Dear Friends in Christ,

As many of you know, Margaret Manoharan goes to great lengths to nurture several houseplants throughout all seasons. During the summer months, most are moved outside to benefit from fresh air, sunlight, and rain. A few days ago, while turning the corner of the driveway at St. Bart’s these stunning peace lilies caught my attention! Gathered off the side of the road their white blooms pointing upward standing at attention shouting Peace!

Today is International Day of Peace, an initiative of the United Nations to encourage peace throughout the world. This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals. Seventeen goals were adopted in 2015 with progress continuously tracked since then. St. Bart’s is supporting at least three of these goals. Goal #2 – Zero Hunger – support of Toco Hills Community Alliance, and Briar Vista Elementary School Backpack Buddies helps eliminate food insecurity for students over the weekend; Goal #4 Quality Education – for more than a decade funds have supported St. Marc’s school in Haiti, Goal #13 Climate Action – LED light bulbs, programable thermostats, and composting. All these actions and more help foster peace beyond the ongoing need for cessation of war, conflict, and violence.

In a world filled with strife, we are encouraged to pause today and recommit to being practitioners of local and global peace.

A prayer attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Voices of Hope Children’s Choir (Virtual Choir)