Following the collapse of the Oslo peace process between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Kids4Peace was founded in 2001 in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East by leaders from St. George’s College and St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. The idea was to bring together children from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim families from the Holy Land to learn about their different cultures and faith traditions and to build friendships across those divides. Today that’s what happens at two-week summer camps in multiple locations throughout the United States, including Houston, Texas.
Several of my parishioners are deeply committed to this wonderful program, and the youth who came to Houston for it visited Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church this afternoon for their premiere music concert. What they shared with the people of our community was awesome and filled with laughter. It was also filled with hope for the future and produced a few tears. Palmer’s Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life, Roger Hutchison, took this photograph of them inside the church:
Peace is this week’s theme for haiku. Think about those moments when you have experienced it — and perhaps been surprised by it — and also times when you’ve suffered its absence. Maybe you’ve wished for peace within you or around you or even half-way around the world. Maybe you’ve longed for a kind of peace that can only come from God. Whatever that peace or absence of peace is for you, describe it in one verse with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. Here’s mine, which echoes a traditional blessing from the Prayer Book that is often used at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church:
God’s peace passes all
understanding. It guards my
heart and mind with love.