRE
IN THE SOUL. Finally we received a book from the publisher another book sent to us
we havent had time to read.
It appears to be a very good book! From the dust jacket:
Joan Borysenko believes that the wounds we suffer and heal from can be
gateways to a transformation of the spirit. Drawing on her own experiences with tragedy
and illness, as well as on anecdotes from her therapy patients, the author combines
scientific knowledge with wisdom and insight to show how the most devastating events can
initiate a fruitful search for meaning.
In the section on Compassionate Action in the chapter Peace and Healing the
author devotes a page to Peace Pilgrim as a model for compassionate action. Two other
models are the Dalai Lama of Tibet and the young Dutch Jew, Etty Hillesum, who managed to
maintain compassion during a living hell in the holocaust.
In the chapter on poems, Peace Pilgrim is quoted twice. This is the chapter that quotes
Helen Keller, Jesus, Tagore, Gandhi, Francis of Assisi, Albert Einstein, and other well
known persons. Contact your local bookstore for a copy.
INDIA We praise the Lord for the peace vibrations of your Pilgrim which
must be slowly changing and transforming all those who come in contact with them. Thank
you for carrying on such a blessed seva.
JAPAN I received STEPS and the books yesterday. When I found it in my
post, how thrilled and delighted!
STEPS" impressed me so that it will be one of my lifelong favorite books.
Im lucky to have come across such a fine book and I will send it to my friends.
NEW ZEALAND The work of Peace Pilgrim continues to influence my life as
our family tries to live more simply and with integrity. Since sending STEPS with my
Christmas cards I have had several people ask me for the book.
REVISED AND IMPROVED INDEX
Vincent Luciani, the original compiler of the Peace Pilgrim book index and his friend,
Mary McKisson, spent two weeks in Hemet, revising the index of our Peace Pilgrim book.
This revised index is now in our compact book and will be in the next edition of our
standard paperback book, due the early part of next year. It was a delight to have them
here working on the index using our computer and having an avocado lunch with us.
***** (Back to TOC)
Night is a time for rest and sleep
Day for turning the sod;
But at dawn and twilight, moments keep
For special gifts of God.
SING THE EARTH by Sheila Weaver
This is a booklet of beautiful nature prose and poetry from British Columbia. Sheila, a
friend of Peace Pilgrim, corresponded with a man on death row and he asked her to,
Take me for a walk, Sheila. This request opened up a whole new life for her of
describing beautiful natural places to share with him, as she writes,
Those simple words penned from a death row cell began my writing. Doug and I have
been on many walks since then, and they have led me to riches beyond
imagining. He showed me where my creative spirit lay. write to the author, Box
46627, Station G, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6R 4G8]
The following is a letter we recently received from a death
row cell to John in thanks for the book and STEPS:
In reference to your statements and questions contained in your recent letter: Im
happy to hear youre opposed to the death penalty. With one such as you being against
it there is always hope.
You ask if I can forgive this country for acting cruelly just as I ask for forgiveness for
whatever hurt I have caused others and whether I have read p.48 in the book.
Yes, I have never held any evil wishes towards this country for holding me on death row.
In fact I should say a word of thanks, for when I came here in 1986 I was border-line
functionally illiterate. This is not the case in 1993, as one can see. Yes I have asked
for forgiveness for whatever hurt I have caused to others and I have asked forgiveness for
this countrys execution of myself, an innocent man. I have read p.48. I understand
that death is a beautiful liberation into a freer life. Death scares me not
its the living that has me scared. I am using my time now to grow spiritually
so that when I return to this earth life I will start my new life on a higher spiritual
Again I thank you for the book that you sent and your letter, youll never know what
they mean to me for words I cannot find to tell you. Please feel free to write or if you
know anyone who would it would be deeply appreciated. Thomas Gorby, AJ-3366, POB 99901,
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
MACEDON, NY This past Sunday I preached a sermon based on Peace
Pilgrims Steps Toward Inner Peace. at Farmington New York Friends
Meeting. It was a powerful morning and many people asked if they could get a copy of the
Steps. Ruth Kinsey
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FRIENDS THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE
Kenya, July 11, 1993 I have just come from this College and must
let you know how much progress has been made since I first went there, January 1989. When
I began teaching world peace the principal said plainly, Man cant bring world
peace. Only God can bring peace and that will be at the second bodily coming of Jesus
Christ. He would tell this to the students and they would come back at me in my
I give Peace Pilgrim the credit for the change. The students took to the story
immediately. After all the classes in English read through the book and we studied and
discussed it, word got out in the communities, and I was asked to teach a class on Sunday
afternoon. Some of my members set up other classes and they are still going on. One young
man has a class at his church on Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday. Many of the
Theological College students tell me of their churches that ask for classes and tell me
they are teaching them. I was up on the campus late afternoon yesterday, and they all
wanted to talk about our classes and what they remembered about peace. Today, I heard that
they have put a course in the Theological College entitled, Peace, Justice and
Reconciliation and they use Peace Pilgrim for the text. The person telling me about it
added, and the principal approved it!
