|Fall/Winter 2000||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 34|
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Gun Free Day
A Texas Lawyer Writes
Americorps - Kansas City
The Power of Your Actions
Peace Pilgrim Documentary
2001 Peace Pilgrim Calendar
A Gift of Cranes
Violence in America
Take A Stand
Gary Guthrie in Brazil
New Mellary Abbey
How the Peace Pilgrim Book was Compiled
New Full-Time Volunteer
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,
We will soon be flying to Costa Rica (our air fare being paid by a Peace Pilgrim friend who wants us to attend the unveiling of a Peace Pilgrim statue on November 19th). An Academic Seminar is to be on November 18 at the United Nations University for Peace. It will be a gathering of people who knew Peace Pilgrim or are inspired by her message. We will share our experiences and discuss how we can spread her message to educational institutions around the world. This project is part of an historic peace initiative, COSTA RICA 2000: NEW MILLENNIUM of PEACE.
It is one very important event in a series of events scheduled this year that the United Nations has called: INTERNATIONAL YEAR for the CULTURE of PEACE.
Friends of Friends of Peace Pilgrim was formed to insure that Peace Pilgrim's message will continue being spread around the world beyond our lifetimes. They have helped find funds for the statue.
The Peace Pilgrim Center is receiving increasing interest from schools and colleges for her important message. We simply have not time to follow all the leads, to do all the networking that could be done with so many good peace groups that are springing up around the world.
Friends of Friends of Peace Pilgrim is researching funding from foundations and other sources and looking for an adequate and permanent Peace Pilgrim Center. This frees us to give most of our time to continue filling requests for her books and tapes.
GREECE - Emmanual Petrakis, a long time Friend of Peace Pilgrim, wrote recently about David Stringer the international coordinator of the Universal Alliance.
David Stringer has approached me as Universal Alliance representative in Greece for any proposals. I suggested that the PEACE PILGRIM book and STEPS booklet should be used in every secondary and tertiary classroom of the world as a basis for study and discussion within World Peace Studies, as a part of every curriculum. Also to be promoted as special programs within religious institutions and the mass media, with UNESCO backing. This has been approved and is currently being ratified.
GUN FREE DAY ON TV -
SOMETIMES BIG IDEAS START SMALL (Back to
"I really felt helpless watching the news of the Jonesboro school shootings. I was in tears. It took a week of reflection and prayer, but I finally came up with an idea that I hoped might help in some small way."
"I thought that a way to start was to have just one day in the year where there wouldn't be any guns or gun-related violence shown on TV. So I took the idea to my church, and they liked it, "explained Johnston, a member of Midlothian Friends Meeting - a Quaker congregation located in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia. They were so enthusiastic about her idea that they decided to try and develop it as a national, grassroots movement.
Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001, is proposed as the first day in what the Midlothian Quakers hope will be an annual event on Easter. The Quakers are encouraging television networks to voluntarily structure their programming on that day so there are no hand-guns or gun-related programming shown on television. Easter Sunday in 2001 will be close to two years after the Columbine high school massacre in which twelve students and one teacher lost their lives to two student gunmen who also look their own lives.
Beth Schanz, clerk of the Quaker committee responsible for developing the idea, explained that, "This isn't about gun control. It's about changing the way we expose our children to the violent use of guns. We would like for everyone on that Sunday to just pause and reflect about how we as a society constantly expose our children to violence.
The Midlothian Quakers developed an internet web site to explain the idea. The site is in the form of questions and answers about the grassroots movement, and also provides links to other sites that provide information about the effects of violence on children.
Information on a free bumper sticker or on the Gun Free Day On TV movement can be found on the internet at www.GunFreeDayOntv.org or by calling Midlothian Friends Meeting at 804-598-1676.
I was reading the Sunday news, and a small article stated that a lady by name of Peace Pilgrim would be speaking at a University Congregational Church just west of University of Texas - Austin campus. The article said that she would speak of resolution, not other means of contention or conflict.
I walked into the church and saw this tennis-shoed, gray-haired lady, appearing about 70-something, and I was immediately spell-bound by her force and her eyes. Her eyes were eyes of knowing. The next day, in my Austin law office, I could not concentrate on anything. So in mid-morning I called the news writer and asked if she knew where I might meet up with Peace Pilgrim again. She knew.
