|Spring/Summer 2001||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 35|
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Peace Pilgrim Statue Dedication
Keynote Address at Dedication
Closing Remarks at Dedication
Additional Activities in Costa Rica
Academic Seminar and Dedication Ceremony
Peace Pilgrim Center in Costa Rica
Peace Pilgrim Recognized in Home Town
At Long Last
New Jersey Press Recognition
The New Documentary
|A Trip to Hiroshima
World Development and Service Fund
The God's Child Project
A New Peace Pilgrim Friend
New U.S. Peace Pilgrim Center
Friends of Peace Pilgrim is Moving!
Russian Peace Pilgrim Center
Peace Crusade in Nigeria
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,
We felt like we were entering a holy land as we stepped out of the plane, for this is a country without an army! It was a delightful experience to be at the unveiling of the Peace Pilgrim statue in Costa Rica last November. What an unusual experience. We met with friends of Peace Pilgrim from different countries. Several, who somehow knew who we were, hugged us, reminding us of books we had sent.
PEACE PILGRIM STATUE DEDICATION (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
On November 19, 2000 we and about 150 people gathered on the campus of the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica for the dedication of the bronze statue of Peace Pilgrim that was created by well-known Costa Rican sculptor, Fernando Calvo. The life-size statue stands under a tree with flowers at her feet. A bust of Gandhi is nearby. She is at ground level, walking eagerly toward her next speaking engagement. Being on the ground, instead of a pedestal, makes her friendly and accessible. Her sister kissed her on the cheek.
Helene Young, Peace Pilgrim's 85-year-old sister, was a special guest at the dedication. Her friend, Barbara Reynolds, flew with her from New Jersey.
When they walked into their hotel, Helene saw PEACE PILGRIM printed on the front of a woman's tunic and called out, "Hello sister, How are you?" Jemila Ericson, the actress who wore the tunic, grinned and crowed `Great.' Helene threw her arms around Jemila and said,"That's just what my sister would have said." Jemila wrote later,"Any concern I had about how she might feel seeing me dressed as her beloved sister simply evaporated."
There were gatherings, large and small. At the Academic Seminar, individuals shared their experiences with Peace Pilgrim and her universal message. One evening, about ten of us were in the living room of Mary and Elias Newswanger's beautiful, homemade home in Monteverde, a Quaker Community. We had a peaceful, silent meditation together in dark when the electricity went out. Then had a searching discussion about the future. We hoped Jemila Ericson would play Peace Pilgrim in a movie.
We experienced warm and friendly hospitality from our friends in San Jose and Monteverde. We took a walk in the cloud forest preserve where scientists come to study the animal and plant life. Years ago we contributed $25 for 1/4 of an acre of land given to the preserve by the Quakers.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT DEDICATION (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
RODRIGO CARAZO, former President of Costa Rica, founder of United Nations University for Peace said:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great initiative. My profound heartfelt thanks, especially to Fernando Calvo, the sculptor, the artist, a person who brings to life all the inert materials of the earth in creating this statue.
When we make a thought a reality, we realize that all human beings, in one way or another, converge in God. This morning, as we prepare to unveil an extraordinary statue of a great peacemaker, we know, through this experience, that Utopia is the goal of the visionary. And furthermore, seeing this sculpture, we understand clearly that whoever desires to be a leader must dream.
Yes, Peace Pilgrim is here. And she, who never asked for anything, who gave everything, walked throughout the countries, speaking of a new way of peace - saying that in order to overcome evil we need to do good; in order to transform falsehood we need to elevate the truth. She told us that love is the instrument that can contradict hatred.
She is an inspiration for me, personally, and I confess it draws me closer to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And, in a prayer for peace, I would like to ask the Holy Spirit to unite with us so that we may learn how to live in peace with our fellow human beings and achieve peace with God. When we ask the Holy Spirit for this inspiration, may we ask to be strengthened in our desire to live nearer to Him. [At this point the translator, a woman, said: "Him, or It, or She." which met with smiles, nods of approval, even from Rodrigo, himself, as well as, delighted laughter and general applause] At the same time, may we have the will to serve and consequently, the love that is needed in order to exist.
Welcome, Peace Pilgrim! You walked throughout the country thousands of miles, but you arrived here at the Quisur Gardens to illustrate with your presence an example, joining together with those who, thinking about peace, come to this mountain in southern Costa Rica, this Central Valley, this extraordinary climate, this land of peace, this land of Mt. Rasur. Welcome, Peace Pilgrim. Bienvenida, Peregrina de Paz.
(For photographs and additional information on the UN University for Peace - Peace Pilgrim Statue dedication go the the Peace Pilgrim website Statue Page.)
A PRESENTER FROM THE U.S. said, "This was one of the most wonderful gatherings of peaceful purpose I've ever attended. I am so honored to be a part of it."
CLOSING REMARKS AT DEDICATION (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
Rita Johnson, Unity minister and the assistant to Robert Muller, who was former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Chancellor Emeritus, University for Peace said:
Today is the fulfillment of a dream for many of us. And the person we have to thank for the fruition of this dream is Mary Newswanger. So let's give her a standing ovation. This statue represents a universal dream, the vision of peace for all mankind.
The idea of having a statue of Peace Pilgrim on the University for Peace grounds was Dr. Muller's. He wanted to honor individuals who "dedicated their life's work to world peace." And he was very, very sorry he could not be here with us. He left a few sentences for me to read to extend his thoughts to you." Robert Muller's words were:
"Dear Friends, I've been dreaming for a long time that the sacred grounds of the University for Peace will be blessed with a life size statue of Peace Pilgrim walking. It took time and many, many warm efforts, but the dream came true, as all dreams do on Mt. Rasur. Alas, I did not dream strong enough to be present at this great, inspiring, historic event.
