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March 25, 2014
A Peace Pole was unveiled at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC on March 24, dedicated to Fr. David Valtierra, former chaplain of the campus Newman Center. BPFNA Operations Coordinator Evelyn Hanneman offered the following ecumenical prayer at the dedication service. Other prayers were offered by a Catholic priest and a Native American in the Catawba language. This Peace Pole joins over 100,000 of them in 180 countries around the world. Many are at Baptist churches.
Creator God, out of nothing, you created everything that is:
and all that is in them.
And then you called it GOOD, complete, whole.
Out of who we are, bring forth the
dreams of peace,
the hope of reconciliation,
the desire to be a faithful part of the shalom of creation.
And then, Living, Loving God, move us out of our dreaming, hoping and desiring to action, putting flesh on our intentions.
Move us to light flames of fire against the darkness of war,
and to build bridges across the chasms of hate.
May this Peace Pole be more than a symbol of peace. May it be a beacon that lights the way to peace, calling us to embrace the whole of this good creation in our loving arms.
May the Peace Pole remind us of the need to wage peace, even as so many in the world wage war. Help us learn those things that make for peace and give us the courage to share them with the world, transforming the conflict around us.
Life-giving God, fill us with the ability to claim our power to change the world.
Keep us from doubts,
turn our fears into action,
our uncertainties into wisdom,
our defeats into moments of grace.
As this Peace Pole weathers the storms that will surround it, may we also weather the storms that do and will surround our lives.
Sustainer God, we give you thanks for this beacon of peace, set into this place, and set into our hearts, and we dedicate it, and ourselves, to living out your peace.