Tag Archives: continue the conversation

PEACE is Harmony—Pass It On!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April15, 2016

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PEACE is Harmony—Pass It On!

Today was Friday, April 15. Today was the day of the Peace Breakfast for the Chicago suburbs of Morton Grove and Niles.

Fifteen people attended this breakfast, which was primarily an opportunity for fellowship and conversation among the diverse religious leaders and local government representatives from both communities. This whole area is so culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse that I initiated a Peace Breakfast to bring people together. And, continue the conversation about peace and harmony.

I consider it so fitting that I highlight another personal definition of PEACE from the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove today. (Thank you, Dilnaz, for your kind invitation to come and talk with people at the MCC!)

Sabah Khan’s personal definition: “PEACE is harmony—which I can pass on to the rest of the humanity. (one at a time, to each individual)”  

Sabah’s definition is so much a part of what I was striving to do today with the Peace Breakfast. As Sabah wrote this down, almost two weeks ago, I had no idea this definition would come up today.

What a wonderful reminder for me—for all of us—that PEACE does start with me. And with you. With each one of us, passing peace, harmony and friendship one at a time, to each individual. When someone trips or falls, offer them a hand up. If some stranger on the street needs a break, why not consider extending your hand?

Gracious, merciful God, open my eyes and let me see opportunities to promote peace and harmony. Help me—help all of us—to pass it on. In Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(Thanks to everyone at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove, for making this week of personal definitions of PEACE possible.)

PEACE is Sweet, and Contentment

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, April11, 2016

PEACE is Sweet, and Contentment

peace and contentment

I am continuing with some special personal definitions of PEACE. These definitions came from my invitation to visit the Muslim Community Center last Sunday afternoon.

The president of the Sunday school reminded the gathered crowd that I was there to ask the simple question “What is PEACE, to you?”

Several people wrote down their simple definition, and that is wonderful! However—I did not have an opportunity to speak to them, because so many people gathered around the table where I stood. I felt so glad to have so many people get involved! This is important. Encouraging individuals to think about what PEACE means to them is key to continuing the conversation of peace and harmony. Especially, peace and harmony amidst such a diverse community!

Silvat’s personal definition: “PEACE is contentment of the soul.”

Javed’s personal definition: “PEACE is SWEET, and to be sweet.”

I would have loved to ask each of these dear people a follow-up question! Found out, further, exactly what each of them was thinking.

When I think of the sweetness of peace, I can’t help but think of honey. Sweet. Natural. And, when I used to have a bad cough or a sore throat, my grandmother used to suggest honey and lemon to soothe and coat the inside of the throat. What a wonderful mental image! Sweet—honey—peace.

The first impression that comes to be when I think of “contentment of the soul?” A long, gentle exhalation. Unwinding of my muscles. Decompressing my body in preparation for a peaceful time of meditation and prayer.

Gracious, merciful God, thank You for such vivid images. So helpful for me as I think about PEACE.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(Thanks to everyone at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove, for making this week of personal definitions of PEACE possible.)

PEACE is Living in a Civil Union

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, February 28, 2016

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PEACE is Living in a Civil Union

Another day continuing the listening tour. Another day of journeying to various locations over the next weeks in my efforts to pursue PEACE.

I so appreciate Rev. Joe McInnis’s invitation to attend the church he pastors, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wilmette, Illinois. I was glad I had the chance to worship with the congregation, too.

After the service, I had the opportunity to ask several people their opinion of PEACE. What is their personal view of the word PEACE?

One woman wrote out her definition, and then gave me further information about it. Mindy Davis considers PEACE to be “living in a civil union.”

In all seriousness, Mindy thinks the Chicago area—not to mention the United States—to be a more dangerous place than it was only ten years ago. “I am more fearful today, and not just politically. Much more so than I have been in my entire life. That is where I am right now. Things are not civil at all. People my age are going out today and buying guns. It’s very concerning.” Mindy thanked me for wanting to continue the conversation about PEACE.

Yes, I know—at least, partially—what Mindy is talking about. And, I feel badly that there is more fear, more anxiety, heightened security, and less PEACE than ever before. It breaks my heart to think that there are individuals who think so little of the well-being, safety and security of others. Incivility, to say the least.

These sad individuals are just that: sad, lost, in need of some kind of-something. Deep down, I mean. I realize each individual has issues and difficulties of their own. Yet, my heart breaks at the meanness, nasty attitudes, and sometimes downright violence that these individuals cause. Not only cause, but also escalate.

It warms my chaplainly heart to hear that people are concerned for this aspect of PEACE. I not only want to continue the conversations promoting PEACE, but also to be there to listen when folks express fears, anxiety, and even suspicion.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for Your presence with me. Not just when times are good, and happy, but when times are scary, and evil, and sometimes even traumatic. You still come alongside of all of us. Each one of us, all of us have that opportunity to have You come alongside us. Just as King David said in Psalm 23, even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with us. Thanks, Lord!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er