By DIANE SPEER
News Lifestyles Editor
Efforts by the Alpena Coalition for Peace to put a spotlight on the need for peace continue in the week ahead. Upcoming activities include a taize service, a presentation on non-violence, and an evening of poetry, readings, blues and jazz.
Poems from this book by David Smith-Ferri will be read during “An Evening of Poetry, Readings, Blues and Jazz” set for Sept. 30 at Cabin Creek Coffeehouse.
The "sacred creation" taize service will take place this Sunday at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church.
"It is a prolonged meditative service with song," said Carol Skiba, a member of the Alpena Coalition for Peace. "It is modeled on the taize community in France."
That community is comprised of brothers from 30 countries across the world who come from Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic traditions. The monastic order, founded in 1940, has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. The community has become one of the world's most important sites of Christian pilgrimage.
"The service is accompanied by songs in canon style and instrumental music weaving in and out," said Alpena Coalition for Peace member Sally Buza. "It fits perfectly into the 30 Days of Peace."
The weekly contemplative prayer services held at noon on Mondays in the First Congregational Church chapel continue Sept. 26. This latest service facilitated by Betsy Adamus will focus on the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
On Sept. 27, a DVD viewing of "What Has Happened to Our Society?" by the Rev. Peter Daughterty will be held at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, followed by a discussion afterward. A Catholic priest with the Diocese of Lansing, Daughterty has been a full-time peacemaker for over 35 years as an educator, nuclear disarmament and human rights activist. He has served on teams to Bosnia, Haiti, Mexico, Iraq and Palestine/Israel.
"He analyzes what happens in society and compares it with how Jesus challenged others not just religious leaders but government leaders and led a peaceful revolution," said Skiba.
The Rev. Owen Williams of Grace Lutheran Church will give a presentation on "The Philosophy of Non-Violence: Does it Work?" in conjunction with the Association of Lifelong Learners on Sept. 28 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Alpena Community College Center Building, Room 106.
"The presentation will introduce the principles of non-violence, beginning with Jesus' teachings on love of neighbor and even love of enemy and the use of non-violence in the early Christian church," Williams said.
His program also will look at some of the writings and actions of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi, and the use of non-violence in the social change movements in eastern Europe and China during the 1980s.
"I will especially focus on the story of the 'Peaceful Revolution' in East Germany which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as told by Pastor Christian Feuhrer, who was a key leader in this non-violent movement," Williams said.
Williams will also share an article he wrote about the 20th anniversary of this "Peaceful Revolution" after his trip to Germany in 2009.
A first time event for the 5-year-old 30 Days of Peace initiative is "An Evening of Poetry, Readings, Blues and Jazz" set for Sept. 30 from 7-9 p.m. at Cabin Creek Coffee in downtown Alpena. A number of the poetry readings will be taken from a book by David Smith-Ferri that reflects on the effects of war on everyday people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Buza said not only do the poems put a human face on the wars in both countries, but they also include messages of hope as war victims describe how they have been helped by peace activists, including from the United States. Besides poetry from the book by Smith-Ferri other volunteers in the local peace movement will bring poems or readings to share with participants.
Rounding out the event, blues and jazz music will be provided by a group of area musicians, featuring Owen Williams, Kat Tomaszewski, Bunny Lyon and Randy MacAuley.