I want to get word to the people who back the giving of free copies with their finances.
You cant conceive of the poverty of these people. A Bible here can be had for $4,
the American value of the cost in shillings, but in the group of Sunday School teachers I
work with, not one owns a Bible. They have no money and the free copies of Peace Pilgrim
assures one book they can own and read. In my two English classes of 27 students, they are
so happy to have a book of their own to read, and I am happy to have some good English
reading material that they can keep and continue to read. Do thank those giving away Peace
Pilgrim books, for me and the students receiving them.
The big change I witness in the attitude of Christians here in Kenya I would certainly
give credit to Peace Pilgrim. Thank all of you back in the U.S. who have so generously
provided good reading matter for Kenya Quakers.
CHICAGO, IL Having given Peace Pilgrim as a
travelers gift on the Appalachian Trail to New Zealanders,
Europeans and others, I now intend on giving it to my
Aesthetics & Communications class at the American
Academy of Art in Chicago, where I teach. Dan Morrill
SARASOTA, FL I am very enthusiastic about Peace
Pilgrims message. If I had to give up all my books except
one, it would, without hesitation, be Peace Pilgrims book
I would choose to keep. E. Ann Star
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An educational magazine published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (See newsletter
18, page 31). It is sent free to educators in pubic and private schools across the
country. 150,000 of their first issue were sent out free. For a copy write to: TEACHING
TOLERANCE, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104.
In the fall magazine there is a section called, TEACHING TOOLS. In it there is a short
article about Peace Pilgrim which has stimulated teachers, librarians and professors to
request our books and tapes. To date we have mailed 100 packets with books and tapes to
teachers in this country, and one packet to a teacher in Paraguay. We sent a hard cover
book for each school library. Because of requests for videos as well as books from so many
schools all over the country, we decided to have the following thirty minute video made.
OUR NEW 30 MINUTE VIDEO
We have been asked to talk to many groups about Peace Pilgrim. As part of our
presentation we show a video of Peace Pilgrim and then answer questions. Based upon our
experience, we have selected parts of our videos that especially appeal to new audiences,
and have incorporated them into a new video tape. This tape shows Peace Pilgrim on her
pilgrimage - telling some of her most interesting experiences: her response to violence,
her prison experience, her search for God and her snow storm, near death experience. Our
postage and duplicating costs are $4.
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INTERRELIGIOUS WEEKEND by Jim Driscoll
I participated in a experiential weekend that brought together people of different
religions, professions and cultures. We struggled to form a basis for our meeting
Most of the participates wanted to organize around the proven structures of
their religion or profession or culture. I wanted to be there and experiment in our coming
together under a common theme. During a break, I remembered that I had brought my last
STEPS with me. I introduced STEPS to the group as a basis for our
meeting and exploring the issues that may present themselves. It happened that the
organizer of the weekend had the hope that we might come to that conclusion ourselves. He
had brought enough STEPS for everyone. The weekend was a success in bringing
everyone together. Amazing how it works, if we only become willing to allow it to happen.
SRI LANKA I was impressed by the book, Peace Pilgrim. I am of
the view that Peace Pilgrims books would be a constant companion and a source of
reference to every one of us confused in daily living and tensed up by the events of each
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A BICYCLE PILGRIMAGE by David Krest
My son Andrew (10 years old) and I rode bicycles and hitch-hiked from Florida to
Arizona. It took us three months, and we did it for the most part without money. We asked
no one for goods or shelter and we were never "needy" as people gave us money
and took us into their homes. The trip was a "Peace Pilgrimage". My wife, Signe,
made us shirts and vests with Peace Pilgrim printed on them. We had many interviews along
the way, including newspaper, radio and TV. We also kept a journal, which Signe is
editing. We stopped and spoke at a grade school in Farmington, New Mexico, about peace and
what I as an individual can do to experience peace. The children all wrote papers about
what they could do, and it was published in the Farmington Times. We also spoke at a
church. They took up a collection, but we gave it back, and they in turn started a fund
for the homeless. [They gave out many STEPS booklets]. You can contact him care of
David's Table Whole Foods Restaurant, 445 Davis Street, Neptune Beach, FL 32266 (904)
We are delighted to share this pilgrimage story. Although they wore the letters
PEACE PILGRIM on their shirts it was obvious that both of their names were not
Peace Pilgrim. However, since Peace Pilgrim has become such a definite personality to many
thousands, for clarity we suggest that future pilgrims might use something like ANOTHER
PILGRIM FOR PEACE or A PILGRIM FOR PEACE or A FRIEND OF PEACE PILGRIM.
CANADA I struggle with trying to understand what living simply and
lovingly truly means. Its reassuring to learn that even Peace took 15 years for the
living to catch up to the believing
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