"My next dream is that Peace Pilgrim will be blessed with soils from all countries of the earth, as messages of the prayers for peace for all humanity. I wanted to be the first to bring some sand from Pennsylvania, the U.S. state of "Brotherly Love." May Peace Pilgrim continue to do miracles for our beautiful planet and for its noble human family. May God bless her in heaven as she blesses us on earth. Yours in heart, mind and spirit."
Rita placed soil from Pennsylvania at Peace Pilgrim's feet, and on Robert's behalf invited everyone to bring soil from their countries to place at her feet.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES IN COSTA RICA (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
Jemila Ericson and Mayte Kline, from the U.S., were invited to Costa Rica a few days before the statue dedication. Jemila, an actress, had played the part of Peace Pilgrim before school children in a "LIVING HISTORY PROJECT." Mayte translated the Peace Pilgrim book into Spanish ten years ago. Together, they gave talks to more than 300 school children and groups of adults. Mayte shared reflections about inner peace and was interviewed by TV, radio, and newspaper reporters. The day before the dedication Cheryl Canfield, John and Ann Rush (three compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book), Mayte and many other friends of Peace Pilgrim spoke at the Academic Seminar. Jemila played PEACE PILGRIM, to our delight.
Several of us were interviewed by the International Radio for Peace. It is broadcast on short wave radio around the world, 24 hours a day. Their address is: P.O.B. 88-6150, Santa Ana, Costa Rica and P.O Box 1094, Eugene, Oregon 97440.
ACADEMIC SEMINAR (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
AND DEDICATION CEREMONY
Cheryl Canfield and Mayte Kline were co-leaders of an Academic Seminar. Mayte writes, "When I think about Costa Rica many vivid memories come to me about the special celebration we had for Peace Pilgrim. One of the most touching moments was when Ann and John Rush answered questions about the Peace Pilgrim Center from participants at the Academic Seminar. It was inspiring to hear how such a widespread peace network has evolved in the last 18 years. Some responses to the Academic Seminar and dedication ceremony were:
Helene Young, Peace Pilgrim's sister is impressed by the continued attention given her sister's personal mission for peace. "She died almost 20 years ago and the interest is still growing ... We (the family) knew she crisscrossed the country for peace, and I forwarded her mail to her, but when she was home, she spent all of her time writing or speaking to different groups. I never realized what an impact she had until after she was gone," Young said.
Newswanger said the project was worth all the work. "It will make an enduring contribution, hopefully inspiring peacemakers for decades to come."
You can reach Newswanger at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about UPAZ, visit www.upeace.org.
THE TICO TIMES, COSTA RICA - From near and far, the unveiling of the Peace Pilgrim statue last week at THE UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY FOR PEACE drew crowds of Ticos (Costa Ricans) and foreigners, including Peace Pilgrim's sister and students from Guararit School. Includes a picture of Helene and the statue with children gathered around.
PRINCETON, NJ - A wonderful book by Jane Goodall, REASONS FOR HOPE, reminded us of Peace Pilgrim and we were inspired to send her the PEACE PILGRIM book. Here is Jane's response: "What a wonderful spirit. I much looking forward to reading this, when I stop for a few peaceful moments.
PEACE PILGRIM RECEIVES (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
RECOGNITION IN HER HOME STATE
In the Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey: "A permanent public testament to a local woman's quest for peace and to the worldwide appeal of her message - miles from her Atlantic County birthplace and nearly 20 years after her death.
The woman, Mildred Norman Ryder (1908-1981), known from age 44 only as Peace Pilgrim, a life-size bronze statue installed on the campus of the United Nations University for Peace in Colon, Costa Rica, located near San Jose, the capital. Peace Pilgrim's basic message was a simple one: "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth and hatred with love." - She shared it and other insights with anyone who listened as she walked across the country six times - between 1953 and her death in a head-on crash in 1981 while being shuttled to a speaking engagement in Indiana. But her teachings continue to inspire people throughout the world.
Why Costa Rica? "Costa Rica is the first country in the world to unilaterally abolish its army, more than 50 years ago," said Mary Stuckey Newswanger, Peace Pilgrim project coordinator. Newswanger, a longtime peace activist, formerly on staff with the American Friends Service Committee, worked in Philadelphia before moving to Monteverde, Costa Rica, about ten years ago. Monteverde was founded in a rural mountainous area in 1950 by 11 Quaker families.
Peace Pilgrim, who relied solely on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter, was an independent promoter of peace during her back-and-forth nationwide travels. She had been affiliated with various Quaker groups in the years she spent preparing for her mission. (full text of article)
PEACE PILGRIM CENTER IN COSTA RICA (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
One of the results of the Peace Pilgrim Celebration is a NEW peace center! Donna Labagh has a home across the road from the University for Peace, very close to the Peace Pilgrim statue. Donna is offering her home as a place where Peace Pilgrim books, STEPS and tapes can be given to people who come to see the statue. "Even though the University library has Peace Pilgrim materials available, this will be much more personal, something of a complementary effort to what you do," wrote Mary Newswanger, chief organizer of the dedication weekend.
Donna is also helping to make the appropriate contacts to work with UNESCO schools in Costa Rica. To contact her write: D. LABAGH, Lista Correos, Code 6100, Villa Colon, Costa Rica. fax/tel. 506-249-2946.
CANADA - I do believe in inner and world peace and this is such a good way to spread it.
