Tag Archives: Peace

AdventWord 2022 – December 25 – #Emmanuel

Emmanuel. God with us. If God is with us, any photo would work to express Emmanuel. I chose several that show working for justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God by visiting elected representatives, advocating, making a public witness, and amplifying other voices.

Photo 1 – New York delegation at Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2019, Washington, DC.

Photo 2 – Advocacy postcards for immigration justice, Whitestone, NY – 2018

Photo 3 – Standing Rock, SD – 2016

Photo 4 – Whitestone, NY – 2015

Photo 5 – Louisville, Ky – May 1, 2021


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Filed under Advent, Antiracism, Current Events, First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone, Human Rights, New York, Photo, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Presbytery of New York City

24 December 2022 – The Christmas Truce

Walking. Apartment.|
The 1914 Christmas Truce.
Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen
Christmas Truce – Sabaton
Pipes of Peace – Paul McCartney
1914, the Carol of Christmas – Military Voices & Abby Scott, feat. Flt Lt Matt Little, the Raf Spitfire Choir & William Inscoe
Let the Truce Be Known – Orphaned Land
Christmas 1914 – John McDermott
It Could Happen Again – Colin Raye
All Together Now – The Farm
Christmas True of 1914 – Joyce Cooling
The Christmas True – Carol Dowgiallo & Bob Dowgiallo
Ode to the Christmas Truce of 1914 – Marshall Hattersley
Christmas Truce – Fenya
The Christmas Truce – Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Adrian Partington, Jonathan Hope, Sacha Fullerton, Jack Parry, Deryck Webb & Nicholas Perfect
Christmas in the Trenches – John McCutcheon
Silent Night/Stille Nacht – John McCutcheon

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Filed under Current Events, Exercise, Louisville, Music, playlist

AdventWord 2022 – December 19 – #sign

Designed, created, and posted by the daughter of a friend.

Let it be.

Photo: Summer, 2021; Germantown, Louisville, Kentucky

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Christmas in the Trenches

As the holy day approaches, a number of people are asking, “What is your favorite Christmas song?” A variation is “What non-religious holiday song that moves your spirit?

Recognizing the amazing amount of wonderful holiday music, whether intentionally religious or intentionally non-religious, that exists, I believe my answer would be the same.

Thanks to the Rev. Essie Koenig-Reinke (my daughter-in-love), pastor of Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church, here is a brief reflection on the song that is my answer. This was originally written for the church’s Advent devotional.

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:3b)

“My name is Francis Tolliver, I come from Liverpool.”

So begins ”Christmas in the Trenches” by singer-songwriter John McCutcheon, a song about the 1914 Christmas Truce told through the eyes of Tolliver, a fictional British soldier.

On Christmas Eve in the filth and muck of the trenches along World War I’s Western front, peace broke out.

Most accounts say it began with German soldiers singing Christmas carols. Others joined. And almost in a collective impulse, many German, British, and French soldiers put down their weapons and met in No-Man’s Land.

They sang, shared photos, told stories, and traded gifts from care packages. Some reports speak of makeshift soccer games played on Christmas Day.

Peace did not last as “with sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.”

The war raged until November 1918 and did not end war—wars and conflicts have followed to this day.

Still the Christmas Truce was a wondrous moment. of peace and and promise and possibility, of hope and justice.

Those themes resonate each year at the manger. They echo through Jesus’ life. He invites us to live into them—at Christmas and through the year.

May we so do.

Check out this call for a 2022 Christmas Trues in Ukraine.

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Filed under Advent, Current Events, Family, Human Rights, Music

A prayer for the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride

Great Spirit,

you see them,

you accompany them,

two-legged and four-legged

making their way

from Lower Brule, SD to Mankota, MN.

They ride to remember.

They ride to honor the 38 Dakota

who were hung in Mankato in 1862

and two other Dakota, who were hung in 1864.

They ride in a spirit

of peace, understanding, and forgiveness.

May the horses and the riders

and their families and supporters

know your presence

offering strength and grace,

community and perseverance,

particularly in the cold of winter.

May their effort

touch hears and minds and spirits

across this country

and lead to repentance and repair

on the part of the dominant culture.

May it be so.


The executions resulted from the US-Dakota War of 1862. This source is the Minnesota Historical Society. A Go Fund Me page by the Dakota 38plus2 Wokiksuye Horse Ride 2022 provides information about the ride and the history behind it, including the conflict and the establishment of the ride. It offers an opportunity to support the ride and links to a vide about the ride.