A few minutes later, I was walking out, telling my staff that I would be back sometime in the day. I went to the near-campus place where she was presenting, and at the conclusion, she came to my residence for a few hour's visit.
I returned her to her host/hostess, and asked how, if at all, I could help her or be in her company again. She said that I could pick her up and take her to the Presbyterian Seminary the next day where she was to have lunch with the seminarians and speak or answer questions.
Her host, Peace Pilgrim and I sat at a cafeteria table, and as the first seminarians began to leave, an administrator announced her presence and invited any seminarian over to meet her to discuss with her, or to ask questions. I got the feeling that the seminarians were embarrassed to come to a tennis-shoed lady who was emblazoned with PEACE PILGRIM on her smock. A handful of seminarians dropped by the table. Their questions were complex, compound and intricate.
She answered in completely comprehensive (not partial, not omitting, not deflecting) SIMPLE responses. Being from a wordy profession, I was in deep reverence. The last time that I saw her was a few days later when I had asked her how can I help. She stated that she was on her way to Comfort, Texas, and that if I wanted to, then I could give her a ride. I did.
A few years later, I learned that not long in the past she died in what I heard was a car crash. All of my life one of the most beautiful phrases I had ever heard were those biblical statements of "take no thought of your next meal, for your heavenly Father provides for the birds of the air, how much more so for you?" Also, the Bible joined with "take no thought of what you will wear, for Solomon in all his glory was not more adorned than the Lilies of the Valley, and how much more so are you."
She was the FIRST that I had ever found that lived those scriptures. I asked to give her some money. She said, "No, it would endanger my way." I asked to buy her an extra pair of tennis shoes so that when hers wore out, she would have them. She beautifully laughed and said "No, thank you. All I carry is a comb [a toothbrush, copies of my message and my mail]. That is all I need. When I am hungry I will eat if I am offered. If I am not offered, I won't eat. When I need to get someplace and I am offered a ride, I will accept it. If not, I will walk."
She told me that she had faced a lot of danger, and she stated that each time she would talk to the Christ in that person, and would not talk to the other parts. She said she did that in talking with every person. She related to the Christ within others. What an awesome power she had.
AmeriCorps is the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps. Students take time off from their studies to sign up for 10 month tours of duty as team members. Students are paid enough to cover their living expenses and can accumulate funds for college, which they receive when their AmeriCorps duties have ended. Students may re-enlist for additional 10 month tours.
From all across the nation, student volunteers are brought to AmeriCorps training centers. Here they are placed in teams and provided training before being sent on assignment somewhere in America where they are needed and have been requested.
Central Baptist Seminary President and his staff invited the team to live on campus without charge. The Seminary has pledged itself to be a good neighbor to those who live near the campus and offered to house the AmeriCorps Team as a visible demonstration of that pledge. The team will assist Neighborhood Housing Services in their on-going effort to paint and fix-up homes.
For more information call Ed Chasteen, Director of Community Involvement for Central Seminary and Founder of HateBusters 913-371-5313, ex. 139
CHAPLAIN - I serve as full-time chaplain of an adult male minimum custody prison here in North Carolina. There are 290 inmates here, which includes 35-40 participating in Drug, Alcohol Recovery Treatment (DAR). So, along with other transfers, we have a weekly turnover of 15-20 inmates. We also have several Vocational, Educational and Work programs.
Today, an inmate showed me the PEACE PILGRIM booklet, the newsletter and other information materials. Considering all the avenues I have pursued, since becoming a chaplain ten years ago, looking for material appropriate for prison ministry, I could not believe I had never seen this story and materials before. It is very inspiring and I would like to make it available to the inmates here.
NEW YORK - I have read and re-read PEACE PILGRIM and with each reading I absorb something more.
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd."
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up, and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him. As he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks."
He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes.
We hung out together all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him! Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.