THAILAND - Thank you for the generous box you sent. She sends a generous gift I was especially in need of a large print STEPS booklet and intended to recommend it and there it was! My three children have delighted in the coloring book and it has been a wonderful way for us to talk about Peace Pilgrim. Her husband hopes to translate the book. A Thai translation would be especially useful for Thai women. Buddhist nuns do not have the same status as the monks. Peace lived the exemplary life that the most revered forest monks have lived! And her message is very accessible. How wonderful to read in your Newsletter about the COSTA RICA 2000, NEW MILLENNIUM OF PEACE.
OTHER ATTENDEES OF DEDICATION CEREMONY
Others attending the event include: Cheryl Canfield, longtime friend of Peace Pilgrim; Bruce Nichols, who created the Peace Pilgrim Web site; Mayte Picco-Kline, who translated the Peace Pilgrim book into Spanish; and Erika Muhlenberg, who hosted Peace Pilgrim in her home when Peace Pilgrim spoke at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in 1963 (Swarthmore's library houses a comprehensive Peace Collection). "I am very excited about all of these people coming together for this one purpose."
EXCHANGE STUDENT IN COSTA RICA - Hola, Friends of Peace Pilgrim. My name is Robyn Hancock, and I am an international exchange student currently living in Costa Rica. I had recently traveled to Monteverde, CR, where I found Peace's book on a table at a local coffee shop. I'm sure I don't need to go into detail about this because you guys have heard it a million times. But her message has changed my life. She is my inspiration; you can add me to the list of the billions touched by her radiant light. I would not say that I am a religious person...but definitely SPIRITUAL...I have a beautiful relationship with God and it was nice to hear you don't necessarily have to go to church to be one of God's children. She has taught me so much about life, not just through her words but through her example... that's what makes her so astonishing!! I am here in Costa Rica with 40 other kids from the States, and there is a list for who gets to read the book next. I love watching people before and after they have read the Book. A change happens inside of them that can not be explained with words....All I can say is it's a change for the better. I just wanted to thank you for producing this work of art and distributing it for the masses!! She requests PEACE PILGRIM books in English for four friends in US and one for her in Spanish.. Thank you so much for all your help.
THE NEW DOCUMENTARY (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
The Documentary crew did an outstanding job of collecting important Peace Pilgrim materials. Interns from Stanford and other nearby colleges contacted the news media across the country and put together a video of Peace walking through the years. In 1953, at age 44, we see her begin her Pilgrimage. It is a delight to see her being interviewed and answering reporters questions through 1981.
We took the video to Costa Rica and it was greatly liked. Now many people want a copy. When so much material is collected it is hard to edit. Documentary producers often use an independent editor to help them. We have found a very capable and inspired editor, Sharon Janis, who plans to work with us to complete the Peace Pilgrim documentary. She comes with considerable experience in the industry and, interestingly, has written two books on spiritual paths. We look forward to viewing her work very soon.
We thank Kashyar Darvich and David Mueller for their devotion and direction in finding Peace Pilgrim footage. Also for their excellent interviews of people who love her message.
PEACE PILGRIM NOTE CARDS - Lovely and original, these cards are graced with a Peace Pilgrim quote, created by Reggie Mantei who will send you a free card if you write her at 26 Woodoaks Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903 or email@example.com
TO THOSE WHO HAVE SENT IN ARTICLES - Just know that hopefully your good letter or article will get in sometime. We may decide to do three newsletters a year instead of two. The work is expanding as more people read the book, watch a video and share them with others.
PEACE READING LIBRARY IN HAWAII - Our long-time good friend, Gretel Shanley, now known as G.G. Shanley, invites friends of Peace Pilgrim to visit HAPPY WORLD, PEACE READING LIBRARY. The library includes Peace Pilgrim books and videos. For more information write P.O.B. 1883, KAPA'A, HAWAII or gshanleyhappyworld@hotmail. Or call 8O8-821-2110.
PEACE PILGRIM'S 2001 CALENDAR - We have distributed 1400 calendars. We have just 50 copies available. Let us know if you want one. It features 12 different pictures of Peace Pilgrim.
AT LONG LAST, (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
PEACE PILGRIM IS BECOMING WELL KNOWN
IN HER HOME TOWN OF EGG HARBOR, NJ
By Barbara Reynolds
In the last few years there has been a New Jersey campaign to recognize their native daughter, with a hard cover book in every library.
Over a year ago I was introduced to Peace Pilgrim when I went with a group of children from my Quaker Meeting to the cemetery where she is buried - about 15 minutes away. Later we took turns reading the first chapter of her book. I was very moved by this woman.
I asked to borrow the book our Meeting owned and I couldn't get enough. I sent off a request for one of everything that Friends of Peace Pilgrim had to offer.
Personally, I was very moved by the fact that Mildred Norman, from Egg Harbor City, was able to live a life similar to the Saints I had read about and had been fascinated by as a young child. For me, she sent a message - Yes, you too can do it.
I needed to do something with this new knowledge and sent an email to the college campus where I work (Stockton College of NJ). Within days I received 65 requests for the book. Several professors were interested in using the material in their courses; such as Gerontology, Philosophy, and Feminist Studies. A set of videos has been donated to the college's library and are shown periodically on the college's TV station.
Peace Pilgrim's Helene, and I have become traveling and speaking partners (biking partners too!). I first met her after visiting the Cologne Post Office where I was searching for more information about Peace. (For 28 years she had her mail sent to the Cologne Post Office, where Helene forwarded it on to General Delivery wherever Peace was.) I was told that her sister was still in the area. I wrote her a letter, and we got together for lunch at her home. She shared Peace's scrapbook with me. What a wonderful gift! Her husband was an historian and put together an outstanding scrapbook, documenting Peace's early years and her pilgrimage. (My Quaker Meeting funded the duplication of the scrapbook and 10 copies have been distributed around the world.) Eventually, bits and pieces came together, and I was off to Costa Rica, with Helene and my 16-year-old daughter, to be a part of the dedication of the statue at the UN Peace University. My daughter said, "This trip has made me aware of the amazing rewards which come from inner peace and complete confidence in God, which is a constant goal I am trying to achieve."
