St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosts for the third time in a row International Peace Day

Haley Duval, Reporter

Haley Duval
St Paul’s threshold choir singing “We Shall Sing Only in Love, We Shall Walk Only in Peace.”

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Justice Committee in downtown Bakersfieldjoined the rest of the world to host the global annual eventInternational Day of Peace (Peace Day) on Sep. 21. For the third year in a row the church welcome the community to join them for meditation on peace and loving-kindness, violin and flute music, threshold choir singing, [sacred] words, and candle lighting.

Peace Day, established in 1981 by the United Nations Resolution, dedicates the day for world peace and provides “all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.”

Haley Duval
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church candle lighting (passing light of peace) for Day of Peace.

This year’s Day of Peace theme celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), known as a milestone in history for the recognition of inalienable human rights.

A thirty-minute meditation association lead by Tracy MacLaren, had four main phases repeated several times, “May I feel with loving kindness to my feel. May I feel well. May I feel peaceful and at ease. And may I be happy.”

The mediation encouraged people feel at peace, at home in a special place in mind, and to have kindness oneself. MacLaren wanted everyone to feel their most comfortable in the mediation. Many of the families and individuals at the event had their eyes closed in prayer or sleep some even felt comfortable enough to have their shoes off.

Portia Choi, 70, helped hosted St. Paul’s event with the opening of welcome and acknowledgment of peace for all people and shared multiple famous quotes on peace from Mother Teresa, and Gandhi, to Martin Luther King Jr. and more.

Haley Duval
Portia Choi, announcing the upcoming events for the International Day of Peace program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Born and raised during the time of the Korean War, Choi believes inner peace is important that there is always a place to find it.

“Whatever is going on outside there is always a place we can have for inner peace, then peace for others, and eventually the world,” said Choi.

Choi says she is grateful people are given the chance to think about peace and have a time for meditation. She added that the sleepless nights to make sure everything runs together is worth it.

Haley Duval
Welcome guest listening to flute music perform by Alex Ravenfeather.