The Occupy Movement, how it got started, what its current status is and what people think about it locally will be the focus of an open forum planned for Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at St. Anne Catholic Church. The event is being held as part of the 30 Days of Peace observance in Alpena.
"Occupy is a non-violent movement where people want their voice to be heard," said facilitator Duffy Gorski of Alpena, a founding member of the group, We Want World Peace.
Gorski said the movement has spread to 750 cities and 82 counties around the globe and has been attended by more than one million people.
For one month each fall, the 30 Days of Peace observance in Alpena puts the spotlight on striving individually and together for peace with a variety of related activities. Upcoming highlights include tonight's Evening of Poetry, Readings, Blues and Jazz from 7-9 at Cabin Creek Coffee. Other scheduled events in the days ahead are an opening prayer service, prayer reflections on the Beatitudes of Christ and a gathering of Pax Christi as well as the Sept. 21 open forum on The Occupy Movement.
Today's event at Cabin Creek will feature poems and readings promoting peace given by representatives of the local Pax Christi, a Catholic organization that strives to create a world that reflects the peace of Christ. Other volunteers also will be do readings, and a jazz band led by Pastor Owen Williams on baritone sax, Kat Tomaszewski on alto sax, Bunny Lyon on keyboard and Mary Ann Hubbard on flute will present music.
The Sept. 16 opening prayer service is coordinated by Sister Mary Hughes and will be held at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. Clergy from a local coalition of Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and First Congregational churches (LARCC), as well as other clergy within the community, will be participating. Pastor Shirley Ross-Jones, the new pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, will preach the message. Lyon, a member of Grace Lutheran, will provide the music for the prayer service.
Upcoming 30 Days
of Peace activities
- Today An Evening of Poetry, Readings, Blues and Jazz, 7-9 p.m, Cabin Creek
- Sept. 16 LARCC Opening Prayer Service, 7 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church
- Sept. 17 Prayer Reflections on the Beatitudes, noon, First Congregational Church
- Sept. 19 Peace Liturgy, noon, Trinity Episcopal Church
- Sept. 20 Pax Christi meeting, open to all, 6 p.m., St. Anne's Church
- Sept. 21 The Occupy Movement Forum, 7 p.m., St. Anne's Church
As she has in years past, Betsy Adamus has put together prayer reflections that will take place on the next four Mondays at noon in the Barksdale Chapel at First Congregational United Church of Christ. All of the reflections, centered on the Beatitudes of Christ, will include music, silent prayer and readings done in unison.
"We try to keep the atmosphere dim with candlelight," Adamus said. "We want it to be a place for sanctuary and peace."
Over the course of the four weeks, beginning with Sept. 17, her reflections will focus on the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the pure in heart and the peacemakers.
An open meeting of Pax Christi, which will also include members of the Alpena Coalition for Peace, is set for 6 p.m. at St. Anne's. The public is invited to come and learn more about the work of both groups.
Editor's Note: In a story on the 30 Days of Peace appearing last week in The Alpena News, St. Catherine Anderson was incorrectly identified.