Day of Peace

November 10, 2018 St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Bemidji

Now that Election Day is past and the votes are tabulated, we might quickly begin to prepare for the holidays. But, wait.

On November 10 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at 1801 Irvine Avenue in Bemidji, MN there will be a Day of Peace for the sole purpose of honoring the Sabbath, which means respecting ourselves first.

Why a Day of Peace now? Why not? After all, the story from the Bible tells of a commandment that orders the Jewish people to “keep the Sabbath Holy,” after all it was good enough for Creator to rest on the Seventh Day. This has been misinterpreted by modern synagogues, churches and societies to be a means rather than end. The outcome results in more doing and less being.

Keeping the Sabbath Holy could be less doing and more being, rather than industrial institutions’ battle cry of doing more with less. But, wait a moment, isn’t Sabbath keeping also about making peace and ultimately rising in peace?

When I think of peace, my mind trends toward a train of thoughts, that has pacifism as the locomotive and a permissive attitude in each box car strung along the rails. That train of thoughts is representative of my childhood, which experienced the escalation of Vietnam War and Cold War. The notion that the opposite of peace must be war. Yet, what if there were another dialectic to watch peace emerge from within the day by day practice of nonviolence, where nonviolence does not mean pacifism nor does it automatically follow a wholesale subscription to permissive attitudes.

What Prashant and Matthew are offering on this Day of Peace is a possibility, that peace is actually a force within the universe that helps bring about the purpose of our existence. Peace that passes all understanding actually keeps, integrates, and liberates all of us.

Come and feel the force, be the force, and share the force of peace. May the force be with you. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding keep your heart’s and mind’s in the knowledge and love of Christ Jesus, Peace Maker, Prince of Peace.

An Introduction to Mindfulness 2:00 - 3:50 pm

Are you interested in meditation, but aren't sure where to start? Have you tried, but found it difficult? Prashant and Matthew will provide an overview of meditation techniques and a sampler of approaches for two hours on November 10, emphasizing Seated Meditations. An active meditation life is richer when you have options to meet your needs. You will have an opportunity to experience different types of meditation techniques, developing your own toolkit.

Four O’Clock Talks 4:00 - 4:50 pm

Come join us in our spacious sanctuary for spiritual refuge and strength as Prashant and Matthew co-facilitate a dialogue based on Compassionate Communication. This approach will start at 4:00 pm along with a special tea. The tradition of Four O’Clock Talks began at Shantivanam (Forest of Peace) in South India, a Christian Ashram led by Fr. Bede Griffiths. Prashant and Matthew continue in this lineage of sharing tea and biscuits (cookies) alongside deep listening and compassionate communication in the late afternoon in order to cultivate peace by finding peace in the awareness of the day.

Cosmic Community Meditation 5:00 - 5:50 pm

Cosmic Community Meditation will start at 5:00 pm. Inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si, we are all called to respond to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. We are part of an interconnected universe calling us to be blessings and healers for the cosmic family.

Jack Buhn, Senior Warden of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Bemidji

Dr. Prashant Olalekar, SJ
Priest - Society of Jesus, Roman Catholic Church
Director - The Department of Inter-Religious Studies,
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Co-Founder - InterPlay India
Co-Founder - Global Peace Partnership

Dr. Matthew M. Cobb
Priest - Episcopal Church (Anglican)
President - Walks Back,
Cross Cultural Studies Program, Inc.
Co-Founder - Adi Vasi Land and Mineral Rights Awareness Campaign
Co-Founder - Life Transitions Wellness Index