"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
GANDHI SAYS - To see the universal and all pervading Spirit of Truth one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. - From BOTH SIDES NOW, 10547 State Hwy 110N, Tyler, TX 75704
There has been a delay in the new Peace Pilgrim documentary. There were creative difficulties, and we hope solutions will be found. The original Documentary, THE SPIRIT OF PEACE, is still available from us and very much loved. It has been shown on many Public Access Television Stations.
BLUE MOUNTAIN ASHRAM - I just got the newsletter. Its helping to keep all the Peacemakers connected. Thanks a million times over.
ST. LUCIA - This booklet has indeed brought me some peace and serenity. I have promised myself that I'll put into practice themes I read in this STEPS booklet and will share the thoughts I treasure most with family and friends. We sent a book and three STEPS.
2001 PEACE PILGRIM CALENDARS
The calendars Bruce Nichols created for this year 2000 were so popular that 1000 were not enough. We ran out and some friends are still asking for more. Bruce has again created a new calendar 2001 with 12 quotes and mostly new pictures of Peace Pilgrim - one for each month. $5 will cover our printing and postage costs.
We hope that everyone with an internet connection has taken the opportunity to visit the Friends of Peace Pilgrim (http://www.peacepilgrim.org) and Peace Pilgrim Homepage (http://www.peacepilgrim.com) websites. Both sites continue to evolve and expand with new information and features. The Peace Pilgrim Homepage celebrated its fifth anniversary this October. The ancient off-site counter at the bottom of the index page indicates that over 30,000 people have visited the site since its inception, but I have always felt that it undercounted. Our current statistics indicate between 2000 and 3000 visitors a month. September had a record 3859 unique visits.
Among recent additions are a new search feature that can be found on both sites. Enter a word or phrase in the dialogue box and you will be returned a list of all pages on that site which contain the words in your search. (Hint: by enclosing your phrase in quotes the search will return only exact matches.) To locate the words you searched for on the pages delivered, open the page and use the "Find" function included with your browser.
All the Friends of Peace Pilgrim newsletters are now available online. You can now read the many fine articles that have been presented in this publication, starting with #1 in 1987 and continuing right up through the current issue. Links to the newsletters can be found on the main pages of both sites. New newsletters are added as soon as they are published and many friends of Peace Pilgrim have opted to read the newsletter online to save the cost of mailing. If you would like to be added to the email notification list send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have recently found a website that offers free hosting of streaming video, a feature we were not able to offer previously. By the time you are reading this you should be able to view a 15 minute video of Peace Pilgrim online. The excerpt includes the first half of the 30 minute "Introduction to Peace Pilgrim" video tape which is one of our offerings. You will need a copy of the "Real Player" to be able to view it. If you do not have it already, you can find a link to the free download at the website.
If you visit the websites, please take a minute and send us an email with your comments and suggestions. We love to hear your comments and are always looking for ways to improve the site.
Our webmaster's recommendations, links to the sites listed can also be found in the "Links" section of the Peace Pilgrim Homepage, are:
FROM THE PEACE PILGRIM CENTER - Annie Harvey is an example of one who visited our website and contacted us for books and newsletters. She had never heard of Peace Pilgrim until she happened to run across our Website. She was so profoundly moved by all the good things she read like STEPS, that she immediately called to see if she could visit the next day. And she did!. She wants to have a Peace Pilgrim Center and took a lot of books and some tapes. She wants to be in touch with anyone in Burbank who loves Peace Pilgrim or who wants to know about her message. She wants to invite people to see a video and talk about peace. Since we have a general policy of not giving out names because some have asked us not to - you will have to contact her if you are interested. Write or call Annie Harvey, 351 Lutge Ave, Burbank, CA, 91506. Tel. 818-840-8868
I have just read and greatly enjoyed the "Steps Toward Inner Peace". I would love to give copies to my children. Also I would like to be able to keep a copy to remind myself of the important things in life.
What I like most about the booklet was its spiritual nature without reference to denomination. So it would be universally acceptable even to those who have difficulty acknowledging God, perhaps due to their life choices.
LIVING GUIDE - I would like to distribute some copies of compilation of PEACE PILGRIM to my friends. I am convinced this single book can change the prospective of life. Kindly send me six to ten copies of the book so that I can circulate to my friends and people who need such a living guide.
