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Give peace a chance

September 13, 2011 - Diane Speer
Who among us doesn't long for a little more peace in their lives? And looking around the world today, few would argue that peace is desperately needed, not just on a personal level, but on a large-scale global level.

A group of dedicated Alpena residents currently is doing its part to help others achieve peace. For the fifth straight year, the Alpena Coalition for Peace has planned a 30 Days of Peace initiative with activities that range from contemplative prayer services and labyrinth walks that address the inner soul to public discussions, talks and films that look at the thorny issues surrounding peace versus war.

The coalition draws inspiration from renowned figures such as Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandala. It also has planned to show films that look at the lives of individuals killed for their courageous stands taken against human injustice.

Earlier this week, I had occasion to take a photo for The Alpena News at one of the 30 Days of Peace events. It was a contemplative service held at First Congregational Church. Because the service was over the lunch hour, I decided rather than just snap a few photos and then quickly leave, I would stay for the entire service. It was a very good decision. That one brief half-hour – filled with candlelight, beautiful music and reflections on peace – was by far the calmest part of my otherwise hectic day and served to remind not just me, but the others in attendance, that "you must be the change you wish to see in the world."

I would encourage others out there to try and work at least one of the many 30 Days of Peace events into their own schedule whether it be the sacred Taize service on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, the beautiful Peace Concert on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at St. Anne Catholic Church or any number of other options.

Give peace a chance – for your own greater good and for the good others.


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