Voices from the Middle: Bridging the Interfaith Divide

A network of Fox Valley faith communities invites you to a community-wide celebration of the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) on Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The first “Peace Day” was celebrated in September 1982, after being established by a United Nations resolution to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The International Day of Peace provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.

The local celebration of the International Day of Peace will kick-off with a gathering at 10 a.m. for the dedication of the recently installed Peace Pole at Fox Valley Jewish Neighbors (FVJN), located at 121 S. Third St., in Geneva (just across from the old Kane County courthouse, at the yellow awning).

This Peace Pole is part of the international Peace Pole Project. It bears a phrase “May peace prevail on earth” in Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Algonquin (Native American language indigenous to the area), and Swedish, along with “May peace be in our homes and Communities” in English.

Activities will continue a block east at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva (UUSG), located at 110 S. 2nd St., in Geneva.

At 10:30 a.m., come attend an enlightening, interactive program titled, “Have you heard the one about: How to respond to hate language,” presented by nonviolent communications trainer, Thom Thomas.

Ask questions of religious leaders in a panel on Building Bridges, from 11:45 to 12:45, with representatives from the Islam, Unitarian, Jewish and Christian faiths. A panel discussion with young adults will follow at 1 p.m.

Children of all ages will be treated to puppet shows about diversity, craft projects, along with the opportunity to meet and greet children from other religions and ethnicities, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Additionally, the UUSG sanctuary will be open throughout the Day of Peace event for meditation and reflection.

Preceding Saturday’s event will be a free public screening of “Divided We Fall,” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, at the UUSG. This prize winning documentary features stories of Sikhs, Muslims and Arabs in America, and interviews with scholars, lawyers and legislators about race, religion and security in post-9/11 America.

This local celebration of the International Day of Peace is a secular event, open to everyone of all ages and faiths.