Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
43480 Cedar Ave, Hemet, CA 92544  (909) 927-7678


Harvesttime, 1994 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 20

Online Edition

Table of Contents:   (TOC)
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim 
Shelley Koffler 
Two American Heroines 
Glen Canyon Retreat 
Elizabeth Baker 1903-1991 
Baker Peace Studies Program 
Blue Dove Press 
Spirit of Peace Documentary
Inner Peace Prison Program 
Fire in the Soul 
Revised and Improved Index 
Sing the Earth 
Friends Theological College 
Teaching Tolerance 
New 30 Minute Video 
Interreligious Weekend 
A Bicycle Pilgrimage

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


(Back to TOC)   Back to Table of Contents

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim, 

THE 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 Pilgrim’s first year pilgrimage, coast-to-coast and border-to-border. They retraced her steps across the country.

David Mueller’s 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 crew’s 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 white one.)

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 weren’t able to include everyone who wanted them to stop by.

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SHELLEY KOFFLER

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. It’s such an honor to be a messenger of light and peace!

The voices of peace shall never be silenced. I’m so very grateful for the day that Peace Pilgrim’s soul-inspiring book came into my life. When I sing her song, I feel she’s right there beside me, igniting us all with her blazing light of love, purity and truth. Her vitality is palpably electrifying!

I’ve 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.

I’m leaving for France for a month long visit during which time I’ll be performing and teaching. I’m taking along the STEPS booklet for my concerts there as well.

Shelley’s beautiful album, I BECOME THE EAGLE, includes nature songs and WOMEN CRY (Newsletter 15)

For a copy of her album send $12 to SPOTTED FAWN MUSIC, P0 Box 493, Bearsville, NY 12409

*****

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 HEROINES—by 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 women’s 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 Women’s Rights convention in Akron, Ohio, she made what was doubtless the speech of her life, when she said, “Ain’t 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 religious training.

* 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 July’s 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 Utah’s 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 Canfield’s meditations and talks, Chris Zimmerman’s heavenly singing, and Peace’s 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. We’ll 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 Baker’s 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 Pilgrim’s 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 didn’t 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 Elizabeth’s 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:

GOD’S CREATION

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 God’s creation
To be as I was intended to be.
I need to feed my soul on beauty.
Perhaps this is one’s first duty
To stay close to the wonder of God’s 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.

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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 Pilgrim’s death — one of many such synchronous events, which affirmed us at every turn.

Retracing Peace Pilgrim’s 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 England.

Following a week’s 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, Wyoming.

— We touched down in Los Angeles just shy of four months from the day we’d left — and we still hadn’t spent all the $900. As Peace Pilgrim said, “aren’t 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 Pilgrim’s. A few had never met her but had been inspired by the book. We had two long visits with Peace Pilgrim’s family — her sister, brother, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew.

We’re now on a shorter loop to Northern California to meet with one of the five compilers of the book. After Thanksgiving, we’ll 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 Pilgrim’s 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 one’s motivation is to serve, and the work is needful to others, one’s needs will be met.

Some Highlights: While every day of our trip unfolded with an unending variety of surprises and pleasures, we thought we’d 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 didn’t have enough money to buy them. So we asked ourselves, ‘What would Peace Pilgrim do?” We realized she’d walk until the shoes fell off her feet. So we drove until we had our first blowout in Kansas — at which point we’d 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 for weeks.
In Valparaiso, Indiana, we were commenting on how kind everyone was, when a woman answered brightly, “Hoosier Hospitality.” (We thought she said, “Who’s your hospitality?”) Since we hadn’t yet been offered a place to stay that night, we answered, “We don’t know yet.” The woman stared at us blankly. It wasn’t until later that we noticed every Indiana license plate reads, “Hoosier Hospitality.”

Every once in awhile, we’d have to turn someone’s home into a mini-production office, so we could plug our camera into a television set and review the footage we’d 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 wasn’t 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 we’d brought along with us.

We’d 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 Pilgrim’s 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 Pilgrim’s 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. We’d been asked to “do something” for the children’s 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 Congressman’s wife, Annette Lantos, who is handing out Peace Pilgrim books to those members of Congress she believes are open to receiving Peace’s 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 we’d 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 nation’s capitol.

What’s Next: We’ve shared only personal stories with you for now because we want to save what we’ve 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 OF PEACE.

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 Pilgrim’s 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 — isn’t that amazing! Most people took home an extra book to give to friends and relatives, and I’m 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 can’t 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 Corrections.

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 rarely read
— 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 Pilgrim’s 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 can’t 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 humbles me.

*****

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. I’ve 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.

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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 Czechoslovakia’s Stalinist government four years ago. It’s 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 haven’t 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.

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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”.

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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. I’m lucky to have come across such a fine book and I will send it to my friends.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sheila Weaver


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]

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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: I’m happy to hear you’re 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 country’s 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
— it’s 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 level.

Again I thank you for the book that you sent and your letter, you’ll 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

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MACEDON, NY — This past Sunday I preached a sermon based on Peace Pilgrim’s “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 can’t 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 classes.

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 can’t 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. 
— Ruth Williams

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CHICAGO, IL — Having given Peace Pilgrim as a
traveler’s 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

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SARASOTA, FL — I am very enthusiastic about Peace
Pilgrim’s message. If I had to give up all my books except
one, it would, without hesitation, be Peace Pilgrim’s book
I would choose to keep. — E. Ann Star

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TEACHING TOLERANCE

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 together.

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.

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SRI LANKA — I was impressed by the book, “Peace Pilgrim”. I am of the view that Peace Pilgrim’s 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 day.

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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) 246-7269.

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. It’s reassuring to learn that even Peace took 15 years for the living to catch up to the believing

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