Peace meditation planned for today

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

In light of current world events, it seems ironic the Season for Peace and Nonviolence -- the days between the anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi 's death, Jan. 30, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, April 4 -- should be happening right now.

On the other hand, ongoing world strife makes the Season's messages of tolerance and finding nonviolent solutions to conflict even more meaningful to people across the planet.

In the central Kenai Peninsula's corner of the world, a peace meditation is planned today to promote these same ideals. The meditation will be at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna and should last about an hour.

"So many people are needing something to do and feeling like they are powerless or need some way to do something about what's happening around them in the political realm," said Sue Biggs, music coordinator at Christ Lutheran Church and one of the organizers of the event. "This gives them a chance to gather with other people to pray, to sing, to think about it, and it gives us something to participate in."

The meditation will include singing and peace-themed music, candle lighting and talks from some of the spiritual leaders in the area, including the Rev. Kathe Ford of the Center For Spiritual Living, Pastor Randy Parshall from Christ Lutheran Church and Victoria Gardner Placard, who is involved in interfaith healing and is a music minister.

Along with the Season for Peace and Nonviolence, the season of Lent is another impetus for holding the peace meditation. According to Biggs, the World Council of Churches has designated the years from 2001 to 2010 as the decade to overcome violence and has asked churches that celebrate Lent to use that time to fast from violence.

The peace meditation will be nondenominational and is open to everyone. This spirit of people from different faith backgrounds working together is a key component of the event.

"That's what it's all about," Placard said. "It seems like the majority of wars and conflicts have been because of religious differences, and I think it must break God's heart to see all of his children fighting over him. How stupid is that?"

A similar peace meditation event was held in December in conjunction with World Healing Day. That event drew participants of Christian, Baha'i and other backgrounds.

"It was wonderful because we're all children of God," Placard said. "... You get the different viewpoints and yet they all really come together. We all want to live in peace, we all want to live, we all want to have peace and joy in our lives.

"With what's going on in the world right now, we need to really get together and work together for peace and for nonviolent solutions and for religious tolerance. There can be no freedom of religion without religious tolerance and acceptance of religions and faiths that are different than our own."

For more information about today's event, call 260-5464.

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