Word of Peace continues to spread here in South Jersey and beyond. The two schools in Egg Harbor City are interested in doing something. A high school principal is distributing two dozen copies to local high school libraries.
The Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas is receptive to my suggestion that Peace Pilgrim be included. There's not an end in sight; requests keep coming in. I just ordered another case of books to distribute to interested individuals. Being from South Jersey, there is something so very inspirational about hearing of this woman, Mildred Norman from Egg Harbor City, living a life so close to God. This life is meant for you and me also. The challenge for us is to figure out how it will work out in our own very personal life patterns. I continue to joyfully spread the message.
NEW JERSEY PRESS RECOGNITION
THE ATLANTIC CITY PRESS has been very supportive. On Easter Sunday 2000, they ran a feature article on Peace Pilgrim, our previously unknown hero! Another feature article covering the statue dedication in Costa Rica, ran in November 2000. The Egg Harbor City News ran two articles, one on Peace, and one on our trip to Costa Rica. Helene and I first spoke as a team at the Absecon Manor Nursing Home. Next, we spoke at the Egg Harbor City Historical Society (which now is home for Peace's tunic, comb, toothbrush and shoes). In November we spoke at the Peace University, Costa Rica. Last month we were guest speakers at the local Unitarian Church and next week we will be speaking at the Coalition for Peace and Justice Meeting. When I opened the local newspaper today there was a nice write-up about this upcoming talk. A pleasant surprise.
NEW JERSEY HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL - I am a good friend of Barb Reynolds who has become the Peace Pilgrim activist in South Jersey. Last summer I hiked the Appalachian Trail. Barb had sent me copies of the book which I left in shelters along the trail (with a marker at page 54). Recently I asked Barb to obtain a box of hard cover books to give to each principal in the tri-county area. He included a generous gift.
NEW JERSEY - For many years I have desired to facilitate a Spiritual workshop for people in mid-life and beyond. I have attempted to prepare myself by attending such workshops, reading many books on the subject and asking for God's guidance. I have recently been offered this opportunity. So for several weeks I have been agonizing over the most effective approach. Last Sunday, at my church, I found a little blue booklet, STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. As soon as I read it I realized I had the material I needed for my program. STEPS expresses what I wish to convey to mid-life folks and senior citizens. It tells all we need to know to experience a beautiful life. I thank you for this booklet and I thank God for Peace Pilgrim. She sends a gift, asks for a book, we are sending many STEPS, also videos.
A TRIP TO HIROSHIMA (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
By Bruce Nichols
Peace Pilgrim's message, in the form of 100 "Steps" booklets, hitchhiked to Japan among the 1000 paper origami cranes I carried there in December. I had folded the "peace cranes" and was on my way to "Hiroshima 2001," an international peace gathering.
The information about the event had stated, "To start the 21st century 2001 with an explosion of peace, people from around the world will gather in Hiroshima to pray. The entire intent is to look back together on a century of endless war, and here in Hiroshima, on December 12, 21 days before the 21st century, to offer a collective prayer for world peace and harmony."
My stated purpose for this journey was to participate and to offer my services. The real purpose was to personally carry my 1000 cranes to the Children's Peace Memorial in the Hiroshima Peace Park. My journey had started two and a half years earlier when I heard the story of Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes while traveling to the Peace Pilgrim Center in Hemet. (See Friends of Peace Pilgrim Newsletter #34.) The cranes were safely wrapped in my carry-on backpack along with the "Steps" booklets I was taking to share at the event and with any others I might meet.
While in Hiroshima, I stayed at the local hostel with several other international travelers to attend "Hiroshima 2001." Hosteling is a wonderful way to meet interesting folks from all over the world. Hostels are now open to travelers of all ages. You need a sense of adventure to travel a little more simply.
I met travelers from Japan, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Scotland, Malaysia, and Holland. Quite a few spoke English. I had many opportunities to pass along "Steps" booklets as we shared our experiences. I left a supply of booklets for visitors and folded a few paper cranes to add to a collection made by guests.
Before leaving US, I contacted a teacher in Hiroshima who had been the Japanese coordinator of a "Peace Crane" project I had organized at church. He asked me to visit his school and meet with over 100 5th graders. I spent a fascinating day learning about their school and telling the story (translator helped) of Peace Pilgrim and my origami peace prayers.
For the peace gathering I helped assemble the registration materials for the expected 2000-plus. I helped greet and register the English speaking visitors.
Two main events were at the heart of the gathering. One evening, we gathered in the Hiroshima Peace Park on the bank of the Motoyasu River, across from the A-bomb dome, to float paper candle lanterns.
The next day at 8:15 AM, the same time the bomb was detonated over the city on August 6, 1945, we assembled around the Peace Flame in the center of the park to pray for peace. This was followed by a program in a nearby conference center.
I delivered my peace cranes just before the lantern launching ceremony. I have been folding these since learning the skill during my first stay as a volunteer at Friends of Peace Pilgrim. I still try to fold at least one a day and think of each one as a "prayer for peace". With a few friends from the event, we went to the Children's Peace Memorial where I said some prayers, took a few pictures, and placed my 1000 "prayers for peace" with the many other thousands that are brought or sent to the park year round.
