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Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim - Together Again
Pilgrim Pole Dedication - Peace Pole Project Update
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Fall colors blazed and are now fading across the New England hills reminding us of the ebb and flow of the changing seasons and the richness of life on this beautiful planet. This is the 50th issue of the Friends of Peace Pilgrim newsletter. The first edition was mailed out twenty years ago, in the fall of 1987.
With a mixture of sadness and joy (see below) we can report that the “pilgrimage” is alive and well. People from around the world continue to discover Peace Pilgrim through friends, family, our website, and chance encounters with copies of our books, booklets, and other offerings that have been circulating for almost 25 years. Those of you who contact us for materials to share, are also Peace’s continuation. Shortly before her “transition to a freer life” in 1981, Peace Pilgrim mentioned to a friend that she felt her pilgrimage was about to take a new form. She did not know exactly what that would be but she seemed certain that a change was imminent. A few months later she was killed in an automobile accident near Knox, Indiana. While we might think that her pilgrimage ended in a certain place and on a specific date, if we look more deeply we can see that it was only transformed into a new form. Every time someone is touched by Peace’s message, every time a “Steps” booklet is passed along, every time we are encouraged by the lessons she brought into the world, the pilgrimage’s continuation is evidenced. We offer thanks to our many friends who are so instrumental in this process.
In our first issue we included a short article entitled “Symptoms of Inner Peace”. It was presented as being anonymous in origin. A few months ago we were contacted by the author who found the online version of newsletter Number 1 on our website. We are happy to reprint that offering in the current issue along with some additional words from its creator.
The “Peace Pilgrim Pole” project first mentioned a couple of issues back has finally gotten off the ground. The first state pole was dedicated in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on November 11, 2007. Another state pole should be following soon in Sacramento, California. We have also placed a pole on the grounds of Peaceful Pathways, home of the Friends of Peace Pilgrim archives in Copperopolis, California. Articles inside will bring you up to date on this initiative and let you know how you can help organize a Peace Pilgrim Pole for your state capital.
In Peace and Friendship,
Cheryl Canfield, Richard Polese, Mayte Picco-Kline,
Jeff Blom, Bruce Nichols, and John Rush
The Friends of Peace Pilgrim Board
Together Again (top)
In the early morning hours of November 18, 2007 our dear friend and Friends of Peace Pilgrim board member Ann Rush made her “glorious transition” to a freer life. Ann was an inspiration to all who knew her. For eighteen years she and husband, John, ran the first Peace Pilgrim Center from their home in Hemet, California where her enthusiasm for our work could be heard in every interaction with the many visitors and callers who sought to learn more about the life and message of Peace Pilgrim. Ann was one of the compilers of our book Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words and also authored our popular pamphlet, Peace Pilgrim: An Extraordinary Life. In her last days, Ann was surrounded by family and friends who offered love and comfort. Our next newsletter will include more details about the life of our beloved mentor and friend. If you have any stories or comments you would like to share, please send or email them to our Shelton, CT address.
(photo above - Ann Rush and Peace Pilgrim circa 1980)
“Death is a beautiful liberation into a freer life. The limiting clay garment, the body, is put aside. The self-centered nature goes with you to learn and grow on the disembodied side of life, and then returns here into a suitable clay garment and suitable circumstances to learn the lessons we need to learn. Could we but see a bit deeper into life, we would grieve at birth and rejoice at death. If we but knew how short is the earth life in comparison with the whole, we would be less troubled with the difficulties of the earth life than we are troubled now with the difficulties of one of our days.”
Oklahoma Peace Pilgrim Pole (top)
Dedicated on November 11
by Bruce Nichols
On a warm and sunny Sunday, November 11, 2007 about 60 people gathered on the grounds of Epworth United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City to dedicate the first of what we hope will eventually be fifty “Peace Pilgrim Poles” – one in each of the fifty state capitals.
That the event took place on November 11 seemed especially significant. On that date eighty-nine years before, the First World War had ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For the next thirty-six years “Armistice Day” was celebrated in the United States and Europe, often with two minutes of silence at eleven AM. In 1954 the name of the US holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who had served and died in wars subsequent to the “war to end all wars”. The proclamation signed by President Harry Truman read, in part, “rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace.” So, standing beside the wooden pole bearing four plaques inscribed with, “This is the Way of Peace”, “Overcome Evil With Good”, “Overcome Falsehood With Truth”, and “Overcome Hatred With Love,” seemed especially appropriate and symbolic of the essence of that intention.
The day began with a “Peace Service” at the church lead by Rev. Sherron Hughes-Tremper. Prayers, songs and words of peace were shared. Friends of Peace Pilgrim board member, Bruce Nichols, offered some background on the Peace Pilgrim Pole project and his excitement about dedicating the first of the fifty state poles in Oklahoma within sight of the office where our books are packaged and shipped to friends around the world.
After the service church members and other friends gathered around the pole on the lawn in front of the building. In addition to the sanctuary, the Epworth complex also includes the original building that housed the forerunner of Oklahoma City University. That large three story structure houses many of the outreach programs sponsored by the church including a free medical clinic, and free legal services for the less advantaged of Oklahoma City. Friends of Peace Pilgrim has also found a home for our work in a spacious corner room on the second floor.
As we gathered outside we were surprised to find that two of the local television stations had set up cameras to tape the event for the evening news. One of Peace Pilgrim’s original tunics was on display for the ceremony. Talitha Glosemeyer, chairperson of the Epworth Methodist board of trustees, offered some opening remarks about the history of Epworth’s involvement with Friends of Peace Pilgrim and the circumstances that lead to our being offered space in the building. FoPP board member, Bruce Nichols, then spoke about the pole project and the significance of Oklahoma City to Peace Pilgrim and our work.
The pole was then uncovered by its builder, Dennis Watson, a veteran himself, who spoke about the history of Peace Poles and likened them to “acupuncture for the earth.”
After the dedication, those gathered were offered daffodil bulbs to plant around the base of the pole. The finishing touches were added by the Mayflower Congregational Church youth group who had prepared the site and set up the pole prior to the event.
Peace Pilgrim Pole Dedication in Oklahoma
More About (top)
Peace Pilgrim Poles
In our summer newsletter of 2006 we announced the Peace Pilgrim Pole project. Inspired by a long-time Friend of Peace Pilgrim from Auburn, California, our aim is to place a pole bearing Peace Pilgrim’s message in every state capital. We now have quote plaques available as well as an informational plaque that includes a photograph of Peace Pilgrim and some background information for those who might be encountering her words for the first time.
The first state capital pole was dedicated in Oklahoma City in November. Friends in Sacramento, California are organizing a pole for that state. We expect it to be placed sometime in early 2008.
We are looking for friends to organize Peace Pilgrim Pole locations in other capitals. State poles can be placed on public or private property but should be in a location that has public access such as a park, college campus, church, etc. Friends of Peace Pilgrim will supply one set of plaques for each state capital. Poles will need to be supplied locally. Proposals for placement of a pole in your state capital can be sent to Bruce Nichols at our Shelton, Connecticut location. You can also call or email with your questions.
We have had a number of inquiries from friends interested in placing Peace Pilgrim Poles on their own property or in locations other than state capitals. Friends of Peace Pilgrim is not offering plaques outside the state capitals project. For those who might want to have a Peace Pilgrim Pole for their home or other local venue, plaques or finished poles can be purchased from:
The Peace Pole Makers
7221 S. Wheeler Rd.
Maple City, MI 49664