While driving cross-country on my first visit to the Hemet Peace Pilgrim Center, I found myself outside of Lincoln, Nebraska looking for the Prairie PEACE Park, a 28 acre teaching center dedicated to peace.
I drove up to the gate of the Peace Park as it was getting dark. Rain prohibited a visit to the outdoor attractions so I walked slowly through the rooms of the main building as the significance of the various displays were explained.
One story in particular captured my attention. It was about a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki. She was two years old in Hiroshima when the first atomic bomb used on civilians was dropped, on August 6, 1945. When she was eleven, she developed leukemia, a common disease among children exposed to atomic radiation.
While being treated in the hospital, Sadako was visited by a friend who taught her to fold paper origami cranes. An old Japanese legend stated that anyone who folded 1000 cranes would be granted a wish. In Japan the crane is symbolic of long life, health, and peace. Sadako's wish was to be returned to good health and that all children who suffer from war would be healed and that in the future no children should so suffer. Inspired to realize this dream, Sadako began her quest to fold 1000 cranes.
In the following months Sadako managed to fold over 600 cranes. But her disease gradually worsened and finally claimed her life. Her classmates, inspired by her courage, folded the remainder and she was buried with 1000 origami cranes. The story of Sadako's quest and courage spread all over Japan, and children throughout the country folded "Peace Cranes" and raised money to build a children's memorial in the Hiroshima Peace Park. In 1958, three years after her death, the monument became a reality. It shows Sadako standing on the mountain of paradise holding a giant golden origami crane overhead in her outstretched arms. At its base is the inscription, "This is our cry, this is our prayer, Peace in the World."
I had never heard this story before but was deeply moved by it and fascinated by the delicate paper cranes. I was allowed to unroll my sleeping bag on the floor in a room not far from the Sadako display and I spent the night safe and dry as the cold rain fell in the darkness outside.
The next morning, as I traveled through the rolling grasslands bordering the North Platte River, I was surprised to notice some large birds standing in the fields along the highway. As I drove on into the morning, the flocks grew larger and larger until these tall gray birds with huge wingspans and red spots at the top of their heads filled the fields and the sky.
In the midst of my amazement at this awesome sight, the memory of a news story heard a few weeks earlier came to mind. It had described a major migration that was taking place in the American west - that of the Sandhill Crane. With a rush of association that brought goose bumps to my arms and a tingle to the back of my neck, I connected the story I had heard the night before with the spectacle unfolding around me. Over the next 150 miles I drove by as many as 50,000 migrating Sandhill Cranes who flew Sadako's story across the Nebraska sky. I felt I was receiving a great blessing and have since thought of it as my "Gift of Cranes."
But the story doesn't end here. The next chapter unfolded about two weeks later when I arrived at the Peace Pilgrim Center. One of the very first things I noticed when I entered the house was a large bowl of paper origami cranes sitting on the kitchen table and almost immediately after that discovered a copy of the book "Sadako and the 1000 Cranes" on top of a pile in the front room. That tingle was back in my neck.
I read the book immediately and a few days later met the woman who had folded the cranes and had her teach me how to create them myself. I have since tried to fold at least one crane every day, and think of each as a "prayer for peace". I have had the great pleasure of passing along these messengers of peace as I travel and enjoy sharing the story of my "gift" and teaching others the magic of turning squares of paper into delicate origami cranes.
In early 1999 I discovered a website about a grammar school in Hiroshima that sponsored a yearly "cranes for peace" project. Working with a group of children and adults at my local church, I told the story of Sadako and gave instructions in folding origami cranes. Over the course of the next few months, our group folded cranes and strung them in groups of 100 until we had collected 1000. These were sent to the school in Japan and joined 87,000 others from all over the world that were brought to the Children's Peace Memorial in the first week of August as part of the school's annual peace ceremony.
I have since completed a personal 1000 origami cranes. They hang, for now, in the sanctuary of the church I attend in Connecticut. But I have other plans for them. On December 12th of this year, 2000 people will gather in Hiroshima to pray for peace. I plan to be there with my cranes. They and I will complete a journey that began over two years ago: one that will take them home to the source of their inspiration. To rest, at last, in the shadow of the statue of Sadako - a young Japanese girl I never knew - who changed my life on a rainy night in Nebraska.