Almost all of the monuments have strings of cranes draped or laid nearby. But none have more than the Children's Peace Memorial which was inspired by Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year-old Japanese girl who died 10 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, from leukemia caused by her exposure to radiation from the bomb. As she was dying, she folded origami cranes in the hope of having her wish for a return to health granted. Her courage during her disease inspired her classmates to start a campaign for a Children's Peace Monument which was completed three years later.
With my cranes delivered, we walked the short distance to the river where people were already gathering for the lantern launching. The lanterns are of brightly colored paper wrappers supported by a wooden frame with a candle in the center. Prayers and messages of peace are written on the paper before it is pulled over the frame. The candle is then lit, and the lantern placed on the water to carry the wish into the night. I helped again at this well-organized event, and soon almost 2000 people were poised 10 or 15 deep along the riverbank with candles lit, waiting for the signal to begin. Across the river the A-bomb dome stood, a silent witness to our ceremony. With an orderliness that could never happen in the west, people began placing their lanterns on the river and politely moving out of the way for the next person to do the same. I placed my lantern among the many others floating on the river, then headed for a nearby bridge to take some photos of the luminous spectacle spread out on the dark surface of the water.
Afterward, I walked in silence along the bike path that ran along the opposite side of the river toward the hostel and my bed, listening to the hoarse croaks of a herons lost somewhere in the darkness and watching the reflections of stars sparkled on the rippling river.
The next morning I retraced my steps back to the Peace Park; joined the ranks around the Cenotaph and Peace Flame. Within the Cenotaph, at the center of the park, is a register that bears the names of the deceased victims of the A-bomb. Each year, on the anniversary of the bombing, the names of survivors who have died in the previous twelve months are added to the list. At 8:15 we fell silent for several minutes, offering our personal and collective prayers for world peace.
It was an honor, a blessing to be able to stand in that assembly. One I will not soon forget. Among my prayers was this one, "This is the way of peace, overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." What could possibly be better, except the practice of it?
(Follow this link to view photos of the Hiroshima trip.)
*****WEBSITE UPDATE (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
by Bruce Nichols, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all who visited the Peace Pilgrim Homepage and Friends of Peace Pilgrim websites after the publication of the last newsletter, #34. November of 2000 was the busiest month ever with over 4300 individual visits to the Peace Pilgrim Homepage. We appreciate your interest and hope you find this inspiring:
Coverage of the Academic Seminar and Statue Dedication includes text from former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo's keynote speech and photos. <http://www.peacepilgrim.com/sculpture.htm>
A Coloring Storybook for Children on the life and teachings of Peace Pilgrim by Gary Guthrie with drawings by Barbara Werner can now be found on the website. Gary and Barbara are both longtime volunteers at the Peace Pilgrim center and have done a great job on this popular book. The entire text and all illustrations are at: <http://www.peacepilgrim.com/ccbook/cbindex.htm>
The Spanish Language Newsletter, "Enlace Internacional", published since 1994. Mayte Picco-Kline, counselor for the exploration of inner potential and translator of the Peace Pilgrim Book into Spanish, has been publishing a Spanish language newsletter. Four of the 21 editions of this newsletter are on line as I write. Our goal is to have them all on line as well as additional Spanish language articles and the entire Peace Pilgrim Book in Spanish. <http://www.peacepilgrim.com/news/index.htm#enlace>
All the Friends of Peace Pilgrim newsletters are now available online. You can now read the many fine articles that have been presented in this publication, starting with #1 in 1987 and continuing right up through the current issue. Links to the newsletters can be found on the main pages of both sites. New newsletters are added as soon as they are published and many friends of Peace Pilgrim have opted to read the newsletter online to save the cost of mailing. If you would like to be added to the email notification list send a message to email@example.com.
We like to offer a few links to other websites that support and encourage the principles that Peace Pilgrim built her life and message around. This issue's recommendations are:
THE HUMAN KINDNESS FOUNDATION - Founded by Bo and Sita Lozoff, this is a non-profit organization which stresses a way of life based upon three common principles taught by the great sages of all religions: Simple living, a dedication to service, and a commitment to personal spiritual practice. This organization does great work with prisoners and includes a STEPS booklet with their free book they send to prisoners who request them. Read some of Bo's newsletter articles while you're there <http://www.humankindness.org>.
THE SIMPLE LIVING NETWORK - This organization is a wonderful resource for those learning to move toward a truly simpler lifestyle. It provides tools and examples for a more conscious, simple, healthy and restorative lifestyle. Be sure to visit their Simple Living Newsletter <http://www.simpleliving.net>.
FRIENDS BULLETIN - Pictures of the Peace Pilgrim statue, the United Nations University for Peace and 3 compilers of the PEACE PILGRIM book (Cheryl, John & Ann) are on the cover of March issue of BUILDING THE WESTERN QUAKER COMMUNITY and there are nine pages about Peace Pilgrim, our Center, plus our last newsletter. If any of you Quakers are finished with your copy, would you mind sending it to us? We would like to have some available for our visitors.
MARTY, AMIRAH & BABY, WILL OCEAN BRUHN - They have volunteered for several years. We've attended their wedding and now enjoy watching their adorable baby boy, now almost seven months old, as he discovers his world. He smiles and laughs, and waves his arms and legs wildly for fun. He will be crawling soon, so John often gets on the floor to show him how to crawl.
Amirah is our computer expert and has been teaching us about e-mail and the Internet. She typesets our newsletters and keeps our mailing list in good order. Now, when we need computer help, we baby sit Will. This is a good exchange since we are not near our great grandchildren. We enjoy Will's wide-eyed smiles and laughter. Marty is our great fixer of cars, large and small appliances, and cares for our yard.
