Poles of peace

USE 100_0850 We gathered on June 27 at the Afton Presbyterian Church. We gathered from different places and different traditions. Church leaders, singers, speakers, political leaders, friends, family, neighbors, a guitar player, and a bagpiper, we gathered.

We gathered:
to plant and dedicate a peace pole,
to honor a peacemaker, Marguerite "Maggie" Matthews, whose long life and faithful witness to peace included a stint in the Peace Corps — during her retirement,
to remember and celebrate past ministries of peacemaking,
to lift up current ministries of peacemaking,
and to dedicate ourselves to live as peacemakers,
to commit to planting poles of peace in every aspect of our living.

We began with a meal, the quality and quantity of food surpassed only by the joy and blessing of the fellowship. Then we moved into the sanctuary for a time of worship.

The skirl of the pipes called us together.

The community choir that overflowed the choir loft sang a prelude.

After prayer, Afton Mayor Sally Muller and State Assemblyman Peter Lopez brought words of welcome and reflected on the occasion.

We joined in the hymn, "O God Who Formed Creation," written by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.

Gerry Matthews thanked all for coming and reflected on his mother's life. Marjory Clark and Debbie Dickenson reminisced about their experiences of Marguerite's peacemaking.

The community choir sang "One Earth One Sky." We all sang "A Song of Peace."

Elizabeth Gordon led us in a brief period of worship in the Quaker fashion.

I closed my presentation by distributing crosses (a peace pole!) made in Liberia from leftover bullet casings.

Mark Shephard then led us in singing "Together We Can Change the World."

100_0867 Again the pipes played and we left the sanctuary to gather in the front of the church by the pole. The act of dedication followed — dedication of a pole to honor and remember peacemakers and peacemaking — dedication of ourselves to plant poles of peace wherever God calls us.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)