The Peace Pole comes to OLGC

This is from a recent bulletin article I wrote. 
Dear Friends,

Liam and Jorge at the Peace Pole
Soon after I arrived in Japan I started to notice while poles standing in various locations, sometimes in parks, sometimes on the grounds of Buddhist temples, sometimes in front of Christian churches.  In black letters they had the words: “世界人類が平和でありますように”(May peace prevail upon earth).  Later I heard the story of how these peace poles got started. 

The Peace Pole Project is the official Project of The World Peace Prayer Society. It started in Japan in 1955 by Masahisa Goi, who decided to dedicate his life to spreading the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in response to the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peace Poles are handcrafted monuments erected the world over as international symbols of Peace. Their purpose is to spread the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the languages of the world.

Mr. Goi believed that Peace begins in the heart and mind of each individual. As war begins with thoughts of war, Peace begins with thoughts of Peace. The Peace Pole reminds us to keep Peace ever-present in our thoughts. As we learn to honor one another, our environment, plants, animals and all creation on Earth, the vision of global Peace will gradually become a natural way of life, a true culture of Peace.

Peace Poles can be found in town squares, city halls, schools, places of worship, parks, and gardens - any place where the spirit of Peace is embraced by people of good will. Since the beginning of the project over 200,000 Peace Poles have been planted in over 200 countries around the world.

Some of the extraordinary locations include the Pyramids of El Giza in Egypt, the Magnetic North Pole in Canada, Gorky Park in Russia, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. They are promoting healing of conflict in places like Sarajevo, the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, and the Allenby Bridge on the border between Israel and Jordan. 

Mayors in many parts of the world have planted Peace Poles to dedicate their cities and towns to world Peace. Both political leaders, such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and religious leaders, such as Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and the Dalia Lama, have dedicated Peace Poles.

Currently, Building Bridges Coalition of Staten Island is sponsoring a Peace Pole.  For one year it is spending one or two weeks in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and various other houses of worship around Staten Island.  Eventually it will be installed at the Ferry Terminal at the end of the year. 

We will welcome the pole to OLGC on May the 11th and it will be with us for 10 days before moving on to the Unitarian Church of Staten Island.  Let it be for us a reminder that peace begins with each one of us. 

Father Liam