LIFE'S INTEREST ALL IN ONE BOOK - During my life I have searched for meaning and answers. I have read extensively, studied most religions, but always one search led to another. One interest I have always had was Cross Country walks, rides, hikes. So it was that I went to the Knox Library and the PEACE PILGRIM book compelled me to check it out.
I read it and my searching ended. My life's interest all in one book. I am satisfied now. I read daily from her book and receive inspiration to live my life with definite goals.
From the earliest writings in the Hebrew scriptures to the latest writings of the Greek New Testament, the Bible recounts a long narrative of encounters with enemies. However, these events and interpretations present a diverse, and indeed, contradictory picture of how people should respond to enemies.
In many cases the will and authority of God is accorded to human actions. Thus, for example, commands to slaughter enemies are attributed to God with no apparent embarrassment or reservation. But on the other hand there are stories like Elisha's feast presented to the captured enemy. Arameans, where the human response to the enemy is not slaughter, but a surprising act of mealtime generosity. And there is Jonah's journey to the enemy city to offer God's grace. So what is it to be - the slaughter tradition or the salvation tradition? Which of these responses to enemies gives a better window on the will of God?
For Christians it might seem obvious to allow Christ to be arbiter of this ancient dispute. Dan Berigan points out "Jesus has instructed us to love our enemies, to do good to those who would harm us. Christians are not allowed to kill others or to be complicity in killing."
In the church in America, unfortunately, instead of Jesus Christ providing the model for our response to violence we see violence endorsed by the church, Jesus recruited for war. The church has endorsed violence as the necessary way to stabilize society and defend the nation.
Traditions alike have stressed human depravity, advocated dominating force to control it and obscured the salvation tradition with their emphasis on the slaughter tradition. That tradition should have set off loud warning bells to the church, but it did not.
Church sanctioned violence, from the death penalty to the nuclear arsenal, is as American as apple pie, for God and the spiritual path have been denied the path of understanding love in the very name of religion. It has been portrayed as a Christian duty to be loyal to a state which refuses to forswear the first use of nuclear weapons, refuses to support international treaties (including a ban on land mines) which are almost universally endorsed by other nations, and which periodically unleashes its military might on small nations, with horrendous consequences in death, injury and destruction.
No attempt to address the problem of violence in America which ignores the church's role in creating this situation has any hope of success. But more candid analysis which faces the church's failure squarely and honestly, has taken the firm step toward responses which can truly begin to transform society and create a culture of peace.
EVERY CHURCH A PEACE CHURCH - "Every church a peace church" is a movement of the so-called "historic peace churches" (Church of the Brethren, Mennonites and Friends/Quakers) to bring the voice of the church to bear on the looming problem of violence in our world.
The approach is to promote a dynamic conversation among Christians of different denominations and traditions. For this to happen, members of the "historic peace churches" will have to move out from their familiar places and comfort zones to initiate a wider conversation.
CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS - In 1990 Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) began sending short-term peacemaker delegations to Iraq, Haiti, Israel/Palestine and several North American locations. Today, under the supervision of a 11-member steering committee from the historic peace churches, the CPT has a Corps of 18 full-time members and 70 part-time Reservists representing the spectrum of Christian denominations prepared to enter emergency situations of violent conflict at the invitation of local peacemakers.
NORWAY - STEPS translator into Norwegian - They are going fine. We have had a couple of articles about Peace Pilgrim in two magazines, one in Denmark and one in Norway and that brought about some requests. We still have a couple of thousand left but they are spreading and we regularly get requests for sending more. Donations are coming in, and the plan is that when we have run out of STEPS, the bank account will be large enough to reprint. We ask people to pay a small sum for the STEPS if they ask for more than 10. Enclosed are a few more STEPS.
NIGERIA - Reading as one of my interests, I've read tons of biographies and autobiographies in the last 15 years, but none could compare with Peace Pilgrim. Since I read her book my perspective about life has changed. With nothing or very little we could live an accomplished life. He asks for books. People I've told her story to, are doubting, so I will want them to read for themselves. Africa needs a lot of peace messages. A more peaceful Africa could be achieved through helping Peace Pilgrim spread her message. What could you offer towards doing PEACE PILGRIM and Africa that would be this good? Sent a box of Compact books and STEPS.