We will miss them when we move north.
PRISON CHAPLAIN - Your donations [of books] fill a very great need in our facility. They have been made available to our detainee population and received with much appreciation. It is a joy to walk around and see detainees reading about Peace Pilgrim and her work. As we begin observance of Lenten season we want you to know that our programs would be lacking without your generosity and kindness. May the approach to Easter renew those who we serve and strengthen us to continue to serve. Will look forward to receiving more books.
PRISONER - I am Muslim with a small sect of Sufi. I am a very articulated, educated, incarcerated Black man. My interest is in studying all the things I had not studied while I was a free man. I would like the books you have to offer.
PROPOSAL: (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
THE CREATION OF A WORLD DEVELOPMENT & SERVICE TRUST FUND
To financially service the peoples of our planet and not just an oligarchy. This international economic solidarity network would provide an alternative to the current economic chaos by funding viable economic projects. It would function parallel to the existing system, but would be based on values of cooperation, humanitarian ethics, and the social welfare of the global human community, rather than personal vested interests or the exploitation of people. It would make funds available to small-scale individual, cooperative groups, or local community self-help projects by providing short, medium or long-term loans at low interest just to cover administrative costs.
The above proposed measures would give the new consciousness and alternative society movement worldwide the economic means to fund worthwhile projects. It would also empower individuals and local communities, especially in poor countries, to help themselves via economic autonomy, self-sufficiency and human dignity, with respect for their natural environment, and the planetary ecology, without greed, profit-worship or human exploitation.
Existing humanitarian or socially-orientated funding organizations like the Micro-Economic Summit, could function under that umbrella as a specialist agency providing a particular service.
In the case of collapsed currencies, such as the Rouble, the Naira etc., the loan obtainable would have to be made available, pro tem, in a usable stable currency such as the U.S. dollar or the EURO, according to the wishes of the recipient. Yours in world service, Emmanuel Petrakis, D.Sc., Chief delegate for Greece for David Stringer, International Coordinator, WORLD UNIVERSITY, Arizona, U.S.A. He can be reached at: Galvani 6, Patision, Athens 112 55, Athens, Greece. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel. (0030) 22 30439 and Fax: 8221 186
We have a goodly amount of individual democracy. We have a lot of political democracy. Where we fall the shortest is in economic democracy. - Peace Pilgrim
MINNESOTA - Peace Pilgrim's story has changed the course of my life at a very opportune time. I want my family to understand why this transition took place. I requested four copies because I would like each family member (father, mother, two sisters) to read it at the same time so they might discuss it as they read. I thank you deeply for your work.
THE GOD'S CHILD PROJECT (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
By Bob Rupp, GOD'S CHILD volunteer.
A friend of Peace Pilgrim, John Lazas, and five friends built two houses in Guatemala in record time. They are volunteers for The GOD's CHILD Project, a non-profit group in Antigua, Guatemala which finances the education of 920 destitute children attending 87 schools all over that Central American nation.
Lazas, who is a health-food industry marketing consultant from Boulder, Colorado, was a member of a team that went to Guatemala to serve the very poor. The new homes weren't much by U.S. standards. Small one-room homes with concrete floors and metal roofs, but they were a vast improvement over the dirt-floored, tin-sided shacks the families had been living in.
One home will house a family of four girls, and their two foster grandmothers. The other home was built for a family of two girls, two boys, two infants and their mother. That home will have electricity and a kitchen with a chimney so smoke from the cook stove can be vented outside. Both homes are near GOD's CHILD Project headquarters.
Children from both families go to school with Project funding. A spiritually-centered non-profit charity, GOD's CHILD was founded eight years ago by Patrick Atkinson, a 41-year-old native of Bismarck, ND who has devoted his life to serving "the poorest of the poor." Currently, Atkinson estimates his non-profit assists more than 5,000 individuals over a year's time, and keeps kids in school who otherwise could not afford to attend.
Atkinson started his organization with the idea that, with schooling, poor native children could gain skills and vocations to help work themselves out of poverty. Donations help both the child, his or her family, and community as well.
This was the first time Lazas had been to Guatemala. "I went with an open mind. I have always had a strong sensitivity toward others less fortunate, and it was very gratifying to be able to help people whose needs are so great - and who are so appreciative."
GOD's CHILD PROJECT is a non-profit charity: P.O.Box 1573, Bismarck, ND 58502-1573. E-mail: email@example.com. Telephone: 701-255-7956.
HUEHUETENANGO, GUATEMALA - David Stewart, an American who now lives in Central America, went to Costa Rica for the dedication of the statue and we met him there. Since then he sent us a beautiful blouse & shoulder bag that was hand woven by a Guatemalan.
PRISONER - I really enjoyed reading the STEPS booklet. It seemed to help me in removing a lot of my hatred.
A NEW PEACE PILGRIM FRIEND (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
I am reading a very old, yellowed copy of Peace Pilgrim and I am enjoying it immensely. I am currently more than halfway through. Someone I barely knew handed it to me about two years ago. It really annoyed me at the time because I only like new books in good condition for my own collection, but she was adamant that I was to have it. So I came home and stored it away on a bookshelf. I figured I would toss it out sometime in the future.
Recently I have found myself interested in conflict resolution on a personal level. Three years ago, through a 12-Step program, I was able to heal my marriage which was on the brink of divorce. Since then my spirituality has blossomed. Now I take the level of peace I have internalized and use it to help heal and enhance my other relationships.