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Filed under Antiracism, Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty, Human Rights

A prayer for the children of Iran

We pray, God,

for the children of Iran

who demonstrate incredible courage

by joining protests against the government.

Watch over children who take a stand.

Protect children taken into custody.

Work healing in children who are injured.

Comfort family and friends

who grieve for children who have been killed.

Speed the day when justice which leads to peace

prevails in Iran—for the children and all the people.

We pray in the name of Jesus who welcomed children. Amen

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A prayer for the children

I sat to entertain myself, O God.

I smiled as the movie rolled,

and the story flowed.

Then the cannon balls began to fly

and the children began to cry

and cinematic illusion blurred with harsh reality.

I imagined shells falling on Mariupol,

drone attacks in Yemen,

bullets tearing flesh in Tigray

and always children cry.

“And how are the children?”

asks the Masai people.

God, you know.

In places the children are well.

In places the children are strong.

In places the children are safe.

But you also know, O God,

that in places,

too, too many places,

the children cry in terror,

cry in pain,

cry as loved ones suffer and die.

cry from hunger.

The children are not well.

in any conflict,

in every conflict,

the children suffer.

O God, in the name of Jesus,

who bade the children come to him,

I pray for the children of




I pray for the children

caught up in every conflict and any conflict.

I pray for the children who cry.

Protect the children, O God.

Hear their cries.

Watch over them.

Guide the nations of the world

to end conflicts

and establish the justice

that leads to wholeness and peace

in which children may thrive.

Guide me to discern my part

to support such efforts.

I pray in Jesus’ name.


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A prayer for peace

Again, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
Still, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Ukraine, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Russia, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Europe, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of the world, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For peace rooted in justice, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
Again, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
Still, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.

23 February 2022

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A Spot of Tea or the Cup of Christ

Perhaps I should have felt disappointed.  Our tea with Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was canceled.  I had looked forward to this visit.  We were to meet him and to share tea with him at his home on Bishop’s Court.  However, his schedule became very hectic during the days when we were in Cape Town.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the Archbishop had to change his hectic schedule.  I complain about how full my calendar gets – imagine what his looks like!  At any rate, the tea with our group from Cleveland was dropped from Archbishop Tutu’s schedule because he had to go to Johannesburg during that time.

This photo, by Benny Gool, is in the public domain, according to the Archbishop’s personal assistant.

On Thursday, November 2, we rose early.  We arrived at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town for the 8:00 am All Soul’s Day mass.  Archbishop Tutu was the celebrant.  Brightness and life beamed from him as he prayed his way through the mass.  When the time came to pass the peace, he came among us and wished the peace of Christ upon us.  The service continued.  The moment of the Eucharist arrived. We made our way forward. From the hands of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we received the host.  From his eyes, loved shone on each person. From his face, welcome emanated, surrounding us each and all and embracing the world.  

As the service ended, Archbishop Tutu asked that we be introduced to the congregation of about thirty or so.  He greeted us warmly.  We presented him with a “Rainbow Children” stole.  In joy he put it on.  We could sense his excitement although he did manage to refrain from dancing!  It took an effort.  Then he asked if we were really from the United States – because no one was ready to take pictures.  The cameras came out and, with gracious exuberance, Archbishop Tutu posed with the group and with each of us individually.  Then he was gone.

Perhaps I should feel disappointed.  But I do not.  If you had a choice between sharing with Archbishop Desmond Tutu either a spot of tea or the cup of Christ – how would you choose?

For the life and faith and love of witness of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, thanks be to God.

Cape Town, South Africa
2 November 1995
North East, Maryland
26 December 2021

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights, Uncategorized, Worship

It comes this night

It comes this night.

ever so faintly,
it comes.

Above the roar
of anger and hatred,
Above the howl 
of prejudice and bigotry,

Above the maelstrom
of systems and structures,
Above the crash 
of violence and war,

Above the groan
of doubt and despair,
Above the dis-ease
of heartache and heartbreak

Above the tumult
of turmoil and trouble
Above the clamor
of struggle and strife

Above it all,
despite it all
because of it all,
it comes.

ever so faintly,
it comes.

A baby’s cry,
life and
love and 
justice and
peace and
this night
and all nights.

It comes.
Thank God, it comes.

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