By Joe Shaver, World BEYOND War, March 19, 2023
I first witnessed a Peace Pole dedication about 40 years ago at our Methodist Church back in Westerville, Ohio. We had a peace committee that scheduled the event for a Sunday after church in the mid afternoon. After attending the service, I went home to change close and go play racquetball and then went to the dedication in my shorts and tee shirt and sandals. Only a few people attended, and the men were mostly in coats and ties. Someone commented about my attire, and I said that I thought it was a guy who wore sandals every day that was know at the Prince of Peace.
After we moved to Virginia we became involved with a startup Lutheran congregation in Fluvanna County. It was 11 years before we actually built a church and began holding services there. So, I was determined that we should have a Peace Pole at the new church on Route 53. We dedicated the pole on 9/13/13, which was the UN International Day of Peace. Rather than four languages, we used 8 in order to have one from each continent and also included Hebrew and Arabic. I wrote the dedication service to include the Imam at the time from the Islamic Masjid from Charlottesville and invited a Rabbi, who couldn’t attend but sent a Hebrew prayer for us to use in his absence.
We recently move from Fluvanna County over to Crozet and have joined the Tabor Presbyterian Church, and I again was inspired to have a Peace Pole at our new church. Rather than the traditional language to Let Peace Prevail on Earth, there was an art teacher who led the effort with a larger pole upon which he has some of the youth put the word Peace in 33 different languages.
Wonderful. Wish every church would do this!
I will be sending the idea to other churches/people with which I am/have been affiliated.
Wonderful! Thank you for doing this.
I will be sharing with churches with which I have friends, affiliation.