PEACE PILGRIM COLORING BOOK - Gary and our faithful 11 year volunteer, Barbara Werner created this much- loved children's book. They cost $3.00 each for printing and postage.
TAKE A STAND CONFLICT
RESOLUTION PROGRAM (Back
Leo Media is the home of the TAKE A STAND, a comprehensive multimedia program designed to teach conflict resolution skills. The program is a hard-hitting look at conflict that today's teens may encounter and provides them with real alternatives to violence. The complete Take a Stand program includes an instruction interactive CD-ROM and videotape lesson plans, study workbooks, and other support materials. Merchandise, including hats, t-shirts and posters and stickers are also available.
Educators can use the program in the classroom or for after school programs. Community leaders can use the program for day camps, youth groups, libraries, workshops, and any at-risk juvenile groups. Individual students can also use the Take A Stand CD for self-paced learning about conflict resolution.
"TAKE A STAND provides youth with the knowledge, skills and encouragement to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent manner, using words instead of fists or weapons," says Donna Crawford, Executive Producer of TAKE A STAND and Conflict Resolution Education. "Great attention to detail was put into realistic scenarios that depict a variety of conflict situations that teens can identify with," she adds. "TAKE A STAND fills an important curricular need in conflict resolution education."
Brendan McGinty, Leo Media President, believes this program is needed now. "Recent tragedies have caused people to now be more sensitized to the need for conflict resolution education," says McGinty. "The time to act is now. Take A Stand is a comprehensive program combining sound instruction using multimedia and merchandise aimed at inspiring the cultural change needed to stop violence."
Through partnership with MIV, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, NCCRE produced and distributed the original version of the Take A Stand CD. Leo Media has enhanced the original version, created a videotape, and additional educational support materials. Leo Media has purchased all distribution rights and is currently accepting orders.
To learn more about the TAKE A STAND movement, visit their web site located at www.takeastand.com.
SALTSPRING ISLAND, BC, CANADA - I picked up the Peace Pilgrim book at our thrift store. I found a number of people in Saltspring who know of her. There was an ad in the paper for a study group on her works. Peace Pilgrim is a welcome addition to my life and many others, as her ideas are clear, and resonate with truth and joy. Thank you for making her wisdom available to so many people. It can only help to make this world a better place for all of us.
Gary is a volunteer who types your names, addresses and requests in our computer and packages your books. He takes off now and then for a year or two to teach English in other countries. This summer he took his Peace Pilgrim's Coloring book to Brazil. The Brazilian publishers of our Portuguese PEACE PILGRIM books were very interested and decided to publish the Coloring book in Portuguese, Spanish and French. He found himself being invited to speak to groups about Peace Pilgrim and her message. Then we received an e-mail from Brazil: "Last night Gary spoke to a group of 40 people about your work of Peace Pilgrim's life." They requested many Children's books and STEPS.
Gary recommends: Anyone going on a trip, take along a packet of STEPS booklets to pass out - visit a home for the elderly, an orphanage or an organization dedicated to service. That way you see an entirely different aspect of the country. In fact the time spent promoting peace was far more fulfilling than river trips, waterfalls or large cities.
RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA - I am a Lawyer by profession. I have developed great concern for Local, National, Continental and Global Peace. I was fortunate to read your wonderful booklet, STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. It captured my interest and generated in me strong desire and curiosity to participate in activities leading to Global Peace. The media has exposed me to conflicts worldwide. I am always worried after reading, viewing, listening to such events and would like to be a voluntary party towards Global Peace. He wants to know how to become a Friend of Peace Pilgrim. Whoever spreads her message is a Friend of Peace Pilgrim. We sent him two books and four STEPS to get started.
Brother Mark wrote in 1988: You and your co-workers have progressed beyond your/our expectations so that those who have benefitted surely sum up into quite a pile of gratitude. The guide for this situation probably comes from the Greeks: Your reward is simply your satisfaction for having done it. And I'm sure all of us are eager to continue in this work - it is basic to mankind and womankind.