This past summer my 7-year old son attended Peace Camp at our Unitarian Church in Alexandria, Virginia. I cried all through the program they put on at the end of the week--I was so filled with gratitude that this information was being made available to young people. Right after that I borrowed a book from my brother called Emissary of Light by James Twyman and read it on vacation. I actually thought it was going to be about something else but realized at the end that it was all about conflict resolution. Those two back-to-back experiences had me come home and begin reading Peace Pilgrim. Now I know that her book was for me after all. I love it when I am wrong. I am so glad that I kept it.
I found your website today by jumping from link to link all over the web. Thank you for the work you are doing to keep Peace's work alive. I need it and the world needs it. Love to you and yours.
PRISONER - Since 1997 you have sent me four Peace Pilgrim books and 8 STEPS booklets. All of which have gone to eager seekers with my blessing.....You send out the words of love and compassion to one and all free of charge.
I've hit on an idea - take that LA Times View article (1986) - I underlined several things and gave them to officers and offenders. To officers, I wrote, "If her book touched you as it did me, please send a donation."
I have to tell you that - big, bad ex-marine (20 years)... and big, bad convict - well when I start talking about Peace Pilgrim the tears just kind of flowed. I am never ashamed or embarrassed. I have received hugs from offenders and officers after they have read STEPS and the book...they do beautiful positive things to people.
CHRIST KING CONVENT, INDIA - Thank you ever so much for your surprise package of a video and audio. We Sisters have heard the Peace Pilgrim audio and I, in particular, was so happy to hear her speaking to me. The more I hear of her the more I appreciate and admire her. She had guts to proclaim Peace the way she did.
NEW U.S. PEACE PILGRIM CENTER (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
By Kathy Miller
In January a new Peace Center was found in Somerset, California in the foothills of the Sierras, near Placerville. For years Friends of Peace Pilgrim in Hemet, California felt the need of more space because of the growing interest in Peace's message. After a long search, a suitable house has been found. Ann and John have been involved in the decision and continue to be active in every aspect of the work.
Since I recently sold my home in Northern California, and simplified my life by becoming a full time volunteer, I am able to assist financially. I donated $110,000 toward the purchase of the new Center. A few years ago that would have been enough, but this is 2001 and times have changed. Therefore, I sent out some letters offering others the opportunity to invest in the spread of Peace Pilgrim's message into the future.
More than 140 people have contributed. If you would like to help, please make your tax-deductible check to Friends of Peace Pilgrim and send it to Kathy Miller, Friends of Peace Pilgrim.
Responses to the letter continue to inspire us. Here are a few highlights:
FRIENDS OF PEACE PILGRIM IS MOVING! (Back to Table of Contents - TOC)
In the middle of March, three sturdy volunteers, Eton Simon, Abraham, and Keith Morgan, stopped by to pack books INTO the truck instead of OUT of the truck.
In the 18 years we've been lugging books out of huge trucks, we've had good luck with having strong individuals dropping by or coming from next door, to help unload the truck.
John Rush carefully oversaw packing of thousands of books in hundreds of boxes from our garage into the biggest U-Haul truck available. The operation of deciding which box to take next and keeping all different editions separated was also John's duty. John, now 83 years old, handed box after box to Eton who rolled them on a dolly to Abraham who gave them to Keith to stack neatly in the truck. (Keith, by the way, was visiting us from Oregon. He came by way of bicycle!).
After the loading of the truck, Kathy, Eton and Keith drove North to Somerset, California. They packed all the books into our new barn which is twice as big as our old garage. John is looking forward to NOT having to rearrange the contents of the barn to make room for more books which is what he had to do with each new shipment to our tiny little garage.
Kathy, Eton and Keith have been getting settled in and are working in the garden. Our new neighbor, Nancy Poer and her husband brought a piano donated by a friend from the bay area and it now is in our new house.
After Easter, we (John and Ann Rush) will take what is left of the old Peace Center to Kathy Miller in Northern California to continue our peace work.
The Peace Center's new address and phone are on the front and back of this newsletter. Somerset is located in beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is 145 miles Northeast of San Francisco and 60 miles East of Sacramento.
Our new address is:
NEW YEAR'S DAY POTLUCK IN THE SUN - We had a delightful impromptu gathering around our picnic table under our apricot tree last New Year's Day. We were graced with the presence of two friends from Lebanon, and one from Ireland.
By Michael De Cheke, Ph.D
I am an old friend of the PEACE PILGRIM book. I have been in discussion with Ann Rush in the last two years. [From my notes: the PP book was a turning point in his life. Totally spiritually emersed in it.] I received books, tapes, etc.. A year ago I started giving lectures about Peace Pilgrim, primarily in retirement homes, communities of independent living.
Many of the residents are in poor health, spiritually neglected. The message of Peace Pilgrim may revitalize them. Peace's teaching about diet and walking may initiate improvements in their lifestyle. But first and foremost her spirituality may be a revelation for them.
I lectured in the neighborhood of my town in Western Massachusetts with good responses. But the main reason I approach you is something else.
I am a Hungarian-Jewish scientist, who came to this country about 20 years ago. I taught chemistry at the University of Mass. for 15 years. In the last 2 years my interest turned toward forensic science, and I attend a graduate school. This is a professional endeavor. But there is a spiritual goal I set for myself. I would like to translate the Steps and the Book into Hungarian.
