Saturday, May 19, 2007

Peace Garden

A group of us from Malheur County traveled to Burns (120 miles or so) to help the people of St. Andrew's Church clean out an unused piece of ground behind the church to create a Peace Garden. After loading a 10 yd dumpster with weeds and junk and painting a picket fence, we erected a Peace Pole with the words "Let Peace on Earth Prevail" written in four languages, English, Paiute, and two others I didn't recognize. We also installed a bench with the phrase, "Sit awhile and let your spirit rest", an African proverb. The worker's ages ranged from 12 to 80+ and everybody had a great time. The four churches represented probably couldn't muster a total of 100 people, but we showed that we can do great things when we work together. We're trying to tear down those provincial barriers that so often separate us. I think it's working, the other three churches want their own Peace Garden, and the man who inscribed the Peace Pole with his router has offered to make one for each of us. The next step is to get a work party together at the next church on the list and build its Peace Garden. The Paiute language was used because Burns is next to a Paiute Reservation and they share the Priest at St. Andrew's with the Episcopalians and the ELCA Lutheran Church. We are thinking of using Japanese, Spanish, and Basque along with English because they represent the dominant ethnic groups represented in our community.

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