One nice thing is that people come to visit us from most everywhere. This provides an introduction to a road to inner peace - STEPS booklets. He printed the master for the STEPS booklet on their old line-o-type machine. Our current printer is still using this master. A supply of STEPS has been kept in the Abbey bookstore all through the years. Brother Gus requests them. Recently a phone call came from one who had picked up STEPS at the Abbey and was wanting more.
STANFORD, CA - Thanks for sharing Peace Pilgrim's message with the world. It's brightened many lives. You have my deep gratitude.
Cheryl, Andy, the Rushes and I were brought together to work on the Peace Pilgrim book.
Andy had written a book about her, which she looked at on the way back from Hawaii. Peace was very kind: she said to him that "scholars might like it."
I had planned to write a young people's book, called "Here Comes the Peace Pilgrim." In fact, she and I planned to meet in New Orleans at Patricia Yohn's house that winter during Peace's Christmas break to go over some details for the book. Peace was killed that summer. My planning to set aside time to meet with Peace is what led directly to the memorial retreat that winter at my house.
You know part of the story about how we five all realized that we were in a position to put a book together following that retreat. But that meant there had to be some relinquishing of individual egos.
One other person was planning a Peace Pilgrim book. He chose to go on his own. The book was never written. Andy had to let go of his book, and use some of it as a contribution to our work together.
And I dropped my own project, realizing that there was a greater task at hand that would have to involve the five of us working together and letting go of our own vision for the trust in a greater collective vision.
This was at first not easy for me. I believe in my own abilities to do superior work, particularly with things I believe in. Yet a greater spirit prevailed, and I saw the importance of the task at hand and the goodwill and willingness of the people around me.
Our roles came to us almost naturally. Almost by magic it seems, or by truly light and strong guidance from Peace herself. We found ourselves advocating view points strongly, then coming to agreement. And remember that these five people were of very different backgrounds!
Our efforts turned out to be wonderfully successful - the most successful book project I've ever been involved in. It is more significant in the world than other things I'm also proud of that I did entirely on my own and at my own direction. This work has not diminished in time, but continues to be admired and sought all over the world. That's just what we intended.
None of us could have accomplished this on our own, and it would not have turned out nearly so perfect if one had insisted on control of the project. Time has shown that to be so true! Eighteen years later, I'm still myself. It is still hard for me to let go and let others, and heed the call of collective guidance. I'm still a know-it-all, who marches to the song of a different drummer (or to God's song for me). Yet the one time I really did relinquish and trust the collective, not with grudging compromise but with passion, that had by far the best and most enduring result.
Learn more about Richard's other publications at Ocean Tree Books.
WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST FULL-TIME VOLUNTEER
For the past 21/2 years, it was my pleasure and my joy to open my home to the new documentary crew. I have been deeply immersed in the life and works of Peace Pilgrim. I read many books and papers and listened to countless audio tapes of Peace Pilgrim speaking. I even heard her sing "Fountain of Love". It was my delight to watch all the raw film footage, including newly found clips of Peace Pilgrim being interviewed.
Peace Pilgrim encouraged us to find our place in the life pattern. One of my places is music. I make up songs, sing and play them on a six-string acoustic guitar. WALKING THE PATH is my first CD. Five songs are Peace Pilgrim words with my original music. All of the vocals and guitar accompaniment is done by me. I am happy to offer this original music to you free of charge. Donations to Friends of Peace Pilgrim are always appreciated. (Our postage and duplicating costs: CD $4, audio tape $2).
MYANMAR (aka Burma) - A Catholic Priest writes: We appreciate the Newsletter very much. I share the interesting news with my confreres and parishioners. We pray and hope to receive it in the future. We are interested in Peace Pilgrim materials to be used to educate our children. We sent a box of books, STEPS and a coloring book.
If you want free Peace Pilgrim materials write or email us. Please give your address changes promptly to help us avoid costly postal fees. For a subscription, all you need to do is ask. By requesting, we know we are sending newsletters only to those who truly want them. All our newsletters, past and present, are on our website. Our website also has transcripts of all our audios, videos, and newsletters written by Peace Pilgrim during her 281/2-year pilgrimage.
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