Hungary is a free democracy now, but it is in a miserable ideological mess. Cults and sects are freely roaming, and it became the center of porn movie industry, among other questionable things. They badly need good, solid, spiritual material like PEACE PILGRIM. I would like to translate STEPS and the book into Hungarian. They need to become familiar with Peace Pilgrim. I tried to find a sponsor to support my translation work. I do not have a job now, and only the tuition of my studies is paid by a federal program. I could not find anybody, as my contacts are mostly chemical companies. I calculated it probably would take 4-5 months hard work to accomplish this task. In the earlier part of my career I translated a lot, and with the word processor the correction of the text is fast and simple. I am sure I can make a good job to put through the message of Peace. The first question is whether anybody is doing a Hungarian translation. If not, how could it be published if the translation is prepared. How could I find a sponsor who would support my work? I would appreciate your suggestions and opinion.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone interested in helping with the Hungarian translation. I can be reached at 376 Main St. Easthampton, MA 01027 413-527-5685.
A PEACE PILGRIM FRIEND - I have enjoyed the book very much. I can tell you it has changed my life completely and I want to share it with my dear aunt.
RHODE ISLAND - My husband and I have named our daughter after Peace Pilgrim! Her name is Shulomit, which is the Hebrew feminine word for Peace. The male version is Shalom. Interestingly Shulomit also means complete or whole, implying that when one has Peace, one is a complete or whole person. As Orthodox Jews, we believe that naming a child after one who has passed on will enable the qualities of that person to live on.
We certainly hope that our new daughter will take on the wonderful traits of Peace Pilgrim.
OREGON - Peace's message was one I have been waiting for all that time. (When the student is ready - a teacher appears).
It transformed mine and my husband's life. We are very thankful for you guys who carry on Peace's work. We would like to make it possible that the message of Peace touch more and more of us - that's why we were thinking about translating it to other languages like Polish (I'm Polish and I talk fluent Polish) and German (My husband is German and speaks fluent German). We would like to spread this message in those two countries among those who can't speak English and of course, English speakers, too. My English is not sufficient to translate, but I know some people who would be able to do such a work. That's why please send me 10 books and STEPS. We believe in peace and we want to work towards it. THANK YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN
AN AUSTRALIAN PRIEST - Steps get included in all my first time letters. I distribute them in my workshops and retreats: and post them in annual mail-outs to the Australian subscribers to THE GOLDEN STRING Newsletter of the Bede Griffiths International Literary Trust. It is wonderful having this resource so readily available to people throughout the world. (We sent 800 STEPS and three videos.)
THE PEACE ABBEY - The New England Peace Studies Association has recently moved to the Peace Abbey to set up its headquarters (which includes the Peace Studies departments from 11 major colleges and universities). We plan to start a Peace Pilgrim study group and promote the reading of her book at all the colleges in our area. We would love posters, pictures and whatever you might have that would allow us to further expand our display and study area dedicated to Peace Pilgrim.
By Richard Polese
Our Peace Pilgrim book has inspired people all over the world, including Russia. In the middle of Russia's famous winter, I had the opportunity to meet Sergei Bedayei in Moscow. He is the distributer of PEACE PILGRIM and STEPS. This was the first meeting between Sergei and one of the compilers of the book. Sergei is a soft-spoken, spiritually committed man, fluent in English. He teaches at a private children's school that emphasizes English and spirituality.
When the translation of STEPS first appeared, Sergei took it to a weekly newspaper with 17 million circulation. They printed an ad that a free STEPS booklet would be sent to any who wrote to Sergei's address. Within a few weeks the Badayeis received over 21,000 requests. People across that vast country were eager to find out about this remarkable American woman. Many copies were sent all across the former Soviet Union. Peace Pilgrim's way of walking on foot and on faith is one that many Russians can easily relate to, because wandering pilgrims and "startsi" (spiritual masters) are a vital part of the Russian Orthodox tradition. Sergei told me that about 4000 copies of the original printing are left. He delivers about 80 copies each week to a popular new age bookstore in Moscow, where they are quickly picked up by Muscovites interested in spirituality. Sergei, Dinara and their young family live in Moscow. Their home is full of PEACE PILGRIM books, for it is the Russian Peace Pilgrim Center. You can reach them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 421, Moscow 121091, Russia.
In a town where I was staying with friends, there is widespread honoring of their Orthodox Christian heritage. The town, Borovsk, is home to an ancient Russian Orthodox monastery that is still quite active; there are onion-domed churches on every horizon.
I was surprised at the pure, fresh quality of Russian foods. At dinner, I was toasted by my friends, Oksana, Nadia and Maria with the expressive words, "Mir y Droozhba!" "Peace and Friendship!"
Richard Polese's article about compiling the book was most interesting. It was a project of collaboration guided by a power greater than any single person. Wants address of NEW CALL TO PEACEMAKING, JOHN STONER, PO BOX 500, AKRON,PA 17501-0500
By Chinasa Atiah, Coordinator
Compliments of the season! This is to acknowledge receipt of your Newsletter. Thanks for placing us on your mailing list. I want to use this opportunity to share with you the great work PEACE PILGRIM BOOKS did for us this winter in one of our Peace Crusade seminars.
A participant, according to him, a hard violent man, made this statement: "This PEACE PILGRIM book is not a mere physical book as many would think, but a deep spiritual book that is capable of transforming any life, no matter how crude, and it will help you to see the good in others. Thank God, today, I am a new person."
What a great book! I want to say that after the Holy Bible, the Peace Pilgrim book is a blessing from God to mankind. We are going to hold a big peace rally at Osa-ukwu town near Aba town in Abia state this March. This village has been at war for over five years with neighboring Amaraku village. By the grace of God, our movement will bring peace to the village, since we are invited over by their Paramount Chief.
We appreciate sponsorship from peace-loving people all over the world. We will tell you of the success of the next rally. Peace and Love. PEACE CRUSADE INTERNATIONAL, #4 Adekunle St. off Mohammed Way, Ebute Metta, Lagos, Nigeria
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