A Beautiful Watertown Peacemaker Meeting and Peace Pole Planting with John Morton

By: MSIA Staff

May 9th, 2014

Note: You can check out a Peacemaker Meeting at the Watertown Free Public Library, offered almost every month by David and Emily. For info on the May and June Meetings: click here.

Why should anyone care if the Traveler was physically in Watertown a year ago and again at two events exactly a year later?

Consider this story. Watertown is a fascinating place. It’s part of the greater Boston area. It’s interesting because 45 languages are represented in Watertown’s free English instruction program: Project Literacy, and there are even more actively spoken. Some community groups treasure this diversity, and there are tensions.

A year ago right after the Boston marathon bomb event, military forces shut Watertown down. People were ordered to stay in their homes. The announced intent of the officials was to secure safety. The officials were looking for and found the bombing suspect. This event was traumatic for some Watertown residents as reported in a community meeting this March.

It just so happened last year that John Morton “accidently” arrived in Watertown during his travels with MSIA staff during this time – right after the shut down was lifted!

Move forward a year. On April 26th, John Morton facilitated a Peacemaker Meeting at the Watertown Free Public Library. This was an IIWP event broadcast around the globe on the Internet. Those present were from different nationalities and varied backgrounds. Many had never been to a Peacemaker Meeting before. The energy was beautiful, and the event was full of grace as John led us through meditations and exercises to connect to the peace that is present.

This was followed by a Peace Pole ceremony on the lawn of the library where John shared his reflections and a blessing.

What’s a Peace Pole? Peace Poles began after World War II to focus on harmony and cooperation between citizens and nations. To date, thousands of Peace Poles exist in at least 170 nations. This pole’s focus is to celebrate Watertown’s diversity and beyond. It has “May Peace Prevail on Earth” printed in eight languages on its sides. This event had five sponsors: three Watertown community organizations, the library and IIWP. This was truly a Watertown community event.

A focal point of the ceremony involved flags from the 45 nations from which Watertown residents originate. Those present each took a flag. An attendee spoke blessings from their flag: “May Peace Be in (country…) May Peace Prevail on Earth” to be then echoed by the audience. After this, the flag was placed around the base of the pole. The next person with a flag came forward until all flags were represented.

In addition, students from Project Literacy offered wishes for peace for their homelands such as Syria. Also, we enjoyed a beautiful Persian Dance, as well as interfaith prayers from representatives from several religious groups. Representatives from the sponsoring organizations spoke briefly, and Richard Herman, a Watertown banjo player, led stirring rounds of “We Shall Overcome” and other peace oriented songs. One church invited attendees to walk a candle lit labyrinth at their church following the ceremony. John Morton’s sharing closed the event and anchored the spirit of community and peace that had emerged for us all.

In addition to all this, IIWP has sponsored monthly Peacemaker Meetings at the Watertown Free Public Library for the last year.

Now is the time for the question. Was Spirit using the Traveler in Watertown? You decide. And we don’t really have to know for sure. It can simply reside in the unknown. What we do know is that we experienced a profound lift in us as we go forward as peacemakers from now on.

In the meantime, please join our next Peacemaker Meetings at the Watertown Free Public Library on Sat May 24 and June 21 from 2 – 4pm.

We love you. God bless you. Peace, be still.

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1 Comment

What an awesome event! We also had a Peacemaker Meeting beforehand with John Morton and the room was full of participants and peace! Thank you David Jenkins and Emily Page and all the organizers for these peace events in Watertown. Quite a blessing.